Comprehensive Assessment and Pharmacotherapy of Patients with Chronic Pain Syndrome Due to Diabetic Neuropathy and Postherpetic Neuralgia

*Katarzyna Rygiel

Department of Family Practice, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice-Zabrze, Poland
*Correspondence to kasiaalpha@yahoo.co.uk

Disclosure: The author has declared no conflicts of interest.
Received: 25.11.16 Accepted: 24.03.17
Citation: EMJ. 2017;2[2]:35-41.

Abstract

Management of chronic pain, usually associated with comorbid conditions, remains challenging. General practitioners, together with multidisciplinary teams of specialists, play an important role in diagnosing and treating patients with chronic pain of different origin. This article outlines the main mechanisms underlying chronic nociceptive and neuropathic pain and describes some helpful techniques to initially evaluate and regularly monitor pain. Pharmacologic treatment options, including their benefits and adverse effects, with particular emphasis on the management of diabetic neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia, commonly seen in the primary care practice setting, are presented.

Chronic pain, regardless of its cause, is a disease syndrome and, as such, requires a comprehensive, individualised approach to each patient reaching beyond symptom control. Collaboration of physicians (general practitioners, diabetologists, neurologists, and pain specialists), pharmacists, and nurses in the management of patients with diabetic neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia improves patient safety and contributes to better adherence to therapeutic regimens, which leads to more favourable outcomes and improved quality of life.

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