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Effectiveness and safety of new oxycodone/acetaminophen formulations with reduced acetaminophen for the treatment of low back pain.

Author(s): Gammaitoni AR, Galer BS, Lacouture P, Domingos J, Schlagheck T

Affiliation(s): Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania 19317, USA. Gammaitoni.Arnold@Endo.com

Publication date & source: 2003-03, Pain Med., 4(1):21-30.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Multicenter Study

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the analgesic effectiveness/safety of the new oxycodone 7.5- and 10-mg/acetaminophen 325-mg (Percocet) formulations in patients with low back pain (LBP) suboptimally responsive to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, tramadol, cyclo-oxygenase-2 inhibitors, and/or prn opioids. DESIGN: Prospective, open-label, nonrandomized, 4-week trial. SETTING: Multicenter. PATIENTS: Thirty-three men and women (mean age: 52.2 years) with LBP (mean duration: 10.9 years). INTERVENTIONS: All prior analgesics were discontinued, and oxycodone/acetaminophen was dosed three times a day (TID), titrated to clinically meaningful pain relief. Initial oxycodone/acetaminophen dose: 2.5/325 mg TID; maximum: 20/650 mg TID. Outcome Measures: Effectiveness: Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) and Neuropathic Pain Scale 4 score (sharp, hot, dull, and deep pain). Quality of life: BPI and North American Spine Society Lumbar Spine questionnaire. Safety: Adverse events, physical/neurologic examinations, vital signs, and clinical laboratory tests. RESULTS: In all, 28 of 33 patients (85%) completed the study; discontinuations were for adverse events (N=3), patient choice (N=1), and lack of effectiveness (N =1). The mean oxycodone/acetaminophen dose at the end of treatment was 8.2/325 mg TID. After 4 weeks, treatment significantly reduced BPI pain intensity and improved pain relief (P < 0.0005), improved Neuropathic Pain Scale 4 score (P =0.007), reduced pain interference with quality of life (P < 0.0004), and reduced disability (P < 0.0001). Treatment was found to be safe and well tolerated. Adverse events were those most commonly expected from an opioid, and most were of mild-to-moderate intensity. CONCLUSIONS: The primary purpose of this study was to preliminarily test the effectiveness of the new formulations of oxycodone/acetaminophen with reduced acetaminophen in the clinical practice setting. The results from this trial suggest that these formulations are effective in the treatment of moderate-to-severe chronic LBP. Most patients (67%) reported significant pain relief/tolerable side effects with a TID dosing frequency or less (mean: 3.04 doses/day), suggesting chronic pain patients can experience meaningful pain relief with around-the-clock dosing of oxycodone/acetaminophen and minimal risk of hepatotoxicity. Further long-term, controlled studies of the efficacy/safety of the new formulations of oxycodone/acetaminophen in LBP are warranted to fully characterize efficacy in this patient population and corroborate the findings from our study.

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