Current Emergency and Hospital Medicine Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 134–140 | Cite as

Medical Management of Pain in the Emergency Setting Without Narcotics: Current Status and Future Options

  • Jonathan GlauserEmail author
  • Sarah Money
Pain Management (S Mace, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Pain Management


Purpose of Review

Relief of pain and discomfort is a critical component of the mission of every health care provider to reduce suffering. Pain management is of paramount importance in the provision of care at every level. This is an era of increasing patient expectations of care, yet also there exists an ongoing scourge of opiate abuse.

Recent Findings

ED visits for opioid overdoses rose 30% in all parts of the USA from July 2016 through September 2017. Deaths from narcotic overdose in the USA now exceed those from motor vehicle crashes. The concept of an “opiate-free” emergency department has been posited.


The emergency practitioner is presented with clinical and political challenges which did not exist in the past. This article elucidates current pharmacologic options regarding analgesia in the emergency setting, with some possible future options.


Emergency practice guidelines Pain management Opiate abuse Non-opioid analgesics 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have 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

  1. 1.Case Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Spine InstituteUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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