Items in AFP with MESH term: Analgesics

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Pharmacologic Therapy for Acute Pain - Article

ABSTRACT: The approach to patients with acute pain begins by identifying the underlying cause and a disease-specific treatment. The first-line pharmacologic agent for the symptomatic treatment of mild to moderate pain is acetaminophen or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). The choice between these two medications depends on the type of pain and patient risk factors for NSAID-related adverse effects (e.g., gastrointestinal, renovascular, or cardiovascular effects). Different NSAIDs have similar analgesic effects. However, cyclooxygenase-2 selective NSAIDs (e.g., celecoxib) must be used with caution in patients with cardiovascular risk factors and are more expensive than nonselective NSAIDs. If these first-line agents are not sufficient for mild to moderate pain, medications that target separate pathways simultaneously, such as an acetaminophen/opioid combination, are reasonable choices. Severe acute pain is typically treated with potent opioids. At each step, adjuvant medications directed at the underlying condition can be used. Newer medications with dual actions (e.g., tapentadol) are also an option. There is little evidence that one opioid is superior for pain control, but there are some pharmacologic differences among opioids. Because of the growing misuse and diversion of controlled substances, caution should be used when prescribing opioids, even for short-term treatment. Patients should be advised to properly dispose of unused medications.


Otitis Media: Diagnosis and Treatment - Article

ABSTRACT: Acute otitis media is diagnosed in patients with acute onset, presence of middle ear effusion, physical evidence of middle ear inflammation, and symptoms such as pain, irritability, or fever. Acute otitis media is usually a complication of eustachian tube dysfunction that occurs during a viral upper respiratory tract infection. Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis are the most common organisms isolated from middle ear fluid. Management of acute otitis media should begin with adequate analgesia. Antibiotic therapy can be deferred in children two years or older with mild symptoms. High-dose amoxicillin (80 to 90 mg per kg per day) is the antibiotic of choice for treating acute otitis media in patients who are not allergic to penicillin. Children with persistent symptoms despite 48 to 72 hours of antibiotic therapy should be reexamined, and a second-line agent, such as amoxicillin/clavulanate, should be used if appropriate. Otitis media with effusion is defined as middle ear effusion in the absence of acute symptoms. Antibiotics, decongestants, or nasal steroids do not hasten the clearance of middle ear fluid and are not recommended. Children with evidence of anatomic damage, hearing loss, or language delay should be referred to an otolaryngologist.


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