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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1002/EJP.1736

European* clinical practice recommendations on opioids for chronic noncancer pain – Part 1: Role of opioids in the management of chronic noncancer pain

02 Mar 2021-European Journal of Pain (Wiley)-Vol. 25, Iss: 5, pp 949-968
Abstract: Background Opioid use for chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP) is complex. In the absence of pan-European guidance on this issue, a position paper was commissioned by the European Pain Federation (EFIC). Methods The clinical practice recommendations were developed by eight scientific societies and one patient self-help organization under the coordination of EFIC. A systematic literature search in MEDLINE (up until January 2020) was performed. Two categories of guidance are given: Evidence-based recommendations (supported by evidence from systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials or of observational studies) and Good Clinical Practice (GCP) statements (supported either by indirect evidence or by case-series, case-control studies and clinical experience). The GRADE system was applied to move from evidence to recommendations. The recommendations and GCP statements were developed by a multiprofessional task force (including nursing, service users, physicians, physiotherapy and psychology) and formal multistep procedures to reach a set of consensus recommendations. The clinical practice recommendations were reviewed by five external reviewers from North America and Europe and were also posted for public comment. Results The key clinical practice recommendations suggest: (a) first optimizing established non-pharmacological treatments and non-opioid analgesics and (b) considering opioid treatment if established non-pharmacological treatments or non-opioid analgesics are not effective and/or not tolerated and/or contraindicated. Evidence- and clinical consensus-based potential indications and contraindications for opioid treatment are presented. Eighteen GCP recommendations give guidance regarding clinical evaluation, as well as opioid treatment assessment, monitoring, continuation and discontinuation. Conclusions Opioids remain a treatment option for some selected patients with CNCP under careful surveillance. Significance In chronic pain, opioids are neither a universal cure nor a universally dangerous weapon. They should only be used for some selected chronic noncancer pain syndromes if established non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatment options have failed in supervised pain patients as part of a comprehensive, multi-modal, multi-disciplinary approach to treatment. In this context alone, opioid therapy can be a useful tool in achieving and maintaining an optimal level of pain control in some patients.

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Topics: Chronic pain (57%), Good clinical practice (55%), Systematic review (52%) ... show more
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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1002/EJP.1786
Winfried Häuser1, Eric Buchser, David P. Finn2, Geerd Dom  +10 moreInstitutions (9)
Abstract: Background There is considerable public interest in whether Europe is facing an opioid crisis comparable to the one in the United States and the contribution of opioid prescriptions for pain to a potential opioid crisis. Methods A task force of the European Pain Federation (EFIC) conducted a survey with its national chapter representatives on trends of opioid prescriptions and of drug-related emergency departments and substance use disorder treatment admissions and of deaths as proxies of opioid-related harms over the last 20 years. Results Data from 25 European countries were received. In most European countries opioid prescriptions increased from 2004 to 2016. The levels of opioid consumption and their increase differed between countries. Some Eastern European countries still have a low opioid consumption. Opioids are mainly prescribed for acute pain and chronic noncancer pain in some Western and Northern European countries. There was a parallel increase in opioid prescriptions and some proxies of opioid-related harms in France, Finland and the Netherlands, but not in Germany, Spain and Norway. In United Kingdom, opioid overdose deaths, but not opioid prescriptions increased between 2016 and 2018. There are no robust data available on whether prescribed opioids for pain patients contributed to opioid-related harms. Conclusions There are marked differences between European countries in trends of opioid prescribing and of proxies for opioid-related harms. Europe as a whole is not facing an opioid crisis. Discussions on the potential harms of opioids should not obstruct their prescription for cancer pain and palliative care. Significance Europe as a whole is not facing an opioid crisis. Some Eastern European countries have limited access to opioid medicines. Discussions on the potential harms of opioid medicines for noncancer pain should not obstruct opioid therapy for cancer therapy and palliative care.

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Topics: Opioid overdose (70%), Eastern european (56%), Palliative care (55%)

4 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1002/EJP.1744
Abstract: Background Opioid use for chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP) is under debate. In the absence of pan-European guidance on this issue, a position paper was commissioned by the European Pain Federation (EFIC). Methods The clinical practice recommendations were developed by eight scientific societies and one patient self-help organization under the coordination of EFIC. A systematic literature search in MEDLINE (up until January 2020) was performed. Two categories of guidance are given: Evidence-based recommendations (supported by evidence from systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials or of observational studies) and Good Clinical Practice (GCP) statements (supported either by indirect evidence or by case-series, case-control studies and clinical experience). The GRADE system was applied to move from evidence to recommendations. The recommendations and GCP statements were developed by a multiprofessional task force (including nursing, service users, physicians, physiotherapy and psychology) and formal multistep procedures to reach a set of consensus recommendations. The clinical practice recommendations were reviewed by five external reviewers from North America and Europe and were also posted for public comment. Results The European Clinical Practice Recommendations give guidance for combination with other medications, the management of frequent (e.g. nausea, constipation) and rare (e.g. hyperalgesia) side effects, for special clinical populations (e.g. children and adolescents, pregnancy) and for special situations (e.g. liver cirrhosis). Conclusion If a trial with opioids for chronic noncancer pain is conducted, detailed knowledge and experience are needed to adapt the opioid treatment to a special patient group and/or clinical situation and to manage side effects effectively. Significance If a trial with opioids for chronic noncancer pain is conducted, detailed knowledge and experience are needed to adapt the opioid treatment to a special patient group and/or clinical situation and to manage side effects effectively. A collaboration of medical specialties and of all health care professionals is needed for some special populations and clinical situations.

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Topics: Good clinical practice (58%), Systematic review (53%), Randomized controlled trial (52%) ... show more

3 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1007/S40122-021-00271-Y
03 Jun 2021-
Abstract: Opioids are a valuable tool to help achieve control of pain. However, opioid-induced constipation (OIC) is an important limitation of treatment with this class of drugs. To better understand the impact of OIC on patient-reported outcomes, we carried out a survey involving patients being treated with opioids. Both ad hoc questions and the PROMIS and PAC-SYM and PAC-QOL scores were used. Of the 597 participants, 150 (25%) had cancer-related pain, and 447 (75%) had non-cancer pain; 66% experienced OIC. PROMIS pain interference questions indicated that pain is more likely to interfere with a patient’s life when they have OIC. PAC-QOL and PAC-SYM revealed that 58% of patients with non-cancer pain and OIC reported at least one “severe” or “very severe” constipation symptom, compared to 83% with cancer-related pain. Younger age and less time on opioids were associated with greater impact of OIC on quality of life. Only 41% of patients were satisfied with how their constipation was managed. Over 50% of those with non-cancer pain said that they modified their opioid regimen due to constipation, vs. 6% of those with cancer pain. Constipation had been discussed with the healthcare provider (HCP) in 48% of non-cancer patients and in 73% of cancer patients. In those with chronic pain and OIC, 24% expressed varying degrees of dissatisfaction with the healthcare system, vs. 37% in those with cancer pain and OIC. Our results provide additional evidence that management of OIC is inadequate in many cases. Moreover, they indicate that there is a definite need for better education about OIC among HCPs.

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Topics: Chronic pain (60%), Cancer pain (56%), Pain medicine (56%)

2 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.2147/JPR.S328434
Abstract: Background Increased attention to the functional impact of chronic pain (CP), as highlighted by the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) and advocated by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), is an important step forward for optimizing its management. Evidence about perspectives of Italian physicians on the relevance of musculoskeletal (MSK) pain care to improve patients' functioning and Quality of Life is scant. The study aimed to investigate the physicians' perception of the value of functional recovery in severe MSK pain patients, their attitude towards its assessment and achievement in Italy. Methods A survey was conducted in Italy between October 2020 and January 2021. Specialist centers members of the SIAARTI (n = 395) were sent an online questionnaire encompassing the Italian pain therapy network. Participants rated their agreement to questionnaire items according to a 5-point Likert-type scale. Results A total of 305 centers (77%) completed the survey. Most physicians rated the recovery of functioning as very relevant in MSK pain treatment and, when they assessed it, devoted great attention to the ability to perform daily activities, pain, ability to ambulate and sleep quality. Multidimensional questionnaires were less employed in favor of physical examination and pain intensity scales. Pharmacological therapy, rehabilitation and lifestyle changes and/or physical exercise were all rated optimal strategies to pursue the recovery of patients' functioning. When considering pharmacological therapy, weak and strong opioids, either alone or combined with paracetamol, were the most frequently employed analgesics. Conclusion Clinicians seem to recognize the recovery of functioning as equally important as pain intensity reduction, but there is a need of streamlining available tools to effectively assess both across different MSK pain patients.

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1 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1055/A-1188-2568
Abstract: For many years now, effective pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment approaches for acute and chronic pain exist, as well as organisational strategies for their implementation in hospitals. Nevertheless, there remain considerable deficits in pain management and the portion of patients with severe or long-lasting pain in non-surgical units is often high. There is a considerable potential to improve quality and structures of pain mangement in non-surgical hospital settings in Germany. Recently, legal requirements to establish a structured perioperative pain management were introduced. This should not be seen as a signal that pain management is less important in non-surgical disciplines. On the contrary - it should raise awareness for more clinical and health services research to further develop and validate appropriate approaches and concepts to improve pain treatment in this field.

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Topics: Chronic pain (62%)

1 Citations


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72 results found


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1001/JAMA.2016.1464
19 Apr 2016-JAMA
Abstract: Importance Primary care clinicians find managing chronic pain challenging. Evidence of long-term efficacy of opioids for chronic pain is limited. Opioid use is associated with serious risks, including opioid use disorder and overdose. Objective To provide recommendations about opioid prescribing for primary care clinicians treating adult patients with chronic pain outside of active cancer treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care. Process The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated a 2014 systematic review on effectiveness and risks of opioids and conducted a supplemental review on benefits and harms, values and preferences, and costs. CDC used the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) framework to assess evidence type and determine the recommendation category. Evidence Synthesis Evidence consisted of observational studies or randomized clinical trials with notable limitations, characterized as low quality using GRADE methodology. Meta-analysis was not attempted due to the limited number of studies, variability in study designs and clinical heterogeneity, and methodological shortcomings of studies. No study evaluated long-term (≥1 year) benefit of opioids for chronic pain. Opioids were associated with increased risks, including opioid use disorder, overdose, and death, with dose-dependent effects. Recommendations There are 12 recommendations. Of primary importance, nonopioid therapy is preferred for treatment of chronic pain. Opioids should be used only when benefits for pain and function are expected to outweigh risks. Before starting opioids, clinicians should establish treatment goals with patients and consider how opioids will be discontinued if benefits do not outweigh risks. When opioids are used, clinicians should prescribe the lowest effective dosage, carefully reassess benefits and risks when considering increasing dosage to 50 morphine milligram equivalents or more per day, and avoid concurrent opioids and benzodiazepines whenever possible. Clinicians should evaluate benefits and harms of continued opioid therapy with patients every 3 months or more frequently and review prescription drug monitoring program data, when available, for high-risk combinations or dosages. For patients with opioid use disorder, clinicians should offer or arrange evidence-based treatment, such as medication-assisted treatment with buprenorphine or methadone. Conclusions and Relevance The guideline is intended to improve communication about benefits and risks of opioids for chronic pain, improve safety and effectiveness of pain treatment, and reduce risks associated with long-term opioid therapy.

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Topics: Opioid overdose (67%), Opioid use disorder (62%), Chronic pain (58%) ... show more

3,397 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/306686A0
Clifford J. Woolf1Institutions (1)
01 Dec 1983-Nature
Abstract: Noxious skin stimuli which are sufficiently intense to produce tissue injury, characteristically generate prolonged post-stimulus sensory disturbances that include continuing pain, an increased sensitivity to noxious stimuli and pain following innocuous stimuli. This could result from either a reduction in the thresholds of skin nociceptors (sensitization)1,2 or an increase in the excitability of the central nervous system so that normal inputs now evoke exaggerated responses3,4. Because sensitization of peripheral receptors occurs following injury5–7, a peripheral mechanism is widely held to be responsible for post-injury hypersensitivity. To investigate this I have now developed an animal model where changes occur in the threshold and responsiveness of the flexor reflex following peripheral injury that are analogous to the sensory changes found in man. Electrophysiological analysis of the injury-induced increase in excitability of the flexion reflex shows that it in part arises from changes in the activity of the spinal cord. The long-term consequences of noxious stimuli result, therefore, from central as well as from peripheral changes.

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Topics: Diffuse noxious inhibitory control (62%), Noxious stimulus (59%), Withdrawal reflex (57%) ... show more

1,955 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/S1474-4422(14)70251-0
Nanna B. Finnerup1, Nadine Attal2, Simon Haroutounian3, Ewan D McNicol4  +21 moreInstitutions (22)
01 Feb 2015-Lancet Neurology
Abstract: Summary Background New drug treatments, clinical trials, and standards of quality for assessment of evidence justify an update of evidence-based recommendations for the pharmacological treatment of neuropathic pain. Using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and E valuation (GRADE), we revised the Special Interest Group on Neuropathic Pain (NeuPSIG) recommendations for the pharmacotherapy of neuropathic pain based on the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods Between April, 2013, and January, 2014, NeuPSIG of the International Association for the Study of Pain did a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised, double-blind studies of oral and topical pharmacotherapy for neuropathic pain, including studies published in peer-reviewed journals since January , 1966, and unpublished trials retrieved from ClinicalTrials.gov and websites of pharmaceutical companies. We used number needed to treat (NNT) for 50% pain relief as a primary measure and assessed publication bias; NNT was calculated with the fi xed-eff ects Mantel-Haenszel method. Findings 229 studies were included in the meta-analysis. Analysis of publication bias suggested a 10% overstatement of treatment eff ects. Studies published in peer-reviewed journals reported greater eff ects than did unpublished studies (r² 9·3%, p=0·009). T rial outcomes were generally modest: in particular, combined NNTs were 6·4 (95% CI 5·2–8·4) for serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors, mainly including duloxetine (nine of 14 studies); 7·7 (6·5–9·4) for pregabalin; 7·2 (5·9–9·21) for gabapentin, including gabapentin extended release and enacarbil; and 10·6 (7·4–19·0) for capsaicin high-concentration patches. NNTs were lower for tricyclic antidepressants, strong opioids, tramadol, and botulinum toxin A, and undetermined for lidocaine patches. Based on GRADE, fi nal quality of evidence was moderate or high for all treatments apart from lidocaine patches; tolerability and safety, and values and preferences were higher for topical drugs; and cost was lower for tricyclic antidepressants and tramadol. These fi ndings permitted a strong recommendation for use and proposal as fi rst-line treatment in neuropathic pain for tricyclic antidepressants, serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors, pregabalin, and gabapentin; a weak recommendation for use and proposal as second line for lidocaine patches, capsaicin high-concentration patches, and tramadol; and a weak recommendation for use and proposal as third line for strong opioids and botulinum toxin A. Topical agents and botulinum toxin A are recommended for peripheral neuropathic pain only. Interpretation Our results support a revision of the NeuPSIG recommendations for the pharmacotherapy of neuropathic pain. Inadequate response to drug treatments constitutes a substantial unmet need in patients with neuropathic pain. Modest effi cacy, large placebo responses, heterogeneous diagnostic criteria, and poor phenotypic profi ling probably account for moderate trial outcomes and should be taken into account in future studies. Funding NeuPSIG of the International Association for the Study of Pain.

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Topics: Pain ladder (62%), Mirogabalin (61%), Gabapentin (59%) ... show more

1,895 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30970-9
18 Feb 2017-The Lancet
Abstract: Summary Non-specific low back pain affects people of all ages and is a leading contributor to disease burden worldwide. Management guidelines endorse triage to identify the rare cases of low back pain that are caused by medically serious pathology, and so require diagnostic work-up or specialist referral, or both. Because non-specific low back pain does not have a known pathoanatomical cause, treatment focuses on reducing pain and its consequences. Management consists of education and reassurance, analgesic medicines, non-pharmacological therapies, and timely review. The clinical course of low back pain is often favourable, thus many patients require little if any formal medical care. Two treatment strategies are currently used, a stepped approach beginning with more simple care that is progressed if the patient does not respond, and the use of simple risk prediction methods to individualise the amount and type of care provided. The overuse of imaging, opioids, and surgery remains a widespread problem.

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Topics: Low back pain (59%), Disease burden (51%)

1,197 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.JCLINEPI.2013.02.003
Abstract: In the GRADE approach, the strength of a recommendation reflects the extent to which we can be confident that the composite desirable effects of a management strategy outweigh the composite undesirable effects. This article addresses GRADE's approach to determining the direction and strength of a recommendation. The GRADE describes the balance of desirable and undesirable outcomes of interest among alternative management strategies depending on four domains, namely estimates of effect for desirable and undesirable outcomes of interest, confidence in the estimates of effect, estimates of values and preferences, and resource use. Ultimately, guideline panels must use judgment in integrating these factors to make a strong or weak recommendation for or against an intervention.

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647 Citations