Monday, July 26, 2010

Phase 3 study: Tapentadol ER lowers incidence of gastrointestinal adverse events..


Tapentadol (see structure) is a new molecular entity that is structurally similar to tramadol (Ultram). It is a centrally-acting analgesic with a dual mode of action as an agonist at the ╬╝-opioid receptor and as a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. While its action reflects aspects of tramadol and morphine its ability to kill pain is more on the order of hydrocodone and oxycodone. Interestingly it  has opioid and nonopioid acitivity in a single compound.  Tapentadol is FDA approved for the treatment of moderate to severe acute pain. Due to the dual mechanism of action as an opioid agonist and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor is potential for off use in chronic pain.
Tapentadol was developed by Gr├╝nenthal in conjunction with Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development. It is being marketed as immediate release oral tablets of 50 mg, 75 mg, and 100 mg under the brabd name Nucynta.
A Phase 3 open-label study (by Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C), recently published online by Pain Practice, has compared tapentadol extended release (ER) tablets, an investigational pain medication, to an existing prescription pain medication, oxycodone controlled release (CR) tablets.
The study found tapentadol ER was associated with a lower overall incidence of gastrointestinal adverse events than oxycodone CR (tapentadol ER, 52.0 percent; oxycodone CR, 64.1 percent) in patients with chronic knee or hip osteoarthritis pain or chronic low back pain, including: Constipation (tapentadol ER, 22.6 percent; oxycodone CR, 38.6 percent); Nausea (tapentadol ER, 18.1 percent; oxycodone CR, 33.2 percent); and Vomiting (tapentadol ER, 7.0 percent; oxycodone CR, 13.5 percent).
The median duration of treatment was substantially longer with tapentadol ER (268 days) than with oxycodone CR (59 days), and the incidence of overall gastrointestinal treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) leading to study discontinuation was approximately 2.5 times greater in the oxycodone CR group than in the tapentadol ER group (oxycodone CR, 21.5 percent; tapentadol ER, 8.6 percent). In addition, the incidence of constipation leading to study discontinuation was 4.5 times greater in the oxycodone CR group than in the tapentadol ER group (oxycodone CR, 7.2 percent; tapentadol ER, 1.6 percent).
The study also found tapentadol ER provided sustainable relief of moderate to severe chronic knee or hip osteoarthritis pain or chronic low back pain for up to one year. At baseline, mean pain intensity scores in the tapentadol ER and oxycodone CR groups, respectively, were 7.6 and 7.6; at endpoint, they had decreased to 4.4 and 4.
"We are encouraged by these study results as they illustrate the tolerability of tapentadol ER compared with oxycodone CR, a standard chronic pain treatment," said Dr. Bruce Moskovitz, Therapeutic Area Leader for Pain, Ortho-McNeil Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC. "We are pleased about the possibility of bringing this important investigational compound forward to patients in the future."

This study of tapentadol ER examined its long-term safety and tolerability compared to oxycodone CR and the primary objective of this study was to evaluate the safety of twice-daily doses of tapentadol ER (100 to 250 mg) over one year. Patients were randomized in a 4:1 ratio to receive controlled, adjustable, oral, twice-daily doses of tapentadol ER (100-250 mg) or oxycodone HCl CR (20-50 mg) in open-label treatment for up to one year. There were 1,117 patients in the study that received at least one dose of study medication (tapentadol).

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