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Chronic non-cancer pain: Focus on once-daily tramadol formulations

Authors Flaminia Coluzzi, Consalvo Mattia

Published 15 November 2007 Volume 2007:3(5) Pages 819—829

Flaminia Coluzzi, Consalvo Mattia

ICOT – Polo Pontino, Rome, Italy; Department of Anesthesia, Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Therapy, University “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy

Abstract: Despite progress in pain management, chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP) represents still a clinical challenge. The efficacy and safety profile of tramadol make it suitable as a long-term treatment in a variety of CNCP conditions. New once-daily (OD) formulations of tramadol have been marketed in various countries, in order to offer the advantage of a reduced dosing regimen and to improve patients’ compliance. This review focuses on the technology, pharmacology, clinical efficacy, and safety of different once-daily tramadol formulations. Hydrophilic vs hydrophobic matrix systems and newer technologies used in once-daily formulations to control drug delivery are discussed. Three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) established OD tramadol analgesic efficacy to be superior to that of placebo for pain management and functional improvement in patients with osteoarthritis. Three RCTs demonstrated similar rates of efficacy between OD tramadol and immediate-release (IR) or sustained-release (SR) formulations, with a better adverse events profile. An open trial on long term tolerability showed that OD tramadol is generally safe in rheumatological pain treatment.

Keywords: tramadol, once-daily, pharmacokinetics, sustained-release, chronic non-cancer pain, formulations

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