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      Pharmacotherapeutic Management of Neuropathic Pain in End-Stage Renal Disease

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          Background: Chronic noncancer pain is pervasive throughout the general patient population, transcending all chronic disease states. Patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) present a complicated population for which medication management requires careful consideration of the pathogenesis of ESRD and intimate knowledge of pharmacology. The origin of pain must also guide treatment options. As such, the presentation of neuropathic pain in ESRD can present a challenging case. The authors aim to provide a review of available classes of medications and considerations for the treatment of neuropathic pain in ESRD. Summary: In this narrative review, the authors discuss important strategies and considerations for the treatment of neuropathic pain in ESRD, including the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain, physiological changes for consideration in ESRD patients, and disease-specific consideration for medication selection. Pharmacotherapeutic classes discussed include: anticonvulsants, antiarrhythmics, antidepressants, topicals, and opioids. Key Message: Pain management in ESRD patients requires careful assessment of drug-specific properties, accumulation, metabolism (presence of active/toxic metabolites), extraction by dialysis, and presence of drug – drug interactions. In the absence of pharmacokinetic data in ESRD patients, therapeutic window and potential risks should be factored in the decision making along with continued monitoring throughout therapy.

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          Neuropathic pain: diagnosis, pathophysiological mechanisms, and treatment.

          Neuropathic pain develops as a result of lesions or disease affecting the somatosensory nervous system either in the periphery or centrally. Examples of neuropathic pain include painful polyneuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia, trigeminal neuralgia, and post-stroke pain. Clinically, neuropathic pain is characterised by spontaneous ongoing or shooting pain and evoked amplified pain responses after noxious or non-noxious stimuli. Methods such as questionnaires for screening and assessment focus on the presence and quality of neuropathic pain. Basic research is enabling the identification of different pathophysiological mechanisms, and clinical assessment of symptoms and signs can help to determine which mechanisms are involved in specific neuropathic pain disorders. Management of neuropathic pain requires an interdisciplinary approach, centred around pharmacological treatment. A better understanding of neuropathic pain and, in particular, of the translation of pathophysiological mechanisms into sensory signs will lead to a more effective and specific mechanism-based treatment approach. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            Classification of chronic pain. Descriptions of chronic pain syndromes and definitions of pain terms. Prepared by the International Association for the Study of Pain, Subcommittee on Taxonomy.

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              A comparison of the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of pregabalin and gabapentin.

              Pregabalin and gabapentin share a similar mechanism of action, inhibiting calcium influx and subsequent release of excitatory neurotransmitters; however, the compounds differ in their pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics. Gabapentin is absorbed slowly after oral administration, with maximum plasma concentrations attained within 3-4 hours. Orally administered gabapentin exhibits saturable absorption--a nonlinear (zero-order) process--making its pharmacokinetics less predictable. Plasma concentrations of gabapentin do not increase proportionally with increasing dose. In contrast, orally administered pregabalin is absorbed more rapidly, with maximum plasma concentrations attained within 1 hour. Absorption is linear (first order), with plasma concentrations increasing proportionately with increasing dose. The absolute bioavailability of gabapentin drops from 60% to 33% as the dosage increases from 900 to 3600 mg/day, while the absolute bioavailability of pregabalin remains at > or = 90% irrespective of the dosage. Both drugs can be given without regard to meals. Neither drug binds to plasma proteins. Neither drug is metabolized by nor inhibits hepatic enzymes that are responsible for the metabolism of other drugs. Both drugs are excreted renally, with elimination half-lives of approximately 6 hours. Pregabalin and gabapentin both show dose-response relationships in the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia and partial seizures. For neuropathic pain, a pregabalin dosage of 450 mg/day appears to reduce pain comparably to the predicted maximum effect of gabapentin. As an antiepileptic, pregabalin may be more effective than gabapentin, on the basis of the magnitude of the reduction in the seizure frequency. In conclusion, pregabalin appears to have some distinct pharmacokinetic advantages over gabapentin that may translate into an improved pharmacodynamic effect.

                Author and article information

                Kidney Diseases
                S. Karger AG
                May 2020
                20 January 2020
                : 6
                : 3
                : 157-167
                aDepartment of Pain Management, Kaiser Permanente, Federal Way, Washington, USA
                bDepartment of Pain Management, Saratoga Hospital Medical Group, Saratoga, New York, USA
                cDepartment of Pain Management, Stratton VA Medical Center, Albany, New York, USA
                dDepartment of Nephrology, William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
                Author notes
                *Mena Raouf, PharmD, BCPS, Department of Pain Management, Kaiser Permanente, 301 S 320th St, Federal Way, WA 98003 (USA), E-Mail
                504299 Kidney Dis 2020;6:157–167
                © 2020 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel

                This article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND). Usage and distribution for commercial purposes as well as any distribution of modified material requires written permission. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Tables: 3, Pages: 11
                Review Article

                Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology

                Neuropathy, Neuropathic pain, Opioids, Pain


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