Are Opioids Contraindicated for the Palliative Care Patient with Hypotension?

Link to article at PubMed

J Palliat Med. 2022 Feb 22. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2021.0446. Online ahead of print.


Palliative care providers are frequently called to consult on patients with tenuous hemodynamics caused by an underlying serious illness. In this article, we describe a patient with end-stage renal disease who developed hypotension and severe pain due to calciphylaxis. Although opioid medications are used frequently for advanced symptom management, few studies have examined their effects on blood pressure in critically ill patients. A common concern is that opioids can worsen hypotension, and this concern can be a source of distress for providers caring for patients with unstable hemodynamics. We describe challenges encountered when trying to attend to the providers' concerns and guide shared medical decision making with the patient and family. We also summarize the current limited knowledge about the effect of opioids on hemodynamics and highlight a topic in need of further exploration.

PMID:35196131 | DOI:10.1089/jpm.2021.0446

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *