The medical management of pain in chronic pancreatitis continues to pose significant challenges for clinicians caring for these patients. There are increasing data, suggesting that pain in chronic pancreatitis is largely due to peripheral and central sensitization that evolves, over time, as a result of nociceptive afferent associated with chronic inflammation and fibrosis of the pancreas. In many instances, patients rapidly progress to requiring opioid analgesics for the adequate treatment of pain despite the unequivocal risks associated with the long-term use of these drugs. Centrally acting drugs, such as gabapentinoids, appear to be effective means of treating pain due to their inhibition of neurotransmitters involved in central sensitization, but side effects limit their use. The present review explores the evidence for various non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic treatments for pain in chronic pancreatitis.
- Chronic pancreatitis
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