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analgesia

Prescribing Opioids to Older Adults: A Guide to Choosing and Switching Among Them

Prescribing Opioids to Older Adults: A Guide to Choosing and Switching Among Them

Teaser: 

Marc Ginsburg, RN, MScN, NP, Medical Student, University of Sint Eustatius School of Medicine, Sint Eustatius, Netherlands-Antilles.
Shawna Silver, MD, PEng, Resident, Department of Pediatrics, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.
Hershl Berman, MD, FRCPC, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto; Staff Physician, Department of Medicine, University Health Network; Associated Medical Services Fellow in End-of-Life Care Education, University of Toronto; Centre for Innovation In Complex Care, University Health Network, Toronto, ON.

The use of opioid medications and converting among them in the older adult population can often be challenging. Physiological changes in older adults may affect metabolism and cognitive abilities. Due to renally cleared metabolites, some opioids, such as morphine, should be used with caution among older adults. Others, such as meperidine, should never be used at all. When prescribing or changing opioids, the choice of the correct formulation, appropriate counselling, and close follow-up are essential for optimal pain management and in order to prevent adverse outcomes.
Key words: opioids, pain management, older adults, analgesia, opioid conversion.

Acute Low Back Pain:A Clinical Experience with Acupuncture

Acute Low Back Pain:A Clinical Experience with Acupuncture

Teaser: 


Sanjeev Rastogi, MD, CAc, Consulting Physician and Lecturer, Government Ayurvedic College and Hospital, Handia, Allahabad, India.
Rajieev Rastogi, MBSc, BNYS, Assistant Director (Naturopathy), Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy, New Delhi, India.

Acute low back pain (ALBP) is a common condition that results in huge economic losses in the form of treatment and absenteeism (direct monitary loss for incurring the treatment and indirect monitary loss resulting from absence). It responds well to conservative therapy, but it often takes a period of between one and three months before improvement is seen. Acupuncture has its effect in pain reduction in various musculoskeletal conditions including ALBP. As is observed in the present case, this technique can reduce the recovery period in these patients and, thus, can improve the net outcome.
Key words: acute low back pain, acupuncture, conservative management, recovery period, analgesia.

Treatment of Pain in the Older Adult

Treatment of Pain in the Older Adult

Teaser: 


Hershl Berman, MD, FRCPC, Department of Internal Medicine, Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care, University Health Network, Toronto, ON.
Shawna Silver, BASc, PEng, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON.

Pain in the older adult can present unique challenges. Cognitive impairment and polypharmacy can make assessment and treatment difficult. An interdisciplinary team that includes family caregivers is essential. A rational approach to the ambulatory older patient with nociceptive pain would be to begin with regularly dosed acetaminophen, then add an NSAID if appropriate. The next step would be to add a low-dose opioid. If the patient uses a sufficient quantity of the opiate, dosing should be spread out throughout the day. Once a stable dose is reached, one can use a sustained-release formulation. Nonopioids should be continued throughout the titration process.
Key words: pain, analgesia, opioids, older adult, pain assessment.

A Review of Pain and Analgesia in Older Adults

A Review of Pain and Analgesia in Older Adults

Teaser: 

Conan Kornetsky, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.

There is a common belief, supported by considerable experimental reports, that the aged have higher pain thresholds than the young and are more responsive to the analgesic actions of opiate drugs. To a considerable degree this belief shapes pain treatment in aged adults. This article reviews the evidence for this belief and discusses why there is often a disparity between the reported alleviation of pain in older adults and the widely held belief that these individuals receive inadequate pain management. Among the issues discussed is the amount of control the patient really has in patient-controlled analgesia.

Key words: pain, aged, analgesia, pain measurement, morphine.