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Crit Care Clin. 1990 Apr;6(2):255-82.

Pharmacology and physiology of narcotics.

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  • Allegheny Campus, Medical College of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh.


Narcotics are explored in this section. Receptor theory is presented. Narcotics are broken into their specific groups (agonist, agonist-antagonist, and pure antagonist) and compared. Narcotic effects, desirable and undesirable, are related to organ systems and common problems found in ICU patients. Pharmacokinetics of classic methods of narcotic delivery are discussed and compared to newer technologies of delivery. Finally, a strategy for decision making in pain control, tying together all the concepts previously discussed, is given.

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