Pharmacological treatment of constipation in palliative care
ABSTRACT PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The prevalence of constipation in palliative care patients varies. There is uncertainty about the choice from varying recommendations for pharmacological management of constipation and a varying clinical practice in palliative care settings. The purpose of the review was to evaluate the current recommendations of therapy guidelines and to determine the effectiveness and safety of laxative administration for the management of constipation in palliative care patients. RECENT FINDINGS: Despite the clinical importance, there are limited data on the efficacy and safety of laxatives in palliative care patients. The social acceptability varies from country to country, but overall, oral laxatives should, where possible, be used in preference. Systemic opioid antagonists, such as naloxone and methylnaltrexone have been studied in few clinical trials. There is a paucity of well designed, prospective, randomized controlled trials with large enough numbers of patients suffering from constipation and treated with pharmacological methods. SUMMARY: There are limited data available on the conventional pharmacological treatment of constipation in palliative care patients due to insufficient randomized controlled trials. However, subcutaneously administered methylnaltrexone was found to be effective in aiding of laxation and well tolerated with limited or transient side effects in palliative care patients.
- Palliative Medicine 04/1999; 13(2):159-60. · 2.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The demographics and prevalence of symptoms in patients at first referral to the different components of palliative care services were identified by a retrospective case note study of 400 patients referred to three palliative care centres in London, UK: Michael Sobell House, Mount Vernon Hospital; The North London Hospice; St Bartholomew's and the Royal London Hospitals. One hundred consecutive referrals to each of the following service components were analysed: a hospice inpatient service; a community team; an NHS hospital support team and an outpatient service. A standardized proforma was used to collect the data. Ninety five per cent (380/400) of patients referred had a cancer diagnosis. The five most prevalent symptoms overall were pain (64%), anorexia (34%), constipation (32%), weakness (32%) and dyspnoea (31%), which is similar to other published reports. However, the commonest symptoms and their prevalence varied depending on the service component to which the patient was referred. Patients referred to hospice and community services had the highest symptom burden (mean number of symptoms per patient 7.21 and 7.13, respectively). This study suggests that different patient subgroups may have different needs in terms of symptoms, which will be relevant for the planning and rationalization of palliative care services.Palliative Medicine 07/2003; 17(4):310-4. DOI:10.1191/0269216303pm760oa · 2.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Therapeutic Reviews aim to provide essential independent information for health professionals about drugs used in palliative and hospice care. Additional content is available on www.palliativedrugs.com. Country-specific books (Hospice and Palliative Care Formulary USA, and Palliative Care Formulary, British and Canadian editions) are also available and can be ordered from www.palliativedrugs.com. The series editors welcome feedback on the articles (email@example.com).Journal of pain and symptom management 02/2012; 43(2):306-13. DOI:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2011.12.002 · 2.74 Impact Factor