Towards an Effective and Safe Treatment of Inflammatory Pain: A Delphi-Guided Expert Consensus

Adv Ther. 2019 Oct;36(10):2618-2637. doi: 10.1007/s12325-019-01053-x. Epub 2019 Aug 16.


Objective: The clinical management of inflammatory pain requires an optimal balance between effective analgesia and associated safety risks. To date, mechanisms associated with inflammatory pain are not completely understood because of their complex nature and the involvement of both peripheral and central mechanisms. This Expert Consensus document is intended to update clinicians about evolving areas of clinical practice and/or available treatment options for the management of patients with inflammatory pain.

Method: An international group of experts in pain management covering the pharmacology, neurology and rheumatology fields carried out an independent qualitative systematic literature search using MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials.

Results: Existing guidelines for pain management provide recommendations that do not satisfactorily address the complex nature of pain. To achieve optimal outcomes, drug choices should be individualized to guarantee the best match between the characteristics of the patient and the properties of the medication. NSAIDs represent an important prescribing choice in the management of inflammatory pain, and the recent results on paracetamol question its appropriate use in clinical practice, raising the need for re-evaluation of the recommendations in the clinical practice guidelines.

Conclusions: Increasing clinicians' knowledge of the available pharmacologic options to treat different pain mechanisms offers the potential for safe, individualized treatment decisions. We hope that it will help implement the needed changes in the management of inflammatory pain by providing the best strategies and new insights to achieve the ultimate goal of managing the disease and obtaining optimal benefits for patients.

Funding: Dompé Farmaceutici SPA and Paolo Procacci Foundation.

Keywords: Adjuvant drugs; Inflammation; Inflammatory pain; NSAIDs; Neurogenic pain; Neuroinflammation; Opioids; Pain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / therapeutic use
  • Analgesics / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics / adverse effects
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Consensus
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / epidemiology
  • Inflammation / physiopathology*
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / epidemiology
  • Pain / physiopathology*
  • Pain Management / methods


  • Analgesics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Acetaminophen

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.9211526