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Question of the Day


Multiple safety/health considerations should be taken into account when changing opioids. Is it important to consider the half-life of the opioid being discontinued? Is it important to consider the half-life of the opioid being started?

The half-life of the opioid being discontinued and the opioid being started are very important factors to consider when switching opioids. If the half-life of the discontinued drug is short and the half-life of the new drug is long, the patient can potentially experience breakthrough pain. Also, if the half-life of the discontinued drug is long and the half-life of the new drug is short, the patient may receive too much opioid at the time of opioid conversion.