Opioid Analgesics in Acute Settings

What you will learn

This e-learning course promotes the safe management of opioid analgesics, a commonly used group of high risk medicines.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course you will be able to:

  • explain what opioid analgesics are
  • analyse why opioid analgesics are high risk medicines
  • define differences between opioid equivalencies
  • identify risks associated with different opioid analgesic formulations
  • identify risks associated with look-alike, sound-alike (LASA) opioid analgesics
  • distinguish between opioid analgesics in relation to prescription and administration in acute, chronic and cancer pain settings
  • review the use of more than one opioid analgesic for an individual patient
  • monitor opioid analgesics and adverse effects in patients
  • determine an appropriate dose and duration of opioid analgesics on discharge.

Target Audience

This course is intended for all healthcare staff involved in the management of high risk medicines, specifically opioid analgesics.


The course is designed to take around an hour to complete.


On successful completion of the assessments you can download a certificate of completion.


This course aligns with the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards, Second Edition – Standards 1, 2, 4 & 6.

Clinical Governance Standard: Ticked Partnering with Consumers Standard: Ticked Medication Safety Standard: Ticked Communication for Safety Standard: Ticked


This course content was developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and is protected by copyright under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike (BY-NC-ND) 4.0 International License.

The content is provided in good faith by the Commission for information purposes. It is not a substitute for, and is not intended to replace, any specific policies, guidelines or requirements for your local health network or health service.

The Commission does not accept any legal liability or responsibility for any injury, loss or damage incurred by the use of, or reliance on, this information.

Course structure