Brazilian Journal of Pain
https://brjp.org.br/article/doi/10.5935/2595-0118.20200014
Brazilian Journal of Pain
Review Article

The use of opioids in the treatment of oncologic pain in the elderly

O uso de opioides no tratamento da dor oncológica em idosos

Ledismar José da Silva; Diego Machado Mendanha; Patrícia Pádua Gomes

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Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The use of opioids in cancer is already widespread and proven by several well-controlled clinical trials. However, the elderly with cancer pain are=un-dertreated due to the lack of knowledge in the management of these patients, the underestimation of pain, as well as the fear of complications arising in this age group. Therefore, the scientific community contributes to giving inputs to create possible clinical and health guidelines. The present study aimed to perform a systematic literature review of opioid treatments proposed for cancer-related pain in elderly patients.

CONTENTS: The search on the literature included papers addressing cancer pain treatment with opioids among the elderly, published from 2008 to 2018, and available in Portuguese or English. Searches were conducted on Medical Literature, Analysis, and Retrieval System Online (MEDLINE) and Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature (LILACS) electronic databases using the keywords “cancer pain”, “opioids”, and “elderly” in both languages, combined with the Boolean operator “AND”. To analyze the quality of the method, the adapted Critical Appraisal Skills Programme was used. Of a total of 411 studies found, 32 were included. About 75% of the selected articles were published in the last five years.

CONCLUSION: The results showed that opioids remain the pillar to treat cancer-related pain in the elderly. They can be used for better management of pain, but with caution due to the possible adverse effects. In addition, pain management in the elderly requires a multifactorial analysis, including comorbidities, polypharmacy, and patient functionality. Therefore, an individualized approach in the elderly patient is required in order to enhance results, reduce side effects, and improve quality of life.

Keywords

Cancer pain, Elderly, Opioids

Resumo

JUSTIFICATIVA E OBJETIVOS: O uso de opioides em dor oncológica já é amplamente difundido e comprovado por diversos ensaios clínicos bem controlados. Entretanto, os idosos com dor oncológica são subtratados pela falta de conhecimento no manejo, a não valorização álgica nesses pacientes, bem como o receio das complicações advindas nesse grupo etário. Portanto, contribui a comunidade científica, dando substrato para a elaboração de possíveis diretrizes clínicas e de saúde. Este estudo teve como objetivo realizar uma revisão sistemática da literatura sobre o tratamento farmacológico com opioides proposto para dor oncológica em pacientes idosos.

CONTEÚDO: A busca na literatura incluiu artigos sobre o uso de opioides para o tratamento da dor oncológica em idosos, publicados entre 2008 e 2018, disponíveis em português ou inglês. Foram conduzidas buscas nas bases eletrônicas de dados Medical Literature, Analysis, and Retrieval System Online (MEDLINE) and Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature (LILACS) utilizando os descritores “dor oncológica”,“opioides” e “idoso” em ambas as línguas, combinados com o operador booleano “AND”. Para a análise da qualidade metodológica, foi utilizado o Critical Appraisal Skills Programme adaptado. Do total de 411 estudos resultantes, foram incluídos 32. Cerca de 75% dos artigos selecionados foram publicados nos últimos cinco anos.

CONCLUSÃO: Os resultados demonstraram que os opioides continuam sendo o pilar no tratamento da dor oncológica em idosos. Podem ser usados para o melhor gerenciamento da dor, mas com cautela por causa dos possíveis efeitos adversos. Além disso, o manejo da dor em idosos requer uma análise multifatorial incluindo as comorbidades, a polifarmácia e a funcionalidade do paciente. Portanto, é necessário tratar de modo individualizado o paciente idoso com o intuito de maximizar os resultados, diminuir os efeitos adversos e melhorar a qualidade de vida.

Palavras-chave

Dor oncológica, Idosos, Opioides

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Submitted date:
06/23/2019

Accepted date:
12/09/2019

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