Oxycodone/acetaminophen at low dosage: an alternative pain treatment for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Author(s): Raffaeli W, Pari C, Corvetta A, Sarti D, Di Sabatino V, Biasi G, Galeazzi M
Affiliation(s): Pain Therapy and Palliative Care Unit, Infermi Hospital, Rimini, Italy.
Publication date & source: 2010-01, J Opioid Manag., 6(1):40-6.
Publication type: Comparative Study; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
OBJECTIVES: To assess efficacy and safety of the association oxycodone/acetaminophen (oxycodone/acetaminophen) for pain treatment and disability improvement in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: Patients with RA (n = 29), suffering from moderate to severe pain for more than 3 months, were included in the study, except those under RA therapy with biological drugs. The treatment started with oxycodone/acetaminophen at the dosage of 5 mg/325 mg, and then the dosage was titrated until the attainment of good pain relief. Antiemetic and laxative therapy was used for the prophylaxis of known opioid-related adverse events. RESULTS: Patients continued their RA therapy without changing the dosages, reported reduced pain intensity and disease activity, and improvement of disability. Forty-two percent of patients had a good clinical response to oxycodone/acetaminophen treatment, according to European League against Rheumatism (EULAR) assessment criteria, and 50 percent of patients reached the American College of Rheumatology 20 percent improvement criteria (ACR20). At the end of the study, the mean (+/- SD) daily effective oxycodone/acetaminophen dose was 13.8 (+/- 6.8) mg/720.4 (+/- 291.0) mg. No serious adverse event was observed. Nausea, vomiting, and stipsis of mild-moderate intensity were the most common adverse events. CONCLUSION: Oxycodone/acetaminophen at low dosages for the treatment of chronic pain in RA patients can be a good alternative to non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), allowing the reduction of their consumption, while keeping RA therapy stable.