Quality of life improves in chronic pain patients by tramadol/acetaminophen

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Quality of life improves in chronic pain patients by tramadol/acetaminophen

Fibromyalgia patients given with analgesic in a randomized; double-blind study experienced a reduction in pain and an improvement in health- related quality of life. Prior to the study, patients encountering pain had significant impedance of their health-related quality of life. However, during the study, the patients’ pain relief specifically associated to an increase in health-related quality of life.

Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland and collaborators and other institutions were supported by Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc., to conduct the study. The study, entitled, “Impact of Fibromyalgia Pain on Health-Related Quality of Life Before and After Treatment With Tramadol/Acetaminophen,” was published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.

An aggregate of 313 fibromyalgia patients with moderate-to-severe pain were assigned for the study who received tramadol/acetaminophen four times a day, every day, for 91 days with 1:8 of tramadol to acetaminophen ratio. The two medications were provided together because of their different mode of action and to achieve pain relief. By using the Visual analog scale (VAS), patients were evaluated at baseline, where no pain is a score of 0 and extreme pain is a score of 100 mm.

Patients were grouped into four categories based on pain score and assessed for contrasts in result measures from the earliest starting point of the study to the end, then compared against each other. The outcome measures included patient ratings on the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36), the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), and the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) sleep questionnaire. Patients with fibromyalgia observed worse SF-36 scale score than the average U.S citizen, and their scores were worse than those of congestive heart failure patients. Significant reduction in pain was observed in the treatment group which led to significant improvement in health-related quality of life in terms of SF-36 physical function, role physical, bodily pain, and physical summary scales as they were able to improve their FIQ scales in terms of pain and stiffness.

“Moderate-to-severe fibromyalgia pain significantly impairs health-related quality of life, and effective pain relief in these patients significantly increases health-related quality of life,” wrote the authors. Clinicians should be aware of their patient health-related quality of life and suggest analgesics when appropriate to reduce pain and improve quality of life.

The journal Arthritis & Rheumatism
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