Advertisement

How do pain medications 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.

Continue Learning about Pain Treatment

Warning: Diclofenac Can Increase Risk of Heart Complications
Warning: Diclofenac Can Increase Risk of Heart Complications
Voltaren is a US brand name for a strong-armed NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) called diclofenac that’s recently been called out by Danis...
Read More
What is an alternative treatment for shoulder pain instead of surgery?
Redmond Regional Medical CenterRedmond Regional Medical Center
One of the most common concerns for people with tendinitis of the rotator cuff and the shoulder is w...
More Answers
What is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for pain management?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
Cognitive behavioral therapy is now a common tool used in the arsenal of pain relief. Other helpful ...
More Answers
Hot and Cold Packs
Hot and Cold Packs

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.