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American Society for Action on Pain

UI - 000136

AU - Cole L

AU - Hanning CD

TI - Review of the rectal use of opioids. [Review]

AB - The rectal route for the administration of opioid analgesics is often forgotten by physicians seeking

alternatives to the oral route. This article reviews the physiology of rectal drug absorption and such data as

exists on the different opioids that have been administered by this route. Conventional fatty-based

suppositories have a place in the management of chronic pain but the variability in dissolution and drug

absorption limit their usefulness. Recently, sustained release vehicles have become available that offer the

prospect of the attainment of steady analgesic drug concentrations with once or twice daily dosing. Early

studies with the morphine hydrogel suppository suggest that it may be capable of fulfilling this prospect.

Their inherent safety, as dose-dumping is impossible, will make them suitable for use in the home.

[References: 43]

SO - Journal of Pain & Symptom Management 1990;5:118-12