Safe use of opioidsopen access
- Go, Se-Il; Won, Young-Woong; Kang, Jung Hun
- Issue Date
- KOREAN MEDICAL ASSOC
- Analgesics; opioid; Opium dependence; Addiction medicine; Drug-related side effects and adverse reactions
- JOURNAL OF THE KOREAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, v.65, no.1, pp.57 - 65
- Journal Title
- JOURNAL OF THE KOREAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
- Start Page
- End Page
- Background: Opioids are effective analgesics for cancer pain and refractory non-cancer pain. Although they are essential medication, problematic issues on aberrant behavior and adverse events have rapidly emerged as social problems in Korea. This study aimed to describe the mechanisms, efficacy, and adverse events, especially how to deal with opioid dependency. Current Concepts: Opioid-induced aberrant behavior includes physical and psychological dependences (addiction), abuse, and diversion (giving prescribed opioids to another person). Most physicians are unfamiliar with how to handle patients presenting these problematic issues. Physical and psychological dependences develop through different pathophysiologic mechanisms, i.e., noradrenergic and dopaminergic pathways, respectively. Motivational enhancement therapy, psychosocial support, substitution therapy with buprenorphine, and adjunctive medications, including alpha-2 adrenergic agonist, antidepressants, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are the mainstay of treatment for opioid dependency. Constipation, nausea/vomiting, drowsiness/sedation, delirium, itching sensation, voiding difficulty, dry mouth, opioid-induced hyperalgesia, and respiratory depression are well-known physical side effects of opioid consumption. Discussion and Conclusion: Research on the development history, epidemiology of opioid dependency, and its treatment are warranted to avoid an opioid crisis in Korea. Above all, thorough knowledge for physicians and patients is urgently needed.
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- College of Medicine > Department of Medicine > Journal Articles
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