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Papers: 8 Feb 2020 - 14 Feb 2020

2020 Feb 10

Anesth Analg

Efficacy and Safety of Magnesium for the Management of Chronic Pain in Adults: A Systematic Review.


Park R, Ho AM-H, Pickering G, Arendt-Nielsen L, Mohiuddin M, Gilron I
Anesth Analg. 2020 Feb 10.
PMID: 32049671.


Chronic pain is a highly prevalent and complex health problem that is associated with a heavy symptom burden, substantial economic and social impact, and also, very few highly effective treatments. This review examines evidence for the efficacy and safety of magnesium in chronic pain. The previously published protocol for this review was registered in International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO), MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) databases were searched until September 2018. We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing magnesium (at any dose, frequency, or route of administration) with placebo using participant-reported pain measures. A total of 9 RCTs containing 418 participants were included. Three studies examined neuropathic pain (62 participants), 3 examined migraines (190 participants), 2 examined complex regional pain syndrome (86 participants), and 1 examined low back pain with a neuropathic component (80 participants). Heterogeneity of included studies precluded any meta-analyses. No judgement could be made about safety because adverse events were inconsistently reported in the included studies. Evidence of analgesic efficacy from included studies was equivocal. However, reported efficacy signals in some of the included trials provide a rationale for more definitive studies. Future, larger-sized trials with good assay sensitivity and better safety assessment and reporting, as well as careful attention to formulations with optimal bioavailability, will serve to better define the role of magnesium in the management of chronic pain.