To describe the efficacy and safety of hydromorphone extended-release tablets (OROS hydromorphone ER) during dose conversion and titration.
A total of 459 opioid-tolerant adults with chronic moderate to severe low back pain participated in an open-label, 2- to 4-week conversion/titration phase of a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized withdrawal trial, conducted at 70 centers in the United States. Patients were converted to once-daily OROS hydromorphone ER at 75% of the equianalgesic dose of their prior total daily opioid dose (5:1 conversion ratio), and titrated as frequently as every 3 days to a maximum dose of 64 mg/day. The primary outcome measure was change in pain intensity numeric rating scale; additional assessments included the Patient Global Assessment and the Roland–Morris Disability Questionnaire scores. Safety assessments were performed at each visit and consisted of recording and monitoring all adverse events (AEs) and serious AEs.
Mean (standard deviation) final daily dose of OROS hydromorphone ER was 37.5 (17.8) mg. Mean (standard error of the mean [SEM]) numeric rating scale scores decreased from 6.6 (0.1) at screening to 4.3 (0.1) at the final titration visit (mean [SEM] change, −2.3 [0.1], representing a 34.8% reduction). Mean (SEM) change in Patient Global Assessment was −0.6 (0.1), and mean change (SEM) in the Roland–Morris Disability Questionnaire was −2.8 (0.3). Patients achieving a stable dose showed greater improvement than patients who discontinued during titration for each of these measures ( P < 0.001). Almost 80% of patients achieving a stable dose (213/268) had a ≥30% reduction in pain. Commonly reported AEs were constipation (15.4%), nausea (11.9%), somnolence (8.7%), headache (7.8%), and vomiting (6.5%); 13.0% discontinued from the study due to AEs.