No single analgesic drug provides the perfect therapeutic/adverse effect profile for every pain condition. In addition to convenience and possibly improved compliance, a combination of analgesic drugs offers the potential, requiring verification, of providing greater pain relief and/or reduced adverse effects than the constituent drugs when used individually. We review here analgesic combinations containing oxycodone. We found surprisingly little preclinical information about the analgesic or adverse effect profiles of the combinations (with acetaminophen, paracetamol, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, morphine, gabapentin or pregabalin). Clinical experience and studies suggest that the combinations are safe and effective and may offer certain advantages. As with all combinations, the profile of adverse effects must also be determined in order to provide the clinician with the overall benefit/risk assessment.
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