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American Society for Action on Pain

Author: Markley-H-G.

Title: Chronic headache: appropriate use of opiate analgesics.

Source: Neurology. 1994 May. 44(5 Suppl 3). P S18-24.

Journal Title: NEUROLOGY.

Abstract: The question of the appropriate use of opiate analgesics in the management of chronic headache pain is under debate. Often, the management of headache pain is complicated by the overuse of dependency-promoting analgesics. Because of confusion about the use of analgesics in pain management, some patients are denied access to necessary opioid analgesia, whereas others receive large quantities of combination analgesics. The proper use of opiate analgesics is presented here, including a review of the pharmacology of these agents. Signs of analgesic dependence, analgesic rebound headache, and methods of withdrawal are also presented. The potential use of such new treatment modalities as butorphanol nasal spray is discussed.