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Transformed by the Renewing of Your Mind.

Fibromyalgia

Review of pharmacological therapies in fibromyalgia synyndrome
Author(s): Häuser W; Walitt B; Fitzcharles MA; Sommer C
This review addresses the current status of drug therapy for the management of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) and is based on interdisciplinary FMS management guidelines, meta-analyses of drug trial data, and observational studies. In the absence of a single gold-standard medication, patients are treated with a variety of drugs from different categories, often with limited evidence. Drug therapy is not mandatory for the management of FMS. Pregabalin, duloxetine, milnacipran, and amitriptyline are the current first-line prescribed agents but have had a mostly modest effect. With only a minority of patients expected to experience substantial benefit, most will discontinue therapy because of either a lack of efficacy or tolerability problems. Many drug treatments have undergone limited study and have had negative results. It is unlikely that these failed pilot trials will undergo future study. However, medications, though imperfect, will continue to be a component of treatment strategy for these patients. Both the potential for medication therapy to relieve symptoms and the potential to cause harm should be carefully considered in their administration.

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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Intravenous infusions in chronic pain management
Author(s): Boleslav Kosharskyy, MD, Wilson Almonte, MD, Naum Shaparin, MD, Marco Pappagallo, MD, and Howard S. Smith, MD.
In the United States, millions of Americans are affected by chronic pain, which adds heavily to national rates of morbidity, mortality, and disability, with an ever-increasing prevalence. According to a 2011 report titled Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, pain not only exacts its toll on people’s lives but also on the economy with an estimated annual economic cost of at least $560 - 635 billion in health care costs and the cost of lost productivity attributed to chronic pain. Intravenous infusions of certain pharmacologic agents have been known to provide substantial pain relief in patients with various chronic painful conditions. Some of these infusions are better, and although not necessarily the first therapeutic choice, have been widely used and extensively studied. The others show promise, however are in need of further investigations. This article will focus on non-opiate intravenous infusions that have been utilized for chronic painful disorders such as fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, phantom limb pain, post-herpetic neuralgia, complex regional pain syndromes (CRPS), diabetic neuropathy, and central pain related to stroke or spinal cord injuries. The management of patients with chronic pain conditions is challenging and continues to evolve as new treatment modalities are explored and tested. The following intravenous infusions used to treat the aforementioned chronic pain conditions will be reviewed: lidocaine, ketamine, phentolamine, dexmedetomidine, and bisphosphonates. This overview is intended to familiarize the practitioner with the variety of infusions for patients with chronic pain. It will not, however, be able to provide guidelines for their use due to the lack of sufficient evidence.

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Ketamine for chronic pain: risks and benefits.
Author(s): Niesters M, Martini C, Dahan A.
The anaesthetic ketamine is used to treat various chronic pain syndromes, especially those that have a neuropathic component. Low dose ketamine produces strong analgesia in neuropathic pain states, presumably by inhibition of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor although other mechanisms are possibly involved, including enhancement of descending inhibition and anti-inflammatory effects at central sites. Current data on short term infusions indicate that ketamine produces potent analgesia during administration only, while three studies on the effect of prolonged infusion (4-14 days) show long-term analgesic effects up to 3 months following infusion. The side effects of ketamine noted in clinical studies include psychedelic symptoms (hallucinations, memory defects, panic attacks), nausea/vomiting, somnolence, cardiovascular stimulation and, in a minority of patients, hepatoxicity. The recreational use of ketamine is increasing and comes with a variety of additional risks ranging from bladder and renal complications to persistent psychotypical behaviour and memory defects. Blind extrapolation of these risks to clinical patients is difficult because of the variable, high and recurrent exposure to the drug in ketamine abusers and the high frequency of abuse of other illicit substances in this population. In clinical settings, ketamine is well tolerated, especially when benzodiazepines are used to tame the psychotropic side effects. Irrespective, close monitoring of patients receiving ketamine is mandatory, particularly aimed at CNS, haemodynamic, renal and hepatic symptoms as well as abuse. Further research is required to assess whether the benefits outweigh the risks and costs. Until definite proof is obtained ketamine administration should be restricted to patients with therapy-resistant severe neuropathic pain.

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Migraine Headache

Ketamine for migraine management
Author(s): Katie M. Golden
Imagine being transported to a place where you felt no pain. You may have an almost out-of-body experience that is peaceful and comforting. New thoughts and revelations may enter your mind as you bask in an instantaneous pain relieving world. Sounds kinda trippy, right? Some of you may be flashbacking to drug experimentation of your youth with hallucinogenic drugs. The cause of this seemingly blissful state, is not far off from those free-loving days of the 1970s…or even the euphoric and happy effects of popular rave drugs today like ecstasy. This pain-free place has been created by Ketamine and it could be used to help YOU, a Chronic Migraine sufferer.

If you’re not familiar with Ketamine, maybe you’ve heard it referred to as “Special K”, “Ket” or simply “K” when abused as a recreational drug. Still not sure? In its intended form, it is used as a horse tranquilizer by veterinarians or by anesthesiologists to knock out a patient undergoing surgery. So how does this potent drug come into play for Chronic Migraineurs?

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Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression
Author(s): The New York Times
Postpartum depression is moderate to severe depression in a woman after she has given birth. It may occur soon after delivery or up to a year later. Most of the time, it occurs within the first 3 months after delivery.

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Sources
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . 5th ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2013.
Cohen LS, Wang B, Nonacs R, et al. Treatment of mood disorders during pregnancy and postpartum. Psychiatr Clin North Am . 2010;33:273-93.
Hirst KP, Moutier CY. Postpartum major depression. Am Fam Physician . 2010;82:926-33.