Last updated on December 2018

Altering The Transition From Acute to Chronic Pain (ATTAC-Pain)


Brief description of study

The current way that pain is treated after trauma and injury is problematic. Most often pain after trauma is treated with opioids (ex. Percocet or Vicodin) or anti-inflammatories (ex. ibuprofen). Both of these medications can cause side effects and opioids have been related to the development of addiction. In addition, there are not any treatments that prevent pain from going on to become persistent (last beyond it is supposed to) or chronic (lasting 3 months or longer).

Chronic pain is an enormous problem and there an urgent need to find both alternatives to opioid pain medications and medications that prevent pain from becoming chronic. The ATTAC-Pain (Altering The Transition from Acute to Chronic Pain) study proposes to examine whether duloxetine (a medication that is marketed for depression, anxiety, and specific types of pain conditions), can reduce acute and chronic pain among adults who come to the emergency department (ED)with muscular pain (such as neck pain after a car accident or low back pain). Investigators will enroll 60 patients who come to the ED. Patients will be eligible if they report moderate to severe muscular pain (such as pain in the back, neck, or shoulders). Consenting patients will be randomized to receive duloxetine 30mg, duloxetine 60mg, or placebo (2/3rd chance of being in one of the duloxetine groups). The study team will follow patients for six weeks and collect information on pain outcomes and use of pain medications. Investigators aim to determine if duloxetine can (1) reduce acute pain symptoms following the ED visit, (2) prevent the transition to persistent pain (having pain 6 weeks after the initial ED visit), and (3) decrease opioid use following a motor vehicle collision (MVC). The results of this study will ultimately help determine if duloxetine can be used as a non-opioid pain treatment option that reduces acute pain and prevents the transition to chronic pain. This in turn can improve recovery, reduce opioid use and its consequences, and decrease health care costs.

Detailed Study Description

There is an urgent need for new non-opioid pain management options to prevent the development of chronic musculoskeletal pain in patients experiencing acute pain and injury. Investigators propose to address this unmet need by intervening at the point when pain is still acute with pain management that is intended to alter the mechanisms involved in the transition from acute to chronic pain. The proposed study, "Altering The Transition from Acute to Chronic Pain (ATTAC-Pain): A randomized clinical trial of duloxetine for the treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal pain," will examine the ability of duloxetine to improve pain outcomes in individuals presenting to the emergency department (ED) with acute musculoskeletal pain. Investigators will enroll a total of sixty participants. Eligible patients who consent to the study will: be randomized in the ED, receive a dose of study drug (duloxetine 30mg, duloxetine 60mg, or placebo) in the ED, and be discharged from the ED with a two week supply of study drug. Following discharge, the patient will receive follow-up assessments via internet-based surveys and phone to monitor for adverse events and evaluate patient outcomes. The patient will also return to the study site for an in-person follow-up interview 6 weeks after their initial ED visit. The study team will recruit participants at the Rhode Island Hospital and the Miriam Hospital EDs. The results of this study will be used as basis for a potentially high impact large-scale trial examining an important new non-opioid pain treatment option that reduces acute pain and prevents the transition to chronic pain. This in turn can improve recovery, reduce opioid use and its sequelae, and decrease health care costs.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03315533

Contact Investigators or Research Sites near you

Start Over

Erin Ryan, MPH

Rhode Island Hospital
Providence, RI United States
  Connect »

Recruitment Status: Open


Brief Description Eligibility Contact Research Team


Receive Emails About New Clinical Trials!

Sign up for our FREE service to receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.