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Management of Opioid-Induced Sedation in Patients With Cancer

Laura Bourdeanu
Diane B. Loseth
Marjorie Funk
CJON 2005, 9(6), 705-711 DOI: 10.1188/05.CJON.705-711

Opioid-induced sedation is a common dose-limiting side effect of opioid therapy that can be very distressing and sometimes is more diffi cult to manage than pain. Opioidinduced sedation may prohibit patients from participating in certain activities of daily living, which can be a source of considerable distress for patients and their families. The issue presents a therapeutic dilemma for healthcare professionals caring for patients experiencing the side effect. Currently, several therapeutic approaches are used to counteract or minimize the severity of opioid-induced sedation, including reduction of the opioid dose, the addition of other drugs, opioid rotation, and the use of invasive routes of administration. This article will address the management of opioid-induced sedation.

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