Pharmacological treatment of terminal patients

A. Ma Peiró, Magí Farré

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review


Palliative care refers to "all that you can do, when there is nothing to do". All the medical care that can be offered to a patient with a terminal illness, oncological or not, like AIDS, heart, neurologic or respiratory diseases in an advanced evolution. The terminal illness is necessarily multidisciplinary, because the number of symptoms, the oscillate course and its wide variation both between individuals and over time. The different therapies had to be flexible and in combination. It is recommended to use of specific protocols in order to keep safe, appropriate and efficacious prescription. For pain control, the World Health Organisation suggest the use of an analgesic ladder ("by ladder, by mouth, by the clock and for the individual"). The most commonly used drug are opioids, NSAID's, and eventually adjuvant drugs. The oral route should be the first choice. In this review, the most important drugs used for the symptomatic treatment of terminal patients are described. The most important objective is to offer the patient and their families a good quality of life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-182
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2001


  • Opioid
  • Pain
  • Routes of drug administration
  • Terminal Care


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