Chronic Pain in the Elderly

Elderly patients frequently complain of chronic pain. Unfortunately, many of the commonly used medications for pain have higher complication rates in the elderly. In particular, the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are associated with higher rates of gastrointestinal bleeding and renal disease in the elderly. Opioids also may cause debilitating sedation and/or constipation in the elderly; however, opioids may have less debilitating side effects than NSAIDs. Doses of many agents should be reduced when treating the elderly, to avoid side effects, and it is essential that a follow-up plan be in place at the time of discharge. There is a perception that the elderly are undermedicated for pain control. While this may be true, the elderly do not seem to be undermedicated more than other age groups. 14

Peace in Pain

Peace in Pain

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