A Practical Approach to Using Adjuvant Analgesics in Older Adults

Russell K. Portenoy, MD


J Am Geriatr Soc. 2020;68(4):691-698. 

In This Article

Approach to the Adjuvant Analgesics for Chronic Pain

A practical approach distinguishes groups of adjuvant analgesics according to broad indications (Table 2). Some drugs with efficacy in diverse types of pain may be considered multipurpose analgesics. Others are considered for specific types of pain including drugs used for neuropathic pain, drugs used for musculoskeletal disorders, and drugs used in cancer pain management. Adjuvant analgesics used for headache are typically considered along with numerous drugs with primary headache indications; these agents were reviewed.[8–10] This categorization by broad indication is clinically useful and narrows the list of therapeutic possibilities based on the pain assessment.