06 agosto 2008

Non-opioid strategies for acute pain management

The goal of postoperative pain relief is to achieve optimal analgesia, facilitating a quick return to normal physiological organ function with minimal side effects. In addition, the effective treatment of acute postoperative pain may reduce the incidence of chronic pain after surgery. Acute pain management services have progressed, albeit insufficiently in Canadian academic hospitals as reviewed by Goldstein et al. and the use of “multimodal” or “balanced” analgesia – a combination of opioids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), local anesthetics and other adjuvants – has been recommended to manage postoperative pain. Recently, White and Power reviewed the evidence for such pain management. They show that multimodal analgesia improves the efficacy of pain relief, decreases the risk of side effects and is an evidence-based, established strategy for postoperative pain management. This Continuing Medical Education (CME) module focuses on the various classes of drugs that have been proposed, in conjunction with other modalities, for acute pain management.

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