Definition of breakthrough pain in US English:

breakthrough pain


  • (usually in connection with cancer) severe pain that erupts while a patient is already medicated with a long-acting painkiller.

    • ‘Now, through a variety of complementary therapies, Gail is still morphine-free and only uses analgesics to control breakthrough pain.’
    • ‘If a significant amount of medication for breakthrough pain is already being given, the baseline dose of sustained-release analgesic medication should be increased.’
    • ‘In one study, hospice patients experienced an average of about three episodes of breakthrough pain per day, with the pain having a mean intensity of 7 on a 10-point scale.’
    • ‘The use of combined analgesics such as paracetamol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, tramadol, and slow release narcotics reduces the need for increasing doses of narcotics for breakthrough pain.’
    • ‘Data collected included demographics, site of tumor and metastatic spread, characteristics of pain in association with morphine dose, need for breakthrough pain medications, adjuvant pain therapies and survival time.’
    • ‘Patients are given nonopioids around the clock and throughout the postoperative stay and are given an opioid to prevent procedural pain and treat breakthrough pain.’
    • ‘It may prevent ‘clock watching’ and breakthrough pain associated with shorter acting formulations, thus improving compliance.’
    • ‘The latter may include long-acting medications as well as short-acting medications used for breakthrough pain.’
    • ‘Morphine is administered to effect throughout the postoperative stay to treat breakthrough pain and/or to prevent procedural pain.’
    • ‘The transitory exacerbation of pain is known by several different names, including episodic pain, breakthrough pain, end-of-dose failure, exacerbation of pain, incident pain, pain flare, transient pain, and transitory pain.’
    • ‘The spray is also currently being evaluated in adults for the control of breakthrough pain in patients receiving palliative care and in surgical patients for postoperative analgesia.’
    • ‘It is important to remember that better pain control can be achieved with around-the-clock dosing, with the addition of rescue doses for breakthrough pain.’
    • ‘A variant of breakthrough pain occurs in patients who are under good pain control but develop acute onset of new pain or crescendo of established pain.’
    • ‘Small doses of pain medications should be given at regular intervals, with additional doses given for breakthrough pain.’
    • ‘Some people may need to take a short-acting form of morphine if breakthrough pain occurs between doses of the long-acting medicine.’
    • ‘If transdermal fentanyl is indicated in a patient, it is important to prescribe an agent for breakthrough pain.’