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How are opioids taken?

ANSWER

Opioids can be taken in a number of ways.

  • If the person can swallow, all can be given by mouth.
  • If the person can no longer swallow, some medications can be given intravenously, and some by injection beneath the skin.
  • A compounding pharmacist can mix an opioid with a gel to deliver it topically, through the skin.
  • Some formulations can be delivered by patch or through a cheek film that crosses the mucous membranes in the mouth.

From: Pain Medications for Palliative Care WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

J. Cameron Muir, MD, executive vice president for quality and access, Capital Caring, Washington, D.C .

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, MD.

Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

News release, FDA.

Medscape. “FDA Okays Naldemedine (Symproic) for Opioid Constipation.”

National Institutes of Health: "Drug Interactions of Clinical Importance among the Opioids, Methadone and Buprenorphine, and other Frequently Prescribed Medications: A Review."

Medline Plus: "Oxycodone." "Fentanyl." "Hydrocodone." "Hydrocodone Combination Products." "Hydromorphone." "Methadone."  

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on November 1, 2017

SOURCES:

J. Cameron Muir, MD, executive vice president for quality and access, Capital Caring, Washington, D.C .

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, MD.

Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

News release, FDA.

Medscape. “FDA Okays Naldemedine (Symproic) for Opioid Constipation.”

National Institutes of Health: "Drug Interactions of Clinical Importance among the Opioids, Methadone and Buprenorphine, and other Frequently Prescribed Medications: A Review."

Medline Plus: "Oxycodone." "Fentanyl." "Hydrocodone." "Hydrocodone Combination Products." "Hydromorphone." "Methadone."  

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on November 1, 2017

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What are side effects of opioids?

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