NICE guide on neuropathic pain

NICE has published the first national clinical guideline for treating neuropathic pain.

Writing in GP this week, Professor Blair H Smith, a member of the guideline development group, says: 'The recommendations will help GPs determine the best treatments for adults with this very difficult and distressing condition.

'The guideline also raises awareness of the diagnosis and the capacity in which neuropathic pain can be successfully treated in non-specialist healthcare settings.' He writes that the condition is not recognised in primary and community care.

The guideline includes a three-line approach for prescribing treatment for the condition and it advises on the most effective drugs for GPs to prescribe for neuropathic pain, which is estimated to affect 1 to 2 per cent of adults in the UK.

Dr Fergus Macbeth, director of the centre for clinical practice at NICE, said: 'Around 95 per cent of all patients with neuropathic pain are given medication to manage their pain, so it is important that health professionals are supported in providing the right treatments.'

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Item Code: MINT/PPR-12008

Date of Preparation: May 2012

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