Palliative Management of Breathlessness
Breathlessness is pervasive in late stage disease both because of the disease itself, comorbidities, and cachexia. Given its high prevalence, it is sad that the options for symptomatic treatment (having optimized the management of underlying cause(s)) is so small. Careful assessment of potentially reversible causes contributing to breathlessness is paramount. Nonpharmacological interventions have a relatively strong evidence base as does regular, low dose, extended release oral morphine. There is a need for ongoing research into this pervasive and frightening symptom given the impact it has on patients, their caregivers, and health professionals.
DCC – Consultancy to, and intellectual property payments from Mayne Pharma Pty Ltd; advisory board roles with Helsinn Pharmaceuticals and Specialist Therapeutics.
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