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      Tapentadol extended-release for treatment of chronic pain: a review

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          Abstract

          Tapentadol is a centrally acting analgesic with a dual mechanism of action of mu receptor agonism and norepinephrine reuptake inhibition. Tapentadol immediate-release is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the management of moderate-to-severe acute pain. It was developed to decrease the intolerability issue associated with opioids. Tapentadol extended-release has a 12-hour duration of effect, and has recently been evaluated for pain in patients with chronic osteoarthritis, low back pain, and pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Tapentadol extended-release was found to provide safe and highly effective analgesia for the treatment of chronic pain conditions, including moderate-to-severe chronic osteoarthritis pain and low back pain. Initial trials demonstrating efficacy in neuropathic pain suggest that tapentadol has comparable analgesic effectiveness and better gastrointestinal tolerability than opioid comparators, and demonstrates effectiveness in settings of inflammatory, somatic, and neuropathic pain. Gastrointestinal intolerance and central nervous system effects were the major adverse events noted. Tapentadol will need to be rigorously tested in chronic neuropathic pain, cancer-related pain, and cancer-related neuropathic pain.

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          Most cited references 39

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          Descending control of pain.

           Mark J Millan (2002)
          Upon receipt in the dorsal horn (DH) of the spinal cord, nociceptive (pain-signalling) information from the viscera, skin and other organs is subject to extensive processing by a diversity of mechanisms, certain of which enhance, and certain of which inhibit, its transfer to higher centres. In this regard, a network of descending pathways projecting from cerebral structures to the DH plays a complex and crucial role. Specific centrifugal pathways either suppress (descending inhibition) or potentiate (descending facilitation) passage of nociceptive messages to the brain. Engagement of descending inhibition by the opioid analgesic, morphine, fulfils an important role in its pain-relieving properties, while induction of analgesia by the adrenergic agonist, clonidine, reflects actions at alpha(2)-adrenoceptors (alpha(2)-ARs) in the DH normally recruited by descending pathways. However, opioids and adrenergic agents exploit but a tiny fraction of the vast panoply of mechanisms now known to be involved in the induction and/or expression of descending controls. For example, no drug interfering with descending facilitation is currently available for clinical use. The present review focuses on: (1) the organisation of descending pathways and their pathophysiological significance; (2) the role of individual transmitters and specific receptor types in the modulation and expression of mechanisms of descending inhibition and facilitation and (3) the advantages and limitations of established and innovative analgesic strategies which act by manipulation of descending controls. Knowledge of descending pathways has increased exponentially in recent years, so this is an opportune moment to survey their operation and therapeutic relevance to the improved management of pain.
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            Opioids in chronic non-cancer pain: systematic review of efficacy and safety.

            Opioids are used increasingly for chronic non-cancer pain. Controversy exists about their effectiveness and safety with long-term use. We analysed available randomised, placebo-controlled trials of WHO step 3 opioids for efficacy and safety in chronic non-cancer pain. The Oxford Pain Relief Database (1950-1994) and Medline, EMBASE and the Cochrane Library were searched until September 2003. Inclusion criteria were randomised comparisons of WHO step 3 opioids with placebo in chronic non-cancer pain. Double-blind studies reporting on pain intensity outcomes using validated pain scales were included. Fifteen randomised placebo-controlled trials were included. Four investigations with 120 patients studied intravenous opioid testing. Eleven studies (1025 patients) compared oral opioids with placebo for four days to eight weeks. Six of the 15 included trials had an open label follow-up of 6-24 months. The mean decrease in pain intensity in most studies was at least 30% with opioids and was comparable in neuropathic and musculoskeletal pain. About 80% of patients experienced at least one adverse event, with constipation (41%), nausea (32%) and somnolence (29%) being most common. Only 44% of 388 patients on open label treatments were still on opioids after therapy for between 7 and 24 months. The short-term efficacy of opioids was good in both neuropathic and musculoskeletal pain conditions. However, only a minority of patients in these studies went on to long-term management with opioids. The small number of selected patients and the short follow-ups do not allow conclusions concerning problems such as tolerance and addiction.
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              Algorithm for neuropathic pain treatment: an evidence based proposal.

              New studies of the treatment of neuropathic pain have increased the need for an updated review of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials to support an evidence based algorithm to treat neuropathic pain conditions. Available studies were identified using a MEDLINE and EMBASE search. One hundred and five studies were included. Numbers needed to treat (NNT) and numbers needed to harm (NNH) were used to compare efficacy and safety of the treatments in different neuropathic pain syndromes. The quality of each trial was assessed. Tricyclic antidepressants and the anticonvulsants gabapentin and pregabalin were the most frequently studied drug classes. In peripheral neuropathic pain, the lowest NNT was for tricyclic antidepressants, followed by opioids and the anticonvulsants gabapentin and pregabalin. For central neuropathic pain there is limited data. NNT and NNH are currently the best way to assess relative efficacy and safety, but the need for dichotomous data, which may have to be estimated retrospectively for old trials, and the methodological complexity of pooling data from small cross-over and large parallel group trials, remain as limitations.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                1178-7090
                2011
                01 August 2011
                : 4
                : 211-218
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Anesthesiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT;
                [2 ]Internal Medicine, North Shore-LIJ Plainview Hospital, Plainview, NY, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Nalini Vadivelu, Department of Anesthesiology, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06520, USA, Tel +1 204 785 2802, Fax +1 203 785 8884, Email nalini.vadivelu@ 123456yale.edu
                Article
                jpr-4-211
                10.2147/JPR.S14842
                3160834
                21887118
                © 2011 Vadivelu et al, 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

                norepinephrine, opioids, analgesic, neuropathic pain, osteoarthritis

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