Unmet needs in the management of neuropathic pain

Robert N Harden*, Mitchell Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations


Neuropathic pain is a challenging condition to treat. It is heterogeneous in nature and largely resistant to treatment with commonly prescribed analgesics. Current management strategies fail to achieve adequate or satisfactory pain relief in a high proportion of patients. The four main reasons that treatments for neuropathic pain fail are: inadequate diagnosis and a lack of appreciation of the mechanisms involved; insufficient management of comorbid conditions; incorrect understanding or selection of treatment options; and the use of inappropriate outcomes measures. These unmet needs in the current management of neuropathic pain are reviewed in this article. The review focuses on the need for a methodical and mechanistic approach to diagnosis, and a flexible, interdisciplinary approach to treatment of neuropathic pain conditions, in order to improve pain relief and quality of life in patients with neuropathic pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S12-S17
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number5 SUPPL.
StatePublished - May 1 2003


  • Antiepileptic drug
  • Comorbidity
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Oxcarbazepine
  • Pain diagnosis
  • Pain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Nursing(all)


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