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Amputation pain, phantom limb pain and treatment with palmitoylethanolamide

Post-amputation pain is a serious and difficult to treat pain, also referred to as phantom pain. Phantom pain can occur in the arms, legs, hand and feet after amputation, but also in cases of breast amputation related to cancer.

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a natural and body’s own substance that has a pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effect. It step-by-step calms the overactive pain stimuli in difficult to treat pain syndromes. It’s available in its purest form as PeaPure, a food supplement. On this website more information about PEA.

Here we share three stories of patients with phantom pain that positively benefited from treatment with palmitoylethanolamide.

Phantom pain and leg stump

A 41-year-old man had undergone a leg amputation of the right upper leg, above the knee. After the amputation he developed typical neuropathic phantom pain that didn’t respond to treatment with tramadol and paracetamol or to codeine with paracetamol.  He was given a treatment with palmitoylethanolamide, dosed 300mg three times a day. After the first week the dose was adjusted to 300mg twice a day. Within three weeks the phantom pain disappeared entirely.

Phantom pain, depression and insomnia

The second patient was a 70-year old man with severe phantom pain. 30 years before he had undergone amputation of the right leg, after which he developed serious neuropathic pain. Treatment with different highly dosed NSAID’s, as well as traditional painkillers for neuropathic pain didn’t offer any relieve. He started to experience reactive depression and insomnia, which was untreatable with regular sleep medicine. He started treatment with 300mg palmitoylethanolamide twice a day and after 5 days the pain decreased. The other symptoms of depression and insomnia also decreased and he was ale to stop taking NSAID’s as well as neuropathic pain education. While the patient continued his treatment with palmitoylethanolamide, he also slowly quit the anti-depressants.

Phantom pain in the arm

A 71-year-old woman underwent amputation of her right arm in 2008, due to so-called cryoglobulinemia, a blood condition that closes blood vessels and causes tissue to die off due to lack of oxygen, in this case resulting in amputation.  She started treatment with pregabaline, which had to be stopped due to unbearable side effects. On top of that she got migraines. Treatment with palmitoylethanolamide caused the pain to decrease significantly and within three weeks it was nearly gone. The migraines also decreased measurably.

Palmitoylethanolamide is a natural pain reliever, produced by our own body, and has been extensively researched related to neuropathic pain. It has no problematic side effects or negative interactions with other medicine.