Moderate to severe pain frequently accompanies chronic diseases in general and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in particular. Several analgesic agents and associated metabolites show altered pharmacokinetics in the presence of reduced glomerular filtration rate. Drug-related side effects may exacerbate symptoms frequently observed in persons with chronic kidney disease (CKD; eg, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and constipation) or those often attributed to hemodialysis therapy (eg, orthostatic hypotension and impaired cognition). Persons with advanced CKD and ESRD are at increased risk for adverse effects of analgesic agents because of enhanced drug sensitivity, comorbid conditions, and concurrent medication use. Dose adjustment and avoidance of certain analgesics may be required in patients with advanced CKD and ESRD. We review the available evidence on pharmacokinetics and adverse drug effects of various analgesic agents commonly used in patients with advanced CKD and ESRD. Determining an optimal approach to the control of pain in patients with advanced CKD and ESRD will require additional research.