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Quality of life under oxycodone/naloxone, oxycodone, or morphine treatment for chronic low back pain in routine clinical practice

Authors Ueberall M, Eberhardt A, Mueller-Schwefe G

Received 18 August 2015

Accepted for publication 26 November 2015

Published 24 February 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 39—51


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Jaya Mallidi

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Michael A Ueberall,1 Alice Eberhardt,2 Gerhard HH Mueller-Schwefe3

1Institute for Neurological Sciences, Nuernberg, Germany; 2Mundipharma GmbH, Limburg, Germany; 3Interdisciplinary Center for Pain and Palliative Care Medicine, Goeppingen, Germany

Objective: To compare the quality of life of patients with moderate-to-severe chronic low back pain under treatment with the WHO-step III opioids oxycodone/naloxone, oxycodone, or morphine in routine clinical practice.
Study design: Prospective, 12-week, randomized, open-label, blinded end-point study in 88 medical centers in Germany.
Patients and methods: A total of 901 patients requiring around-the-clock pain treatment with a WHO-step III opioid were randomized to either morphine, oxycodone, or oxycodone/naloxone (1:1:1). Changes from baseline to week 12 in quality of life were assessed using different validated tools (EuroQoL-5 Dimensions [EQ-5D], Short Form 12 [SF-12], quality of life impairment by pain inventory [QLIP]).
Results: EQ-5D weighted index scores significantly improved over the 12-week treatment period under all three opioids (P<0.001) with significantly greater improvements under oxycodone/naloxone (65.2% vs 49.6% for oxycodone and 48.2% for morphine, P<0.001). The proportion of patients without EQ-5D complaints was also significantly higher under oxycodone/naloxone (P<0.001). Although quality of life ratings with the QLIP inventory showed significant improvements in all the three treatment arms, improvements were significantly higher under oxycodone/naloxone than under oxycodone and morphine (P<0.001): 90.7% of all oxycodone/naloxone patients achieved ≥30% improvements in quality of life, 72.8% had ≥50%, and 33.2% ≥70% improvements. Similarly, both physical and mental SF-12 component scores showed significantly greater improvements under oxycodone/naloxone with both scores close to the German population norm after 12 weeks.
Conclusion: Treatment with morphine, oxycodone, or oxycodone/naloxone under routine daily practice conditions significantly improved state of health and quality of life of patients with moderate-to-severe low back pain over a 12-week treatment period. Comparison between the treatment groups showed significantly greater improvements for oxycodone/naloxone than for the other two opioids.

Keywords: chronic low back pain, quality of life, oxycodone/naloxone, oxycodone, morphine, routine clinical practice, EQ-5D, SF-12, QLIP

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