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Analgesic effectiveness and tolerability of oral oxycodone/naloxone and pregabalin in patients with lung cancer and neuropathic pain: an observational analysis

Authors De Santis S, Borghesi C, Ricciardi S, Giovannoni D, Fulvi A, Migliorino MR, Marcassa C

Received 10 March 2016

Accepted for publication 12 May 2016

Published 4 July 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 4043—4052


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Min Li

Stefano De Santis,1 Cristina Borghesi,1 Serena Ricciardi,2 Daniele Giovannoni,1 Alberto Fulvi,2 Maria Rita Migliorino,2 Claudio Marcassa3

1Palliative Care and Cancer Pain Service, Oncological Pulmonary Unit, 2Oncological Pulmonary Unit, San Camillo-Forlanini Hospitals, Rome, 3Cardiologia Fondazione Maugeri IRCCS, Novara, Italy

Introduction: Cancer-related pain has a severe negative impact on quality of life. Combination analgesic therapy with oxycodone and pregabalin is effective for treating neuropathic cancer pain. We investigated the efficacy and tolerability of a dose-escalation combination therapy with prolonged-release oxycodone/naloxone (OXN-PR) and pregabalin in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer and severe neuropathic pain.
Methods: This was a 4-week, open-label, observational study. Patients were treated with OXN-PR and pregabalin. Average pain intensity ([API] measured on a 0–10 numerical rating scale) and neuropathic pain (Douleur Neuropathique 4) were assessed at study entry and at follow-up visits. The primary endpoint was response to treatment, defined as a reduction of API at T28 ≥30% from baseline. Secondary endpoints included other efficacy measures, as well as patient satisfaction and quality of life (Brief Pain Inventory Short Form), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and Symptom Distress Scale; bowel function was also assessed.
Results: A total of 56 patients were enrolled. API at baseline was 8.0±0.9, and decreased after 4 weeks by 48% (4.2±1.9; P<0.0001 vs baseline); 46 (82.1%) patients responded to treatment. Significant improvements were also reported in number/severity of breakthrough cancer pain episodes (P=0.001), Brief Pain Inventory Short Form (P=0.0002), Symptom Distress Scale (P<0.0001), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale depression (P=0.0006) and anxiety (P<0.0001) subscales, and bowel function (P=0.0003). At study end, 37 (66.0%) patients were satisfied/very satisfied with the new analgesic treatment. Combination therapy had a good safety profile.
Conclusion: OXN-PR and pregabalin were safe and highly effective in a real-world setting of severe neuropathic cancer pain, with a high rate of satisfaction, without interference on bowel function.

Keywords: oxycodone/naloxone, opioids, pregabalin, neuropathic cancer pain, non-small-cell lung cancer, breakthrough cancer pain

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