Analgesic combinations as a strategy for pain relief and isobolographic analysis
Pain is a multidimensional sensory experience that is intrinsically unpleasant and associated with hurting and soreness, it is essentially a sensation. Pain has strong, cognitive and emotional components, it is linked to, or described in terms of suffering. Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and opioid analgesics are two of the most common types of drugs used for pain management. However, the use of these analgesics is limited by the presence of significant adverse effects. A useful practice is a combination of two agents with the same therapeutic effect wherein each agent is administered to obtain additive, synergistic or subadditive interaction in a fixed ratio. If the combination resulted in addition or synergism, the doses employed by each agent are reduced, then the side effects are absent; this kind of study is named isobolographic analysis. In this review, the authors summarized previous reports of the combination of NSAIDs with opioids and natural products as an alternative in the pain management.