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Intrathecal Drug Delivery

With intrathecal drug delivery therapy, pain medication is delivered directly to the fluid around the spinal cord, called the “intrathecal space,” via a drug pump. The drug pump is connected to a thin, flexible tube called a catheter. Both the pump and the catheter are fully implanted under the skin.

Intrathecal drug delivery systems may also be used to deliver baclofen to the spinal fluid to treat spasticity. For more information regarding this, click here.

Benefits of Medtronic Drug Delivery Therapy

Many people experience significant improvements in their pain symptoms after receiving drug delivery therapy. That means they can do more of the everyday things that make life special.

Because the drug pump releases medication directly to the pain receptors in the spine, pain relief can be achieved with a small fraction of the oral medication dose.1-6 For example, when morphine is administered directly to the fluid around the spinal cord, only a small fraction (1/300th) of the oral dose may be required to achieve the same pain relief.

as a result of the lower dose, you may also experience fewer or milder side effects. Studies report that this method of delivering medication can provide pain relief in many patients who did not achieve adequate control even with high doses of oral pain medications.

not everyone responds to drug delivery therapy in the same way, and your experience may vary, but Medtronic drug delivery therapy may change your life for the better.

Benefits may include:

Significant reduction in pain
50% or greater reduction in pain.

Improved ability to function and participate in activities of daily living
Activities such as walking, sleeping better, working around the house, or
doing errands.

Lower medication doses
Compared with oral medications, which may
result in reduced side effects.

Less oral pain medications.

Safe and effective
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the
Medtronic programmable implantable drug pump for the treatment of
chronic pain in 1991.

Therapy can be turned off, or if desired, it can be surgically

How Does Drug Delivery Therapy Work?

When the pump and catheter release prescribed amounts of pain medication directly to the receptors near the spine, it interrupts the pain signals before they reach the brain. You return to your physician’s office for more medication when the pump needs to be refilled.

Drug delivery therapy has been shown to increase pain relief and comfort for people with chronic pain.9 it may also cause fewer drug side effects than oral medication. To understand all the benefits and risks of intrathecal drug delivery therapy, it is best to discuss them in detail with your physician.

Is Drug Delivery Therapy Right for Me?

if your physician recommends drug delivery therapy, you can try it first before committing to the therapy. Your physician will schedule a screening test so you can experience the benefits yourself.

People receiving an implantable drug pump generally have chronic pain that can’t be managed with oral medicines or they experience intolerable side effects from their pain medications. additionally, they cannot achieve adequate symptom relief from other treatments such as physical therapy, injections, and chiropractic treatment.

The Screening Test

During the screening test, your physician will administer a small dose(s) of medication into an area near the spinal cord. The effect is similar to what you would experience with an implantable drug pump. Your physician will monitor your response to the medication given during the screening. afterward, you and your physician will discuss your experience and whether implantable drug delivery therapy is right for you.

Why Try Drug Delivery Therapy Now?

The screening test can be the first step in getting pain relief.

Scheduling a screening test will give you a chance to find out if drug delivery therapy can effectively manage your pain.

Benefits may include:

It requires a minor surgical procedure for the screening test.
It is safe.
If you and your physician determine that drug delivery therapy is right for
you after the screening test, you can move forward to an implanted system.