Opioids are high-risk medicines. You can reduce harm by prescribing safely, monitoring for side effects and involving patients.
- remember different opioids and routes have different potencies
- co-prescribe antinauseants, laxatives and other analgesics when clinically appropriate
- consider renal function
- consider interactions with other sedatives
- consider if opioids are needed on discharge and, if so, for how long.
- sedation level
- respiratory rate
- bowel activity.
For more information, see these online resources: