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Papers of the Week

Papers: 10 Jun 2023 - 16 Jun 2023


Human Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

Cancer Pain

2023 Jun 13



Intravenous Methadone for Perioperative and Chronic Cancer Pain: A Review of the Literature.


Mercadante S


Intravenous methadone may be useful in acute and chronic pain management compared with other opioids because of its pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics, including the long duration of effect and ability to modulate both pain stimuli propagation and analgesic descending pathways. However, methadone is underused in pain medicine because of several misperceptions. A review of studies was performed to assess data regarding the use of methadone in perioperative pain and chronic cancer pain. The majority of studies have shown that intravenous methadone produces an effective postoperative analgesia and lowers opioid consumption in the postoperative period, without more adverse effects in comparison with other opioid analgesics, and has an interesting potential to prevent persistent postoperative pain. A minority of studies investigated the use of intravenous methadone for cancer pain management. These studies were mostly case series that showed promising activities of intravenous methadone for difficult pain conditions. There is sufficient evidence suggesting that intravenous methadone is effective in perioperative pain, while more studies are needed in patients with cancer pain.