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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2014 Mar;15(4):449-52. doi: 10.1517/14656566.2014.879292. Epub 2014 Jan 17.

Opioids in the treatment of postoperative pain: old drugs with new options?

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University of Oslo, Oslo University Hospital, Department of Anesthesiology, and Medical Faculty , 4950 Nydalen, N-0424 Oslo , Norway +4722119690; +4792249669 ; +4722119857 ;


New approved options with opioids in the postoperative setting may include new ways of administration, new combinations with other drugs and new opioid drugs. Newly approved devices for administration include sublingual sufentanil dispenser and transdermal iontophoretic fentanyl, with the purpose of almost mimicking the rapid and reliable onset of intravenous (IV) administration, without the problems of an ongoing IV cannula and cumbersome equipment. Still, potential problems of overdosing and misuse must be in focus when these devices come into use. Tapentadol is a new partial ยต-receptor opioid agonist with a combined action on norepinephrine-induced analgesia, representing a promising drug in terms of less side effects at equianalgesic doses compared with pure agonists. The mixture of different opioids given together, such as oxycodone and morphine, for oral use may also have some analgesic synergy with an improved side-effect profile, although more studies are needed. Oral oxycodone is a reliable oral opioid option, but when combined with paracetamol in the same tablet or mixture, care should also be taken to avoid serious side effects from inadvertent paracetamol overdose.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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