How do pain medications for visceral pain affect the elderly?

Elderly people are more in need of pain medications than the population at large. However, the normal effects of aging, such as lower muscle mass and decreased body water, and conditions acquired by many elderly people such as diabetes and heart disease, may make the effects of pain medications more problematic. Preexisting conditions must be taken into account before selecting a pain medication. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause gastrointestinal and blood problems. Acetaminophen can cause liver or kidney problems. Opioids sometimes cause severe mental confusion, in addition to constipation and difficulty urinating. Adjuvant analgesics, which are medications like anticonvulsants or antidepressants that can be used to treat pain, are another option, but they have their own cautions.

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