The Evolving Landscape of Acute Pain Management in the Era of the Opioid Crisis

  • Ali PourmandEmail author
  • Gregory Jasani
  • Courtney Shay
  • Maryann Mazer-Amirshahi
Hot Topics in Pain and Headache (N Rosen, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Hot Topics in Pain and Headache


Purpose of Review

The purpose of the study is to evaluate and analyze the role of both opioid and non-opioid analgesics in the emergency department (ED).

Recent Findings

Studies have shown that the implementation of opioid-prescribing policies in the ED has the potential to reduce the opioid addiction burden. Clinical studies point to inconsistencies in providers’ approach to pain treatment. In this review, we discuss specific aspects of opioid utilization and explore alternative non-opioid approaches to pain management.


Pain is the most common reason patients present to the ED. As such, emergency medicine (EM) providers must be well versed in treating pain. EM providers must be comfortable using a wide variety of analgesic medications. Opioid analgesics, while effective for some indications, are associated with significant adverse effects and abuse potential. EM providers should utilize opioid analgesics in a safe and rational manner in an effort to combat the opioid epidemic and to avoid therapeutic misadventures. EM providers should be aware of all of their therapeutic options, e.g., opioid and non-opioid, in order to provide effective analgesia for their patients, while avoiding adverse effects and minimizing the potential for misuse.


Opioid Prescriptions Non-opioid pain medications NSAIDS 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Ali Pourmand, Gregory Jasani, Courtney Shay, and Maryann Mazer-Amirshahi declare no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali Pourmand
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gregory Jasani
    • 1
  • Courtney Shay
    • 1
  • Maryann Mazer-Amirshahi
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Emergency Medicine, Medical CenterThe George Washington UniversityWashington, DCUSA
  2. 2.Department of Emergency MedicineMedStar Washington Hospital CenterWashington, DCUSA
  3. 3.Georgetown University School of MedicineWashington, DCUSA

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