Summary of NICE guidance for Opioids in adult palliative care

Karoline Brennan, Senior Medicines Information Pharmacist, North West Medicines Information CentreSource North West Medicines Information CentrePublished

Since this edition of NICE Bites was published, NICE has updated changed its advice on transdermal patches to: “Use a recognised opioid dose conversion guide when prescribing, reviewing or changing opioid prescriptions to ensure that the total daily opioid intake is considered”. Please go to NICE for details and to check for any further updates to this guideline.

NICE Bites is a monthly bulletin which summarises key prescribing points from NICE guidance. NICE Bites No 42a, June 2012 includes one topic: Opioids in adult palliative care (NICE CG140). Sections covered include: pharmacological treatment, initial dose titration, maintenance treatment, monitoring, management of breakthrough pain, prescribing advice, counselling, and management of adverse effects.