JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Tramadol 37.5-mg/acetaminophen 325-mg combination tablets added to regular therapy for rheumatoid arthritis pain: a 1-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Eun Young Lee, Eun Bong Lee, Byung Joo Park, Chang Keun Lee, Bin Yoo, Mi Kyoung Lim, Seung-Cheol Shim, Dong-Hyuk Sheen, Young Il Seo, Hyun Ah Kim, Han Joo Baek, Yeong Wook Song
Clinical Therapeutics 2006, 28 (12): 2052-60
17296461

OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of tramadol 37.5-mg/acetaminophen 325-mg combination tablets (tramadoUAPAP) as add-on therapy in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pain that was inadequately controlled by NSAIDs and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs alone.

METHODS: Subjects in this multicenter, double-blind trial were randomized in a 3:1 ratio to receive 1 tramadol/ APAP tablet TID or a matching placebo for 1 week. Stable doses of previous medications were continued during the study. The primary efficacy variable was the mean daily pain relief score over 1 week, measured on a 6-point scale (4 = complete; ' = a lot; 2 = some; 1 = a little; 0 = none; -1 = worse). Secondary outcomes included the mean daily pain intensity score, measured on a 100-mm visual analog scale (VAS) (from 0 mm = no pain to 100 mm = extreme pain); pain intensity and pain relief at day 7; subjects' and investigators' mean overall assessments of study drug, measured on a Likert scale (from 2 = very good to -2 = very poor); and subjects' assessments of 8 aspects of physical function (measured on the Health Assessment Questionnaire).

RESULTS: Of 277 subjects randomized to treatment, 267 (201 tramadol/APAP, 66 placebo) were included in the intent-to-treat population. Mean (SD) daily pain relief scores at the end of 1 week were significantly greater in the tramadol/APAP group compared with the placebo group (1.04 [0.89] vs 0.78 [0.80], respectively; P = 0.037), and mean daily pain intensity scores at the end of 1 week were significantly lower (47.23 [19.96] vs 53.81 [16.59]; P = 0.018). Physical function at the end of 1 week did not differ significantly between tramadol/APAP and placebo. Two hundred seventy-two subjects (205 tramadol/APAP, 67 placebo) were evaluable for tolerability. One hundred thirty-three of these subjects had at least 1 adverse event. The incidence of adverse events was significantly higher in the tramadol/APAP group than in the placebo group (57.6% vs 22.4%; P < 0.001). Discontinuations due to adverse events occurred in 19.0% of the tramadol/APAP group and 3.0% of the placebo group (P = 0.001). Of 213 treatment-related adverse events in tramadol/APAP subjects, nausea (34.1%) was the most frequent, followed by dizziness (20.0%) and vomiting (15.6%). One serious adverse event--chest discomfort, nausea, and vomiting after taking study medication-occurred in a subject receiving tramadol/APAP The symptoms resolved 1 day after discontinuing tramadol/APAP.

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, tramadol/APAP used as add-on therapy in subjects with symptomatic RA was associated with a significant improvement in pain relief and a significant reduction in pain intensity compared with placebo, with no improvement in physical function. Use of tramadol/APAP may be considered when analgesics are needed in addition to conventional NSAIDs and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs in subjects with RA.

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