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Papers of the Week

Papers: 5 Aug 2023 - 11 Aug 2023

Pediatric, Review

Pharmacology/Drug Development

Neuropathic Pain

2023 Aug 04

Curr Neuropharmacol


The Pharmacological Treatment of Neuropathic Pain in Children.


Einhorn LM, Hudon J, Ingelmo P


The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defines neuropathic pain as pain caused by a lesion or disease of the somatosensory nervous system. It is characterized as a clinical condition in which diagnostic studies reveal an underlying cause of an abnormality in the peripheral or central nervous system. Many common causes of neuropathic pain in adults are rare in children. The purpose of this focused narrative review is, to 1) provide an overview of neuropathic pain in children, 2) highlight unique considerations related to the diagnosis and mechanisms of neuropathic pain in children, and 3) perform a comprehensive analysis of the pharmacological treatments available. We emphasize that data for routine use of pharmacological agents in children with neuropathic pain are largely inferred from adult literature with little research performed on pediatric populations, yet have clear evidence of harms to pediatric patients. Based on these findings, we propose risk mitigation strategies such as utilizing topical treatments whenever possible, assessing pain phenotyping to guide drug class choice, and considering pharmaceuticals in the broader context of the multidisciplinary treatment of pediatric pain. Furthermore, we highlight important directions for future research on pedi- atric neuropathic pain treatment.