98529 - Management of moderate acute pain and the role of combination analgesia
- : Online
This activity follows a male patient who presents with a four day history of acute pain as a result of a sporting injury. The patient’s pain is not controlled with non-pharmacological measures or paracetamol.
The activity explores the importance of a comprehensive pain assessment to identify the nature and severity of the patient’s pain, the current recommendations for stepped care including the appropriate use of combination therapies. The risks and benefits associated with different analgesics used for moderate pain are reviewed with particular emphasis on the use of opioids.
The activity also discusses the overuse of common analgesics in the community and the importance of educating patients to be conscious of the cumulative doses they may be consuming when taking prescribed and/or over-the-counter preparations.
When pain is not controlled with non-pharmacological measures or simple analgesics, guidelines suggest it may be necessary to use combination therapy.
Combining analgesics with different modes of action may produce analgesia at lower and more tolerable doses than either drug alone but can
also pose certain risks. Many combination products are available over-the counter (OTC) and excess consumption of these has been recognised by Australian and international bodies as a serious safety issue. A recent survey found that many Australians have exceeded the maximum daily dose of OTC painkillers. Some combinations include opioids which are associated with opioid-related side effects as well as dependence. Prescribing these with care is vital.
This education highlights the importance of a comprehensive pain assessment, the stepped care approach suggested by current guidelines for the use of combination therapy and the importance of patient education to reduce the risk of double dosing.