Breakthrough pain is severe pain that comes on suddenly in people who are taking medicines that usually keep their pain under control. It "breaks through" the pain relief that a person has been getting from taking medicines for persistent or chronic pain.
Breakthrough pain usually lasts for a short time, but it is very intense pain. It can happen right after a specific physical activity or just before it's time to take another dose of pain medicine. Sometimes breakthrough pain happens for no known reason. If it happens often, this may mean that the dose of regular pain medicine may need to be changed.
Breakthrough pain is most common in people who have cancer. But it can happen in anyone who is taking pain medicine on a regular schedule for persistent or chronic pain.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
- Personalized Tips for Managing Migraine
- Do You Take Good Care of Your Eyes?
- Tips for a Clean Home & Healthy Cat