Pharmacotherapies in Geriatric Chronic Pain Management

Zachary A. Marcum, Nakia A. Duncan, Una E. Makris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Pharmacologic management of chronic pain in older adults is one component of the multimodal, interdisciplinary management of this complex condition. In this article, we summarize several of the key barriers to effective pharmacologic management in older adults and review the existing (albeit limited) evidence for its effectiveness and safety, especially in a medically complex population with multimorbidity. This review covers topical formulations, acetaminophen, oral nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, and adjuvant therapies. The article concludes with a suggested approach to managing chronic pain in the older patient, incorporating goals and expectations for treatment as well as careful monitoring of medication adjustments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-724
Number of pages20
JournalClinics in Geriatric Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Adverse drug events
  • Chronic pain
  • Medication
  • Older adults
  • Polypharmacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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