Introduction: Pain management has become a widely discussed topic throughout all medical subspecialties. Although pediatric pain management has evolved significantly in its recent history, there is continued interest in the adequacy of pain treatment, both in the acute inpatient setting as well as the postoperative and chronic pain management setting. Although health care providers are becoming more aggressive concerning prompt and effective treatment of acute and chronic pain, safety data and adverse effects of narcotic analgesics may be overlooked.
Areas covered: The authors review the current paradigm of acute pain management with an emphasis on oral narcotic medications, and the safety data available concerning prescribing these medications.
Expert opinion: Further, the authors present their opinions concerning current and future practices regarding the prescribing practice of opiate analgesics, as well as a step-wise approach for acute oral pain management.