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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gita Rupani, M.D.(University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This multiauthored book on pain management is divided into 12 sections that focus on topics such as understanding pain pathways, the stepwise approach to pain management, or different classes of analgesics like neuraxial opiates, NSAIDs, local anesthetics, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, and adjuvants.
Purpose: It is intended to explain the analgesic action and neural and neurochemical processes involved in pain signaling. All analgesics and adjuncts interfere with the pain signaling pathway, and they have unique sites or even several sites of action. The book describes most of the currently available analgesics and highlights new and emerging therapies for pain control.
Audience: This is a ready reference, a minipharmacopeia, for all healthcare professionals: students, pharmacists, nurses, residents, and physicians in all specialties performing or needing to understand pain management.
Features: Written by 154 contributors, the book covers analgesia by focusing on types of pain, pathophysiology, analgesic gaps, and multimodal analgesia. It includes pediatric PCA and epidural and analgesic information, discusses how to manage epidural analgesia, and covers anticoagulants and regional anesthesia. Many tables, pictures and drawings are helpful in explaining the topics and windup phenomenon. The interesting section on genetics and pain explores the causes of different subjective experiences of patients to similar pain stimuli. Genetic factors and variants influence why some patients are more sensitive to pain, and understanding the genetics behind these variations will help personalize pain management for each patient. The book is complete, but future editions could add physical modalities for pain management as well as combine information on topics like neuraxial opioid agents in fewer chapters to avoid overlap.
Assessment: This compact minipharmacopeia is an excellent reference in pain management. It would make a useful addition to the library of any healthcare professional responsible for optimizing pain management for their patients.