Opioids and Sleep Related Breathing Disorders

Can general practitioners, pain therapists and oncologists reassure their patients regarding respiratory side effects in long-term treatment with opioids? The answer is “Not yet”. Opiate addiction is a growing and largely unsolved problem. However simply avoiding opioids as prescribed by a doctor out of fear of side effects, addiction or misuse is not effective when dealing with chronic pain. Improved knowledge of the negative effects of opioids combined with changing attitudes has helped to normalize the use of the most important relievers of pain. These changing attitudes and improved knowledge has led to a large increase in opioid prescription. Opioids …

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