DOI: The Greek E-Journal of Perioperative Medicine 2011; 9:51-62



Opioid analgesics have finally joined the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain. In many cases, the problems that emerge from long-term use of opioids, can outweigh the benefits from its use. These problems usually refer to somatic disturbances but quite often they affect the psychological milieu. When the balance of efficacy versus side effects turns to either side, the outcome can be either effective treatment of pain, disastrous de-socialization due to divertive use and any point in between. Therefore, prescriptions for chronic opioid use for non-cancer pain should be balanced in order to achieve the ultimate goal: to improve the quality of patient’s life.

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