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Analgesic efficacy and safety of tramadol/ acetaminophen combination tablets (Ultracet) in treatment of chronic low back pain: a multicenter, outpatient, randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial.

Author(s): Peloso PM, Fortin L, Beaulieu A, Kamin M, Rosenthal N, Protocol TRP-CAN-1 Study Group

Affiliation(s): Division of Rheumatology, Roy and Lucille Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa Health Care E330 GH, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA. ppeloso@adelphia.net

Publication date & source: 2004-12, J Rheumatol., 31(12):2454-63.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the analgesic efficacy and safety of tramadol 37.5 mg/acetaminophen 325 mg (tramadol/APAP) combination tablets for treatment of chronic low back pain (LBP). METHODS: This 91 day, multicenter, outpatient, randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study enrolled 338 patients with chronic LBP requiring daily medication for > or = 3 months. Patients with at least moderate pain [pain visual analog scale (VAS) with scores > or = 40/100 mm] after washout were randomized to tramadol/APAP or placebo. After a 10 day titration, patients received 1 or 2 tablets QID. Primary outcome measure was final pain VAS score. Secondary measures included pain relief, quality of life and physical functioning, efficacy failure, and overall medication assessments. RESULTS: In total, 336 intent-to-treat patients received tramadol/APAP (n = 167) or placebo (n = 169). Mean baseline pain VAS score was 67.8. Intent-to-treat analysis showed significantly better mean final pain VAS scores (47.4 vs 62.9; p < 0.001) and mean final pain relief scores (1.8 vs 0.7; p < 0.001) for tramadol/APAP than for placebo. Roland Disability Questionnaire scores and physical-related subcategories of the McGill Pain Questionnaire and the Medical Outcome Study Short Form-36 Health Survey were significantly better for tramadol/APAP patients. More patients rated tramadol/APAP as "very good" or "good" than placebo (63.6 vs 25.2%; p < 0.001). Kaplan-Meier estimates of cumulative discontinuation rates due to efficacy failures were 22.9% (tramadol/APAP) vs 54.7% (placebo; p < 0.001). The most common treatment related adverse events with tramadol/APAP were nausea (12.0%), dizziness (10.8%), and constipation (10.2%). Average daily dose of tramadol/APAP was 4.2 tablets (tramadol 158 mg/APAP 1369 mg). CONCLUSION: Tramadol 37.5 mg/APAP 325 mg combination tablets show efficacy in pain reduction, in measures of physical functioning and quality of life, and in overall medication assessments, with a tolerability profile comparable with other opioids used for the treatment of chronic LBP.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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