Management of cancer pain. Pharmacology and principles of management
The pain of the vast majority of patients with cancer can be controlled with the use of analgesic drugs. Pharmacokinetic and clinical studies have provided the basis for guidelines for the pharmacologic management of cancer pain. The fundamental concept underlying these guidelines is individualization of therapy, which has as its goal the maximization of pain relief and the minimization of adverse drug effects. This article presents these guidelines and discusses the pharmacologic properties and adverse effects of analgesic drugs commonly used in the treatment of cancer pain. Also reviewed are methods for avoiding and treating the adverse effects of analgesics.