Oxycodone/Naloxone PR: A Review in Severe Refractory Restless Legs Syndrome

James E Frampton
CNS Drugs 2015, 29 (6): 511-8
An oral, fixed-dose combination of prolonged-release (PR) oxycodone with PR naloxone (Targin(®), Targiniq(®), Targinact(®); hereafter referred to as oxycodone/naloxone PR) is approved in Europe for the second-line symptomatic treatment of patients with severe to very severe idiopathic restless legs syndrome (RLS), after failure of dopaminergic therapy. Coadministration of naloxone represents a targeted approach to counteracting opioid-induced bowel dysfunction without compromising therapeutic efficacy; because of its very low oral bioavailability, naloxone blocks the action of oxycodone at opioid receptors locally in the gut. The efficacy of oxycodone/naloxone PR in patients with severe RLS inadequately controlled by previous (mainly dopaminergic) treatment has been demonstrated in RELOXYN, a 12-week, randomized, double-blind study with a 40-week open-label extension. In this pivotal study, oxycodone/naloxone PR significantly improved RLS symptoms compared with placebo from week 2 onwards; a beneficial effect of oxycodone/naloxone PR was maintained through 1 year of treatment. Furthermore, improvements in RLS symptoms in oxycodone/naloxone PR recipients were accompanied by similarly sustained improvements in disease-specific quality of life and subjective sleep variables. Oxycodone/naloxone PR was generally well tolerated, with a treatment-related adverse event profile (e.g. gastrointestinal disorders, CNS disorders, fatigue and pruritus) that was consistent with that expected for opioid therapy. Notably, there were no confirmed cases of augmentation among oxycodone/naloxone PR recipients throughout the course of the study. Results from the well-designed RELOXYN trial have thus demonstrated the value of oxycodone/naloxone PR as a second-line therapy for severe refractory RLS; further investigation of this combination product as a first-line treatment for severe RLS is now warranted.

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