Pain is a challenging area to understand for any healthcare professional, and quality training on the subject is required if nurses are to provide effective pain management and person-centred care. Based on the curriculum developed by the International Association for the Study of Pain, this book offers an essential guide to managing pain. It begins with an examination of the biology of pain, and then goes on to consider pain management across the lifecourse, looking at key topics including acute pain, cancer pain and pharmacology. Case scenarios are included throughout the book to help readers apply the knowledge they have learned to their own practice.It will be valuable reading for undergraduate nurses, and essential for those taking continuing professional development and postgraduate courses in pain management.

Pharmacological and Interventional Pain Management

Pharmacological and interventional pain management

Learning Objectives

The learning objectives of this chapter are to:

  • know the definition of and systems associated with the analgesic response
  • be cognizant of the endogenous opioid system and implication for therapeutics
  • know the basic concepts of pharmacology for pain management in nursing practice
  • be aware of the mechanisms of a range of pharmacological and nonpharmacological pain interventions

Introduction

This chapter outlines the major therapeutic intrinsic and extrinsic drug systems utilized in pain treatment and management, as well as the pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions that are particularly useful for chronic non-malignant and cancer pain.

Definitions of Pharmacology and Analgesia

Pharmacology can be defined as ‘the study of the effects of drugs on the function of living systems’ (Rang et al., 2012: 1). A drug ...

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