Objective. To assess the efficacy and safety of palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), an endogenous fatty acid amide belonging to the N-acylethanolamines family, in reducing pain severity in patients with pain associated to different pathological conditions.
Methods. This was an observational study conducted on 610 patients who were unable to effectively control chronic pain with standard therapies. PEA (600 mg) was administered twice daily for 3 weeks followed by single daily dosing for 4 weeks, in addition to standard analgesic therapies or as single therapy. The primary outcome measure was the mean score pain severity evaluated by the numeric rating scale. Safety was also evaluated.
Results. PEA treatment significantly decreased the mean score pain intensity evaluated in all patients who completed the study. The PEA effect was independent of the pain associated pathological condition. PEA-induced decrease of pain intensity was present also in patients without concomitant analgesic therapy. Importantly, PEA showed no adverse effects.
Conclusions. In this study, PEA was effective and safe in the management of chronic pain in different pathological conditions.