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Efficacy and safety of tramadol/acetaminophen in the treatment of breakthrough pain in cancer patients.

Author(s): Ho ML, Chung CY, Wang CC, Lin HY, Hsu NC, Chang CS

Affiliation(s): Department of Internal Medicine, Changhua Christian Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Publication date & source: 2010-12, Saudi Med J., 31(12):1315-9.

Publication type: Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the analgesic efficacy and safety of tramadol 37.5 mg/acetaminophen 325 mg combination tablet, for the treatment of breakthrough pain in cancer patients. METHODS: This study was conducted at Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua, Taiwan from January 2006 to February 2007. The single-center and open-label study enrolled 59 opioid-treated cancer patients with at least moderate breakthrough pain (visual analog scale [VAS] score >/=40mm on a 100-mm scale). The efficacy measures included VAS scores and adverse effect assessment 10, 30, and 60 minutes after the administration of tramadol/acetaminophen. Visual analog scale score at time of pain relief was reported. RESULTS: The mean VAS score when the breakthrough pain episode began (0 minute) was 77.8. Analysis showed significant better mean pain VAS scores at 10, 30, and 60 minutes after the administration of tramadol/acetaminophen (p</=0.001 versus 0 min for all 3 time points). The mean time to pain relief was 597.2 seconds and the mean VAS score at time of relief was 43.4. The effective rates, defined by more than 30% reduction of the VAS score, after 10 minutes of administration was 74.6%, 30 minutes 86.4%, and one hour 94.9% (p</=0.001 versus 0 minute for all 3 time points). Two cases of drowsiness were reported. CONCLUSION: Tramadol/acetaminophen might be efficacious and safe in the treatment of breakthrough pain in cancer.

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