Review decision date: July 2016

Review decision:

We checked this guideline and decided that it should not be updated at this time and the guidance should be transferred to the static list. For details, see the update decision, summary of new evidence, response to stakeholder comments, and the process for deciding if an update is needed.  Guidelines on the static list will remain extant and will be checked for the need for an update at 5-year intervals, or if new evidence emerges.

Next review date: 2021

This NICE guideline offers evidence-based advice on safe and effective prescribing of strong opioids for pain relief in adults with advanced and progressive disease.

This guideline was previously called opioids in palliative care: safe and effective prescribing of strong opioids for pain in palliative care of adults.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

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