The adjuvant analgesics are a large and diverse group of drugs that were developed for primary indications other than pain and are potentially useful analgesics for one or more painful conditions. The “adjuvant” designation reflects their early use as opioid co‐analgesics for cancer pain. During the past 3 decades, their role in pain management has changed with the advent of many new entities, emerging data from numerous analgesic trials, and growing clinical experience. Many of these drugs are now used as primary analgesics for specific types of chronic pain. With proper patient selection and cautious administration, they can potentially contribute meaningfully to the management of chronic pain in older adults. A practical approach categorizes the many adjuvant analgesics by broad indications: multipurpose drugs and drugs that target neuropathic pain, musculoskeletal pain, and cancer pain, respectively. This article reviews the status of the evidence supporting the analgesic potential of the adjuvant analgesics and discusses best practices in terms of drug selection and dosing.