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Methadone and Other Opioids Not Always Equivalent, Conversion Can Be Lethal
Date:2/4/2010

his or her genetics), especially when converting between opioids, along with the properties of the medicine, must be taken under advisement to determine appropriate therapy. In addition, he advises that switching a patient to methadone must be done slowly and over time: start with a low dose, and titrate from there in increments that make sense for the patient and the pain condition.    

Additionally, Webster and the panel agreed that to solve the main underlying problem, which they define as a "knowledge deficit," the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and scientific experts should use the last decade's worth of data on methadone, as well as his review of the increase from 2001 -- 2005, to guide and determine Risk Evaluation and Mitigations Strategies (REMS) now under consideration.

Dr. Webster and his colleagues are currently involved in an upcoming targeted education program called PainSAFE to help educate physicians and patients about safe opioid prescribing. Information about this can be found online at www.nationalpainfoundation.org.

About AAPMedicine

For more than 25 years, the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) has been the medical specialty society representing more than 2,200 physicians practicing in the field of comprehensive pain medicine. The Academy is involved in education, training, advocacy and research in the specialty of pain medicine. Information is available on the practice of pain medicine at www.painmed.org<
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SOURCE American Academy of Pain Medicine
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