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  1. Lee, Vanessa Y. BSN, RN
  2. Kowalski, Sonya L. DNP, RN, ACNS-BC


As a result of the opioid epidemic, strategies have been implemented to reduce opioid consumption. These include regulatory policies, reduced opioid production, and nonopioid approaches for pain management. Although these policies may reduce opioid prescribing, there has been an unintended consequence for patients with severe cancer pain. Opioids are foundational for cancer pain management and are often required for patients during end-of-life care. Shortages of some opioid medications require knowledge of equianalgesic dosing. Equianalgesia is the conversion of comparable pain-relieving effects from one medication to another. There is a lack of consensus with regard to conversion standardization so researchers have created dosing principles that clinicians can follow. This article will describe some of these dosing principles and provide readers with sources for on-line dosage calculators.