Safety and Efficacy of Controlled-Release Oxycodone: A Systematic Literature Review

D. Gary Rischitelli, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., Sean H. Karbowicz, Pharm.D.

Disclosures

Pharmacotherapy. 2002;22(7) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Prescriptions for controlled-release oxycodone, a narcotic analgesic, recently contributed to a dramatic increase in pharmacy costs for a large private insurance company. To determine whether this agent offered clinical benefits over other available drugs that would justify its significantly greater cost, a systematic review of 16 clinical trials was undertaken. The review suggested that immediate-release and controlled-release preparations of oxycodone have similar efficacy and comparable side effect profiles. Controlled-release oxycodone has the advantage of less frequent dosing than immediate-release oxycodone; however, other agents may be dosed infrequently at much lower costs. For patients requiring a controlled-release opioid treatment, controlled-release morphine and methadone should be considered because they appear to be as effective as oxycodone and cost considerably less. Controlled-release oxycodone may be appropriate for some patients, particularly if they cannot tolerate other controlled-release or long-acting opioid analgesics.

A recent study conducted within a large United States university-based health care system revealed that the greatest cost in caring for patients with low back pain arose from treatment with narcotic analgesics.[1,2] From 1999-2001, a large private workers' compensation insurance company (Liberty Northwest Insurance Co., Portland, OR) experienced a sharp upturn in pharmacy costs that was largely attributable to prescriptions for controlled-release oxycodone for outpatient pain treatment. As a result, the recent literature was reviewed to determine whether controlled-release oxycodone offered clinical benefits over other available drugs that would justify its significantly greater cost.

Comments

3090D553-9492-4563-8681-AD288FA52ACE
Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.
Post as:

processing....