The Metabolism of Opioid Agents and the Clinical Impact of Their Active Metabolites

The Clinical Journal of Pain, 10/12/2011

A greater appreciation of the metabolism of commonly prescribed opioid analgesics and the impact of their active metabolites on efficacy and safety may aid prescribers in tailoring care for optimal outcomes.

Methods

  • This is a narrative review of the metabolism of various opioids that will highlight the impact of their active metabolites, and the potential impact of cytochrome P450 activity on analgesic activity.

Results

  • An understanding of “opioid metabolic machinery,” cytochrome P450 activity, and drug–drug interactions in the context of opioid selection may benefit clinicians and patients alike.

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