Neuropathic pain results from damage to or dysfunction in the nervous system. The term usually refers to pain caused by a primary abnormality in the peripheral nervous system,while pain caused by damage to the central nervous system tends to be called central pain. Once established, neuropathic pain frequently runs a chronic course and can be severe and difficult to treat. Most doctors (but especially GPs, neurologists, neurosurgeons, oncologists and pain clinic specialists) will encounter patients with neuropathic pain. Management, ideally in a multidisciplinary pain-relief clinic, often involves the combined use of a range of pharmacological and non-drug approaches, the latter including transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, psychological treatments, and specialist procedures to stimulate, block or destroy discrete areas of the nervous system.1 Here, we review just the drug treatments for neuropathic pain.
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