Methadone and oedema in the palliative care setting: a case report and review of the literature

Camilla Dawson (Lead / Corresponding author), Fiona Paterson, Fiona McFatter, Deans Buchanan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Methadone is a synthetic opioid which is being used with increased frequency in the palliative care setting for management of complex pain. There have been cases published reporting the development of oedema with methadone maintenance therapy but no cases on the association with methadone and peripheral oedema in the palliative care setting. As yet, the underlying mechanisms are unclear.

    Case presentation
    This case report describes a gentleman with ependymoma and difficult-to-control lower back pain and scrotal pain. This pain had failed to respond to other strong opioids. He was prescribed methadone and then subsequently developed bilateral peripheral oedema.

    Case management
    Peripheral oedema resolved following cessation of methadone.

    This highlights an important potential adverse effect of methadone in a society of increased methadone prescription for pain control. The published literature to date is reviewed and possible underlying mechanisms explored.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)e11-e13
    Number of pages3
    JournalScottish Medical Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - May 2014


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