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Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or paracetamol, alone or combined with opioids, for the treatment of cancer pain

McNicol ED, Strassels S, Goudas L, Lau J, Carr DB
Published Online: 
15 June 2011

NSAIDs are commonly used, often in combination with an opioid, for treatment of cancer pain. Short-term studies have shown that NSAIDs alone are effective in managing cancer pain, with side effects similar to placebo and in about 50% of studies, increasing the dose of NSAID can increase efficacy without increasing the incidence of side effects. Similar studies have not demonstrated a large clinical difference when combining an opioid with an NSAID versus either medication alone. Insufficient long-term studies have been conducted to provide information on chronic safety and effectiveness of NSAIDs alone or with opioids in treating cancer pain.

This record should be cited as: 
McNicol ED, Strassels S, Goudas L, Lau J, Carr DB. NSAIDS or paracetamol, alone or combined with opioids, for cancer pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD005180. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005180
Assessed as up to date: 
19 November 2004