Transdermal & buccal buprenorphine is associated with a small reduction in pain scores in chronic non-cancer pain.pearl
- WongStanley Sau ChingSSCFrom the Department of Anaesthesiology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.Laboratory and Clinical Research Institute for Pain, Department of Anaesthesiology, The University of Hong Kong,, Tak Hon Chan, Fengfeng Wang, ChanTimmy Chi WingTCWFrom the Department of Anaesthesiology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China., Hung Chak Ho, and Chi Wai Cheung.
- From the Department of Anaesthesiology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.
- Anesth. Analg. 2023 Jul 1; 137 (1): 597159-71.
BackgroundBuprenorphine is a partial agonist at the µ-opioid receptor and an antagonist at the delta and kappa opioid receptors. It has high affinity and low intrinsic activity at the µ-opioid receptor. Buprenorphine demonstrates no ceiling effect for clinical analgesia, but demonstrates this for respiratory depression and euphoria. It may provide effective analgesia while producing less adverse effects, making it a promising opioid analgesic. A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed to examine the analgesic efficacy of buprenorphine for patients with chronic noncancer pain.MethodsPubMed, MEDLNE, Embase, and the Cochrane Library were searched up to January 2022. Randomized controlled trials were included if they compared buprenorphine versus placebo or active analgesic in patients with chronic noncancer pain, where pain score was an outcome. Nonrandomized controlled trials, observational studies, qualitative studies, case reports, and commentaries were excluded. Two investigators independently performed the literature search, study selection, and data collection. A random-effects model was used. The primary outcome was the effect of buprenorphine on pain intensity in patients with chronic noncancer pain based on standardized mean difference (SMD) in pain score. Quality of evidence was assessed using the Grade of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) approach.ResultsTwo separate literature searches were conducted for patients with and without opioid use disorder (OUD). Only one study met the search criteria for those with OUD. Fourteen randomized controlled trials were included for those without OUD. Buprenorphine was associated with reduced pain score (SMD = -0.368, P < .001, I 2 = 89.37%) compared to placebo or active analgesic. Subgroup meta-analyses showed statistically significant differences in favor of buprenorphine versus placebo (SMD = -0.404, P < .001), for chronic low back pain (SMD = -0.383, P < .001), when administered via the transdermal route (SMD = -0.572, P = .001), via the buccal route (SMD = -0.453, P < .001), with length of follow-up lasting <12 weeks (SMD = -0.848, P < .05), and length of follow-up lasting 12 weeks or more (SMD = -0.415, P < .001). There was no significant difference when compared to active analgesic (SMD = 0.045, P > .05). Quality of evidence was low to moderate.ConclusionsBuprenorphine was associated with a statistically significant and small reduction in pain intensity compared to placebo. Both the transdermal and buccal routes provided pain relief. There was more evidence supporting its use for chronic low back pain.Copyright © 2023 International Anesthesia Research Society.
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