Different from one another, anticonvulsants, cannabis, and chronic opioid medicines are all used to treat chronic pain.
This mnemonic can help students of medicine and nursing remember the many classes of drugs used to treat chronic pain and their corresponding mechanisms of action, as well as the risks and advantages associated with each. This is useful in any situation when you need to recall facts quickly, such as when studying for an exam or working in a clinical setting.
Pain caused by nerve injury or dysfunction is known as neuropathic pain, and anticonvulsants like gabapentin and pregabalin are frequently used to treat it. These drugs mitigate pain signals by lowering nerve cell excitability.
THC and CBD are two of the many cannabinoids that can be extracted from the cannabis plant. They alleviate discomfort and inflammation by interacting with cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system and brain.
Opioid medicines like oxycodone and hydrocodone are used for chronic pain management and are quite potent. There is a substantial danger of addiction and overdose with these drugs, therefore they should only be taken if nothing else has worked.
Role of Anticonvulsants, Cannabinoids, Chronic Opioid Medications In Chronic Pain : Mnemonics :
- C: Cannabis can reduce the unpleasantness of pain experience, and lessen nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy use.
- O: Opioids are most potent and have the broadest range of efficacy, but their long-term use can cause addiction, tolerance, and physical dependence. Long-acting opioids are preferred for sustained analgesic blood levels.
- O: Opioid-induced hyperalgesia may also occur with mixed agonist-antagonist properties medications.
- L: Long-term opioid therapy may worsen pain in some individuals, called opioid-induced hyperalgesia.
- C: Constipation is a universal side effect of opioid use and should be treated expectantly.
- A: Avoid using extended-release opioid formulations as first-line opioids for pain.
- N: Newer anticonvulsants Gabapentin and Pregabalin are effective and have fewer side effects, thus used as first-line agents.
- F: Fentanyl and OxyContin have been associated with emergency department visits and deaths due to non-medical prescription opioid use.
- A: Anticonvulsants are useful for pains with electric shock-like quality.
- P: Phenytoin and Carbamazepine help in neuropathic pain, specifically trigeminal neuralgia.
Mnemonic: “COOL CAN of FAP“