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This content is taken from the Newcastle University's online course, Opioid analgesics: Treating Pain in People with Cancer. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds This week is about opioids in practice. We will be looking at the World Health Organization’s analgesic ladder for cancer pain in adults. We’ll investigate how and when to use it, and just as importantly, when not to. You will critically explore any opioid guidelines in your clinical context. We will also revisit our case study to learn how to safely commence a strong opioid, titrate the dose, how to choose the correct formulation, and to switch the route of administration.

Introduction to Week 2

This week is about opioids in practice.

In this video Dr Victoria Hewitt introduces the Week 2 topic “Principles in to Practice” for safe opioid prescribing.

Safe opioid prescribing requires the negotiation of several complex processes.

Opioids are high-risk medications and clinicians must always ensure these drugs do not compromise the safety of their patients. Guidelines can assist prescribers, but they must always be open to critique and adaptation as new information comes to light.

This is why it is vitally important that anyone who initiates a strong opioid, increases the dose or switches formulations understands and can practically apply the theory of safe opioid prescribing from the outset.

In the next few steps we explore how the WHO Analgesic Ladder should (and should not) be used in practice. You can also share and discuss opioid guidelines that are currently used in clinical practice.

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This video is from the free online course:

Opioid analgesics: Treating Pain in People with Cancer

Newcastle University

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