Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pain Relief Medicines

Lumbar epidural blockade for management of pain in interstitial cystitis.

Thirteen patients with interstitial cystitis (IC), whose predominant symptom was pelvic or urethral pain, were treated with a series of lumbar epidural local anaesthetic blocks over an 18-month period. Response was evaluated by interview and with voiding diaries and visual analogue scales (VAS) for pain. Of the 55 injections given, immediate pain relief (lasting longer than 24 h) was obtained from 41 (75%). The duration of subsequent pain relief varied considerably, ranging from 2 to 75 days (mean 15.1). pain relief was accompanied by significant improvement in sleep habit and quality of life. A good correlation was noted between verbally expressed pain and the recorded VAS pain scores. Urinary frequency and average voided volumes were unaffected by treatment. Two patients failed to obtain any relief. Apart from minor transient backache at the injection site, there were no complications from the procedure. Lumbar sympathetic epidural blockade is an excellent means of providing pain relief in interstitial cystitis.

Fear during labor.

BACKGROUND: The aims of the present study were to compare primiparous and multiparous women's experiences of fear of delivery during an early stage of active labor (cervix dilatation 3-5 centimeters) and to study whether fear of delivery, measured during the early stage of active labor, was a predictor of the amount of pain relief received during the remaining part of labor (cervix dilatation 5 cm - partus), of the duration of the remaining part of labor, and of the occurrence of instrumental vaginal delivery and emergency cesarean section. METHOD: Thirty-five primiparous and 39 multiparous women answered the Delivery Fear Scale (DFS) once during the early stage of labor and before they had received any pain relief. RESULTS: Primiparous women reported higher levels of fear than multiparous women did. Fear during the first phase of labor predicted only the total amount of pain relief received during labor. CONCLUSION: The clinical implications of the study are that the delivery staff should consider women's fear during labor and pay attention especially to primiparous women's increased risk of higher levels of fear during an early stage of active labor, as compared with multiparous women's. The challenge for staff of a delivery ward is to support the woman in labor in a way that decreases fear, which in turn might reduce the woman's need of pain relief.

A retrospective analysis of neurolytic celiac plexus block for nonpancreatic intra-abdominal cancer pain.

Neurolytic celiac plexus block (NCPB) has been reported to be an effective method for pain relief for a variety of intra-abdominal malignancies, especially pancreatic. In spite of this, few data exist concerning efficacy of the block for pain related to other intraabdominal tumors. The author analyzed the quality of pain relief obtained and complications during the use of NCPB in 66 patients with nonpancreatic intraabdominal malignancies. Seventy-three percent of the patients with nonpancreatic cancer pain had good pain relief, which in 59% of cases lasted through the remaining life of the patients. The incidence of neurologic injury (footdrop) was less than 0.5%. This therapy deserves more widespread use in patients with abdominal pain secondary to a variety of other malignancies, in addition to that of the pancreas.

Patient-controlled analgesia in pediatric surgery.

Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) with a microprocessor-operated infusion syringe was first suggested for human use in 1965. Clinical studies from the United States and Europe have shown this form of analgesia to be well accepted by adults, but the use of this technology for children has not been studied. We evaluated PCA in 15 consecutive pediatric surgical patients between the ages of 11 and 18 years undergoing major thoracic or abdominal surgery. The patients and their parents were instructed in the use of the equipment prior to surgery and PCA was initiated after the patients left the recovery room. The mean duration of PCA was 2.6 days. No serious mechanical difficulties with the infusion apparatus were encountered. The acceptance of PCA was excellent with only two patients preferring some other method of analgesia. pain relief was assessed twice daily by a registered nurse using a verbal-visual pain scale. On a 1 to 10 scale average pain relief was 7.2. Eight of the patients had had a previous operation, and seven of these reported that PCA was a better method of achieving pain control. A comparison of the 15 study patients with 15 previous patients with similar procedures indicated that PCA patients used less analgesia in the postoperative period, although they tended to use more in the first 24 hours. PCA is found to be a safe and effective means of analgesia in pediatric patients. Adequate pain relief was achieved with less analgesia and with less nursing attention. This technology is recommended for postoperative pediatric patients.

Segmental epidural analgesia for labor and delivery.

A study to evaluate segmental epidural analgesia in labor is described. Bupivacaine (0.25 per cent) was used during the first stage of labor and for the second stage, either 3 per cent - Chloroprocaine delivered through the catheter (Group I) or 1 per cent Lidocaine as a perineal infiltrate (Group II) was used. There were 124 full term patients of whom, 36 were nulliparous and 88 were multiparous. The effects of segmental epidural analgesia on maternal blood pressure, pain relief, preservation of lower limb motor power, duration and progress of labor, and fetal outcome were evaluated. pain relief during the first stage of labor was satisfactory in 114 (92 per cent) of the patients. There were no significant changes in maternal blood pressure, motor power in lower limbs, efficiency of uterine contractions and internal rotation of the presenting part when analgesia was effective. The use of 2-Chloroprocaine for second stage pain relief required low forceps delivery in 84 (91 per cent) patients, as compared to 14 (44 per cent) patients that had 1 per cent Lidocaine local infiltration. Fetal outcome, was excellent in all cases in that the one minute Apgar score was never lower than 7.

Attitudes to pain and pain relief in adult surgical patients.

pain relief after surgery is frequently inadequate. In the last few years much research has been devoted to improving the situation. Unfortunately, very little work has been undertaken to explore the patients' contribution to pain management. The beliefs and attitudes held by patients when they enter the hospital environment may be responsible in some instances for their not achieving optimal pain relief from the available techniques. We have studied some of these attitudes with a survey of 180 adult patients admitted for elective surgery. We found that most patients still expect pain following surgery. However, they are not afraid to ask for analgesics when in pain and do not attribute pain to their own wrong doing. There are, however, some patients who appear to have 'deviant' pain beliefs that could hinder their appropriate use of analgesics. Sadly, it is impossible to identify these patients according to age, gender, socio-economic group or previous experience of pain or surgery.

Treatment of lumbar facet joint syndrome by CT-guided infiltration of the intervertebral joints

INTRODUCTION: Lumbar facet joint syndrome is a common condition, involving about 79% of patients suffering from low back pain. Denervation by scalpel or electrofrequency is a well-known method of treating it. An alternative method for longer lasting pain relief is CT-guided intraarticular infiltration of facet joints with local anaesthetics and cortisone. METHODS: In 62 patients with facet syndrome a total of 205 joints were infiltrated, CT monitoring being used in all cases. Each facet joint was infiltrated with 0.3 ml bupivacaine and 0.8 ml methylprednisolone. The patients were divided into three groups. Group 1 consisted of 24 persons who had undergone lumbar disc surgery, group 2 of 23 patients with spondylarthrosis of the facet joints, and group 3 of 15 patients who had undergone lumbar disc surgery but had additional spondylarthrosis. Very good results were defined as pain relief for longer than 4 weeks, good results as pain relief for up to 4 weeks and poor results as brief pain relief or none at all. In 27 patients facet infiltration was performed for the purpose of diagnosis. RESULTS: Results were significantly in group 2 than in group 1 (Fisher's exact test P < 0.012). In group 3 results were better than in group 1, but worse than in group 2. These differences were not statistical by significant (Table 3). Seven patients in the diagnostic group had no pain relief, and facet syndrome was excluded. CONCLUSIONS: CT-guided facet joint infiltration is a good method for treatment and diagnosis of lumbar facet joint syndrome. It can be repeated and has no severe side effects. The best results were seen in patients with spondylarthrosis of the facet joints. After lumbar disc surgery the pain relief was shorter, though it also yielded good results. For patients with unspecific low back pain, facet joint injections are a very good diagnostic method, allowing definite exclusion of lumbar facet syndrome.

Clinical and physiologic evaluation of stellate ganglion blockade for complex regional pain syndrome type I.

OBJECTIVE: The efficacy of peripheral sympathetic interruption after stellate ganglion blockade was assessed by a sympathetic function test. Results were compared with clinical signs such as temperature changes, pain reduction, and the development of Horner syndrome to evaluate the correlation with clinical investigations. DESIGN: Stellate ganglion blockade with local anesthetics was carried out via an anterior paratracheal approach in 33 patients suffering from complex regional pain syndrome type I. Patients were examined before and after the procedure. For assessment of sympathetic nervous function, the vasoconstrictor response to sympathetic stimuli was assessed using laser Doppler flowmetry. Clinical parameters like surface temperature changes (thermography), pain relief (visual analogue scale), and Horner syndrome were monitored. RESULTS: Twenty-three (70%) of 33 patients developed an increase in temperature difference between the treated hand and the contralateral hand of more than 1.5 degreesC after the procedure, which is a clinical sign of sympathicolysis. In 48% (n = 11) of these patients, the sympathetic function test showed an undisturbed sympathetic nervous function. In 10 patients, no significant increase in temperature difference was observed. Although these patients presented with a normal sympathetic vasoconstrictor response, 4 felt pain relief of more than 50%, suggesting a placebo effect. Only 7 patients with pain relief revealed both clinical sympathicolysis and extinguished sympathetic nervous function and qualified for sympathetically maintained pain. CONCLUSIONS: Clinical investigation is not reliable in the assessment of stellate ganglion blockade. Proof of sympathetically maintained pain based on pain relief after stellate ganglion blockade is not conclusive.

Epicondylopathia humeri. The indication for, technic and clinical results of radiotherapy

BACKGROUND: The efficacy of radiotherapy for degenerative-inflammatory disorders is well known, but so far long-term observations and reliable assessment of symptoms according to objective criteria and scores for validation are still missing. PATIENTS AND METHOD: From 1986 to 1991, 104 patients with refractory epicondylopathia humeri were irradiated. 85 patients or 93 elbows (due to double-sided symptoms) were documented in long-term follow-up according to objective criteria. All patients had received intensive therapy. Pain symptoms were quantified in "categories" and "grades" prior to and 6 weeks after radiotherapy and at last follow-up. In addition, the elbow score of Morrey et al. [36] was used for long-term evaluation. The onset of pain symptoms was acute in 41 and chronic in 52 cases. The mean symptom duration prior to radiotherapy was 16 months. Pain was mostly triggered off during professional (46) or sportive activities (23) or spontaneously (11). Fifty-one patients were severely disabled in professional or sportive activities. The involved elbow(s) received 2 radiotherapy series of 6 x 1 Gy (total 12 Gy) with 3 fractions per week; the second radiotherapy series was started 6 weeks after the first series. Mean follow-up was 4 +/- 2 (1 to 8) years. RESULTS: Forty-three patients (50 elbows) achieved "complete pain relief (CR)" in all pain categories: 59% elbows with pain at strain had "complete pain relief", 79% with pain at night, 84% with permanent pain, 80% with pain at rest and 81% with pain at initiation or morning stiffness. Nineteen elbows gained "major pain relief (PR)", i.e. had minor symptoms (maximum grade 1) in all categories. Thus, a total of 69 (74%) elbows responded to radiotherapy. Seventeen patients (19 elbows) were operated because of persistent symptoms or dissatisfaction in long-term follow-up; 7 of those became completely free of symptoms. The Morrey-Score improved by a mean of 18 points from 78 prior to radiotherapy to 96 points at last follow-up. According to the Morrey-Score only 2 patients became worse in long-term follow-up. Two parameters indicated a negative prognosis in multivariate analysis: long symptom duration prior to radiotherapy and immobilisation with plaster (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Radiotherapy for refractory epicondylopathia humeri is highly effective. Long symptom duration and long-term immobilisation by plaster are negative prognostic factors for treatment outcome. Due to the low side effects and treatment costs, radiotherapy is a good therapeutic option in comparison to conventional treatment methods and surgery in the chronic stage of epicondylopathia humeri.

Comparison of bromfenac and Naproxen ( Naprosyn ) sodium in the management of primary dysmenorrhea.

Objective: To compare a new analgesic with an established standard and placebo in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea.Methods: Bromfenac (B) 25 or 50 mg prn, up to 4 doses daily, was compared with Naproxen ( Naprosyn ) sodium (N) (550/275 mg) and placebo (P) in a double-blind crossover randomized trial where 54 women were treated over 4 menstrual periods. Each treatment lasted up to 3 days. The first-dose analysis was based on a 6-hour observation period. Total pain relief (TOPAR) and summed pain intensity difference (SPID) scores were calculated from hourly collected data as areas under the respective time curves.Results: All 3 active treatments were superior to placebo in all summary variables (SPID and TOPAR for 3 and 6 hours) and corresponding peak pain relief and peak PID, duration of pain half-gone, and global assessment. Both B doses were superior to P in providing significant pain relief between hours 1 and 6, whereas N was superior to P at hours 1, 3, and 4. Good to excellent global rating was achieved by 74% of patients on B 50 mg, 59% on B 25 mg, 57% on N and 33% on P (P <.001) after the first dose. Patients rated the trial medication superior to their usual treatment as follows: B 50 mg: 65%, B 25 mg: 55%, N: 51%, P: 29% (P <.001). Adverse events were infrequent and not significantly different among the 4 treatments.Conclusion: Both doses of bromfenac were significantly superior to placebo and at least as efficacious as Naproxen ( Naprosyn ) sodium in management of primary dysmenorrhea.

Peridural opiate analgesia. Clinical results of a 2-year study

Postoperative pain relief, consumption of analgesics and the incidence of postoperative complications were investigated in a retrospective cohort-study on 470 patients following abdominal surgery. 221 of these patients received epidural morphine or buprenorphine for postoperative pain relief (Group I). Another group of 249 patients received conventional opiate analgesics intravenously or intramuscularly (Group II). On average the analgesia lasted 14 h after epidural morphine and 11 h after epidural buprenorphine. The overall amount of morphine in the postoperative period was 13.3 +/- 14.9 mg and 0.89 +/- 0.55 mg buprenorphine respectively. 5 cases of pneumonia (2.3%) were seen in the epidural group (Group I). 22 pneumonia cases (8.8%) were registered in the group with conventional analgesics (Group II). Besides the advantage of stronger and longer duration, small dosage and minor central depressive side effects, epidural opiate analgesia has proven to result in positive clinical consequences. The low incidence of postoperative pneumonia is due to the strong regional pain relief, which improves mechanical pulmonary function and gas exchange.

Pitfalls of distal pancreatectomy for relief of pain in chronic pancreatitis.

PURPOSE: To examine whether preoperative computed tomography (CT) scans and pancreatograms can: (1) identify patients with chronic pancreatitis localized to the tail of the pancreas; and (2) select those patients who can obtain pain relief from a distal pancreatectomy. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty patients were identified on whom the authors had performed distal pancreatectomy for relief of pain between January 1, 1991 and August 1, 1994. The results of surgery were classified as good, fair, or poor based on return to work and need for narcotics or rehospitalization. RESULTS: Eleven patients had good, 3 fair, and 6 poor results. All 7 patients with pseudocysts of the tail of the pancreas had good results, while 9 of 13 patients without pseudocysts had poor results. No other finding on CT scan, pancreatography, or laparotomy predicted successful pain relief by distal pancreatectomy. Furthermore, 3 patients had unexpected carcinoma found at the time of surgery. CONCLUSIONS: Even when anatomic evidence suggests that chronic pancreatitis primarily involves the tail of the pancreas and there is a stricture of the midpancreatic duct that is believed to cause the symptoms, distal pancreatectomy seldom provides sustained pain relief. Unsuspected carcinoma of the body and tail of the pancreas occurs frequently in this subset of patients with chronic pancreatitis.

Usefulness of the evidence-based medicine-supported cancer pain management guideline.

The Japanese guidelines for the clinical practice of cancer pain management supported by evidence-based medicine were established by the Japanese Society for Palliative Medicine in 1999 [as their Evidence-based Medicine-supported Cancer Pain Management Guideline ]. To evaluate usefulness of the Guideline for the management of cancer pain, the same questionnaires were addressed to nurses and physicians of enrolled institutions twice