Skip to main content

Novel paths to pain management: older drugs doing new tricks!

If you follow the world of pain management as I do, you are always looking for new material...

For instance, recently the DEA tightened restrictions on some of the drugs already in the pain management arena.  Hydrocodone (a component of Vicodin® and the new long-acting product Zohydro®) and many other products is now a Schedule II drug.  That makes for a lot of  new restrictions/problems for those who use these products in their pain management regimen. Tramadol, which previously was not a scheduled drug , was recently placed in Schedule IV. This means that all products that contain tramadol are more tightly regulated than they used to be.

Now for some good news..

With this tightening of regulation...regarding all opioid drugs, and more recently the addition of the two above...there is research going on to find pain management applications for drugs currently in the marketplace that possess no abuse potential.  The tricyclic antidepressants and SSRI/SNRI drugs, for example, have found a meaningful place in neuropathic and chronic pain syndromes over the years. Similarly,some of the anticonvulsant medications have become routinely used this way as well.

In recent years, studies have been conducted using the angiotensin II antihypertensive drugs in the realm of pain management.  As early as 2002, an Italian study found that drugs in this group possessed the ability to alter pain perception in subjects who were taking these medications for high blood pressure. In 2013, a University of Kansas study showed similar results.

As we continue to live in a world where opioids provide ample pain management paired with high potential for abuse, abundant legislation and's obvious that looking elsewhere for answers will become more and more prevalent.  The jury is still out as to where the future lies...

Sources: NIH,, Wikimedia


Popular posts from this blog

Living with Chronic pain hits the big screen!

Been to the movies lately?  Jennifer Aniston is on the big screen in a recent release titled "Cake."
Her character, Claire is a victim of chronic pain...she belongs to a support group, where all of the members are coming to terms with the suicide of one of their members.  Of course, she also takes pain medication and addiction is another of her problems...and of course there's more!

I guess I am writing this post just to bring readers' attention to the fact that Hollywood has become aware of the crisis that is chronic pain.  This movie is a testament to that. People that don't have to live with this kind of pain don't fully understand the whole story.  Maybe this movie will shed some light on the issues.

Here is the official trailer for the movie:

Sources: prweb;;YouTube

Herpes As A Helper?

If you've ever had shingles, or known anyone that has experienced it, you probably know that chronic pain can persist following the initial attack (post herpetic neuralgia).  This is because the herpes virus seems to have an affinity for nerve cells.  And while it's not fun to have shingles or post herpetic neuralgia, the herpes virus may be a key in future development of delivery systems for pain management treatments.

Here's the deal--since Herpes simplex has an affinity for nerve cells, researchers are looking a genetically modified, safer version of the virus to deliver genetic material to damaged nerves.  In simple terms, once the genetic material reaches these nerve cells, it will hopefully encode these nerves to ultimately inhibit pain signals.  Animal studies and clinical trials in cancer patients have been encouraging thus far.

This is one of those developments that makes me believe that there is hope for those in chronic pain. Along with so many other exciting d…

The Knee Bone's Connected To The Leg Bone....

Two recent studies have brought a not-so-novel concept into the limelight-the concept being that people who present with knee pain often develop pain in other parts of their bodies.  These studies, known as the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST) and the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI), were assessed by a Clinical Epidemiology Team as Boston University School of Medicine in an effort to find preventive strategies to combat this trend.

The authors suggest that knee pain may cause individuals to alter their gait in an effort to compensate for their discomfort. In doing so, the alignment of other body joints is altered, and this may be the cause of secondary joint pain, especially hips and ankles. The authors go on to say that the pain in these secondary sites is not necessarily osteoarthritis--perhaps bursitis or some other injury.

Osteoarthritis is a result of wear and tear in the joints.  We may not be able to completely eliminate osteoarthritis from occurring, but some common se…