Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters WHO analgesic ladder

WHO analgesic ladder and chronic pain: the need to search for treatable causes

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 04 February 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i597
  1. Roberto J Guiloff, professor of clinical neurology, consultant neurologist1,
  2. Heather Angus-Leppan, consultant neurologist, honorary senior lecturer2
  1. 1Charing Cross Hospital, Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust, London W6 8RF, UK
  2. 2Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and University College London, London NW3 2QG, UK
  1. r.guiloff{at}

Ballantyne and colleagues’ important message on the overuse of opioids in treating chronic pain is long overdue.1 As they point out, opioids are usually ineffective and they have major potential complications. The end result may be to blur the …

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