What Are the Benefits of Targeted Drug Delivery?

Medtronic targeted drug delivery offers a number of benefits, including:

  • Effective pain relief1-3
  • Improved ability to function and participate in activities of daily living2-5
  • Lower medication doses (compared with oral medications), which may result in reduced side effects6-7
  • Decreased reliance on oral pain medications6,8

In addition, this treatment:

  • Has been proven to be safe and effective when used as directed
  • Does not involve permanent changes to the spinal cord or nerves
  • Can be adjusted to dispense medication according to your activity level and pain patterns
  • Lets you try the therapy for a short period of time before committing to long-term therapy
  • Is reversible—the therapy can be turned off, or if desired, it can be surgically removed

What Are the Risks of Targeted Drug Delivery?

The pain pump and catheter are implanted under the skin. Surgical complications are possible, and include infection, spinal fluid leak, and headache. You should not undergo the implant procedure if you have an active infection at the time scheduled for implant.

Once the infusion system is implanted, device complications may occur, which may require surgery to resolve. Drug overdose or underdose can result because of these complications and have serious and even life-threatening adverse effects. Possible complications include the catheter or pump moving within the body or wearing through the skin. The catheter could leak, tear, kink, or become disconnected. The pump could stop because the battery has run out or because of failure of another part of the infusion system. Additionally, inflammatory mass has been reported at the tip of the catheter, which may lead to complications, including paralysis.

Please see Important Safety Information for more details. Also, please discuss the benefits and risks of this therapy with your doctor.

What Are the Advantages Over Other Chronic Pain Treatments?

Targeted drug delivery offers several advantages over other treatments for chronic pain:

  • A screening test serves as a temporary evaluation period so you can see if targeted drug delivery relieves your pain before committing to long-term therapy.
  • It does not have to be a permanent procedure like back surgery. The system can be turned off or surgically removed.
  • Unlike oral medications, which travel throughout your body in your bloodstream, targeted drug delivery releases small amounts of medicine directly into the fluid near your spine. Your symptoms can be controlled with a fraction of the oral dose.
  • With lower doses of pain medication, most people experience fewer or more tolerable side effects with targeted drug delivery versus oral dosing.
  • Targeted drug delivery may provide relief when other treatments—like oral medications or injections—have not.

Why Choose a Medtronic Drug Pump?

You and your doctor have your choice of companies that offer targeted drug delivery for chronic pain. It is important that you research these companies and learn about their history with the therapy.

Here are some important facts about Medtronic as a long-standing leader in targeted drug delivery:

  • Medtronic is a worldwide leader in medical technology.
  • Medtronic has transformed the lives of thousands of people with chronic pain using targeted drug delivery.
  • The technology for targeted drug delivery was originally developed by Medtronic.
  • The Medtronic targeted drug delivery system allows full-body MRI scans under specific conditions.
  • Only Medtronic offers a personal therapy manager that gives patients more control over their pain by allowing them to receive an extra dose of pain medication when needed and within physician-set limits
  • Both doctors and patients count on Medtronic for the widest education network available—you can find doctors who are familiar with Medtronic Chronic Pain Therapies in more than 120 countries worldwide.

Who Can I Go to for Answers?

There are many resources available to help you get answers to your questions about spinal cord stimulation.

  • Sign up to talk with a nurse.
  • Sign up to talk with someone who has targeted drug delivery and has volunteered to share his or her experience.
  • Talk with your doctor. If you need help finding a pain management specialist, use our handy Find a Specialist tool. You can also create a doctor discussion guide that captures the kind of information that will help your doctor understand your particular pain and help you find the treatment option.