Treatment considerations in neuropathic pain
Neuropathy is a relatively common source of acute and chronic pain. Emerging evidence suggests several pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the neuropathic pain associated with various disorders. Antidepressants and anticonvulsants have largely been the mainstay of treatment. Pharmacologic treatment of neuropathy frequently requires use of multiple medications. Ideally, the selection of which medications to use should be based on targeting the multiple pathophysiologic mechanisms contributing to neuropathic pain transmission. Psychological variables may play a role in predisposing patients to chronic neuropathy after acute illness. In addition, comorbid conditions, especially depression, can complicate the presentation, clinical course, and response to treatment of patients with chronic pain. Treatment of depression may be essential to fully enlist the chronic neuropathic pain patient in comprehensive pain management and rehabilitative approaches.
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