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National survey of drug use in palliative care
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-16, 10:09 authored by Drummond, S, Gregory PetersonGregory Peterson, Galloway, J, Keefe, P
The objective was to compile data on therapeutic approaches employed in palliative care in Australia, including practices relating to combining drugs in syringe drivers for administration by subcutaneous infusion. A questionnaire, with a reply-paid envelope, was sent to 130 teaching hospitals and palliative care services throughout Australia. Ninety-six responses were received (74% response rate). Drugs commonly administered in palliative care included oral morphine (97% of respondents), subcutaneous morphine (76%), oral metoclopramide (82%), subcutaneous metoclopramide (41%), oral dexamethasone (70%), oral haloperidol (50%), subcutaneous haloperidol (43%), oral prochlorperazine (47%), oral codeine (38%) and subcutaneous midazolam (36%). Drugs frequently combined in syringe drivers for subcutaneous infusion included morphine plus metoclopramide (67%), morphine plus midazolam (66%), and all three of these drugs (35%). Only 48% of the palliative care services had a policy on combining drugs in syringe drivers for administration by subcutaneous infusion and 34% had an upper limit on the number of drugs combined in syringe drivers. Twenty-nine per cent of respondents had encountered problems (e.g. incompatibilities) when combining drugs in syringe drivers for administration by subcutaneous infusion. This study has revealed considerable variation in the practice of therapeutics and the combining of drugs in syringe drivers for administration by subcutaneous infusion in palliative care.
Publication titlePalliative Medicine
Department/SchoolSchool of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Place of publicationUK
Rights statementCopyright © 1996 SAGE Publications