Use of Opioids in the ICU and After

Professor Hannah Wunsch

Click here to access Forum Lectures list

Your first lecture is FREE

Lecture overview

The treatment of pain is an essential component of the care of critically ill patients. Opioids are a mainstay of this care in the ICU, used for both analgesia and sedation. However, recent trends in the overall use of opioids in the population have raised concerns regarding the potential for acute exposure to lead to long-term dependence or abuse. This talk will review the current evidence for best use of opioids in the ICU and address the concern as to whether exposure during critical illness may impact long-term prescribing.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this lecture, the attendee will be able to:

  1. Understand the current practice patterns for use of opioids in the ICU. 
  2. Understand the pros and cons of multi-modal analgesia as an alternative to opioids in the ICU.
  3. Know the rates of long-term use for opioids after critical illness. 
  4. Identify risk factors for long-term use of opioids after critical illness. 

This lecture is equal to 1 CE Contact Hour, 1 CPD Point, and 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit



Additional CME Info

Release Date: February 1, 2020, Termination Date: January 31, 2023

Accreditation: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of EB Medicine and Continulus. EB Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation: EB Medicine designates this internet enduring material for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ per lecture. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

Commercial Support: This activity received no commercial support.

Earning Credit: In order to earn CME credit, the participant must take the pre-test, listen to the lecture, take the CME post-test, and complete the post-test evaluation.

Duration 1 hour(s).

Lecture speaker

Professor Hannah Wunsch

Dr. Hannah Wunsch is an intensivist in the Department of Critical Care Medicine at Sunnybrook Hospital and Professor in the Department of Anaesthesia and the Interdepartmental Division of Critical Care at the University of Toronto. Prof. Wunsch is also the Associate Director of Critical Care Research at the University of Toronto and an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Prof. Wunsch’s research focuses on the organisation and delivery of critical care services, with a particular focus on international comparisons of critical care, use of large databases to understand resource utilisation, and pharmaco-epidemiology.


CME Faculty Disclosure: It is the policy of EB Medicine to ensure objectivity, balance, independence, transparency, and scientific rigor in all CME-sponsored educational activities. All faculty participating in the planning or implementation of a sponsored activity are expected to disclose to the audience any relevant financial relationships and to assist in resolving any conflict of interest that may arise from the relationship. In compliance with all ACCME Essentials, Standards, and Guidelines, all faculty for this CME activity were asked to complete a full disclosure statement. The speaker did not report any relevant financial interest or other relationship with the manufacturer(s) of any commercial product(s) discussed in this educational presentation.