Liposomal bupivacaine: An innovative nonopioid local analgesic for the management of postsurgical pain

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35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Local anesthetics are a cornerstone of multimodal pain control strategies in the surgical setting as they have a long history of use and an established safety profile. Although effective, their duration of action is relatively short, which usually leads to the use of other agents, such as opioids, for effective postsurgical pain control in most patients. A medical need exists to extend the duration of analgesia with local anesthetics to help reduce the reliance on opioids in the postsurgical setting. Liposomal bupivacaine uses a product delivery platform to release bupivacaine slowly over 96 hours after infiltration at the surgical site. Liposomal bupivacaine was compared with placebo in two pivotal, multicenter, randomized, doubleblind, parallel-group trials in 189 adults undergoing soft-tissue surgery (hemorrhoidectomy) and 193 adults undergoing orthopedic surgery (bunionectomy). Among patients undergoing hemorrhoidectomy, liposomal bupivacaine significantly reduced cumulative pain scores for up to 72 hours (primary end point) as measured by the area under the curve of pain scores on the numeric rating scale (p<0.0001), reduced overall opioid consumption (p≤0.0006), increased the proportion of patients who did not receive opioids (p<0.0008), delayed time to first opioid by more than 13 hours (p<0.0001), and was associated with significantly higher rates of patient satisfaction (p=0.0007) compared with placebo. Similarly, in patients undergoing bunionectomy, liposomal bupivacaine significantly reduced total consumption of rescue opioids (p=0.0077) and cumulative pain scores as measured by the area under the curve of pain scores on the numeric rating scale (p=0.0005) during the first 24 postsurgical hours (primary end point) relative to placebo. Furthermore, liposomal bupivacaine also significantly delayed the time to first use of opioid rescue (p<0.0001) and increased the proportion of patients requiring no rescue opioid treatment (p≤0.0404) compared with placebo. The most common adverse events with liposomal bupivacaine were nausea, vomiting, and constipation. No adverse effects on the QTc interval or cardiac safety signal have been detected in the clinical trial development program (823 patients) when liposomal bupivacaine was infiltrated into the surgical site. The beneficial effects of liposomal bupivacaine on postsurgical pain management and opioid use, significantly reducing both, are likely to translate into improved clinical and economic outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19S-26S
JournalPharmacotherapy
Volume32
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012

Keywords

  • Bunionectomy
  • Exparel
  • Hemorrhoidectomy
  • Liposomal bupivacaine
  • Local analgesia
  • Nonopioid
  • Postsurgical pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)

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