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Tapentadol: an effective option for the treatment of back pain

Authors Coluzzi F, Polati E, Freo U, Grilli M

Received 8 October 2018

Accepted for publication 31 January 2019

Published 16 May 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 1521—1528

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S190176

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Katherine Hanlon


Flaminia Coluzzi,1 Enrico Polati,2 Ulderico Freo,3 Mariagrazia Grilli4

1Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Unit of Anesthesia, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine, SAPIENZA University of Rome – Polo Pontino, Latina, Italy; 2Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Pain Relief Center, Ospedale Policlinico GB Rossi, Verona, Italy; 3Anesthesiology and Intensive Medicine, Department of Medicine DIMED University of Padua, 35100 Padua, Italy; 4Laboratory of Neuroplasticity, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Piemonte Orientale, 28100 Novara, Italy

Abstract: Back pain, including low back pain and neck pain, is the leading cause of disability worldwide. This type of pain is challenging to treat, since it presents both a nociceptive and a neuropathic component. The latter also contributes to the evolution of pain toward chronification. Treatment selection should therefore consider the ability to prevent this event. Tapentadol is characterized by a unique and innovative peculiar mechanism of action that makes it the first representative of a new class of central strong analgesics referred to as MOR-NRI. This molecule acts both on the nociceptive and neuropathic components of pain, and it can therefore be effective in the treatment of a mixed pain condition such as back pain. This narrative review discusses the rationale for the use of tapentadol in both low back pain and neck pain and presents available clinical data. Overall, data show that tapentadol prolonged release is a well-grounded treatment for chronic back pain, sustained by a strong mechanistic rationale and robust evidence. Given also the availability of long-term efficacy and safety data, we believe that this molecule should be considered as an elective therapy for chronic back pain.

Keywords: tapentadol, low back pain, neck pain


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