Thursday, February 16, 2012

Traditional Medications Can Help to Relieve Mesothelioma Pain by Wendy Moyer

Mesothelioma victims can experience a substantial amount of pain. However, there are medications that can make them more comfortable.

Experiencing a physical pain in one's chest or abdomen may be the first sign of mesothelioma. And, if the disease has spread, people may also feel pain in other parts of their body. As the disease spreads and the mesothelioma tumor grows other symptoms may appear.

What is the Cause of Mesothelioma Pain?

One of the most common symptoms of mesothelioma is a buildup of fluids. As a mesothelioma tumor gets larger it produces a fluid in the patient's abdomen or chest. If the fluid is in a person's chest it will compress the lung and can cause severe pain.

As the fluid increases it will slowly crush vital organs. When that happens a person usually loses his appetite and often finds it very difficult to sleep.

It can be challenging to completely eliminate the pain but there are a number of proven ways to reduce any discomfort. This should not be shied away from because the sooner pain treatment is initiated the more effective it will be. And when a patient physically feels better their quality of their life will improve.

A number of medications have been prescribed that will help mesothelioma patients deal with their pain. Often the type of drug that is recommended will depend on the severity of the pain.

For Mild to Moderate Mesothelioma Pain

If a mesothelioma patient is experiencing relatively mild to moderate pain then non-opoid drugs are often prescribed to relieve that pain. These include anti-inflammatory and non-steroidal drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen as well as acetaminophen.

Non-opoids may be administered orally, subcutaneously (through injection), intravenously, or rectally. Other therapies may be prescribed along with the non-opoids to help alleviate the pain.

For Moderate to Severe Mesothelioma Pain

Opoids, which are narcotic pain relievers, may be prescribed to reduce moderate to severe pain. This class of drug includes codeine, oxycodone, fenatnyl, and morphine.

These drugs, which could be prescribed at any stage of treatment for the disease, can be combined with other therapies or other drugs if the pain is severe. Mesothelioma patients rarely face the danger of becoming addicted to opoids.

Additional Medications

Depending on what is trying to be accomplished, other drugs may be prescribed. For example, there are a number of medications such as anticonvulsants that can alleviate the tingling and burning pain that mesothelioma patients experience. These pains are a result of nerve damage.

And sometimes, even if a patient isn't depressed, a doctor will prescribe an antidepressant.

Some drugs can reduce swelling while others can be injected to block a nerve. This will reduce severe pain for several hours. These drugs are used primarily if a patient is experiencing chronic or acute pain.

More radical treatments are also available.