Efficacy and tolerability of buccal buprenorphine in opioid-naive patients with moderate to severe chronic low back pain.Postgrad Med. 2016 Jan; 128(1):1-11.PM
Buprenorphine HCl buccal film has been developed for treating chronic pain utilizing BioErodible MucoAdhesive (BEMA(®)) delivery technology. Buccal buprenorphine (BBUP; Belbuca(TM), Endo Pharmaceuticals) was evaluated for the management of moderate to severe chronic low back pain (CLBP) requiring around-the-clock analgesia in a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, enriched-enrollment, randomized-withdrawal study in opioid-naive patients.
Patients (n = 749) were titrated to a dose of BBUP (range, 150-450 µg every 12 h) that was generally well tolerated and provided adequate analgesia for ≥14 days, and then randomized to BBUP (n = 229) or placebo (n = 232), respectively. The primary efficacy variable was the change from baseline to week 12 of double-blind treatment in the mean of daily average pain intensity scores (numeric rating scale from 0 [no pain] to 10 [worst pain imaginable]).
Patients were experiencing moderate to severe pain at study entry: mean (SD) = 7.15 (1.05). Following titration, pain was reduced to the mild range; 2.81 (1.07). After randomization, mean (SD) pain scores increased from baseline to week 12 more with placebo (1.59 [2.04]) versus BBUP: (0.94 [1.85]) with a significant between-group difference (-0.67 [95% CI: -1.07 to -0.26]; p = 0.0012). A significantly larger percentage of patients receiving BBUP versus placebo had ≥30% pain reduction (63% vs 47%; p = 0.0012). During double-blind treatment, the most frequent adverse events (AEs) with BBUP were nausea (10%), constipation (4%) and vomiting (4%). The most common AEs with placebo were nausea (7%), upper respiratory tract infection (4%), headache (3%) and diarrhea (3%).
These findings demonstrate the efficacy and tolerability of BBUP among opioid-naive patients requiring around-the-clock opioid treatment for CLBP.