Cureus. 2023 Sep 18;15(9):e45485. doi: 10.7759/cureus.45485. eCollection 2023 Sep.
Patients with diminished renal function necessitate special care. In patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), opioid analgesics should be prescribed based on the severity of renal insufficiency; this will determine treatment options at the beginning and throughout the management of pain in CKD patients. The dosage of hydrophilic drugs and drugs with active metabolites should be adjusted according to the severity of CKD, and the process of treatment should be monitored by modifying drug dosages as necessary for background and breakthrough pain. Patients with CKD may benefit from opioid analgesics that are lipophilic, such as methadone, fentanyl, and buprenorphine, as the first line; however, fentanyl is inappropriate for patients undergoing hemodialysis. Opioid prescription in CKD patients is the subject of this systematic review, which aims to compare their safety and efficacy. This systematic review followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) 2020 recommendations. Using three databases (PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar), we collected and reviewed articles, including literature reviews, randomized control trials (RCTs), and systematic reviews published between 1980 and 2022, to enable us to gather enough valuable data on this rare topic. After applying appropriate filters, a total of 109 results were obtained. They were further screened and subjected to quality assessment tools, which finally yielded 11 studies included in this systematic review. This consisted of two RCTs, two systematic reviews, and seven narrative reviews. This review focused on the safety and appropriate use of opioids in patients with CKD. The accumulation of morphine and codeine metabolites may result in neurotoxic side effects. Hydromorphone and oxycodone are considered safe to administer but require careful adjustments in dosage. Common comorbidities among patients with CKD may amplify opioid-related adverse effects.