Sepsis and septic shock are the most common causes of death in non-cardiac surgical intensive care units (ICU). Adequate analgesia is essential to achieve positive outcomes. There were differences in pain management between patients with and without sepsis or septic shock. The release of inflammatory mediators, especially cytokines, in sepsis or septic shock decreases the pain threshold. Septic intensive care patients probably require higher doses of opioids than do non-septic patients. A retrospective observational study was carried out in an anesthesiologic intensive care unit from January 1, 2014 to June 30, 2016. Patients were divided into 4 groups according to the following criteria: sepsis ("yes/no" and communication ability "yes/no"). After adjusting for the number of cases using the pairing method, a total of 356 patients were recruited. The endpoint of our study was defined as the "total opioid dose". Statistical evaluations were performed using t tests and 2-factor analysis of variance. There was a significant difference in opioid doses between communicative and non-communicative ICU patients F(1, 352) = 55.102, P < .001). This effect was observed in the ICU patients with and without sepsis. The mean sufentanil dose was significantly higher in non-communicative patients than in communicative patients group (E(1, 352) = 51.435, P < .001, partial ƞ2 = 0.144). The effect of higher opioid- (F(1, 352) = 1.941, P = .161) and sufentanil (F(1, 352) = 1.798, P = .342) requirement was not statistically significant due to sepsis. The hypothesis that sepsis decreases the pain threshold could not be proven in this study. The effect of a higher opioid requirement is not directly caused by sepsis but by communication ability. Furthermore, we were able to show through our investigations and especially through the data of the pain recording instruments that the septic and non-septic intensive care patients receive sufficient pain therapy treatment in our ICU. Regular pain evaluations should be performed on patients in the ICUs who are able to communicate and those who are not.