Conflict of interest: Anders Gustavsson and Christina Ljungcrantz were at time of the preparation of this manuscript employed at i3 Innovus, a contract research organization, and acting as consultants to the pharmaceutical industry. Johan Björkman is and Annica Rhodin was at the time of this study employed at Grünenthal, a pharmaceutical company.
Original Research Article
Pharmacological Treatment Patterns in Neuropathic Pain—Lessons from Swedish Administrative Registries
Article first published online: 8 APR 2013
Wiley Periodicals, Inc
Volume 14, Issue 7, pages 1072–1080, July 2013
How to Cite
Gustavsson, A., Bjorkman, J., Ljungcrantz, C., Rhodin, A., Rivano-Fischer, M., Sjolund, K.-F. and Mannheimer, C. (2013), Pharmacological Treatment Patterns in Neuropathic Pain—Lessons from Swedish Administrative Registries. Pain Medicine, 14: 1072–1080. doi: 10.1111/pme.12095
- Issue published online: 15 JUL 2013
- Article first published online: 8 APR 2013
- Chronic Pain;
- Tricyclic Antidepressants;
- Serotonin–Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors;
- Treatment Pattern;
- Psychiatric Comorbidity
To explore the treatment patterns of patients with a diagnosis related to chronic pain (DRCP) initiating pharmacological treatment indicated for neuropathic pain (NeuP: tricyclic antidepressants, serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and anticonvulsants).
Retrospective study on administrative registers.
General population in Western Sweden (one sixth of the country).
All patients with a DRCP (N = 840,000) in years 2004–2009.
Treatment sequence, continuation, switching, and comedication.
In total, 22,997 patients with a first NeuP in 2007 or 2008 were identified, out of which 2% also had epilepsy and 39% had a mood disorder. The remaining 13,749 patients were assumed to be treated for neuropathic pain, out of which 16% had a neuropathy diagnosis, 18% had a mixed pain diagnosis, and the remaining 66% had another DRCP. The most common first prescription was amitriptyline (40%) followed by pregabalin (22%) and gabapentin (19%). More than half had discontinued treatment after 3 months, and 60–70% at 6 months. Seven percent received another NeuP drug within 6 months of the discontinuation of their first NeuP treatment, 11% had another analgesic and 22% had a prescription indicating psychiatric comorbidity (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or benzodiazepine).
Treatment initiation of currently available drugs indicated for neuropathic pain less frequently lead to long-term treatment in clinical practice compared with clinical trial, and few try more than one drug. We suggest our findings to be indications of a need for better routines in diagnosing patients to ascertain optimal treatment and follow-up.