Chronic pain and analgesic use in CKD: Implications for patient safety

Juliana Wu, Jennifer S. Ginsberg, Min Zhan, Clarissa J. Diamantidis, Jingjing Chen, Corinne Woods, Jeffrey C. Fink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background and objectives Chronic pain in predialysis CKDis not fully understood. This study examined chronic pain in CKD and its relationship with analgesic usage. Design, setting, participants, & measurements Data include baseline visits from 308 patients with CKD enrolled between 2011 and 2013 in the Safe Kidney Care cohort study in Baltimore, Maryland. The Wong–Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale measured chronic pain severity. Analgesic prescriptions and over-the-counter purchases were recorded up to 30 days before visits, and were classified as a drug-related problem (DRP) based on an analgesic’s nephrotoxicity and dose appropriateness at participants’ eGFR. Participants were sorted by pain frequency and severity and categorized into ordinal groups. Analgesic use and the rate of analgesics with a DRP were reported across pain groups. Multivariate regression determined the factors associated with chronic pain and assessed the relationship between chronic pain and analgesic usage. Results There were 187 (60.7%) participants who reported chronic pain. Factors associated with pain severity included arthritis, taking $12 medications, and lower physical function. Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs was reported by seven participants (5.8%) with no chronic pain. Mild and severe chronic pain were associated with analgesics with a DRP, with odds ratios of 3.04 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.12 to 8.29) and 5.46 (95%CI, 1.85 to 16.10), respectively. The adjusted rate of analgesicswith aDRP per participant increased fromthe groupwith none to severe chronic pain,with rates of 0.07 (95%CI, 0.04 to 0.13), 0.12 (95% CI, 0.07 to 0.20) and 0.16 (95% CI, 0.09 to 0.27), respectively. Conclusions Chronic pain is common inCKDwith a significant relationship between the severity of pain and both proper and improper analgesic usage. Screening for chronic pain may help in understanding the role of DRPs in the delivery of safe CKD care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-442
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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