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JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Buprenorphine for neuropathic pain in adults

Philip J Wiffen, Sheena Derry, R Andrew Moore, Cathy Stannard, Dominic Aldington, Peter Cole, Roger Knaggs
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015 September 30, (9): CD011603
26421677

BACKGROUND: Opioid drugs, including buprenorphine, are commonly used to treat neuropathic pain, and are considered effective by some professionals. Most reviews have examined all opioids together. This review sought evidence specifically for buprenorphine, at any dose, and by any route of administration. Other opioids are considered in separate reviews.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the analgesic efficacy of buprenorphine for chronic neuropathic pain in adults, and the adverse events associated with its use in clinical trials.

SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, and EMBASE from inception to 11 June 2015, together with reference lists of retrieved papers and reviews, and two online study registries.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomised, double-blind studies of two weeks' duration or longer, comparing any oral dose or formulation of buprenorphine with placebo or another active treatment in chronic neuropathic pain.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently searched for studies, extracted efficacy and adverse event data, and examined issues of study quality. We did not carry out any pooled analyses.

MAIN RESULTS: Searches identified 10 published studies, and one study with results in ClinicalTrials.gov. None of these 11 studies satisfied our inclusion criteria, and so we included no studies in the review.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There was insufficient evidence to support or refute the suggestion that buprenorphine has any efficacy in any neuropathic pain condition.

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