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Clinical trial: alvimopan for the management of post-operative ileus after abdominal surgery: results of an international randomized, double-blind, multicentre, placebo-controlled clinical study.

Author(s): Buchler MW, Seiler CM, Monson JR, Flamant Y, Thompson-Fawcett MW, Byrne MM, Mortensen ER, Altman JF, Williamson R

Affiliation(s): Department of Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany. markus.buechler@med.uni-heidelberg.de

Publication date & source: 2008-08-01, Aliment Pharmacol Ther., 28(3):312-25.

Publication type: Clinical Trial, Phase III; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

BACKGROUND: Post-operative ileus (POI) affects most patients undergoing abdominal surgery. AIM: To evaluate the effect of alvimopan, a peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist, on POI by negating the impact of opioids on gastrointestinal (GI) motility without affecting analgesia in patients outside North America. METHODS: Adult subjects undergoing open abdominal surgery (n = 911) randomly received oral alvimopan 6 or 12 mg, or placebo, 2 h before, and twice daily following surgery. Opioids were administered as intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) or bolus injection. Time to recovery of GI function was assessed principally using composite endpoints in subjects undergoing bowel resection (n = 738). RESULTS: A nonsignificant reduction in mean time to tolerate solid food and either first flatus or bowel movement (primary endpoint) was observed for both alvimopan 6 and 12 mg; 8.5 h (95% CI: 0.9, 16.0) and 4.8 h (95% CI: -3.2, 12.8), respectively. However, an exploratory post hoc analysis showed that alvimopan was more effective in the PCA (n = 317) group than in the non-PCA (n = 318) group. Alvimopan was well tolerated and did not reverse analgesia. CONCLUSION: Although the significant clinical effect of alvimopan on reducing POI observed in previous trials was not reproduced, this trial suggests potential benefit in bowel resection patients who received PCA.

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