Virtual Mentor. January 2003, Volume 5, Number 1.
How to Change Routes of Administration of Opioids
A formula designed to help physicians select appropriate dosage when changing the route of opioid administration for pain management.
Audiey Kao, MD, PhD
Pain management is a critical competency in medicine especially when palliation, and not treating the underlying disease, is the physician's focus. Oftentimes physicians need to change the route of administration of opioid analgesics. For example, a patient may be unable to take oral medication, and may require pain medication parenterally. When changing routes of administration an equianalgesic table is a useful guide for dose selection.
Mrs. A is receiving adequate pain control on 10mg of oxycodone PO q4h, but is now unable to take medication by mouth. You decide to switch her to meperidine intramuscularly. What dose of meperidine would you prescribe so that she has approximately equal daily amount of analgesia?
Calculating the Answer:
1. Figure out total daily dose of oxycodone:
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