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Tapentadol for neuropathic pain: a review of clinical studies

Authors Freo U, Romualdi P, Kress HG

Received 8 October 2018

Accepted for publication 27 February 2019

Published 16 May 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 1537—1551

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S190162

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Katherine Hanlon


Ulderico Freo,1 Patrizia Romualdi,2 Hans G Kress3

1Anesthesiology and Intensive Medicine, Department of Medicine DIMED, University of Padua, 35100 Padua, Italy; 2Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, 40126, Bologna, Italy; 3Department of Special Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine, Medical University/AKH of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Abstract: Neuropathic pain (NP) is an enormous burden for patients, caregivers and society. NP is a pain state that may develop after injury of the peripheral or central nervous system because of a wide range of diseases and traumas. A NP symptom component can be found also in several types of chronic pain. Many NP patients are substantially disabled for years. Due to its chronicity, severity and unpredictability, NP is difficult to treat. Tapentadol is a central-acting oral analgesic with combined opioid and noradrenergic properties, which make it potentially suitable for a wide range of pain conditions, particularly whenever a NP component is present or cannot be excluded. In randomized controlled trials, tapentadol has proved to be effective in relieving NP in diabetic peripheral neuropathy and in chronic low back pain. In observational studies, tapentadol reduced NP in chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathies, blood and solid cancers, and the NP component in neck pain and Parkinson’s disease. This narrative review aims to provide clinicians with a broad overview of tapentadol effects on NP.

Keywords: neuropathic pain, tapentadol, pain therapy

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