Opioids for Palliative Care

Claire Smart with Tony Enifer cropped

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What are the aims of this leaflet?
Your nurse or your doctor feels that you would benefit from being on an opioid. This leaflet has been given to help you understand them. It outlines what opioids are and how they are tailored to improve your pain or breathlessness. It also outlines the side effects to look out for and answers some common concerns/questions about them.

What are opioid medicines?
Opioids are medicines either developed from the opium poppy or chemically related to medicines made from the opium poppy.

What are opioids used for?
They are used to manage pain and breathlessness caused by cancer and many other conditions when alternative treatments have not been helpful.