Ziconotide infusion for severe chronic pain: case series of patients with neuropathic pain.Pharmacotherapy. 2006 Mar; 26(3):395-402.P
Ziconotide intrathecal infusion was recently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of intractable severe chronic pain. Patients with neuropathic pain make up a significant population among those who experience chronic pain for which there are less than optimal pharmacotherapeutic options. Published clinical trials provide a global view of ziconotide efficacy and safety. A subset of patients in clinical trials obtained complete pain relief, a remarkable finding given the history of drug treatment for neuropathic pain. To provide more information regarding those who respond to ziconotide therapy, we discuss three patients with neuropathic pain who received ziconotide infusion. Two patients with longstanding neuropathic pain, one with complex regional pain syndrome (formerly known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy) of the leg and one with lumbar radiculitis, achieved temporary but complete pain relief from single 5- and 10-microg epidural test doses. In the third case, a patient with longstanding bilateral leg and foot neuropathic pain from acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and antiretroviral drug therapy achieved considerable pain relief from a long-term continuous intrathecal infusion. The patients who received a single dose had mild central nervous system adverse effects such as sedation, somnolence, nausea, headache, and lightheadedness. The patient who received the intrathecal infusion experienced mild-to-severe adverse effects depending on the rate of infusion; these effects included sedation, confusion, memory impairment, slurred speech, and double vision. This patient could sense impending adverse effects and made rate adjustments or suspended infusion to avert untoward symptoms. In all three cases, patients achieved considerable pain relief that was long-lasting and persisted well after dose administration or suspension of infusion.