ANCHOR LEAD: THE AMERICAN GERIATRIC SOCIETY HAS ISSUED NEW GUIDELINES FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF PAIN IN OLDER FOLKS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Acetaminophen, marketed often under the brand name Tylenol, is the first choice for management of chronic pain in older people when a medication is needed, the American Geriatric Society has recommended. Michelle Bellantoni, a geriatrics expert at Johns Hopkins, says even before medications other methods should be tried.
BELLANTONI: The first line of therapy is to understand the cause of the pain, and to use non-pill forms of treatment with a referral to physical therapy for physical techniques such as heat and cold, massage therapy, electrical stimulation therapies, and for the medical professional to offer scheduled acetaminophen, meaning routine dosing three or four times daily, for all but those who have liver failure, and then adding to that short term anti-inflammatory agents. :28
Ibuoprofen should only be used rarely, the guidelines state, because of the side effects of this class of medications. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.