Author(s): Zeppetella G, Ribeiro MD
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Abstract Episodic pain is a transient increase in pain intensity over background pain. Episodic pain occurs commonly in cancer patients; it is a heterogeneous phenomenon that is incapacitating, debilitating and can have a significant impact on quality of life. Episodic pain can be difficult to manage; it is often unpredictable, typically of fast onset, of short duration and feels similar to background pain except that it may be more severe. The successful management of episodic pain can only be achieved following a thorough assessment. The subsequent management usually involves both pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies integrated into the overall care and appropriate for the stage of the patient's disease. Pharmacological management includes the implementation of primary therapies (e.g., chemotherapy for the underlying aetiology of the pain, optimising the scheduled medication (e.g., analgesics and adjuvant analgesics) and specific pharmacological interventions for the episodic pain (e.g., rescue medication).
This article was published in Expert Opin Pharmacother
and referenced in Journal of Palliative Care & Medicine