OBJECTIVE: The use of long-term opioids for the management of chronic musculoskeletal pain is a hot topic in the scientific community, especially when it concerns the elderly. This paper aimed at assessing the efficacy and tolerability of tapentadol prolonged release (PR), a molecule with a unique mechanism of action combining μ-opioid-receptor (MOR) agonism and noradrenaline reuptake inhibition (NRI), administered to patients aged ≥80 years with chronic persistent pain. The effect of this molecule on anxiety, depression, cognitive status, and overall quality of life were investigated.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: This was a spontaneous, observational, open-label, prospective study, in 80 older patients aged ≥80 years, naïve to strong opioids, presenting moderate-to-severe chronic pain from different etiologies. Tapentadol PR was initially prescribed at the dose of 25-50 mg/day and increased gradually in case of insufficient analgesia. Pain intensity was assessed by a 10-point Numeric Rating Scale (NRS). Other endpoints were as follows: DN4 questionnaire for the evaluation of the neuropathic component of pain, SF12, HADS, and MMSE questionnaires to evaluate the quality of life, anxiety, and cognitive impairment, respectively. Safety evaluations were also performed through the assessment of the frequency and severity of adverse events.
RESULTS: At T45, NRS score reduction was achieved in 86.0% of patients. On average, pain decreased by 55% from a mean of 8.2 to a mean of 3.6. At T90, tapentadol PR did not affect the psychophysical and cognitive abilities of older patients.
CONCLUSIONS: The benefits with tapentadol PR in controlling pain have improved the quality of life of our patients, also showing a favorable effect on their cognitive performance.
To cite this article
A. Tarsitano, M. Cortese, M. Barile, P. Scarpelli
Tapentadol prolonged release and the long-term management of chronic musculoskeletal pain in the elderly – focus on anxiety, depression, cognitive status and life quality: the TaPE study
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 23 - N. 4 Suppl