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Keywords:

  • Guidelines;
  • Pain;
  • Pharmacotherapy;
  • Older Patients

Abstract

Background.  Chronic or persistent pain is a common problem in older adults and is often associated with significant physical disability and psychosocial problems. The potential benefits, risks, and costs of pharmacotherapy as a mainstay in the treatment of moderate to severe pain in this population must be well-understood and weighed accordingly. Recent treatment guidelines have been introduced that can guide decision making to optimize pain-related treatment outcomes in older individuals

Objectives and Results.  This review article describes and summarizes key evidence-based recommendations that were derived by a committee convened by the American Geriatrics Society in order to provide guidance to optimize pharmacotherapy in the management of persistent pain in older individuals.

Conclusions.  It is postulated that ongoing education of clinicians who treat older patients with persistent moderate to severe pain will lead to improved outcomes in this vulnerable population.