Oral analgesics are essential for the management of ocular conditions when cycloplegia and topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAID's) do not provide sufficient pain relief to keep the patient comfortable. As our knowledge of pain mechanisms evolves, a variety of analgesic drugs have become available for the management of ocular pain. An understanding of the actions, appropriate use and side effects of agents in current use is essential to provide optimum pharmacological pain relief. In addition, the recognition that age of the patient, medical and drug history, optimal analgesic dose and regimen can vary widely in patients results in more effective pain management. Drugs for the management of acute and chronic pain are generally classified as opioids and non-opioids. The term opioid analgesic is preferred over "narcotic" since the latter is associated with negative social and legal connotations or a "stuporous" state. Opioids in clinical use include morphine and various synthetic analogs. The non-opioids include aspirin, the other NSAIDs and acetaminophen. Certain drugs, not classified as analgesics, can act as adjuvants to enhance pain relief when given with opioid and non-opioid analgesics. Opioids and non-opioids can be administered concurrently for additive analgesic effects.
Siret D. Jaanus, PhD, FAAO
Company: SUNY College of Optometry
Release Date: Unknown
CE Credits: 2
CE Format: Online text/photos