Disadvantages of intrathecal drug delivery

What are some disadvantages of intrathecal drug delivery?

The delivery of intrathecal analgesics is an invasive technique that requires surgical implantation of a drug delivery system, including an intrathecal catheter and drug reservoir/pump, that may be contraindicated in some patients based on their medical comorbidities. It also requires continuous follow-up because the drug reservoir will eventually empty and require refilling to prevent drug withdrawal, which may preclude use in patients who have limited access to medical care. The initial costs of intrathecal drug delivery are high compared to oral or parenteral analgesic administration; however, studies show cost savings over time.


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