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Revista de la Sociedad Española del Dolor

versión impresa ISSN 1134-8046


RIONDA, E. et al. Effective dose of hydromorphone in patients with chronic oncologic pain: a four-year experience in the Centro Médico Nacional 20 de Noviembre, a public hospital in Mexico. Rev. Soc. Esp. Dolor [online]. 2009, vol.16, n.5, pp.270-274. ISSN 1134-8046.

Background: Approximately 6.35 million patients are diagnosed with cancer annually. Around 90% of patients with advanced cancer have pain. Treatment of oncologic pain aims to relieve pain by modulating or interrupting transmission in the spine or brain. The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a three-step ladder for cancer pain management. At step I, non-opioid plus adjuvant drugs are included. Step II includes opioids for mild to moderate pain plus adjuvants, and step III includes opioids for moderate to severe pain plus adjuvants. Material and methods: We reviewed 72 files corresponding to all the patients with chronic cancer pain that had been treated with hydromorphone during the previous 4 years in our hospital and calculated the mean dose at which the patients reported good pain control (Visual Analog Scale [VAS] < 4). We also studied the most common adverse effects, and whether any of the patients discontinued the treatment, and if so, the reasons for discontinuance. The type of cancer in each patient and the length hydromorphone treatment were also noted. Results: The mean dose used was 22 mg ± 16 mg in 24 hours. Of the 72 patients, seven did not achieve adequate pain control and one discontinued the treatment due to adverse effects. The most common adverse effects were constipation, nausea, vomiting and drowsiness. Constipation was significantly more frequent than the remaining adverse effects. Constipation is an adverse effect that is highly tolerable when controlled by medication. Conclusions: The mean effective hydromorphone dose is a relatively low dose at which the adverse effects are still tolerable. The most common adverse effect was constipation, which is fairly tolerable with medication. Hydromorphone is a safe and effective drug even for prolonged periods.

Palabras clave : Cancer pain; Opiods; Hydromorphone.

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