By: Amanda Daniels, PharmD, PGY-2 Pharmacy Resident in Pain and Palliative Care, Hospice of Southern Illinois
October is American Pharmacists Month and we are excited to present to you a series of myths throughout the month by our very own, Amanda Daniels, PharmD, PGY-2 Pharmacy Resident in Pain and Palliative Care! Our series will help expand your understanding of the field and debunk some myths in the field of pharmacy.
MYTH 1: Morphine kills hospice patients
Perhaps one of the most common myths about hospice services is that morphine kills hospice patients. Morphine was first introduced over 200 years ago and it is used to treat shortness of breath and pain. It can also help with anxiety and help make the heart work better. While morphine does have some serious side effects when using too high of a dose, a doctor and nurse are monitoring the patient daily to ensure safe use. In the hospice setting, morphine is used to relieve shortness of breath and pain in an effort to provide comfort to our patients.
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- Kuebler KK, Heidrich DE, Esper P. Palliative and End-of-Life Care. Clinical Practice Guidelines. Second Edition.