Prescribing drugs of dependence in general practice - Part C2: The role of opioids in pain management


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Recommendations for GPs prescribing opioids for pain

Prescribing drugs of dependence in general practice - Part C2: The role of opioids in pain management


Pain management is a core GP skill. But the complex (and sometimes controversial) nature of pain, particularly the management of chronic pain, can push the limits of this skill.

Pain is described as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience – not a disease.

In accepting this, we need to understand the nature of patient experience, and realise that there will be no one simple pain treatment for all patients.

Good pain management has significant benefits.

For many people, it can transform their quality of life, allowing them to work, be active, and participate in the community rather than being functionally disabled by pain.

GPs should take care not to stigmatise patients due to their painful condition or their therapeutic regimes.

This guide provides recommendations for GPs who are prescribing opioids for acute and chronic pain outside of active cancer treatment, palliative care and end-of-life care.


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