Pain pp 41-43 | Cite as

Central Analgesics

  • Henry McQuay
Conference paper
Part of the Acta Neurochirurgica Supplementum book series (NEUROCHIRURGICA, volume 38)


Pharmacological pain management can be considered simply in terms of a ladder which represents the pain. The bottom rungs of the ladder represent mild pain, ascending to severe pain at the top. Initial management of the mild pain is then with nonopioid drugs with or without an adjuvant and as we ascend the ladder mild opioids may be used, again with or without adjuvant. At the top of the ladder, severe pain is managed with strong opioids, again with or without adjuvant.


Respiratory Depression Opioid Agonist Nociceptive Input Strong Opioid Morphine Hydrochloride 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry McQuay
    • 1
  1. 1.Oxford Regional Pain Relief Unit and Pain Relief Research UnitAbingdon HospitalOxonUK

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