Medicines

Treatment Guidelines on Pain

The Access to Controlled Medications Programme identified the development of treatment guidelines that cover the treatment of all types of pain as one of the core areas of focus for improving access to opioid analgesics. Such guidelines are interesting both for health-care professionals and policy-makers. They are also important in improving access to controlled medicines for determining when those opioid medicines and when non-opioid medicines are preferred.

Based on a Delphi study, WHO planned the development of three treatment guidelines, covering chronic pain in children, chronic pain in adults and acute pain.

The WHO Guidelines on the Pharmacological Treatment of Persisting Pain in Children with Medical Illnesses are evidence-based, following the procedures and methods prescribed by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee. These guidelines and related documents can be downloaded free of charge.

WHO is also developing the WHO Guidelines on the Pharmacological Treatment of Persisting Pain in Adults with Medical Illnesses and the WHO Guidelines on the Pharmacological Treatment of Acute Pain. The scoping document for the former have been approved by the Guidelines Review Committee and published (see link in the right column of this page). For the latter, a draft scoping document is currently under review and will be made available on this site when finalized.

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