The update was based on the findings of 31 systematic reviews and 16 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) chosen from a total of 820 publications. The investigators set out to answer seven questions:
- In what situations should opioids be prescribed?
- Which opioids should be available?
- When and how should opioids be started and titrated?
- How should opioid-related side effects be avoided or managed?
- In patients with renal or hepatic impairment, how should opioid use be modified?
- How should acute pain be managed?
- When and how do opioids need to be switched (rotated)?