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Pentazocine (By injection)

Treats moderate to severe pain. Is sometimes given before or after a surgery. May also be given with a general anesthesia before an operation. Belongs to a class of drugs called narcotic analgesics.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Pentazocine injection is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. It may also be used before surgery or with a general anesthetic (medicine that puts you to sleep). Pentazocine belongs to the group of medicines called narcotic analgesics (pain medicines). It acts on the central nervous system (CNS) to relieve pain. When a narcotic medicine is used for a long time, it may become habit-forming,… Read more
Brand names include
Talwin, Talwin Lactate
Drug classes About this
Analgesic, Anesthetic Adjunct
Combinations including this drug

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Chest Pain of Recent Onset: Assessment and Diagnosis of Recent Onset Chest Pain or Discomfort of Suspected Cardiac Origin [Internet]

Chest pain or discomfort caused by acute coronary syndromes (ACS) or angina has a potentially poor prognosis, emphasising the importance of prompt and accurate diagnosis. Treatments are available to improve symptoms and prolong life, hence the need for this guideline.

The Management of Hip Fracture in Adults [Internet]

Although hip fracture is predominantly a phenomenon of later life, it may occur at any age in people with osteoporosis or osteopenia, and this guidance is applicable to adults across the age spectrum. Skills in its management have, however been accrued, researched and reported especially by collaborative teams specialising in the care of older people (using the general designation ‘orthogeriatrics’). These skills are applicable in hip fracture irrespective of age, and the guidance includes recommendations that cover the needs of younger patients by drawing on such skills in an organised manner.

Capnography for Monitoring End-Tidal CO2 in Hospital and Pre-hospital Settings: A Health Technology Assessment [Internet]

Anesthesiologists have been using capnography for decades to monitor end-tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO2) in patients receiving general anesthesia. ETCO2 monitoring using capnography devices has application across several hospital and pre-hospital settings, including monitoring the effectiveness of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), continuous monitoring of patients in the emergency room or intensive care unit (ICU), during ambulatory transport, to confirm the correct placement of an endotracheal tube (ETT), and monitoring post-operative patients with a history of sleep apnea or who have received high doses of opioids. Depending on the clinical area, the technology is at various stages of adoption.

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Summaries for consumers

Opioids for abdominal pain in acute pancreatitis

The pancreas is a gland behind the stomach and close to the first part of the small intestine. It produces digestive juices, amylase, secreted into the small intestine and releases hormones, insulin and glucagon, into the bloodstream. Acute pancreatitis refers to a sudden inflammation of the pancreas. It happens when digestive juices become active inside the pancreas, causing swelling, bleeding and damage to the pancreas and its blood vessels. It is a serious condition and can lead to further problems. Common symptoms are severe pain in the upper abdomen, nausea, and vomiting. Treatment is usually a few days in hospital for fluids, antibiotics, and medicines to relieve pain, delivered by drip.

Opioids for agitation in dementia

Opioids (such as morphine and codeine) are strong painkillers best known as treatments for post‐surgical and cancer pain. They are also used for long‐term painful conditions other than cancer and sometimes for symptoms other than pain. They have a number of important adverse effects and their use involves a balance of risks and benefits.

The use of opioid intramuscular and intravenous pain relieving drugs in labour

Pain during labour is normal and its management is influenced by an interaction between a woman's mental and emotional state and the physiological changes that occur during labour. The use of pain‐relieving drugs during labour is now part of standard care in many countries throughout the world. In recent years, many women in Western countries have chosen to have epidural analgesia to relieve pain. However, some women prefer not to have an epidural, or in some settings an epidural is not available. In many maternity units intramuscular injections of opioid drugs are widely used for pain relief in labour and options for intravenous infusions may also be available. The opioid drugs used include pethidine (also known as meperidine or demerol), diamorphine, nalbuphine, butorphanol, meptazinol, pentazocine, fentanyl and tramadol, and are relatively inexpensive. It is not clear how effective these drugs are, which opioid is best, and how unpleasant side effects (such as vomiting or sleepiness) or harm to women or their babies can be avoided.

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