Prevalence of Constipation (C) in Cancer Patients (C-PAT) under Opioid Therapy: Survey in Argentina

De Simone G.1,2,3, Grance G.1,4, Contreras N.1, Dos Santos Gomes S.1, Carrera C.1, Pereyra J.1, Pérez M.1,2,3

(1)Asociacion Pallium Latinoamerica, Buenos Aires, Argentina, (2) Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires, Argentina, (3) Hospital Dr. C. Bonorino Udaondo, Buenos Aires, Argentina, (4) Ministerio de Salud Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Direccion de Capacitacion, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Introduction: Prevalence of C in C-PAT under opioid therapy has been studied in centres from Europe, USA, Canada and Chile, while no specific data is available from Argentina. Studies informed that even a high prevalence C rate of 60-90% of CPAT, it is often underdiagnosed in clinical practice.

Aims: To describe prevalence of C (evaluated with Fallon C score) in a population of C-PAT who suffer from cancer-related pain and receive opioids; to relate C with daily opioid dose and performance status (PS); to describe C-related symptoms and patients´ perceptions on C and quality of life (QL).

Methodology: A questionnaire including 17 main topics was performed by trained palliative care nurses to 200 C-PAT under opioids, who received medical median time of follow-up was 16 days. 34 doses were used and the positive response was achieved in 62%. Laxation after the first dose before 24 hours was reported in 81%. 3 patients received a second dose after the first 24h without response. Adverse events were reported in 7 patients (4 showed abdominal pain and 2 diarrhea). Treatment was discontinued due to side effects.

Conclusions: Our data show similar response rate that previously published. Response is achieved in the majority of cases (81%) within the first 24 hours showing an acceptable tolerance profile (75%) suggesting a better selection of patients must be pursued.


Pallium Latinoamérica. Ciencia, alivio y esperanza en el final de la vida.