An Approach to Pain Management in End Stage Renal Disease: Considerations for General Management and Intradialytic Symptoms

Semin Dial. Jul-Aug 2015;28(4):384-91. doi: 10.1111/sdi.12372. Epub 2015 Apr 11.


The prevalence and severity of symptoms in patients with advanced chronic kidney disease is higher than those of the general population and comparable to those with other chronic and serious medical conditions. Despite the prevalence and severity in this population, symptoms continue to be under-recognized and inadequately managed. The recognition of specific intradialytic pain syndromes such as pain related to arteriovenous access, headaches, muscle cramps or generalized pain by providers may aid in improving patient compliance and quality of life. The approach to pain management in end stage renal disease patients follows that of the general population with specific considerations regarding clearance and potential side effects guiding selection of agents. Overall, evidence is limited regarding the pharmacology of many medications in this population.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Neuralgia / drug therapy
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / epidemiology
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pain Management*
  • Prevalence
  • Renal Dialysis