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Nonopioid medication for the relief of refractory breathlessness

Awan, Sarah; Wilcock, Andrew

Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care: September 2015 - Volume 9 - Issue 3 - p 227–231
doi: 10.1097/SPC.0000000000000149
RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS: Edited by David C. Currow and Miriam J. Johnson
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Purpose of review To provide an overview of recent evidence relating to nonopioid medication for the treatment of refractory breathlessness.

Recent findings A search of publications since 2013 found systematic reviews on phenothiazines and nebulized medications, together with one study examining the use of benzodiazepines and another nebulized furosemide. However, all provided limited data and concluded that further clinical trials are required.

Summary Based on this review, there is insufficient evidence to support the routine use of nonopioid medication in the treatment of refractory breathlessness.

aDepartment of Palliative Care, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

bDivision of Cancer and Stem cells, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom

Correspondence to Andrew Wilcock, DM FRCP, Division of Cancer and Stem cells, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 115 962 7619; e-mail: andrew.wilcock@nottingham.ac.uk

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