Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience for patients. Management of pain is the most frequent issue encountered by clinicians and treatment is usually with pharmacological therapy. This review discusses recent pharmaceutical advances in pain management with respect to new modes of analgesic delivery, as well as new analgesic agents and adjuvants that are currently being investigated for their analgesic properties. New modes of administration include transdermal delivery in the form of skin patches, transmucosal delivery, inhalational administration, various patient-controlled devices and extended-release analgesic formulations. Up-to-date research is presented on classical analgesics, such as opioids, anti-inflammatory agents, including cyclo-oxygenase-2 inhibitors and paracetamol (acetaminophen), local anesthetics and ketamine. In addition, newer agents such as antidepressants and antiepileptic drugs as well as medicinal cannabinoids are discussed. As our understanding of the multiple pain pathways involved in the pathogenesis of pain expands, further compounds with analgesic properties will be developed.