PURPOSE: Chronic pain is highly prevalent in older adults. Increasing evidence indicates strong opioids as a valid option for chronic pain management in geriatrics. The aim of this study was to evaluate efficacy and safety of low-dose oral prolonged-release oxycodone-naloxone (OXN-PR) in patients aged ≥70 years.
METHODS: This open-label prospective study assessed older patients naïve to strong opioids presenting with moderate-to-severe chronic pain. Patients were prescribed OXN-PR at an initial dose of 10/5 mg/day for 28 days. In case of insufficient analgesia, the initial daily dose could be increased gradually. The primary efficacy measure was change in pain intensity from baseline, assessed by a ten-point Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) at day 28 (T28). Changes in cognitive state, daily functioning, quality of life, constipation, and other adverse events were assessed.
RESULTS: Of 53 patients enrolled (mean 81.7±6.2 years [range 70-92 years]), 52 (98.1%) completed the 28-day observation. At T28, the primary end point (≥30% reduction in mean pain from baseline in the absence of bowel function deterioration) was achieved in 38 patients (71.7%). OXN-PR significantly relieved pain (NRS score -3.26; P
CONCLUSION: Findings from this open-label prospective study suggest that low-dose OXN-PR may be effective and well tolerated for treatment of moderate-to-severe chronic pain in older patients. Besides its effectiveness, these data indicate that low-dose OXN-PR may be considered a safe analgesic option in this fragile population and warrants further investigation in randomized controlled studies.
- chronic pain
ASJC Scopus subject areas