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Opioids in the Management of Acute Pediatric Pain

An Update in a Time of Crisis

Yaster, Myron, MD*; Reid, Ashley L., PharmD; Cohen, Mindy N., MD*; Monitto, Constance L., MD

The Clinical Journal of Pain: June 2019 - Volume 35 - Issue 6 - p 487–496
doi: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000709
Special Topic Series on Opioid Therapeutics and Concerns in Pediatrics

Management of acute pain in children is fundamental to our practice. Its myriad benefits include reduced suffering, improved patient satisfaction, more rapid recovery, and a reduced risk of developing postsurgical chronic pain. Although a multimodal analgesic approach is now routinely used, informed and judicious use of opioid receptor agonists remains crucial in this treatment paradigm, as long as the benefits and risks are fully understood. Further, an ongoing public health response to the current opioid crisis is required to help prevent new cases of opioid addiction, identify opioid-addicted individuals, and ensure access to effective opioid addiction treatment, while at the same time continuing to safely meet the needs of patients experiencing pain.

Departments of *Anesthesiology

Pharmacy, Children’s Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado-Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO

Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

M.Y. has been a consultant for Purdue Pharma and Endo Pharma. The remaining authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Myron Yaster, MD, The Children’s Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado-Anschutz Medical Campus, 13123 East 16th Avenue, B090, Aurora, CO 80045 (e-mail:

Received January 9, 2019

Received in revised form January 14, 2019

Accepted January 15, 2019

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