What is PEA?

PEA is an abbreviation for palmitoylethanolamide. This is a fatty acid naturally produced on demand in the body that has anti-inflammatory, analgesic and neuroprotective properties. It is also found in a foods such as cow’s milk, breast milk, beans, peas, tomato, alfalfa, corn, soy lecithin and peanuts.

What is PEA used for?

PEA can be used for a variety of pain conditions including

· Lower back pain

· Osteoarthritis

· Rheumatoid arthritis

· Nerve compression syndrome

· Migraines

· Fibromyalgia

· Pelvic pain

· Vulvodynia

· Complex regional pain syndrome

· Diabetic neuropathy

· Peripheral neuropathy

· Sciatica

· Oncology pain

· Shingles

· Carpal tunnel

How does it work?

PEA works via several different pathways. It is known to activate PPAR-α, which is a receptor that regulates pain and inflammation. PEA also inhibits mast cells, which typically congregate around nerve damage releasing histamine and other factors which increase inflammation. In addition, PEA has anti-inflammatory effects, which in turn can reduce pain hypersensitivity.

PEA does not directly bind to cannabinoid receptors, however, it increases the number of cannabinoid type 2 receptors.

How long does it take to work?

Some patients find it works immediately, however it can take up to 8-12 weeks to see maximum benefit.

Are there any side effects or drug interactions?

There have been minimal side effects reported with PEA and these effects are generally not severe enough to stop treatment. This may include heaviness in the stomach, gastrointestinal discomfort or diarrhoea.

There are no known drug interactions with PEA. However, as with all new medications, your pharmacist will ensure that there are no interactions with your current medications.

How Do I Take PEA?

PEA comes in a variety of forms including transdermal creams, oral powders, and oral capsules. Your doctor, pharmacist or allied health practitioner will determine the best form of treatment depending on your symptoms. We also recommend using a micronised form, as this is better absorbed than non-micronised

Does PEA require a prescription?

PEA does not require a prescription, however, to ensure this treatment is right for you, we recommend you have a consultation with our pharmacist, or obtain a referral from a qualified health care practitioner.

To make an appointment with our pharmacist click here

References available on request