A safety review of approved intrathecal analgesics for chronic pain management.
Expert opinion on drug safety
Introduction: Intrathecal (IT) drug therapy is an effective treatment option for patients with chronic pain of malignant or nonmalignant origin, with an established safety profile and fewer adverse effects compared to oral or parenteral pain medications. Morphine (a μ-opioid receptor agonist) and ziconotide (a non-opioid calcium channel antagonist) are the only IT agents approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of chronic pain. Although both are considered first-line IT therapies, each drug has unique properties and considerations.Areas Covered: This review will evaluate the pivotal trials that established the use of morphine and ziconotide as first-line IT therapy for patients with chronic pain, as well as safety and efficacy data generated from various retrospective and prospective studies.Expert Opinion: Morphine and ziconotide are effective IT therapies for patients with chronic malignant or nonmalignant pain that is refractory to other interventions. IT ziconotide is recommended as a first-line therapy due to its efficacy and avoidance of many adverse effects commonly associated with opioids. The use of IT morphine is also considered first-line; however, the risks of respiratory depression, withdrawal with drug discontinuation or pump malfunction, and the development of tolerance require careful patient selection and management.
Chalil A, Staudt MD, Harland TA, Leimer EM, Bhullar R, Argoff CE. A safety review of approved intrathecal analgesics for chronic pain management. Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2021 Apr;20(4):439-451. doi: 10.1080/14740338.2021.1889513. Epub 2021 Mar 8. PMID: 33583318.