Neurology Central

Pharmacotherapy of neuropathic pain: time to rewrite the rulebook?


Neuropathic pain is pain caused by a lesion or disease of the somatosensory nervous system [1]. Neuropathic pain is a frequent and often disabling condition in patients with cancer or polyneuropathy due to, for example, diabetes, HIV or treatment with chemotherapy, patients with nerve lesions following trauma or surgery and patients with central nervous system lesions such as stroke or spinal cord injury.

One of the first reports in MEDLINE on how to deal with neuropathic pain dates back to 1843 [2]. This case report describes a woman with neuralgia of the inferior dental nerve. She had excruciating lancinating pain confined to the mental branch of the inferior dental (alveolar) nerve with associated anxiety and fatigue. She had tried various preparations of iron, morphine, leeches and veratria without pain relief.

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