Author(s): Butler SF, McNaughton EC, Black RA
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Abuse of prescription opioid pain relievers continues to be a serious public health concern. In contrast to opioids such as oxycodone or morphine, tapentadol, a prescription analgesic, has two mechanisms of action: μ-opioid receptor agonism and norepinephrine reuptake inhibition. As a result of differences in its receptor pharmacology, there may be differences in its abuse profile. As an initial step toward testing this hypothesis, we present a postmarketing examination of tapentadol's abuse liability relative to comparators. METHODS: A sentinel sample of 113,914 individuals assessed for substance abuse treatment as part of the NAVIPPRO ASI-MV(®) surveillance system at 624 facilities in 38 states from January 2011 to September 2012 was examined for prevalence and prescription-adjusted prevalence of past 30-day abuse of tapentadol as a compound and its immediate-release (IR) and extended-release (ER) formulations with oxymorphone, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, morphine, fentanyl, oxycodone, tramadol, and buprenorphine as comparators. RESULTS: Tapentadol abuse was reported significantly less often (P < 0.001) than all comparator compounds. Tapentadol IR abuse prevalence was significantly lower than all comparators except fentanyl IR, which had the next lowest unadjusted abuse prevalence. Prevalence of tapentadol ER abuse was lower than comparators except hydromorphone ER. Low prescription-adjusted estimates were observed for tapentadol as a compound as well as its IR and ER formulations, which were among the lowest observed and the lowest of the Schedule II comparators. Prescription-adjusted risk for tapentadol ER was less than comparators except hydromorphone ER (P = 0.06). CONCLUSIONS: Tapentadol abuse was seen infrequently in this study and, on a prescription basis, was less likely to be abused than most of the examined Schedule II analgesics. Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
This article was published in Pain Med
and referenced in Journal of Developing Drugs