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Medical News & Perspectives |

New Pain Guideline for Older Patients

Bridget M. Kuehn
JAMA. 2009;302(1):19. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.887.
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Physicians treating patients aged 75 years or older for chronic pain should avoid using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), according to an updated guideline issued by the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) in May.

NSAIDs should be “considered rarely, and with extreme caution, in highly selected individuals,” the new guideline states, contradicting the AGS's 2002 guideline. The new recommendation reflects evidence about serious cardiovascular and gastrointestinal tract risks associated with this class of drugs that has emerged since 2002, said Bruce Ferrell, MD, chair of the panel that created new guideline and professor of medicine and geriatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles. These drugs also may complicate the treatment of common conditions in this population, such as hypertension and congestive heart failure.

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pain ; elderly

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Risks of using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to treat geriatric patients with chronic pain may outweigh the drugs’ benefits.

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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