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Schmerz. 2013 Feb;27(1):7-19. doi: 10.1007/s00482-012-1278-6.

[Chronic non-cancer-related pain. Long-term treatment with rapid-release and short-acting opioids in the context of misuse and dependency].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Universit├ĄtsSchmerzCentrum, Universit├Ątsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus, Fetscherstr. 74, 01307, Dresden, Deutschland.


Annually published data show a continual increase in the volume of opioid prescriptions in Germany, thus indicating an intensification of opioid therapy. The majority of opioids are prescribed to treat chronic non-cancer-related pain. On the basis of current guidelines, as well as in terms of the lack of data regarding long-term use of opioids and their effectiveness beyond a period of 3 months, this development must be viewed critically. With reference to four case reports, we discuss and evaluate opioid therapy in relation to medication misuse and the development of drug dependency. Particular emphasis is placed on the administration of rapid-release and short-acting opioid preparations, which we consider to be particularly problematic.

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