In 1981, Woodcock and colleagues1 published the first clinical study of opioids for the management of breathlessness in severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). They found that dihydrocodeine offered a short-term benefit but cautioned readers that “the risks of respiratory depression and addiction” necessitate careful monitoring and patient selection and that more studies were needed prior to “haphazard prescribing.”1(p1616)
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Widera EW. The Role of Opioids in Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Chronic Breathlessness. JAMA Intern Med. 2020;180(10):1315–1316. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.3133
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