Breakthrough Pain

  • Rajesh Gupta


Cancer patients experience episodes of increase in pain on a background of continuous pain. Breakthrough pain is defined as a transitory exacerbation of pain that occurs on a background of otherwise stable pain in a patient receiving chronic opioid therapy (Portenoy and Hagen 1990).


Breakthrough Pain Spontaneous Pain Incident Pain Continuous Pain Chronic Opioid Therapy 
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Further Reading

  1. Portenoy RK et al. Breakthrough pain: definitions, prevalence and characteristics. Pain. 1990;41:273–81.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Portenoy RK, Messina J, Xie F et al. Fentanyl buccal tablet for relief of breakthrough pain in opioid treated patients with chronic low back pain. Current Medical Research and Opinion 2007;23(1):223–233.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajesh Gupta
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnaesthesiaRoyal Free HospitalLondonUK

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