Oral methylnaltrexone is efficacious and well tolerated for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation in patients with chronic noncancer pain receiving concomitant methadone
Received 22 December 2017
Accepted for publication 21 September 2018
Published 23 October 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 2509—2516
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single anonymous peer review
Peer reviewer comments 4
Editor who approved publication: Dr E Alfonso Romero-Sandoval
Lynn R Webster,1 Robert J Israel2
1Scientific Affairs, PRA Health Sciences, Salt Lake City, UT, USA; 2Clinical and Medical Affairs, Salix Pharmaceuticals, Bridgewater, NJ, USA
Purpose: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of oral methylnaltrexone for opioid-induced constipation (OIC).
Patients and methods: This was a post hoc analysis of patients receiving methadone in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, Phase 3 trial. The trial included adults with chronic noncancer pain for ≥2 months receiving opioid doses ≥50 mg/day of oral morphine equivalents for ≥14 days and with a history of OIC. Patients were assigned to oral methylnaltrexone (150, 300, or 450 mg) or placebo once daily (QD) for 4 weeks followed by 8 weeks as needed. Percentage of dosing days that resulted in a rescue-free bowel movement (RFBM) within 4 hours of dosing was assessed during QD dosing (primary efficacy endpoint). Other endpoints included percentage of responders (ie, ≥3 RFBMs/week, with an increase of ≥1 RFBM/week from baseline for ≥3 of the 4 weeks) during QD dosing and change in weekly number of RFBMs. Adverse events were assessed.
Results: Concomitant methadone was reported in 120 patients (oral methylnaltrexone: 150 mg [n=33], 300 mg [n=30], and 450 mg [n=31]; placebo [n=26]). Oral methylnaltrexone-treated patients had significant increases in mean percentage of dosing days with RFBMs within 4 hours of dosing during weeks 1–4 with 300 mg (33.6%; P<0.01) and 450 mg (38.2%; P<0.001) vs placebo; improvements with 150 mg (20.0%) vs placebo (15.1%) did not reach statistical significance. The percentage of responders was greater vs placebo, but not significant, for the higher doses during the QD period (150 mg [39.4%], 300 mg [60.0%], 450 mg [67.7%], and placebo [38.5%]). Change from baseline in the mean number of weekly RFBMs (weeks 1–4) was significantly greater with oral methylnaltrexone 450 mg vs placebo (least-squares mean difference vs placebo, 1.2; P=0.04); no significant differences were found for 300 or 150 mg. Oral methylnaltrexone was well tolerated at all doses; few patients discontinued treatment.
Conclusion: Oral methylnaltrexone, particularly 450 mg, was efficacious and safe for treating OIC in these patients.
Keywords: methylnaltrexone, methadone, opioid-induced constipation, µ-opioid receptor antagonist, chronic pain
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