With a global prevalence of ~9%–12%, low back pain (LBP) is a serious public health issue, associated with high costs for treatment and lost productivity. Chronic LBP (cLBP) involves central sensitization, a neuropathic pain component, and may induce maladaptive coping strategies and depression. Treating cLBP is challenging, and current treatment options are not fully satisfactory. A new BioErodible MucoAdhesive (BEMA®) delivery system for buprenorphine has been developed to treat cLBP. The buccal buprenorphine (BBUP) film developed for this product (Belbuca™) allows for rapid delivery and titration over a greater range of doses than was previously available with transdermal buprenorphine systems. In clinical studies, BBUP was shown to effectively reduce pain associated with cLBP at 12 weeks with good tolerability. The most frequently reported side effects with the use of BBUP were nausea, constipation, and vomiting. There was no significant effect on the QT interval vs placebo. Chronic pain patients using other opioids can be successfully rotated to BBUP without risk of withdrawal symptoms or inadequate analgesia. The role of BBUP in managing cLBP remains to be determined, but it appears to be a promising new product in the analgesic arsenal in general.
- Chronic low back pain
- Drug delivery Belbuca
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine