Four essential drugs needed for quality care at end of life

Categories: Research.

Researchers conducted a Delphi survey among 135 palliative care clinicians in nine countries to find out the degree of consensus about appropriate pharmacological treatment for common symptoms in the last days of life for patients with cancer. Physicians were initially asked about first and second choice of drugs to alleviate anxiety, dyspnea, nausea and vomiting, pain, respiratory tract secretions, as well as terminal restlessness. 

More than 80 percent of the surveyed physicians agreed that morphine, midazolam, and haloperidol were essential. While physicians agreed about the need for an antimuscarinic drug for respiratory tract secretions, they preferred different ones.

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