Journal Article

Equianalgesic dose/ratio between methadone and other opioid agonists in cancer pain: Comparison of two clinical experiences

C. Ripamonti, F. de Conno, L. Groff, M. Belzile, J. Pereira, J. Hanson and E. Bruera

in Annals of Oncology

Published on behalf of European Society for Medical Oncology

Volume 9, issue 1, pages 79-83
Published in print January 1998 | ISSN: 0923-7534
Published online January 1998 | e-ISSN: 1569-8041 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1008263910494
Equianalgesic dose/ratio between methadone and other opioid agonists in cancer pain: Comparison of two clinical experiences

Show Summary Details

Preview

Background:Oral methadone is considered to be a valid opioid analgesic alternative to morphine and hydromorphone in treating cancer pain. However, the use of methadone could be complicated by the limited knowledge of the equianalgesic dose/ratio with the other analgesic opioids when switching in tolerant patients.

Patients and methods:In two Palliative Care Units, data collected regarding 88 advanced cancer patients with pain switched from different opioids to oral methadone were reviewed and compared with the aim of determining the equianalgesic dose ratio in relation to the dose of opioid previously administered.

Results:The results of this retrospective study suggest that: (1) methadone is much more potent than previously described in literature, (2) the dose ratio between hydromorphone and methadone is higher than as suggested by equianalgesic tables, and (3) the ratio correlates with total opioid dose administered before switching.

Conclusions:The fact that methadone ratio is different according to the opioid dose used previously should be taken into careful consideration by the clinician in order to avoid severe toxicity or death during switchover. Prospective studies should be carried out in order to better define our findings.

Keywords: cancer; equianalgesia; hydromorphone; methadone; pain

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Medical Oncology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.