Pharmacology: Non-Opioid and Opioid Medications for Chronic Pain

This pharmacology program will include non-opioid and opioid pain medications for the treatment of chronic pain.

Non-opioid Medications for Chronic Pain

This section will provide an overview of non-opioid medications used to treat people with chronic pain. This overview will include analgesics, antidepressants, and antiepileptics.

The Pharmacology of Non-opioid Medications

This section will provide an overview of the pharmacology of non-opioid medications, include anti-spasticity and anti-spasmotic therapies, topical medications, and mu-opioid antagonists.

Faculty: George D. Comerci, Jr., MD, FACP, ADAAPM

Opioid Medications: Classification, Pharmacology, Indications and Use

This section will explain the safe use of opioid medications and will include the indications for prescribing the therapies, opioid misuse risk assessment, dosing, adverse effects, and chronic pain guidelines.

Faculty: Daniel Duhigg, DO


Target Audience

This 2-hour CME activity is designed for physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants as well as other clinicians who treat chronic pain. 

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be better able to:

  1. Describe the role of non-opiate pain medications in the care of the patient with chronic pain.
  2. Name the various categories of non-opiate pain medications.
  3. Identify the indications, safe usage and contraindications of a prototypical medication from each category of non-opiate pain medications.
  4. Describe the basic pharmacology of non-opioid medications, including tramadol, antispasticity, antispasmotic, and topical medications.
  5. Explain the serotonin syndrome and Beer’s Criterion.
  6. Define current standards for chronic opioid therapy for chronic pain conditions. 
  7. Explain the relationship between opioid dose and risk of lethal outcomes.
  8. Describe how to monitor patients for aberrant drug related behaviors.                                
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 2.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™
  • 2.00 Document of Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

George D. Comerci, Jr, MD, FACP, is a Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of New Mexico where he is actively involved in clinical care and teaching.  He is also a consultant at the UNM Pain Consultation and Treatment Center and  a facilitator of the ECHO Pain and Headache Clinic.   He is an Advanced Diplomate of the American Academy of Pain Management and, with the help of several colleagues, has developed a curriculum and credentialing examination for pain management intended for use by non-interventional physicians.  Dr. Comerci is a member of the American Academy of Pain Management, the International Association for the Study of Pain, the American Pain Society and the American College of Physicians.

Daniel Duhigg, DO, is the attending addictions psychiatrist in the University of New Mexico’s (UNM) Interdisciplinary Pain Clinic, Project ECHO, and an assistant professor of psychiatry and neurology at UNM in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is the director for the addiction psychiatry fellowship at UNM. He trains health care providers in the areas of pain psychiatry, addiction treatment in chronic pain, and the use of buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid dependence.

Staff and Content Validation Reviewer Disclosures
The staff involved with this activity and any content validation reviewers of this activity have reported no relevant financial relationships with commercial interests.

Planning Committee/Faculty Disclosure

Dr. Comerci and Dr. Duhigg report they have nothing to disclose.

Debra Nelson-Hogan, Director of Education for the Academy of Integrative Pain Management, reports that she has nothing to disclose.

Cathleen Coneghen, Assistant Director of Education for the Academy of Integrative Pain Management, reports that she has nothing to disclose.

The information provided at this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a health care provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.

For questions regarding CME for this activity, you may reach the department of education at the Academy of Integrative Pain Management at

For successful completion of this activity, please complete a pre-test; utilize the audio recordings synched with the presentation slides and videos to review the content, providing answers to your questions as necessary; and complete a post-test and evaluation following the activity. You will then be prompted to print your certificate. This activity should take approximately 2 hours to complete.

This program is accredited for physicians, nurses, and psychologists. All other clinicians can submit the certificate of attendance upon completion of the program to their licensing boards for consideration of credit.


The American Academy of Pain Management is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
The American Academy of Pain Management designates this educational activity for a maximum of 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Available Credit

  • 2.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™
  • 2.00 Document of Attendance

Accreditation Period

Course opens: 
Course expires: 


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