Pain management and other clinical use

Effective pain management is a major public health issue, as millions of patients continue to suffer from pain without access to proper pain relief treatment. Access to opioid analgesics, non-opioid medicines and adjuvant medicines is the mainstay of pain management, particularly for cancer patients.

WHO has developed guidelines for the management of pain including for cancer pain relief in children, adolescents and adults. If pain occurs, there should be prompt oral administration of medicines in the following order: non-opioids (aspirin and paracetamol); then, as necessary, mild opioids (codeine); then strong opioids such as morphine, until the patient is free of pain.

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Assistance for policymakers and public health personnel in the creation of appropriately balanced policies on opioids and prescribing regulations for effective and safe cancer pain management.

Practical guidance on integrating palliative care and symptom relief into health care systems with special focus on humanitarian emergencies and crises.

Practical guidance on integrating palliative care and symptom relief into health care systems with special focus on children.