Acute Pain Management in Hospitalized Adult Patients with Opioid Dependence: A Narrative Review and Guide for Clinicians

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Abstract

Pain management is a core competency of hospital medicine, and effective acute pain management should be a goal for all hospital medicine providers. The prevalence of opioid use in the United States, both therapeutic and non-medical in origin, has dramatically increased over the past decade. Although nonopioid medications and nondrug treatments are essential components of managing all acute pain, opioids continue to be the mainstay of treatment for severe acute pain in both opioid-naïve and opioid-dependent patients. In this review, we provide an evidence-based approach to appropriate and safe use of opioid analgesics in treating acute pain in hospitalized patients who are opioid-dependent.

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