Stepping up to the Pump
December 7, 2015
Pain can be dangerous. In today’s complicated medical world even changing one form of pain management to another can literally be life threatening.
We are proud to share with you the ongoing research from our own Dr. Meraj Siddiqui and Dr. Ahmad Rafi.
Dr. Siddiqui, Dr. Rafi and Kaylin Cesarski recently finished a study titled, “Does a PTM prevent opioid withdrawals when converting from oral opioids to intrathecal Fentanyl therapy IDDS?”
Dr. Rafi will be presenting this research during the scientific session of the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS) Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada in December.
NANS is dedicated to the success of neuromodulation therapies (altering nerve activity with electrical or pharmaceutical / drug agents) and to the field of neuromodulation within the United States.
The study that will be presented at the NANS conference evaluates the role of a PTM (Patient Therapy Manager) in preventing withdrawals when converting from the use of oral to intrathecal (Spinal) Fentanyl by an implantable drug delivery system (pain pump). The study showed that with the use of a PTM, oral opioids or transdermal Fentanyl can be stopped completely at the time that intrathecal Fentanyl therapy is initiated via a pain pump without causing the patient to go into withdrawals. This is the first study ever to establish the role of a PTM in preventing withdrawals when converting from oral to intrathecal Fentanyl therapy.
This therapy is usually reserved as a last resort for the treatment of chronic intractable pain that is not being managed with a high dose of opioids or other interventional therapies, including surgery.
There are often challenges when initiating and maintaining pump therapy. One of those challenges is how to safely convert an oral opioid dose into an intrathecal pump dose.
The patient may go into severe withdrawals if oral opioid medication is stopped abruptly at the time of pump therapy initiation.
On the other hand, if oral opioids continue with pump therapy, then there is an increased chance of opioid overdose, which could potentially be lethal.
As one of the top experts in chronic pain management, Dr. Siddiqui has been devoted to research for over 20 years and has presented many research papers at various world class conferences.
One of Dr. Siddiqui’s focus areas of research is the management of chronic pain via the administration of spinal or intrathecal medications through an implantable pump.
An implantable drug delivery system (IDDS) can deliver a variety of medications directly into the spinal cord.
The new generation of Medtronic’s implantable drug delivery system, or pain pump, comes with a device called a Personal Therapy Manager (PTM).
This device plays an instrumental role in controlling breakthrough pain by allowing the patient to administer an additional fixed dose of intrathecal medication on preset intervals for breakthrough pain.