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Over the last thirty years, the concern of Pain Medicine practitioners about the potential for their patients to develop a dependence on opioids has left opioid therapy as a largely underutilized treatment. While there is no simple answer to chronic pain, opioids remain the only class of drugs capable of providing relief to patients experiencing serious pain. Opioid Therapy in the 21st Century, Second Edition fills a dearth of clinical knowledge about analgesics to aid practitioners in weighing the risks versus the benefits of opioid therapy for their chronic pain patients. Part of the Oxford American Pain Library, this concise guide serves as a practical, user-friendly reference for physicians across the range of primary care and medical specialties. It includes an overview of appropriate clinical applications of opioids, covering such topics as opioid pharmacology, route selection, and individualization of therapy, as well as strategies for managing and mitigating the risk of abuse, addiction, and diversion. There are also special sections dedicated to the unique needs of pediatric, geriatric, and palliative care patient populations. This second edition discusses opioids approved for use since publication of the first edition, such as Butrans (buprenorphine patch); fentanyl patch and nasal spray; abuse resistant version of Oxycontin; and Embeda (morphine sulfate). Approved indications for older opioids as well as clinical trial information have also been updated.