What is the role of sympatholytic drugs in the treatment of complex regional pain syndrome type 1 (CRPS 1) (RSD)?

Updated: Mar 09, 2021
  • Author: T P Sudha Rao, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Sympatholytic drugs alone may be effective in early disease. In later stages of the disorder, sympatholytic drugs may be beneficial in combination with sympathetic block or sympathectomy.

Regional intravenous sympathetic blockade with sympatholytic drugs, such as phenoxybenzamine, using a Bier block–like procedure may be helpful, but results have varied. This is most useful in early disease.

A randomized study suggested that intrathecal baclofen, a GABA-receptor agonist, relieved the dystonia and, in some cases, the hand pain in patients with CRPS. [20] This suggests that GABA-ergic inhibitory pathways may also be important in the pathogenesis of CRPS.

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