Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2019; 23 (4 Suppl): 27-34

DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_201911_19375

Tapentadol prolonged release in association with analgesic radiofrequency for the treatment of chronic lumbar radicular pain: an observational, prospective study

C. Visconti, A. Mastroluca, L. Varano, A. Del Gaudio

2nd Department of Anesthesiology, Intensive Care and Pain Therapy, Fondazione Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza – IRCCS, San Giovanni Rotondo (FG), Italy. cirovisconti@libero.it


OBJECTIVE: Chronic pain is frequently irreversible, representing a major health problem. A survey has shown that 19% of European adults experience chronic pain which is not adequately managed. Innovative interventional techniques for the treatment of chronic pain have been developed, as a further step beyond the three-layer WHO analgesic ladder. Among these techniques, continuous and pulsed radiofrequency (RF) are very effective in the management of radicular pain syndrome. Usually, these techniques are associated with a pharmacologic approach with a wide-spectrum analgesic. Tapentadol has a double mechanism of action, as a μ-opioid receptor agonism (MOR) and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (NRI), contributing synergistically to its analgesic efficacy on both nociceptive and neuropathic pain.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We aimed to test the efficacy of tapentadol prolonged release (PR) combined with pulsed RF in improving neuropathic symptoms and disability in 50 patients with moderate-to-severe chronic pain due to lumbar radiculopathy.
RESULTS: The responders to treatment, showing at least a 30% reduction in pain intensity on the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS), were 38 (76%). Both average NRS at rest and during loading were statistically significantly reduced compared with baseline (p<0.0001). Other parameters investigated (sleep quality, neuropathic symptoms, the degree of disability) were all statistically better with tapentadol PR. Patients requiring RF intervention dropped dramatically from 98% at baseline to 10% at the end of the study (p<0.01). Adverse events were reported in 14 patients (28%), four of which required therapy discontinuation. However, patients’ satisfaction and overall tolerability of tapentadol PR treatment were high.
CONCLUSIONS: Tapentadol PR is effective in reducing pain intensity at rest and during loading, with a favorable safety and tolerability profile. Moreover, the use of tapentadol PR decreases the degree and severity of disability, as well as the intensity of neuropathic symptoms.

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To cite this article

C. Visconti, A. Mastroluca, L. Varano, A. Del Gaudio
Tapentadol prolonged release in association with analgesic radiofrequency for the treatment of chronic lumbar radicular pain: an observational, prospective study

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2019
Vol. 23 - N. 4 Suppl
Pages: 27-34
DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_201911_19375