Tapentadol Provided Pain Relief and Improved Sleep in Patients with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Dr Renato Vellucci
Contract Professor University of Florence
Pain and Palliative care Clinic
University Hospital of Careggi
Florence, Italy

Dr. Vellucci

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is the most prevalent chronic pain (CP) condition and the leading global cause of years lived with disability. According to the axiom pain as a biopsychosocial issue, mood and sleep disturbances represent key issues. However, the impact of different analgesic therapies on quality of life (QoL) and functional recovery has been poorly assessed to date. Focusing on combination of chronic pain and sleep, they both perform a mutual reinforcement.

Pain disorganizes the sleep architecture, and disturbed and unrefreshed sleep increases spontaneous pain and lowers pain thresholds. Sleep disorders may augment stress levels, thus making it difficult for patients to perform simple tasks impairing their cognitive ability. Poor sleep may predict the growth and intensification of pain over time, with increased insomnia symptoms being both a predictor and an indicator of worse pain outcomes and physical functioning status over time. Epidemiology of chronic pain unequivocally demonstrates the role of sleep quality in the development of chronic pain.

Notwithstanding this strong two-way relationship between chronic pain and sleep, little knowledge is available about the neurochemical determinants of this interplay and therapeutical strategies to break this vicious circle. Fifty percent of people with chronic low back pain have sleeping disturbances, with an 18-fold increase in insomnia versus healthy people. A recent study investigated the relationship between sleep disturbances and back pain and found that it is two sided with sleep disturbance being associated with risk of back pain whilst back pain can also lead to sleep disturbances. Thus, it can be hypothesized that, by reducing pain and physical dysfunction, sleep quality could be improved, thus enriching the QoL of people with CLBP.

Similarly, improvements in sleep after cognitive behavioral therapy in patients with chronic pain due to osteoarthritis were associated with reduced pain. Earlier evidence suggested that tapentadol prolonged-release treatment ameliorate in parallel QoL and sleep quality in a greater proportion of patients compared to that of patients following oxycodone/naloxone prolonged- release treatment (50% versus 37.7%). Other tapentadol studies conducted in a real-life context documented, along with effective pain control, similar improvements in mental and physical health and suggested beneficial effects in terms of less night awakenings and greater percentages of patients reporting restful sleep.

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Peptide May Allow Cannabis to Provide Pain Relief Without Unwanted Side Effects

PainRelief.com Interview with:
David Andreu, PhD
Professor of Chemistry
Department of Experimental & Health Sciences
Pompeu Fabra University
Barcelona Biomedical Research Park
Barcelona, Spain

Prof. David Andreu (right)
Maria Gallo,
(first author)
Prof. Rafael Maldonado

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: Background is the (earlier) finding of a cross-talk between CB1 and 5HT2A receptors (two GPCRs forming a heterodimer) that can be acted upon (disrupted) by peptides that allow to dissociate analgesic (CB1-mediated) from (unwanted) cognitive effects ( CB1/5HT2A heterodimer-mediated, memory impairment etc); this is reference 18 of our paper.

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Diabetic Neuropathy: High-Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation Offers Pain Relief

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Erika A. Petersen, MD, FAANS, FACS
Professor of Neurosurgery
Residency Program Director
UAMS Department of Neurosurgery

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Painful diabetic neuropathy is a common occurrence for patients with diabetes and can have a tremendous negative impact on their quality of life. Currently, the best available treatments include several types of medications and topical solutions, but there are many patients who do not achieve adequate pain relief or cannot tolerate side effects from these treatments. We need new options for patients who have tried the recommended first- and second-line treatments but still suffer with severe pain.

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New Class of Drugs May Provide Pain Relief Without Need for Opioids

PainRelief.com Interview with:
John Traynor, PhD
Edward F Domino Research Professor
Professor and Associate Chair for Research
Department of Pharmacology, Medical School
Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI

Dr. Traynor

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Response: Morphine and related drugs acting at the mu-opioid receptor are the most effective treatment for moderate to severe pain, yet their use is limited by serious on-target side effects including respiratory depression, and physical and psychological dependence that has led to the opioid crisis.  Current opioid drugs are required because our own endogenous pain relieving chemicals, the enkephalins and endorphins opioid peptides, cannot efficiently relieve pain.  

We have discovered a class of drugs (positive allosteric modulators, PAMs) that bind to the mu-opioid receptor to enhance the activity of endogenous opioids.  These “enkephalin amplifiers” afford pain relief in mouse models without the need for morphine-like compounds and do so with a much reduced side-effect profile.

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Dental Opioid Prescriptions Raises Risk of Overdose in Patients and Their Families

PainRelief.com Interview with:

Kao-Ping Chua, MD, PhD
Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center
Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan Medical School
Ann Arbor MI 48109.

Dr. Kao-Ping Chua

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study? 

ResponsePrior studies suggest that opioid prescriptions for surgical procedures are associated with increased overdose risk in patients. Additionally, studies suggest that opioid prescriptions are associated with increased overdose risk in patients’ family members, who often have access to patients’ opioids. However, studies have not specifically assessed whether opioid prescriptions for dental procedures are associated with increased overdose risk in patients and their family members.

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Elevated Mortality Risk for Women with Back Pain

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Eric Roseen, DC, MSc
Director of the Program for Integrative Medicine and Health Disparities
Boston Medical Center
Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
Boston University School of Medicine

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?

Response: More than 80 percent of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and disability and inactivity are generally associated with greater mortality. Women and older adults, and those that experience more severe or persistent back pain, have an elevated risk of back-related disability. We were interested in whether back pain, in general or in these potentially at-risk subgroups, is associated with mortality. Thus, we conducted the first systematic literature review and meta-analysis of the association of back pain and all-cause mortality.

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