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American Society for Action on Pain

UI - 000123

AU - Poniatowski BC

TI - Continuous subcutaneous infusions for pain control

AB - Chronic moderate-to-severe pain is a common problem that directly impacts on the quality of life of

the patient with a malignant neoplasm. It is estimated that pain is a major symptom in 70% of cancer

patients. Continuous subcutaneous infusion of opioids has proved to be an efficacious and safe method to

control the chronic pain of the home-bound and hospitalized patient. A wide variety of opioids can be used,

including morphine, hydromorphone, and methadone. The subcutaneous route offers economic as well as

physiologic advantages. The primary disadvantage to the system is volume limitations. Competent nursing

management of the subcutaneous infusion helps to maximize the effectiveness of the opioid, thereby

improving the patient's quality of life

SO - Journal of Intravenous Nursing 1991;14:30-3