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Effectiveness and gastrointestinal tolerability during conversion and titration with once-daily OROS® hydromorphone extended release in opioid-tolerant patients with chronic low back pain

Authors Hale ME, Nalamachu SR, Khan A, Kutch M

Received 6 November 2012

Accepted for publication 11 December 2012

Published 1 May 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 319—329


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Martin E Hale,1 Srinivas R Nalamachu,2 Arif Khan,3 Michael Kutch4,*

1Gold Coast Research, LLC, Weston, FL, USA; 2International Clinical Research Institute, Overland Park, KS, USA; 3MedNorthwest Clinical Research Center, Bellevue, WA, USA; Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA; 4Applied Clinical Intelligence, LLC, Bala Cynwyd, PA, USA

*Affiliation at the time this work was completed. Michael Kutch is currently affiliated with Cytel Inc, Chesterbrook, PA, USA

Purpose: To describe the efficacy and safety of hydromorphone extended-release tablets (OROS hydromorphone ER) during dose conversion and titration.
Patients and methods: A total of 459 opioid-tolerant adults with chronic moderate to severe low back pain participated in an open-label, 2- to 4-week conversion/titration phase of a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized withdrawal trial, conducted at 70 centers in the United States. Patients were converted to once-daily OROS hydromorphone ER at 75% of the equianalgesic dose of their prior total daily opioid dose (5:1 conversion ratio), and titrated as frequently as every 3 days to a maximum dose of 64 mg/day. The primary outcome measure was change in pain intensity numeric rating scale; additional assessments included the Patient Global Assessment and the Roland–Morris Disability Questionnaire scores. Safety assessments were performed at each visit and consisted of recording and monitoring all adverse events (AEs) and serious AEs.
Results: Mean (standard deviation) final daily dose of OROS hydromorphone ER was 37.5 (17.8) mg. Mean (standard error of the mean [SEM]) numeric rating scale scores decreased from 6.6 (0.1) at screening to 4.3 (0.1) at the final titration visit (mean [SEM] change, -2.3 [0.1], representing a 34.8% reduction). Mean (SEM) change in Patient Global Assessment was -0.6 (0.1), and mean change (SEM) in the Roland–Morris Disability Questionnaire was -2.8 (0.3). Patients achieving a stable dose showed greater improvement than patients who discontinued during titration for each of these measures (P < 0.001). Almost 80% of patients achieving a stable dose (213/268) had a ≥30% reduction in pain. Commonly reported AEs were constipation (15.4%), nausea (11.9%), somnolence (8.7%), headache (7.8%), and vomiting (6.5%); 13.0% discontinued from the study due to AEs.
Conclusion: The majority of opioid-tolerant patients with chronic low back pain were successfully converted to effective doses of OROS hydromorphone ER within 2 to 4 weeks.

Keywords: chronic low back pain, noncancer pain, extended-release opioids, OROS hydromorphone ER, opioid rotation, conversion and titration

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