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Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet]. York (UK): Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 1995-.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet].

A meta-analysis of efficacy and tolerability of buprenorphine for the relief of cancer pain

Review published: 2014.

Bibliographic details: Naing C, Yeoh PN, Aung K.  A meta-analysis of efficacy and tolerability of buprenorphine for the relief of cancer pain. SpringerPlus 2014; 3: 87. [PMC free article: PMC3937458] [PubMed: 24600544]

Abstract

This study aimed to synthesize available evidence on the analgesic efficacy of buprenorphine in treating cancer pain and related adverse effects. We searched electronic databases for randomized controlled trials, assessing the efficacy of buprenorphine, regardless of delivery system. The primary endpoints were patient-reported 'pain intensity' and 'pain relief'. Statistical heterogeneity among included studies was assessed with the I (2) test. The summary relative risk (RR) and 95% CI were derived, if two or more studies reported the similar outcome. Sixteen RCTs (n = 1329) with buprenorphine were included: 8 transdermal (TD), 5 sublingual (SL), 2 intramuscular injection (IM) and 1 subcutaneous infusion (SC) studies; with both SL and IM routes being assessed in one study. Only a few studies reported the same outcome in a similar way, creating difficulty for pooling of the outcome data. Many studies had a high risk of bias. In 2 studies (n = 241), the 'global impression change' was significantly different between TD buprenorphine and the combined placebo and morphine (RR 1.35, 95% CI 1.14-1.59; I (2): 42%); the 'number-needed-to-treat' (NNT) was 4.9 (95% CI: 3.1-10.9). In 2 studies (n = 331), 'requirement for rescue SL buprenorphine' was comparable between TD buprenorphine and placebo (RR 1.25, 95% CI 0.71-2.18; I (2) : 40%). In 2 studies (n = 141), 'incidence of nausea' was less in TD buprenorphine (RR: 0.38, 95% CI: 0.2-0.71, I (2): 0%, NNT: 9.3, 5.6-28.5). Due to the small number of participants in a small number of studies, the results of the present review provide insufficient evidence to position adequately the use of buprenorphine in treatment of cancer pain. Large multicenter RCTs that compare TD buprenorphine with standard analgesic treatment is needed to position TD buprenorphine in the therapeutic armamentarium of cancer pain treatment.

CRD has determined that this article meets the DARE scientific quality criteria for a systematic review.

Copyright © 2014 University of York.

PMID: 24600544

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