Opioid Analgesics in Acute Settings

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What you will learn

This eLearning module promotes the safe management of opioid analgesics, a commonly used group of high risk medicines.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module 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 module is intended for all healthcare staff involved in the management of high risk medicines, specifically opioid analgesics.


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


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


This module 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 Preventing and Controlling Healthcare-Associated Infection Standard Medication Safety Standard: Ticked Comprehensive Care Standard Communication for Safety Standard: Ticked Blood Management Standard Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration Standard


This module 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 release dates

March 2021 First released.

Module structure