Back to Browse Journals » Clinical Interventions in Aging » Volume 3 » Issue 2

Opiates and elderly: Use and side effects

Authors Diane L Chau, Vanessa Walker, Latha Pai, Lwin M Cho

Published Date June 2008 Volume 2008:3(2) Pages 273—278

DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S1847

Published 30 June 2008

Diane L Chau1, Vanessa Walker2, Latha Pai3, Lwin M Cho4

University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, NV, USA 1Division Geriatric Medicine, 2Internal Medicine, 3Psychiatry, 4Geriatric Medicine, Sierra Nevada Healthcare System, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Reno, NV, USA

Abstract: The evaluation of pain and the subsequent issue of pain control is a clinical challenge that all healthcare providers face. Pain in the elderly population is especially difficult given the myriad of physiological, pharmacological, and psychological aspects of caring for the geriatric patient. Opiates are the mainstay of pain treatment throughout all age groups but special attention must be paid to the efficacy and side effects of these powerful drugs when prescribing to a population with impaired metabolism, excretion and physical reserve. In a random chart review of 300 US veterans, 44% of those receiving an analgesic also received opioids. The increasing use of opiates for pain management by healthcare practitioners requires that those prescribing opioids be aware of the special considerations for treating the elderly. This article will address the precautions one must take when using opiates in the geriatric population, as well as the side effects and ways to minimize them.

Keywords: opiates, pain, elderly, side effects

Download Article [PDF] 

Creative Commons License This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. Permissions beyond the scope of the License are administered by Dove Medical Press Limited. Information on how to request permission may be found at: http://www.dovepress.com/permissions.php

Readers of this article also read:

Pain management in patients with dementia

Achterberg WP, Pieper MJC, van Dalen-Kok AH, de Waal MWM, Husebo BS, Lautenbacher S, Kunz M, Scherder EJA, Corbett A

Clinical Interventions in Aging 2013, 8:1471-1482

Published Date: 1 November 2013

Incidence and costs of hip fractures vs strokes and acute myocardial infarction in Italy: comparative analysis based on national hospitalization records

Piscitelli P, Iolascon G, Argentiero A, Chitano G, Neglia C, Marcucci G, Pulimeno M, Benvenuto M, Mundi S, Marzo V, Donati D, Baggiani A, Migliore A, Granata M, Gimigliano F, Di Blasio R, Gimigliano A, Renzulli L, Brandi ML, Distante A, Gimigliano R

Clinical Interventions in Aging 2012, 7:575-583

Published Date: 17 December 2012

Corrigendum

Hong SH, Kim JE, Kim YK, Minai-Tehrani A, Shin JY, Kang B, Kim HJ, Cho CS, Chae C, Jiang HL, Cho MH

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:3069-3070

Published Date: 20 June 2012

Corrigendum

Sailasuta N, Harris K, Tran T, Ross B

Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 2011, 7:707-708

Published Date: 25 November 2011

Erratum

RA Kurt, K Gündüz

Clinical Ophthalmology 2010, 4:981-982

Published Date: 6 September 2010

The efficacy of mirtazapine in agitated patients with Alzheimer’s disease: A 12-week open-label pilot study

Sibel Cakir, Isin Baral Kulaksizoglu

Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 2008, 4:963-966

Published Date: 22 September 2008

Studies on free radicals, antioxidants, and co-factors

Khalid Rahman

Clinical Interventions in Aging 2007, 2:219-236

Published Date: 14 August 2007