Pain Associated With Monkeypox Virus: A Rapid Review

Link to article at PubMed

Cureus. 2023 Feb 6;15(2):e34697. doi: 10.7759/cureus.34697. eCollection 2023 Feb.


International concerns for another pandemic arose after emerging reports of an ongoing outbreak of the monkeypox virus (MPXV) in Europe and the United States in 2022. Severe pain is one of the most distressing complications for patients in the current outbreak, but there is a general paucity of relevant peer-reviewed medical literature from which to draw clear recommendations on appropriate pain therapies. The Centers for Disease Control recently published a letter in July 2022 urging providers to conduct further studies concerning pain management. Thus, a rapid literature search was conducted in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. A comprehensive search of several databases from inception until August 19, 2022, was conducted. All published studies describing pain in patients who tested positive for MPXV with original data and written in English were included. Sixty-nine studies were initially identified for screening. After initial screening, 27 papers were considered for full-text review, and 15 papers met the inclusion criteria. A total of 1043 positive cases were included in this study. Most patients were men. Treatment options proposed by the authors include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, opioids, lidocaine gel, metamizole, and rectal suppositories containing emollients or steroids with oral laxatives for severe anal pain. Although most cases were mild requiring outpatient treatment, a considerable number of patients were admitted due to serious complications. Severe pain was often the reason to seek medical attention and hospital admission for pain control. Analgesic plans included oral and topical analgesia. In severe cases, pain was managed with opioids. To our knowledge, this rapid review is the first study to comprehensively summarize proposed treatments for pain associated with MPXV. Guidelines may be needed to help direct the best management to avoid morbidity in patients, particularly as adjuvants may play a key role but are not commonly utilized in published reports.

PMID:36909034 | PMC:PMC9995223 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.34697

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