Pharmacology of opioids and application to practice

Neil Kemp
Tuesday, February 2, 2021

This article analyses the pharmacological considerations when administering opioids in practice. Beginning with a basic review of pain pathways, followed by a more in-depth analysis of opioid pharmacology. The focus will be on the three most commonly used full mu agonist opioids (methadone, morphine, fentanyl). The aim of this article is to show the importance of applying pharmacology to a clinical situation, promoting individual pain management assessment. This involves the application of the most appropriate opioid, as part of a more extensive pain management plan to improve analgesic efficacy and patient outcomes.

Figure 1. Primary afferent neurons.
Figure 1. Primary afferent neurons.

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