US Pharm. 2015;40(3):16-17.

According to the findings of a clinical study, chronic pain is common in individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD), and in some patients this is associated with improper use of pain medications. The findings appear an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Jeffrey Fink, MD, MS, and Juliana Wu, BS, from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and their colleagues looked at information on pain and pain medication use in 308 predialysis patients with CKD enrolled between 2011 and 2013 in the Safe Kidney Care cohort study in Baltimore.

The majority of patients (60.7%) reported chronic pain. Patients with arthritis, those taking 12 or more medications, and those with reduced physical function reported more severe pain. As expected, a higher pain level was associated with intensified use of pain medications, but this was often accompanied by the use of ill-advised medications for patients with kidney problems or the use of wrongly dosed medications.

“We demonstrated that there is a link between pain and patient safety in CKD and that the CKD population warrants closer attention to their pain management such that practitioners can avert clinically significant adverse safety events,” said Dr. Fink.