An Overview on Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA)

Pain is a very difficult and often chronic condition. The main cause can be extremely hard to be identified sometimes, making treatment in some situations very challenging. Patients who suffer from chronic pain may need to try a few treatment options, both medication and allied health therapy in order get the pain under control.

An old compound could provide chronic pain sufferers with a ray of hope in managing their pain.

The medication is called Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and it has been providing promising pain relief without the risk of addiction.

PEA is an endogenous fatty acid amine and is classified as an unscheduled supplement by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia. It has no known side effects and is safe to be taken with any other medications.

Even though PEA is a non-prescription compounded supplement, as a general rule, our pharmacist team would prefer PEA therapy to be initiated by GP/Specialist. The main reason for this practice is that, with the involvement of the doctor, he/she can closely monitor the result of PEA on patient’s overall pain management care plan.

Going back in time, PEA showed initial promise in clinical trials during the 1960s and 1970s. It didn’t take off because it wasn’t commercially available. However, it has re-emerged as part of the chronic pain management in the US and some European countries over the past few years. It is now being recommended by pain specialists, rheumatologists as well as integrative doctors all over Australia.

The results on PEA can vary across patients. There are some really interesting results from patients who have been suffering chronic pain for a long time and getting great relief. On another hand, some patients do not even enjoy any relief from this supplement.

PEA is aimed at chronic rather than acute pain. It’s not an alternative for patients who’ve used low-dose narcotics occasionally for a headache or pain due to accidental injury.

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