Analgesics, also called painkillers, are medications that relieve different types of pain like headaches, injury pains, and arthritis. Analgesics have two modes of action; they either reduce inflammation (Anti-inflammatory analgesics) or change the way the brain perceives pain (opioid analgesics). Opioid analgesics (OA) are the most commonly used analgesic for treating acute pain conditions.
The safe and effective treatment of pain conditions is of utmost importance; and opioid analgesics fulfill the requirement. However, the use of opioid analgesics may induce certain side effects, and therefore, a systematic schedule and appropriate course of action should be formulated for its administration. The various factors to be considered before prescribing an OA include the clinical condition of the patient, severity of the pain, onset duration of the drug, and associated side effects of the treatment. It is necessary to titrate the dosage and duration of the drug administration to obtain optimum and effective pain relief results. A suitable plan for discontinuation of the drug is also crucial as unnecessary and prolonged use of opioid analgesics may lead to various clinical complications.
OA can be administered in two ways: oral and parenteral (Intramuscular or Intravenous); wherein the oral route is mostly preferred. Oral administration takes about 20-30 min for the onset but may vary, thus making the titration difficult. During emergency conditions where instant relief is required, the parenteral route is ideal. IV Opioids have a more predictable onset and provide rapid relief and hence are favored over IM opioid analgesics.
This video presents the strategies for the safe and effective use of opioid analgesics. Issued in Public Interest by Dr.Reddy's Laboratories LTDThe pages slugged ‘Brand Connect’ are equivalent to advertisements and are not written and produced by Forbes India journalists.