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Advanced Practice

Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia: Clinical Implications for Advanced Practice Nurses in Oncology

Ann Guastella
Jessica Latchman
Cindy S. Tofthagen
CJON 2017, 21(3), 294-296 DOI: 10.1188/17.CJON.294-296

Opioid-induced hyperalgesia (OIH) is a key factor in the clinical management of patients experiencing pain. However, limited knowledge exists regarding the specific mechanisms involved in OIH and its treatment. A thorough assessment is usually required, and clinical diagnosis is mainly determined by exclusion in medical practice. Patients who are taking opioids should receive ongoing, comprehensive assessment by a clinician. Early identification of OIH will lead to improved patient outcomes.


  • Understanding OIH is essential to the clinical management of patients with cancer experiencing pain.
  • Although a comprehensive assessment of pain is usually required, diagnosis of OIH primarily occurs through exclusion, with opioid rotation being the fundamental method of treatment.
  • The early recognition and diagnosis of OIH is essential for treatment effectiveness and better patient results.

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