Opioids for persistent noncancer pain

Anesthesiol Clin. 2007 Dec;25(4):787-807, vi-ii. doi: 10.1016/j.anclin.2007.08.002.


This article concentrates on recent evidence about opioid analgesics for persistent noncancer pain. Evidence confirms that opioids are drugs with a definite risk of adverse events. Therefore, before prescribing opioids, careful consideration must be given to be certain that the intended benefit of a particular opioid merits its use despite the potential side effects and to determine if the co-prescription of other pharmacologic agents could reduce the risk of adverse events. Strong opioids should be reserved for patients who fail to respond to other lower-risk options and only after proper consideration is given to the long-term consequences of strong opioid use. Problems associated with opioids dictate that more efficacious and safer drugs need to be found.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / adverse effects
  • Analgesics, Opioid / pharmacology
  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Drug Tolerance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Analgesics, Opioid