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J Pain. 2011 Nov;12(11):1163-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2011.06.003. Epub 2011 Jul 31.

Efficacy and safety of buprenorphine transdermal system (BTDS) for chronic moderate to severe low back pain: a randomized, double-blind study.

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Medical Research, Purdue Pharma, LP, Stamford, Connecticut 06901, USA.


In this enriched design study, 1,160 opioid-experienced patients with chronic, moderate to severe low back pain entered an open-label run-in period; 660 demonstrated analgesic benefit from and tolerability to buprenorphine transdermal system 20 mcg/hour (BTDS 20) treatment and were randomized to receive either BTDS 20, BTDS 5 mcg/hour (BTDS 5), or the active control (immediate release oxycodone 40-mg/day) during an 84-day double-blind phase. The primary endpoint, "average pain in the last 24 hours" during double-blind weeks 4, 8, and 12, was significantly lower for patients receiving BTDS 20 compared with patients receiving BTDS 5 (P < .001, treatment difference of -.67). A treatment difference of -.75 in favor of oxycodone 40 mg/day versus BTDS 5 (P < .001) indicated the assay sensitivity of the study. Four sensitivity analyses, secondary, and exploratory analyses supported the results of the primary analysis. Incidences of treatment-emergent adverse events were 56% during the open-label period, and 59, 77, and 73% for the BTDS 5, BTDS 20, and oxycodone 40 mg/day treatment groups, respectively, during the double-blind phase. One death considered unrelated to study treatment occurred in a patient receiving BTDS 10 during the run-in period. BTDS 20 treatment was demonstrated to be efficacious and generally well tolerated.


This article presents results of a pivotal Phase 3 study that assesses a new treatment for the management of chronic low back pain: a transdermal patch containing the opioid buprenorphine (BTDS). In this active controlled, superiority study with an enriched design, BTDS 20 was found to be efficacious and generally well tolerated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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