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
Was this article helpful?
Do You Suffer From Chronic Pain? Do You Feel Like You Might Be Addicted to Pain Killers For Life? Are You Trapped on a Merry-Go-Round of Escalating Pain Tolerance That Might Eventually Mean That No Pain Killer Treats Your Condition Anymore? Have you been prescribed pain killers with dangerous side effects?