National Prescribing Curriculum
Chronic pain: opioid therapy
Consider the role of opioid analgesics in managing a 64-year-old man who suffers from non-specific chronic back pain.
The National Prescribing Curriculum (NPC) is a series of interactive case-based modules that encourage confident and rational prescribing. The modules follow a stepwise approach as outlined in the WHO's Guide to Good Prescribing.
In this module, you will be considering the role of opioid analgesics in managing a 64-year-old man who suffers from chronic non-specific back pain.
On completion of this module, you should be able to:
- recognise the role of thorough history and physical examination to determine if investigations are necessary
- develop a multidisciplinary pain management plan
- explore non-drug strategies for management of chronic non-cancer pain
- understand the importance of initiating any opioid therapy on a trial basis only to assess effectiveness and adverse effects
- understand the risks and benefits of opioid analgesia in chronic non-cancer pain
- assess the indications for ongoing opioid analgesia on an individual patient basis.