Last updated on February 2019

Buprenorphine Transdermal Patches in Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair


Brief description of study

Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is associated with poor post-operative pain management. The multimodal analgesic scheme (oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs associated with oral opioids) currently used according to the pain management guidelines is insufficient for most of these patients.

There are few reports on the use of buprenorphine in post-operative pain with encouraging results. There is no evidence of its use in the management of post-operative pain of arthroscopic rotator cuff repair

Detailed Study Description

Traditionally, oral opioids have been used to manage the postoperative pain of arthroscopic rotator cuff repair (ARCR) . Due to the intensity of pain, it often requires high doses of opioids, frequently associated with side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, disorientation, among others, which, in the context of an outpatient, interfere with the postoperative period, sometimes resulting in hospital readmissions. due to both the poor management of pain and the adverse effects of opioids.

Although there are invasive strategies of analgesia, such as the placement of continuous infusion catheters of analgesics in the sub-acromial space, these are methods that demand the management of the devices, in some cases requiring prolongation of hospitalization for the patient. management of the same, without being exempt from complications as any analgesic method added to those related to the method.

Currently, the post-operative analgesia strategy widely accepted globally and that used in our center, is multimodal analgesia, in which NSAIDs (Anti-Inflammatory Non-Steroids) and oral opioids are associated. A combination of both analgesic mechanisms of action is used as a basic scheme, and rescues with opioids are carried out orally. Although the literature supports its cost-benefit, this approach is often insufficient, not achieving adequate control of postoperative pain in ARCR, with 64% of our patients reporting poor pain management in the first week of post-operative and 10% that require re-entry to day hospital for pain management.

The application of transdermal opioid release patches is a method of non-invasive analgesia, which has previously been used with good results for the management of postoperative pain. In ARCR there is no evidence of its use in the management of post-operative pain The main advantages could be related to the plasma stability of the drug (buprenorphine), which implies fewer peaks and valleys of analgesia, a better compliance by the patient since it is of weekly duration and lower incidence of cognitive deterioration related to other opioids.

Compared with other opioids, buprenorphine is associated with a lower risk of abuse, overdose and poisoning due to the ceiling effect. Despite this favorable pharmacological profile, the use of buprenorphine in patches has a lower abuse rate than other forms of administering the same drug. On the one hand, the release rate of the patch may be insufficient to satisfy the compulsive desire and, to that end, the patch may be less desirable. On the other hand, the availability in the market and the way to use the patches could be other conditioning factors.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03380533

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Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, Argentina
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