Send to

Choose Destination
Agri. 2016 Oct;28(4):171-176. doi: 10.5505/agri.2016.07830.

[Opioid use and the management of cancer patient pain in palliative care clinic].

[Article in Turkish]

Author information

Department of Anesthesiology and Reanimation, Algology and Palliative Care Clinic, Dr. Abdurrahman Yurtarslan Ankara Oncology Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey.



Pain is one of the most important symptoms in palliative care, and has a major impact on the quality of life of cancer patients. In developing countries, difficult access to opioids and the lack of well-established palliative care organizations result in undertreatment of pain. Turkey is one of the countries with statistical evidence of inadequate morphine consumption per capita. In 2010, the adequacy of opioid analgesic consumption was only 7%, based on a per capita consumption of 14.31 mg morphine equivalents. The present study analyzed and described patterns of opioid use among cancer patients in the palliative care clinic.


The data of 418 cancer patients who received palliative care at the palliative care clinic in 2014 were evaluated retrospectively.


Of the total, 183 (44%) of the patients studied were female and 235 (56%) were male. Age ranged from 18 to 93 years (61±15 years). No opioids had been prescribed for 9% of patients, 26% of patients were using weak opioids, and 65% were using strong opioids. Daily oral morphine equivalent dosage per patient was 172±58 mg (range: 40-328 mg). Indications for opioid use were pain (61%), dyspnea (19%), and both dyspnea and pain (20%).


Although there is a limited variety of opioids currently available in this country, it is thought that a more effective and adequate level of pain management can be obtained through education of health practitioners about pain management and opioid use. The relatively high incidence of weak opioid use may be associated with the lack of available rapid release opioids in the country.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for LookUs Bilisim
Loading ...
Support Center