Managing common symptoms

Palliative care aims to improve or optimise a person’s level of comfort and function and to offer appropriate treatment for any distressing symptoms.

Assessment and management of symptoms is an important part of palliative care practice. There are a number of common symptoms that can be experienced by patients. Active management can reduce distress and burden. As well as medications, patients and families can be provided with information to help reduce their concerns and build their understanding of what is happening.

Managing symptoms in the last days of life (terminal phase) is important. Deterioration can be rapid and the patient’s condition will change. Preparing for these needs and taking a proactive approach to care will ensure that the patient is comfortable and support the family providing care.

Community pharmacists will be important in ensuring that needed medications are available.

Last updated 12 March 2024