Background Tapentadol is a potent analgesic with opioid agonist properties of the μ receptor and additional properties of inhibition of norepinephrine recapture. It is indicated to control chronic intense pain in adults, which can only be treated adequately with an opioid analgesic.
Purpose To analyse and evaluate the use of tapentadol in a second-level hospital and describe the characteristics of patients who have been treated.
Material and methods Observational, descriptive study. All episodes of treatment with tapentadol in the hospital since 1 January 2017 (date of its introduction in the pharmacotherapeutic guide) until 1 October 2018 were included. Patient variables (sex, age, dose, indication and service in which they were admitted) were retrieved from the electronic medical records (Diraya) and all data related to tapentadol posologies (dosage and frequency) were reviewed through the prescriptions of patients using Silicon, the electronic prescribing system. All data obtained were included in a database designed for this study.
Results During the period of our study 50 patients were treated, 44% males with an average age of 66.9 (44–86) years and 56% females whose average age was 66.7 (29–87) years. The most prescribed dose was 50 mg/12 hours (60%), followed by 100 mg/12 hours (28%), 200 mg/12 hours (6%), 150 mg/12 hours (4%) and finally 25 mg/12 hours (2%).
Regarding the prescription of tapentadol in terms of pathologies, it was emphasised that 52% of patients suffered herniated discs and/or vertebral fractures, 30% chronic pain, generalised polyarthritis and fibromyalgia, 10% cancer pain, 6% chronic tension headaches and/or migraines, while only 2% suffered from advanced Parkinson’s disease.
The medical services that made these prescriptions were: 44% internal medicine, 38% orthopaedic surgery and traumatology, 12% neurology, 4% urology and 2% palliative care.
Conclusion The use of tapentadol is more frequent in females than in males. Respecting ages, they are very similar in both sexes.
The highest doses belong to patients with oncological pain.
The prescription of tapentadol was mainly for non-oncological pain (90%) and, within it, the pathologies mainly treated were spinal injuries (herniated discs and/or vertebral fractures).
Orthopaedic surgery, traumatology and internal medicine were the main prescribers.
References and/or acknowledgements No conflict of interest.
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