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      Long-term safety and analgesic efficacy of buprenorphine buccal film in patients with moderate-to-severe chronic pain requiring around-the-clock opioids

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          Abstract

          Background

          This open-label, single-arm study was conducted to evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of a novel buprenorphine formulation, buprenorphine buccal film, in the treatment of moderate-to-severe chronic pain requiring around-the-clock opioids.

          Methods

          The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the long-term safety and tolerability of buprenorphine buccal film. Five hundred and six patients who completed previous studies with buprenorphine buccal film (n=445; rollover patients) or were recruited de novo for this study (n=61) were enrolled in this study. All patients underwent a dose titration period of ≤6 weeks, during which doses of buprenorphine buccal film were adjusted to a maximum 900 µg every 12 hours, depending on tolerability and the need for rescue medication. An optimal dose was defined as the dose that the patient found satisfactory for both pain relief and tolerability, without the need for rescue medication or with ≤2 tablets of rescue medication per day. Once the optimal dose was reached, treatment was continued for ≤48 weeks. Pain intensity was measured throughout the study using a 0–10 numerical rating scale.

          Results

          Of 435 patients achieving an optimal dose of buprenorphine buccal film who commenced long-term treatment, 158 (36.3%) completed 48 weeks of treatment. Treatment-related adverse events occurred in 116 patients (22.9%) during the titration phase and 61 patients (14.0%) during the long-term treatment phase, and adverse events leading to discontinuation of treatment occurred in 14 (2.8%) and 14 (3.2%) patients, respectively. The most common adverse events were those typically associated with opioids, such as nausea, constipation, and headache. In both rollover and de novo patients, pain intensity scores remained constant at approximately 3–4 during long-term treatment, and the dose of buprenorphine buccal film remained unchanged in 86.2% of patients.

          Conclusion

          In appropriate patients, buprenorphine buccal film demonstrated tolerability and efficacy in the long-term management of chronic pain.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Clinical guidelines for the use of chronic opioid therapy in chronic noncancer pain.

          Use of chronic opioid therapy for chronic noncancer pain has increased substantially. The American Pain Society and the American Academy of Pain Medicine commissioned a systematic review of the evidence on chronic opioid therapy for chronic noncancer pain and convened a multidisciplinary expert panel to review the evidence and formulate recommendations. Although evidence is limited, the expert panel concluded that chronic opioid therapy can be an effective therapy for carefully selected and monitored patients with chronic noncancer pain. However, opioids are also associated with potentially serious harms, including opioid-related adverse effects and outcomes related to the abuse potential of opioids. The recommendations presented in this document provide guidance on patient selection and risk stratification; informed consent and opioid management plans; initiation and titration of chronic opioid therapy; use of methadone; monitoring of patients on chronic opioid therapy; dose escalations, high-dose opioid therapy, opioid rotation, and indications for discontinuation of therapy; prevention and management of opioid-related adverse effects; driving and work safety; identifying a medical home and when to obtain consultation; management of breakthrough pain; chronic opioid therapy in pregnancy; and opioid-related policies. Safe and effective chronic opioid therapy for chronic noncancer pain requires clinical skills and knowledge in both the principles of opioid prescribing and on the assessment and management of risks associated with opioid abuse, addiction, and diversion. Although evidence is limited in many areas related to use of opioids for chronic noncancer pain, this guideline provides recommendations developed by a multidisciplinary expert panel after a systematic review of the evidence.
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            Rates of opioid misuse, abuse, and addiction in chronic pain: a systematic review and data synthesis.

            Opioid use in chronic pain treatment is complex, as patients may derive both benefit and harm. Identification of individuals currently using opioids in a problematic way is important given the substantial recent increases in prescription rates and consequent increases in morbidity and mortality. The present review provides updated and expanded information regarding rates of problematic opioid use in chronic pain. Because previous reviews have indicated substantial variability in this literature, several steps were taken to enhance precision and utility. First, problematic use was coded using explicitly defined terms, referring to different patterns of use (ie, misuse, abuse, and addiction). Second, average prevalence rates were calculated and weighted by sample size and study quality. Third, the influence of differences in study methodology was examined. In total, data from 38 studies were included. Rates of problematic use were quite broad, ranging from <1% to 81% across studies. Across most calculations, rates of misuse averaged between 21% and 29% (range, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 13%-38%). Rates of addiction averaged between 8% and 12% (range, 95% CI: 3%-17%). Abuse was reported in only a single study. Only 1 difference emerged when study methods were examined, where rates of addiction were lower in studies that identified prevalence assessment as a primary, rather than secondary, objective. Although significant variability remains in this literature, this review provides guidance regarding possible average rates of opioid misuse and addiction and also highlights areas in need of further clarification.
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              Current knowledge of buprenorphine and its unique pharmacological profile.

              Despite the increasing clinical use of transdermal buprenorphine, questions have persisted about the possibility of a ceiling effect for analgesia, its combination with other μ-opioid agonists, and the reversibility of side effects. In October 2008, a consensus group of experts met to review recent research into the pharmacology and clinical use of buprenorphine. The objective was to achieve consensus on the conclusions to be drawn from this work. It was agreed that buprenorphine clearly behaves as a full μ-opioid agonist for analgesia in clinical practice, with no ceiling effect, but that there is a ceiling effect for respiratory depression, reducing the likelihood of this potentially fatal adverse event. This is entirely consistent with receptor theory. In addition, the effects of buprenorphine can be completely reversed by naloxone. No problems are encountered when switching to and from buprenorphine and other opioids, or in combining them. Buprenorphine exhibits a pronounced antihyperalgesic effect that might indicate potential advantages in the treatment of neuropathic pain. Other beneficial properties are the compound's favorable safety profile, particularly in elderly patients and those with renal impairment, and its lack of effect on sex hormones and the immune system. The expert group agreed that these properties, as well as proven efficacy in severe pain and favorable tolerability, mean that buprenorphine can be considered a safe and effective option for treating chronic cancer and noncancer pain. © 2010 World Institute of Pain.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                1178-7090
                2017
                25 January 2017
                : 10
                : 233-240
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Gold Coast Research, LLC, Plantation, FL, USA
                [2 ]Pharmacovigilance and Risk Management
                [3 ]Clinical Development
                [4 ]Biometrics, Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., Malvern, PA, USA
                [5 ]Carolinas Pain Institute, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Winston Salem, NC, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Martin Hale, Gold Coast Research, LLC, 499 NW 70th Ave, Ste 200, Plantation, FL 33317, USA, Tel +954 659 3399, Fax +954 659 3400, Email Goldcoast@ 123456HaleMD.com
                Article
                jpr-10-233
                10.2147/JPR.S120170
                5279817
                © 2017 Hale et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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                Original Research

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