Patients receiving palliative care are at high risk of adverse effects from drugs. As these effects can be difficult to distinguish from the symptoms of the terminal illness, harm from medicines is often not recognised.
Adverse effects can contribute to the burden of symptoms, at a time when good control of symptoms is paramount. Adding another drug to treat the adverse effects can compound the problem.
Patients should be asked about their symptoms as they may not volunteer the information or recognise the link with their medicines. Reviewing their treatment may prompt a change in dose, drug or lead to some treatments being stopped.
- Adverse effects