(2) Subacute. Subacute pain is similar to acute pain and is expected to end
when the tissue heals. It may persist for days or weeks.
(3) Recurrent. Recurrent pain is intermittent bouts of what is typically acute
pain. The underlying cause of the pain may not be known.
Chronic. Chronic pain is pain that persists longer than 6 months.
1-58. NONNARCOTIC ANALGESIC/ANTIPYRETIC DRUGS
a. Nonnarcotic analgesic/antipyretic drugs are used to relieve pain of mild to
moderate intensity and reduce body temperature in selected febrile conditions.
Examples are: acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol , Datril ).
b. Nursing care implications consist of administering aspirin products with food
or milk, monitoring the patient for complications from aspirin therapy, observing the
patient for allergic reactions to the drugs, and monitoring the patient's temperature.
c. Gastric irritation or bleeding and tinnitus (sensation of ringing in the ears) are
complications of aspirin therapy. Gastric side effects may be minimized by giving
medication with a full glass of water or with milk, food, or an antacid. An exception is
enteric-coated tablets, which may dissolve too quickly if taken with milk. Tinnitus is an
indication of salicylate toxicity. The drug is generally discontinued with the onset of
tinnitus. Inform the patient that the hearing impairment is reversible.
1-59. NONSTEROIDAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUGS
a. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used to reduce
inflammation and relieve pain. They appear to act by inhibiting an enzyme that is key to
the formation of prostaglandins. Examples are indomethacin (Indocin ) and ibuprofen
(Motrin , Advil , Nuprin ).
b. Nursing care implications include monitoring the patient for gastric irritation
and careful observation of patients with impaired hepatic or renal function when
administering these drugs.
c. These drugs should be given after meals. If gastric intolerance occurs, the
physician may prescribe administration of the drug with food or milk or may decrease
dosage. The absorption rate is slower when ibuprofen is given with food. The
physician will rely on the nurse's accurate observation and reporting in order to estimate
the lowest effective dosage level.
a. The active principles of opium are alkaloids, of which there are about twenty.
Two opium alkaloids widely used in the practice of medicine are morphine and codeine.