The changing role of non-opioid analgesic techniques in the management of postoperative pain

Anesth Analg. 2005 Nov;101(5 Suppl):S5-22. doi: 10.1213/01.ane.0000177099.28914.a7.

Abstract

Given the expanding role of ambulatory surgery and the need to facilitate an earlier hospital discharge, improving postoperative pain control has become an increasingly important issue for all anesthesiologists. As a result of the shift from inpatient to outpatient surgery, the use of IV patient-controlled analgesia and continuous epidural infusions has steadily declined. To manage the pain associated with increasingly complex surgical procedures on an ambulatory or short-stay basis, anesthesiologists and surgeons should prescribe multimodal analgesic regimens that use non-opioid analgesics (e.g., local anesthetics, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, cyclooxygenase inhibitors, acetaminophen, ketamine, alpha 2-agonists) to supplement opioid analgesics. The opioid-sparing effects of these compounds may lead to reduced nausea, vomiting, constipation, urinary retention, respiratory depression and sedation. Therefore, use of non-opioid analgesic techniques can lead to an improved quality of recovery for surgical patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Surgical Procedures
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / therapeutic use*
  • Analgesics, Opioid / adverse effects
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Pain, Postoperative / prevention & control*
  • Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting / prevention & control

Substances

  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
  • Analgesics, Opioid