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Effectiveness and safety of transdermal buprenorphine for chronic pain treatment in the elderly: A prospective observational study

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By C Muriel Villoria, et al • www.ProHealth.com • March 14, 2007


Journal: Medicina Clinica (Barcelona). 2007 Feb 17;128(6):204-10. [Article in Spanish]

Authors and Affiliations: Muriel Villoria C, Perez-Castejon Garrote JM, Sanchez Magro I, Neira Alvarez M. Unidad del Dolor, Servicio de Anestesia, Hospital Clinico de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain

PMID: 17335723

Background and objective. A number of subjects aged over 65 suffer from some kind of chronic pain. The constant growth of this demographic group makes research of new and efficacious treatment strategies necessary. Transdermal buprenorphine has shown to be a safe and efficacious pharmacotherapy for patients with moderate to severe chronic pain in clinical trials. This paper provides the outcome of this drug in routine clinical practice.

Patients and method. A prospective, uncontrolled observational study that included a 3-month follow-up of patients starting transdermal buprenorphine was performed. Information was collected systematically on pain relief, quality of life (EuroQol-5D questionnaire), comfort of patch use and adverse events. Missing data were imputed by the “worst case”

Results. Out of 1,188 patients with known age, 564 were under 65, 337 were between 65 and 75, and 287 were over 75 years. Within these respective age groups:

  • 63.9%, 66.3%, and 67.7% of patients showed “good” or “very
  • Good” pain relief;
  • 60.4%, 60.7% and 65.2% showed improvement of sleep quality;
  • And the mean increases of the score of the EuroQol-5D visual analogue scale were 16.0 mm, 15.8 mm and 16.8 mm.
  • Drug-related adverse events were reported in 39.6%, 35.4% and 31.9% of patients, respectively.

Conclusions. This study performed in the routine-care setting supports the findings from previous randomized controlled clinical trials of transdermal buprenorphine.





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