Tapentadol in neuropathic pain cancer patients: a prospective open label study

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Many chemotherapy treatments induce peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). These patients often experience neuropathic pain (NP) that reduces the quality of life. The aim of this prospective, open label study was to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of tapentadol (TP) in patients affected by CIPN. CIPN were consecutively enrolled in a prospective open label study at the Neuro-Oncology Unit of the Regina Elena National Cancer Institute in Rome. During the titration phase, each patient initially received doses of TP 50 mg twice a day. All patients underwent pain intensity (NRS) and DN4. For evaluation of quality of life, patients underwent EORTC QLQ-C30 and EORTC QLQ-CIPN2 QLQ-CIPN20. We enrolled 31 patients, 19 were females with a median age of 60 years. After 3 months of treatment with TP, 22 patients completed the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). Nineteen patients out of 22 showed a response to treatment (86%). We also observed that TP reduced the NRS and DN4 values from baseline to the last visit in a significant way (p < 0.001, respectively). Seven patients (22.5%) discontinued the TP therapy after the first week of occurrence of side effects. Furthermore, we observed that TP improved also the global health status measured by EORT QLQ-C30. TP is well tolerated and efficacy in the treatment of NP. The important reduction of neuropathic pain, the improvement in NRS and QoL scores after therapy with TP makes it a candidate in the management of patients suffering from neuropathic pain of CIPN also as a first line of therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1747-1752
Number of pages6
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2017


  • Cancer
  • Neuropathy
  • Pain
  • Tapentadol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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