Adjuvant analgesics in pain management

Adjuvant analgesics in cancer pain: a... [Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2012] - PubMed

June 23, 2014 – 09:46 pm



Stanford Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Stanford University School of Medicine, Redwood City, CA 94063, USA.


Adjuvant analgesics (co-analgesics) are medications whose primary indication is the management of a medical condition with secondary effects of analgesia. Cancer pain is multifactorial and often involves inflammatory, nociceptive, and neuropathic pain subtypes. Adjuvant analgesics used in conjunction with opioids have been found to be beneficial in the management of many cancer pain syndromes; however, they are currently underutilized. Antidepressants, anticonvulsants, local anesthetics, topical agents, steroids, bisphosphonates, and calcitonin are all adjuvants which have been shown to be effective in the management of cancer pain syndromes. When utilizing analgesic adjuvants in the treatment of cancer pain, providers must take into account the particular side effect profile of the medication. Ideally, adjuvant analgesics will be initiated at lower dosages and escalated as tolerated until efficacy or adverse effects are encountered.


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