New research offers hope to those with phantom limb pain

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New research offers hope to those with phantom limb pain

People can experience pain in the missing limb as if it is still there after limb amputation is known as phantom linb pain (PLP). Phantom limb pain can be experienced in the form of various sensations, such as sharp pain, aches, cramping or burning pains in their missing limb. It can be a serious condition that can severely impact a person's quality of life. However, it is unclear why people with amputation develop PLP. Various medications have been tried for the treatment of phantom limb pain. Recently, researchers have identified a new drug "memantine" to treat the condition.

Loy B M et al evaluated the evidence for the use of memantine in the treatment of acute and chronic PLP. A literature search was done to compile studies characterizing the clinical outcomes of patients treated with memantine for PLP with the help of  databases, MEDLINE (1956 to May 2016) and Embase (1957 to May 2016). The database search yielded 185 studies and case reports. After the initial search, researchers screened eight articles including one prospective study, a case report, and two case series that discussed of memantine in the treatment of acute PLP.

However, four studies failed to show a substantial difference in analgesic effects of  memantine. Further, rest of the studies were examined for the role of memantine in the treatment of the PLP. It was concluded that memantine can be considered as well tolerated and this drug seemed to a  reasonable treatment option for patients with a recent amputation or who has failed obtain relief or cannot tolerate other analgesics.

Source:

Journal of pain & palliative care pharmacotherapy

Link to the source:

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15360288.2016.1241334?journalCode=ippc20

Original title of article:

Memantine for the Treatment of Phantom Limb Pain: A Systematic Review

Authors:

Brittany M. Loy, Rachel B. Britt & Jamie N. Brown

Journal of pain & palliative care pharmacotherapy
SearchTags: 
Therapeutic, Memantine, Phantom Limb Pain, Limb, NMDA Blocker, Systematic Review, Efficacy, Tolerability
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