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Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled and active-controlled study to assess the relative abuse potential of oxycodone HCl-niacin tablets compared with oxycodone alone in nondependent, recreational opioid users

Authors Webster L, Rolleri, Pixton G, Sommerville

Received 18 April 2012

Accepted for publication 22 June 2012

Published 17 August 2012 Volume 2012:3(1) Pages 101—113


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Lynn R Webster,1 Robert L Rolleri,2,3 Glenn C Pixton,3 Kenneth W Sommerville3

1Lifetree Clinical Research, Salt Lake City, UT, USA; 2Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Raleigh, NC, USA; 3Pfizer Inc, Cary, NC, USA

Background: Abuse-deterrent formulations attempt to address public health and societal concerns regarding opioid abuse. Oxycodone HCl-niacin tablets combine oxycodone HCl with niacin and functional inactive excipients to create potential barriers to oral, intranasal, and intravenous abuse. This study compared the relative abuse potential of oral immediate-release oxycodone HCl-niacin with that of oral immediate-release oxycodone HCl and placebo in nondependent, recreational opioid users.
Methods: Forty-nine participants received oxycodone HCl-niacin 40/240 mg and 80/480 mg, oxycodone 40 mg and 80 mg, and placebo in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled and active-controlled, five-way crossover study. Primary endpoints based on a bipolar 100 mm visual analog scale for drug liking were area under effect curve (AUE0–1h, AUE0–2h, AUE0–3h), peak disliking, and effect at 0.5 hours post-dose (E0.5h). Other endpoints included take drug again assessment, overall drug liking, and pupillometry.
Results: There were statistically significant differences between oxycodone HCl-niacin and oxycodone HCl doses for all primary endpoints (P < 0.0001, all comparisons), suggesting reduced abuse potential with oxycodone HCl-niacin. Take drug again and overall drug liking showed greater liking of oxycodone alone. Oxycodone HCl-niacin 80/480 mg had consistently lower liking assessments than oxycodone HCl-niacin 40/240 mg, suggesting a dose-response to the aversive effects of niacin. Opioid-related adverse events were similar for equivalent oxycodone doses. The treatment-emergent adverse events most specifically associated with oxycodone HCl-niacin (ie, skin-burning sensation, warmth, and flushing) were consistent with the expected vasocutaneous effects of niacin. No serious adverse events were reported.
Conclusion: Oxycodone HCl-niacin tablets may, in a dose-dependent manner, decrease the potential for oral abuse of oxycodone without unexpected adverse events or clinically significant differences in safety parameters compared with oxycodone alone. Although statistically powered, the small size of the study sample and the characteristics of its participants may not be generalizable to the population that abuses prescription opioid medications.

Keywords: drug abuse, opioid, oxycodone, niacin

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