20 January 2021
Undertreatment of trauma-related pain is common in the pre-hospital and hospital settings owing to barriers to the use of traditional standard of care analgesics. Low-dose methoxyflurane is an inhaled non-opioid analgesic with a rapid onset of pain relief that is approved for emergency relief of moderate-to-severe trauma-related pain in adults. This analysis was performed to compare the efficacy and safety of low-dose methoxyflurane with standard of care analgesics in adults with trauma-related pain.
A meta-analysis was performed on pooled data from randomized controlled trials identified via a systematic review. The primary endpoint was the pain intensity difference between baseline and various time intervals (5, 10, 15, 20, and 30 minutes) after initiation of treatment.
The pain intensity difference was statistically superior with low-dose methoxyflurane compared with standard of care analgesics (overall estimated treatment effect=11.88, 95% CI=9.75–14.00; P<0.0001). The superiority of low-dose methoxyflurane was demonstrated at 5 minutes after treatment initiation and was maintained across all timepoints. Significantly more patients treated with methoxyflurane achieved response criteria of pain intensity ≤30 mm on a visual analog scale, and relative reductions in pain intensity of ≥30% and ≥50%, compared with patients who received standard of care analgesics. The median time to pain relief was shorter with methoxyflurane than with standard of care analgesics. The findings were consistent in a subgroup of elderly patients (aged ≥65 years).