For many people, drug delivery therapy has increased comfort and the relief of chronic pain so they can rejoin their lives. Some have been able to reduce or even eliminate oral/systemic pain medications. Drug delivery therapy may not take away all of your pain, but it may allow you to do things you haven’t done in a long time, like enjoy a movie from start to finish, keep pace with a friend on a walk, or spend more leisurely time away from home.
Drug delivery therapy offers a number of potential benefits, including:
In addition, this treatment:
The implanted pump and catheter are surgically placed under the skin. Surgical complications are possible and include infection, spinal fluid leak, and headache. You should not undergo the implant procedure if you have an active infection at the time scheduled for implant.
Once the infusion system is implanted, device complications may occur which may require surgery to resolve. Drug overdose or underdose can result because of these complications and have serious and even life-threatening adverse effects. Possible complications include the catheter or pump moving within the body or wearing through the skin. The catheter could leak, tear, kink, or become disconnected. The pump could stop because the battery has run out or because of failure of another part of the infusion system. Additionally, inflammatory masses have been reported at the tip of the catheter which may lead to complications, including paralysis.
See Important safety information for more details. Also, please discuss the benefits and risks of this therapy with your doctor.
Drug delivery therapy offers advantages over other therapies for severe chronic pain:
You and your doctor have your choice of companies that offer drug delivery therapy for severe chronic pain. It is important that you research these companies and learn about their history with the therapy.
You should know:
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Deer T, Chapple I, Classen A, et aI. Intrathecal drug delivery for treatment of chronic low back pain: report from the National Outcomes Registry for Low Back Pain. Pain Med. 2004;5(1):6-13.
Ellis DJ, Dissanayake S, McGuire D, et al. Continuous intrathecal infusion of ziconotide for treatment of chronic malignant and nonmalignant pain over 12 months: a prospective, open-label study. Neuromodulation. 2008;11:40-49.
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Smith TJ, Staats PS, Deer T, et al. Randomized clinical trial of an implantable drug delivery system compared with comprehensive medical management for refractory cancer pain: impact on pain, drug-related toxicity, and survival. J Clin Oncol. 2002;20(19):4040-4049.
Roberts U, Finch PM, Goucke CR, Price LM. Outcome of intrathecal opioids in chronic non-cancer pain. Eur J Pain. 2001;5(4):353-361.
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Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.