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Papers of the Week

Papers: 25 Jan 2020 - 31 Jan 2020

Human Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2020 04

Curr Med Res Opin



Tapentadol prolonged release for managing moderate to severe chronic neck pain with or without a neuropathic component.


Coluzzi F, Pergolizzi JV, Giordan E, Locarini P, Boaro A, Billeci D
Curr Med Res Opin. 2020 04; 36(4):651-659.
PMID: 31983248.


Despite the high prevalence of neck pain, few studies have addressed the pharmacological treatment of this condition. We evaluated the effectiveness of tapentadol prolonged-release (PR) in patients with or without a neuropathic pain component, with a focus on functional movements, disability and Quality of Life (QoL). Observational, retrospective study. Ninety-four adult patients with severe neck pain not responsive to opioid step III treatment. The primary endpoint was a ≥30% improvement of pain intensity at 4 weeks (W4). Several secondary outcomes were evaluated, including neck disability index (NDI), range of motion (ROM), and QoL. Patients received tapentadol PR at the starting dose of 100 mg/day. Dose titration was allowed in 50 mg increments, up to 500 mg daily. At W4, the primary endpoint of ≥30% improvement of pain was reported in 70% (n = 35; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 55-82%) of patients with a neuropathic pain component and in 69% (n = 20; 95% CI: 49-85%) of those without a neuropathic component. The percentage of patients reporting a neuropathic pain component significantly decreased from baseline (64.2%) to W4 (27.8%). NDI significantly improved in both groups at W12. ROM significantly improved in all three planes of motion (P < 0.01), with no difference between the two groups. Interference of pain with sleep and QoL also improved. The reduction in pain provided by tapentadol is associated with functional recovery, which may in turn be linked to an improvement in QoL.