Older Adults' Response to Analgesic Adverse Drug Reactions: A Pilot Study

Deborah Dillon McDonald, Sarah Coughlin, Candy Jin
Pain Management Nursing: Official Journal of the American Society of Pain Management Nurses 2018, 19 (4): 333-339

BACKGROUND: Older adults who take analgesics for chronic pain are at increased risk for adverse drug events (ADEs). Aims/Design: The purpose of this descriptive pilot survey was to examine how older adults self-identify analgesic ADEs, and actions they take in response to analgesic ADEs. Setting/Participants/Methods: Twenty-two community dwelling older adults with chronic pain who reported an analgesic ADE associated with their chronic pain management were interviewed and asked to describe their analgesic related ADE. Written responses were content analyzed.

RESULTS: Nineteen opioids were reported by 15, 11 NSAIDs were reported by 8, and acetaminophen was reported by 2 older adults as associated with an ADE. Gastrointestinal ADEs were most common with upset stomach (31.8%) most frequent. Neurological ADEs were also common but more varied with dizziness (27.3%) and headache (13.6%) reported most frequently. A total of 54.5% responded to their ADE by contacting their physician. Three (13.6%) went to the emergency department. A total of 36.4% stopped taking their ADE associated analgesic, 22.7% started taking a different analgesic, and 22.7% started prophylaxis. Three (13.6%) continued their ADE related analgesic. A total of 54.5% reported their symptoms subsided, but 13.6% reported their symptoms remained.

CONCLUSIONS: A significant number of older adults with chronic pain self-manage their analgesic related ADE without contacting their primary care provider. Analgesic related ADE prevention and management should be discussed during primary care visits to reduce ADEs and enhance pain management outcomes for older adults with chronic pain.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"