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Contemporary treatment neuropathic pain

Author(s): Cvijanović Milan | Simić Svetlana | Banić-Horvat Sofija | Jovin Zita | Slankamenac Petar | Ilin Miroslav

Journal: Medicinski Pregled
ISSN 0025-8105

Volume: 64;
Issue: 9-10;
Start page: 443;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Neuralgia | Signs and Symptoms | Neurologic Manifestations | Therapeutics | Polypharmacy | Treatment Outcome | Causalgia

Introduction. Neuropathic pain, or pain associated with disease or injury to the peripheral or central nervous system, is a common symptom of a heterogeneous group of conditions, including diabetic neuropathy, trigeminal neuralgia, postherpetic neuralgia and spinal cord injury. Chronic neuropathic pain should not be thought of as a symptom. It should truly be thought of as a disease with a very complicated pathophysiology. Pathophysiology. The mechanisms involved in neuropathic pain are complex and involve both peripheral and central pathophysiologic phenomenon. The underlying dysfunction may involve deafferentation within the peripheral nervous system (e.g. neuropathy), deafferentation within the central nervous system (e.g. post-thalamic stroke) or an imbalance between the two (e.g. phantom limb pain). Clinical characteristics. Neuropathic pain is non-nociceptive, in contrast to acute nociceptive pain, and it can be described as ”burning”, ”electric”, ”tingling”, and ”shooting” in nature. Treatment. Rational polypharmacy is often necessary and actually it is almost always the rule. It would be an exception if a patient was completely satisfied with his treatment. Treatment goals should include understanding that our patients may need to be titrated and managed with more than one agent and one type of treatment. There should be the balance of safety, efficacy, and tolerability. Conclusion. There are many new agents and new applications of the existing agents being currently studied which will most certainly lead to even more improved ways of managing this very complicated set of disorders.
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