Management of severe chronic pain with methadone in pediatric patients with sickle cell disease

Academic Article


  • Vasocclusive pain crises are common among pediatric patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). Some patients with repeated pain crises develop chronic pain. We performed a retrospective cohort study of pediatric patients with SCD with chronic pain treated with methadone. We identified a significant reduction in pain hospitalizations following methadone treatment (0.35 ± 0.19 vs. 0.19 ± 0.17 hospitalizations/month, P = 0.016). In addition, we did not observe overt organ toxicity nor symptoms of opioid withdrawal during methadone wean. We suggest that methadone is safe and has some clinical benefit, which should be proven in prospective randomized trials for pediatric patients with SCD and chronic pain.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • LeBlanc Z; Vance C; Payne J; Zhang J; Hilliard L; Lebensburger JD; Howard TH
  • Volume

  • 65
  • Issue

  • 8