The use of Methadone in adult patients with cancer-pain at a governmental cancer centre in India

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


Background: Management of cancer-related pain relies on the access to opioids. When regular opioids as morphine are not tolerated or are insufficient, adjuvant opioids as methadone are an affordable and effective analgesic. Aim: The aim of the project was to describe the pattern of use and clinical experiences of methadone in patients with cancer-related pain at a low-resource hospital in Hyderabad, one of few Indian cancer centers with permission to prescribe methadone. Methods: Medical records of all patients who had been prescribed methadone, September 9, 2017 and November 19, 2019 were studied retrospectively. Data on analgesic treatment and opioid side effects were analyzed. Results: A total of 93 adult cancer patients were included in the study. A majority of patients (79%) were prescribed opioid analgesic, mainly morphine, before methadone introduction. The initial daily dose of methadone ranged between 5 and 22.5 years and in the vast majority of the patients 5 mg, divided in two daily administrations. A good analgesic effect, with decreased pain, was reported in 60% of the patients. No severe side effects were reported. Conclusions: In this study, methadone as a primary opioid was used with a good analgesic effect for cancer pain in a low-resource setting. Indication for methadone was mainly uncontrolled pain with a regular opioid treatment. No severe adverse effects were reported. Further research and prospective studies are needed on methadone treatment in low-resource settings to establish the robust guidelines to support prescribing physicians.


  • Gayatri Palat
  • Charlotte Algotsson
  • Spandana Rayala
  • Vikranth Haridass
  • Jaya Nethagani
  • Ahmed Mustafa
  • Vineela Rapelli
  • Maria Gebre-Medhin
  • Eva Brun
  • Mikael Segerlantz
Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • MNJ Institute of Oncology, Vancouver
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • MNJ Institute of Oncology and Regional Cancer Centre

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Cancer och onkologi


  • methadone, Cancer-pain, India
Sidor (från-till)139-145
TidskriftIndian Journal of Palliative Care
Utgåva nummer1
StatusPublished - 2021 apr 13
Peer review utfördJa