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What kinds of medications can help relieve pancreatic cancer pain?

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Your doctor might suggest a variety of medications to help ease pancreatic cancer pain.

This first step is often over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers if you have mild to moderate pain. These include acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen. If you're getting chemotherapy, or take other medications, check with your doctor before you try them.

Another option is adjuvant analgesics. These medications help treat nerve pain and improve sleep and mood. They include the anticonvulsant drugs gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica) and the antidepressants desipramine, duloxetine, and nortriptyline.

Doctors might prescribe opioid drugs for more severe pancreatic pain. Often, you will take them around the clock on a regular schedule. They can cause side effects like constipation, tiredness, trouble with balance, and nausea and vomiting.

If you get a lot of side effects from taking pain pills, you can try a pain pump. Your doctor places it under your skin near your spinal cord, where it slowly releases pain medicines.

SOURCES:

Digestive Diseases & Sciences: "Pain in patients with pancreatic cancer: prevalence, mechanisms, management and future developments."

American Cancer Society: "Signs & Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer."

Johns Hopkins: "Pancreatic Cancer Pain Management."

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance: "Managing Pain in Pancreatic Cancer."

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: "Exercise as medicine in the management of pancreatic cancer: a case study."

Asia-Pacific Journal of Oncology Nursing : "A Systematic Review: Mindfulness Intervention for Cancer-Related Pain."

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Can Acupuncture Help Relieve Cancer Pain and Other Side Effects?"

Columbia University Irving Medical Center: "Coping with Cancer and How CBT Can Help."

Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology : "Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Patients With Cancer."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on May 21, 2020

SOURCES:

Digestive Diseases & Sciences: "Pain in patients with pancreatic cancer: prevalence, mechanisms, management and future developments."

American Cancer Society: "Signs & Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer."

Johns Hopkins: "Pancreatic Cancer Pain Management."

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance: "Managing Pain in Pancreatic Cancer."

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: "Exercise as medicine in the management of pancreatic cancer: a case study."

Asia-Pacific Journal of Oncology Nursing : "A Systematic Review: Mindfulness Intervention for Cancer-Related Pain."

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Can Acupuncture Help Relieve Cancer Pain and Other Side Effects?"

Columbia University Irving Medical Center: "Coping with Cancer and How CBT Can Help."

Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology : "Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Patients With Cancer."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on May 21, 2020

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Is surgery an option to help relieve pancreatic cancer pain?

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