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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 Opioids are high risk drugs with the potential to cause serious, even life threatening harm. Professionals need to know how to recognise and manage opioid-related problems. They need to be able to confidently support and advise their patients and their carers. This week, we’ll consider the most common and serious opioid side effects, how they arise, and how to manage them. Knowing how to prescribe opioids in renal failure is really important, because it’s a common cause of avoidable harm. We’ll also consider what might be happening if an opioid is no longer effective and look at when to refer to a specialist.

Introduction to Week 3

In this video Dr Victoria Hewitt introduces the last week of the course, which explores some opioid-related problems in practice.

Prescribing strong opioids is both complex and risky.

Some side effects can be anticipated and proactively managed but clinicians, patient and carers must be vigilant and respond appropriately should problems arise. Clinicians must also be able to recognise when an opioid is not working and understand why this has occurred.

In the next few steps we examine some of the commons side effects of opioid use, look at some of the common problems you might recognise and look at how to manage opioid toxicity.

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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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Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: