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Opioids in clinical practice 

Opioids in clinical practice
Chapter:
Opioids in clinical practice
Author(s):

Scott A. Strassels

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199642656.003.0045
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date: 18 June 2019

Opioid analgesics occupy a unique position in modern medicine. They are indispensable tools for the treatment of many types of moderate to severe pain, but are also the focus of intense attention and criticism in the biomedical literature, lay press, and media. This chapter discusses the epidemiology of painful conditions and diseases, as well as other common sources of pain, including invasive procedures to diagnose and monitor diseases, which help provide insight into the need at the population level for opioids to provide safe and effective prevention and management of moderate to severe pain. It also covers how it is critically important that all medical practitioners, as well as other clinical decision-makers be familiar with the pharmacological and pharmacodynamic characteristics and eff ects of these agents, as well as related issues that are of interest, such as opioid-induced hyperalgesia (OIH) and eff orts to address inappropriate opioid use at the population level.

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