Neuropathic pain can be caused by diabetes, shingles, or an injury, and can be very challenging to treat. The elderly exhibit a higher incidence of neuropathic pain conditions than younger individuals. Treatment of neuropathic pain in the elderly with oral medications usually requires lower dosing, slower titration, and more monitoring for efficacy and adverse effects than in younger patients. Drugs are absorbed and eliminated at different rates as people age, and as patients become frail, develop various illnesses, and take multiple medications, the risks of drug therapy increase. Conventional treatment of neuropathic pain is not optimal with less than 50% of patients achieving satisfactory pain relief. Adverse side effects can limit the dose that can be safely administered, and it may be lower than the dose needed to relieve pain.
Our compounding pharmacists can help! If commercially available drugs do not provide adequate pain relief, we can work together with you and your physician or other health care providers to customize medications to treat a specific problem. Preparations may contain one medication or a synergistic combination of medications in the best dose, and if a topical medication, in the most appropriate base depending on the site of application.
Topical pain gels can produce pain relief that is comparable to that of oral agents, but typically topical medications cause fewer side effects since they work more locally at the site of pain (the most common being localized skin reactions) and fewer drug interactions. Topical analgesics may be used as alternatives when oral or injectable analgesics are not tolerated or not viable options.
BRING US YOUR QUESTIONS AND MEDICATION PROBLEMS!!
Reference: Drugs Aging. 2014 Dec;31(12):853-62.
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