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<< Sickle Cell Disease: A Comprehensive Review Of Inpatient Management

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It is inappropriate to withhold analgesic treatment from a SCD patient with a pain crisis based on the assumption that he or she is seeking dr ugs. SCD patients with a long history of opioid tr eatment tend to develop tolerance. Tolerance is a physiological response where a larger or more frequent opioid dose is required to achieve an analgesic effect.3 Regardless of the dose and duration of time opioids are administered, opioid treatment for acute pain relief is not addiction.3 Pseudoaddiction is a term that describes behaviors that resemble addiction, but it applies to patients who receive inadequate doses of treatment, and these behaviors disappear when adequate pain relief is provided.3 An example of pseudo-addiction is a SCD patient with severe pain that is not being treated appropriately screaming in pain whenever a physician enters the room. Another example is clock-watching, when a patient carefully watches the clock to ensure that he or she receives a scheduled treatment immediately.3

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Last Modified: 07/23/2017
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