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Curr Med Res Opin. 2011 Jun;27(6):1109-17. doi: 10.1185/03007995.2011.569017. Epub 2011 Apr 1.

Transdermal buprenorphine for the treatment of moderate to severe chronic pain: results from a large multicenter, non-interventional post-marketing study in Poland.

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1
Department of Pain Research and Treatment, Medical College, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the use of a buprenorphine transdermal patch (Transtec*) in routine clinical practice, including dosage, indications, efficacy and tolerability.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:

This prospective, open-label, non-comparative, non-interventional, post-marketing study was performed in Poland by 339 investigators in a range of clinical practice settings. Patients with chronic moderate to severe cancer pain, or chronic severe non-cancer pain that was insufficiently controlled by non-opioids, were prescribed buprenorphine transdermal patch 35, 52.5 or 70 μg/hour (changed twice weekly), and followed up for 3 months. Additional analgesia, and adjuvant/supportive treatments were allowed at the discretion of the physician.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The study enrolled 4030 patients, with a mean age of 62.8 years. Most patients had cancer-related pain (80.7%). Non-cancer pain was generally musculoskeletal or neuropathic. A starting dose of 35, 52.5 or 70 μg/hour was used in 73.4%, 21.5%, and 4.8% of patients, respectively. Buprenorphine dose was increased in 44.7% of patients during the observation, generally from 35 to 52.5 μg/hour. Mean pain intensity (using a 100 mm visual analogue scale) decreased by 73.5% from 62.3 mm at baseline to 16.5 mm after 3 months. Most patients rated pain relief as 'very good' (41.4%) or 'good' (44.5%). Sleep quality also improved. 48.1% of patients needed no additional analgesics during buprenorphine treatment. Most patients (96%) rated the buprenorphine transdermal patch as 'very easy' or 'easy' to change. The most common treatment-related reasons for discontinuation were lack of analgesic effect (3.3% of patients) and adverse drug reactions (ADRs, 0.8%). ADRs, all non-serious, occurred in 34 patients (0.8%), most commonly local skin reactions or vomiting. At study end, it was planned to continue treatment with transdermal buprenorphine in 70.1% of patients. The main limitations related to the observational study design, balanced by advantages gained from the 'real life' exploration of transdermal buprenorphine use.

CONCLUSIONS:

In routine Polish clinical practice, transdermal buprenorphine was effective and generally well-tolerated in patients with chronic moderate to severe cancer pain or chronic severe non-malignant pain insufficiently controlled by non-opioids.

PMID:
21456888
DOI:
10.1185/03007995.2011.569017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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