Opioid Conversion Calculations

Practitioners are often faced with the need to switch a patient from one opioid regimen to a different opioid regimen. This could be a change in dosage formulation, a change in route of administration, or switching to a different opioid altogether. The ability to calculate a new

opioid regimen that provides equivalent analgesic is referred to as equianalgesia. This session will review new and emerging data on opioid conversion calculations to guide these calculations. The ability to perform opioid conversion calculations safely and effectively is a critically important skill in pain management.

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Mary Lynn McPherson


Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, MA, MDE, BCPS, is Professor and Executive Director, Advanced Post-Graduate Education in Palliative Care in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore. In addition to a PharmD degree, Dr. McPherson has a master’s degree in Instructional Systems Development, and a Masters in Distance Education and e-Learning. Dr. McPherson has maintained a practice in both hospice (local and national) and ambulatory care her entire career. She is the Executive Program Director of the Online Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Science and Graduate Certificate Program in Palliative Care at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Dr. McPherson is particularly interested in the safe and effective use of medications in patients with a life-limiting illness, ranging from drug selection, deprescribing, and risk mitigation.

Dr. McPherson developed one of the first and few palliative care pharmacy residencies in the U.S. Dr. McPherson has won numerous awards for teaching, and her innovative practice in end of life care. She has published numerous articles, chapters, and four books including the second edition of the best-selling “Demystifying Opioid Conversion Calculations: A Guide for Effective Dosing.

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