When all else fails: Stepwise multiple solutions for a complex cancer pain syndrome

S. Mercadante, R. Serretta, M. Sapio, P. Villari, L. Calderone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the presence of insufficient pain relief and substantial adverse effects, application of alternative routes of administration and a change of opioid are the main methods used to improve the analgesic response. When all else fails, the result may further be optimized using adjuvant drugs by an alternative route, namely the intrathecal route. A stepwise approach with multiple drugs and routes of administration is described. This was implemented to resolve a complex pain syndrome otherwise considered uncontrollable. We found it possible to manage a very difficult pain situation by intrathecal home infusion through the efforts of a well-trained family and GP and a continuous exchange of information and advice with the pain relief team about changes in therapy to adapt to the clinical situation. A stepwise and a meaningful approach to clinical problems with use of advanced techniques and alternative drugs in the patient's home may be helpful in the treatment of conditions otherwise considered intractable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-50
Number of pages4
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Bupivacaine
  • Cancer pain
  • Clonidine
  • Neostigmine
  • Spinal opioids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Nursing(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'When all else fails: Stepwise multiple solutions for a complex cancer pain syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this