Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) – A Medical Food Supplement for Chronic Pain Management

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) – A Medical Food Supplement for Chronic Pain Management

PEA is experiencing a surge in popularity as a safe and natural approach to addressing a diverse range of chronic and neuropathic pain and inflammation issues.

PEA stands for palmitoylethanolamide, a fatty molecule produced endogenously in response to tissue damage and injury as part of the body’s natural immune process. Found widely throughout the body’s tissues, PEA has been extensively studied since the 1950s as a therapeutic agent for pain modulation as well as its protective, regulatory and healing role within the body.

How does it work?

PEA is involved in several mechanisms of action to deliver pain-reducing and anti-inflammatory benefits. Its key mode of action involves binding to a target site within cells which subsequently “turns down or switches off”, the inflammatory process. A second important mode of action is PEA’s ability decrease the activity of specialized immune cells within the nervous system which may assist with reducing the intensity of pain signals. Collectively, these and other modes of action have demonstrated a positive effect across a range of chronic and neuropathic pain and inflammation presentations.

At times, our natural production of PEA may be inadequate to suppress the effects of pain and inflammation. Therefore, supplementing with a therapeutic dose of PEA can increase its immediate availability to the body’s tissues to address symptoms sooner.

Pain presentations which may benefit from PEA supplementation


Neuropathic pain and symptoms


Carpal tunnel syndrome

Lower back pain

Dental pain


Prostate pain

Multiple sclerosis

Pelvic pain

Diabetic neuropathy

Chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy

Post herpetic neuralgia

Menstrual pain

Vaginal pain

Treatment regime

Studies demonstrate that the maximal benefits of PEA are achieved at therapeutic doses of 1200mg consumed daily for 8-12 weeks. However, this is dependent upon the nature of the pain, it’s causes, and triggers

Is it safe?

PEA has been extensively studied for efficacy, and has shown to provide benefits without reported side effects or known drug interactions.

PEA is naturally produced in our bodies and obtained from our diet. However, as a medical food supplement, its safety during pregnancy or lactation has yet to be established.

To find out more about PEA and whether it may benefit you, speak to our team at the Green Dispensary Pharmacy Group


  1. Paladini A, Fusco M, Cenacchi T, et al. Palmitoylethanolamide, a special food for medical purposes, in the treatment of chronic pain: a pooled data meta-analysis. Pain Physician 2016; 19: 11-24
  2. Keppel Hesselink, JM,Hekker T. Therapeutic utility of palmitoylethanolamide in the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with various pathological conditions: a case series. J Pain Research 2012;5:437-442
  3. Wiley Periodicals Inc. Safety of micronized palmitoylethanolamide (microPEA): lack of toxicity and genotoxic potential. Food Science and Nutrition 2017; 5(2): 292-309