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In many cases, the treatment of neuropathic pain by intrathecal opioids fails to meet expectations. In a trial involving 10 patients, the intrathecal administration of clonidine combined with opioids in the treatment of chronic pain was introduced in our department for the first time. Eight patients with neuropathic pain syndromes were subjected to a continuous intrathecal clonidine application in addition to intrathecal morphine. At an average dose of 44 µg clonidine/day, a 70–100% reduction in pain was achieved. Residual non-neuropathic pain in 4 of 8 patients was successfully treated with clonidine and low doses of opioids. On the basis of the results achieved so far, we recommend that clonidine should be routinely tested for intrathecal drug administration, especially in patients with a prominent neuropathic pain component.
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