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All Pain Is Not the Same: An Overview of Neuropathic Pain in the Elderly

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Pain is a common complaint in the elderly patient. Chronic pain can be either nociceptive or neuropathic. Postherpetic neuralgia and painful diabetic neuropathy are two of the most common forms of neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain can significantly affect an elderly patient's quality of life and increase use of health care resources. Several pharmacologic treatments have been shown to provide relief for neuropathic pain, including tricyclic antidepressants, anticonvulsants, tramadol, and opioids. Topical analgesics may also provide some benefit.

Abbreviations: CNS = Central nervous system, HZ = Herpes zoster, PHN = Postherpetic neuralgia, SSRI = Selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor, TCA = Tricyclic antidepressants, VZV = Varicella-zoster virus.

Keywords: Chronic pain; Diabetic neuropathy; Elderly; Neuropathy; Postherpetic neuralgia

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • The Consultant Pharmacist® is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. It is dedicated exclusively to the medication needs of the elderly in all settings, including adult day care, ambulatory care, assisted living, community, hospice, and nursing facilities. This award-winning journal is a member benefit of ASCP. Individuals who are not members and wish to receive The Consultant Pharmacist® will want to consider joining ASCP.
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