27
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
1 collections
    0
    shares
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Transdermal buprenorphine – a critical appraisal of its role in pain management

      1 , 2 , 3

      Journal of pain research

      Dove Medical Press

      buprenorphine, transdermal, opioids, pain

      Read this article at

      Bookmark
          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          This paper reviews the current clinical data for the role of transdermal buprenorphine (BUP TDS) in the treatment of diverse acute and chronic pain syndromes. Literature searches were carried out using PubMed (1988 to June 2009). The published findings seem to support hypotheses regarding the rather unique analgesic mechanisms of buprenorphine as compared with pure μ-opioids like morphine and fentanyl. However, the exact mechanism of this analgesic efficacy still remains largely unknown despite recent advances in preclinical pharmacological studies. Such assessments have demonstrated the sustained antihyperalgesic effect of buprenorphine in diverse animal pain models. These findings are supported in a growing number of clinical studies of oral, intrathecal, intravenous, and Bup TDS. This review paper focuses almost entirely on the clinical experience concerning the transdermal administration of buprenorphine, although preclinical aspects are also addressed in order to provide a complete picture of the unique pharmacological properties of this analgesic drug. Mounting evidence indicates the appropriateness of Bup TDS in the treatment of diverse acute and chronic pain syndromes which have been less or not responsive to other opioids. Additionally, BUP TDS seems to hold great promise for other difficult-to-treat (pain) conditions, such as patients in the intensive care setting. However, its use is somewhat tempered by the occurrence of local skin reactions which have been shown to be often therapy resistant. Further studies are certainly warranted to identify even more precisely the clinical syndromes that are most sensitive to buprenorphine treatment, and to compare buprenorphine to other opioids in head-to-head trials of acute and chronic pain conditions.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 82

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          Opioids and the management of chronic severe pain in the elderly: consensus statement of an International Expert Panel with focus on the six clinically most often used World Health Organization Step III opioids (buprenorphine, fentanyl, hydromorphone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone).

          SUMMARY OF CONSENSUS: 1. The use of opioids in cancer pain: The criteria for selecting analgesics for pain treatment in the elderly include, but are not limited to, overall efficacy, overall side-effect profile, onset of action, drug interactions, abuse potential, and practical issues, such as cost and availability of the drug, as well as the severity and type of pain (nociceptive, acute/chronic, etc.). At any given time, the order of choice in the decision-making process can change. This consensus is based on evidence-based literature (extended data are not included and chronic, extended-release opioids are not covered). There are various driving factors relating to prescribing medication, including availability of the compound and cost, which may, at times, be the main driving factor. The transdermal formulation of buprenorphine is available in most European countries, particularly those with high opioid usage, with the exception of France; however, the availability of the sublingual formulation of buprenorphine in Europe is limited, as it is marketed in only a few countries, including Germany and Belgium. The opioid patch is experimental at present in U.S.A. and the sublingual formulation has dispensing restrictions, therefore, its use is limited. It is evident that the population pyramid is upturned. Globally, there is going to be an older population that needs to be cared for in the future. This older population has expectations in life, in that a retiree is no longer an individual who decreases their lifestyle activities. The "baby-boomers" in their 60s and 70s are "baby zoomers"; they want to have a functional active lifestyle. They are willing to make trade-offs regarding treatment choices and understand that they may experience pain, providing that can have increased quality of life and functionality. Therefore, comorbidities--including cancer and noncancer pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and postherpetic neuralgia--and patient functional status need to be taken carefully into account when addressing pain in the elderly. World Health Organization step III opioids are the mainstay of pain treatment for cancer patients and morphine has been the most commonly used for decades. In general, high level evidence data (Ib or IIb) exist, although many studies have included only few patients. Based on these studies, all opioids are considered effective in cancer pain management (although parts of cancer pain are not or only partially opioid sensitive), but no well-designed specific studies in the elderly cancer patient are available. Of the 2 opioids that are available in transdermal formulation--fentanyl and buprenorphine--fentanyl is the most investigated, but based on the published data both seem to be effective, with low toxicity and good tolerability profiles, especially at low doses. 2. The use of opioids in noncancer-related pain: Evidence is growing that opioids are efficacious in noncancer pain (treatment data mostly level Ib or IIb), but need individual dose titration and consideration of the respective tolerability profiles. Again no specific studies in the elderly have been performed, but it can be concluded that opioids have shown efficacy in noncancer pain, which is often due to diseases typical for an elderly population. When it is not clear which drugs and which regimes are superior in terms of maintaining analgesic efficacy, the appropriate drug should be chosen based on safety and tolerability considerations. Evidence-based medicine, which has been incorporated into best clinical practice guidelines, should serve as a foundation for the decision-making processes in patient care; however, in practice, the art of medicine is realized when we individualize care to the patient. This strikes a balance between the evidence-based medicine and anecdotal experience. Factual recommendations and expert opinion both have a value when applying guidelines in clinical practice. 3. The use of opioids in neuropathic pain: The role of opioids in neuropathic pain has been under debate in the past but is nowadays more and more accepted; however, higher opioid doses are often needed for neuropathic pain than for nociceptive pain. Most of the treatment data are level II or III, and suggest that incorporation of opioids earlier on might be beneficial. Buprenorphine shows a distinct benefit in improving neuropathic pain symptoms, which is considered a result of its specific pharmacological profile. 4. The use of opioids in elderly patients with impaired hepatic and renal function: Functional impairment of excretory organs is common in the elderly, especially with respect to renal function. For all opioids except buprenorphine, half-life of the active drug and metabolites is increased in the elderly and in patients with renal dysfunction. It is, therefore, recommended that--except for buprenorphine--doses be reduced, a longer time interval be used between doses, and creatinine clearance be monitored. Thus, buprenorphine appears to be the top-line choice for opioid treatment in the elderly. 5. Opioids and respiratory depression: Respiratory depression is a significant threat for opioid-treated patients with underlying pulmonary condition or receiving concomitant central nervous system (CNS) drugs associated with hypoventilation. Not all opioids show equal effects on respiratory depression: buprenorphine is the only opioid demonstrating a ceiling for respiratory depression when used without other CNS depressants. The different features of opioids regarding respiratory effects should be considered when treating patients at risk for respiratory problems, therefore careful dosing must be maintained. 6. Opioids and immunosuppression: Age is related to a gradual decline in the immune system: immunosenescence, which is associated with increased morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, and cancer, and decreased efficacy of immunotherapy, such as vaccination. The clinical relevance of the immunosuppressant effects of opioids in the elderly is not fully understood, and pain itself may also cause immunosuppression. Providing adequate analgesia can be achieved without significant adverse events, opioids with minimal immunosuppressive characteristics should be used in the elderly. The immunosuppressive effects of most opioids are poorly described and this is one of the problems in assessing true effect of the opioid spectrum, but there is some indication that higher doses of opioids correlate with increased immunosuppressant effects. Taking into consideration all the very limited available evidence from preclinical and clinical work, buprenorphine can be recommended, while morphine and fentanyl cannot. 7. Safety and tolerability profile of opioids: The adverse event profile varies greatly between opioids. As the consequences of adverse events in the elderly can be serious, agents should be used that have a good tolerability profile (especially regarding CNS and gastrointestinal effects) and that are as safe as possible in overdose especially regarding effects on respiration. Slow dose titration helps to reduce the incidence of typical initial adverse events such as nausea and vomiting. Sustained release preparations, including transdermal formulations, increase patient compliance.
            Bookmark
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            Clinical pharmacology of buprenorphine: ceiling effects at high doses.

            The purpose of this study was to characterize the acute effects of buprenorphine, an opioid partial mu-agonist, across a wide range of doses in comparison to methadone. Healthy adult male volunteers, who had experience with but were not physically dependent on opioids, participated while residing on a closed research unit. Four subjects received buprenorphine (0, 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, and 32 mg sublingually and five subjects received methadone (0, 15, 30, 45, and 60 mg orally) in ascending order at 1-week intervals. Physiologic, subjective, and behavioral measures were monitored for 96 hours after drug administration. Both drugs produced typical opioid agonist effects (positive mood, sedation, respiratory depression, and miosis), some of which persisted for 24 to 48 hours. A plateau was observed for the dose effects of buprenorphine on subjective measures and respiratory depression. Pharmacokinetic data revealed that plasma concentrations of buprenorphine were linearly related to dose, indicating no limits on sublingual absorption in this dose range. This study shows a plateau on buprenorphine effects, consistent with its partial agonist classification, and that single doses of buprenorphine up to 70 times the recommended analgesic dose are well tolerated by nondependent humans.
              Bookmark
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Opioid-induced hyperalgesia in humans: molecular mechanisms and clinical considerations.

              Opioid-induced hyperalgesia (OIH) is most broadly defined as a state of nociceptive sensitization caused by exposure to opioids. The state is characterized by a paradoxical response whereby a patient receiving opioids for the treatment of pain may actually become more sensitive to certain painful stimuli. The type of pain experienced may or may not be different from the original underlying painful condition. Although the precise molecular mechanism is not yet understood, it is generally thought to result from neuroplastic changes in the peripheral and central nervous systems that lead to sensitization of pronociceptive pathways. OIH seems to be a distinct, definable, and characteristic phenomenon that may explain loss of opioid efficacy in some cases. Clinicians should suspect expression of OIH when opioid treatment effect seems to wane in the absence of disease progression, particularly if found in the context of unexplained pain reports or diffuse allodynia unassociated with the pain as previously observed. This review highlights the important mechanistic underpinnings and clinical ramifications of OIH and discusses future research directions and the latest clinical evidence for modulation of this potentially troublesome clinical phenomenon.
                Bookmark

                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of pain research
                Dove Medical Press
                1178-7090
                2009
                15 September 2009
                : 2
                : 117-134
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Multidisciplinary Pain Center
                [2 ] Department of Anesthesiology
                [3 ] Department of Critical Care Medicine, Antwerp University Hospital, Edegem, Belgium
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Guy Hans, Multidisciplinary Pain Center (PCT), Antwerp University Hospital (UZA), Wilrijkstraat 10, 2650 Edegem, Belgium, Tel +32 3 8214945, Fax +32 3 8214586, Email guy.hans@ 123456uza.be
                Article
                jpr-2-117
                3004620
                21197300
                © 2009 Hans and Robert, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Review

                Anesthesiology & Pain management

                transdermal, buprenorphine, pain, opioids

                Comments

                Comment on this article