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Respiratory symptoms cause much of suffering in palliative care. Opioids are the first-line drugs in symptomatic treatment, and a therapeutic intervention with benzodiazepines may also be justified. If the patient does not have hypoxia, oxygen and air stream have similar effects on dyspnea. Cough reflex is attenuated with opioids, and symptoms due to respiratory secretions are alleviated with anticholinergic drugs and mucolytics. Physical therapy and methods of respiratory management are profitable in the treatment of respiratory symptoms. Radiation therapy relieves cancer-induced hemoptysis, cough, chest pain and dyspnea.

Citation

Juho Lehto, Anu Anttonen, Eero Sihvo. Treatment of dyspnea and other respiratory symptoms in palliative care]. Duodecim; lääketieteellinen aikakauskirja. 2013;129(4):395-402

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PMID: 23484356

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