An update on the pharmacologic management and treatment of neuropathic pain

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Neuropathic pain results directly from a lesion or disease of the somatosensory nervous system and can be central or peripheral in origin. Epidemiologic research suggests that 7% to 10% of the general population suffers from neuropathic pain, although the prevalence may be underestimated. Patients with neuropathic pain may experience anxiety, depression, insomnia, disability, and reduced quality of life. Treatment remains suboptimal because traditional drugs provide only modest pain relief. This article reviews the causes of neuropathic pain, patient presentation, diagnosis, and management strategies.

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