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Intravenous Flurbiprofen Axetil Enhances Analgesic Effect of Opioids in Patients with Refractory Cancer Pain by Increasing Plasma β-Endorphin

  • Wu, Ting-Ting (1Department of Oncology, Wuhan General Hospital of Guangzhou Command, People's Liberation Army) ;
  • Wang, Zhi-Gang (1Department of Oncology, Wuhan General Hospital of Guangzhou Command, People's Liberation Army) ;
  • Ou, Wu-Ling (Department of Oncology, Hubei Cancer Hospital) ;
  • Wang, Jun (Department of Oncology, General Hospital of Jinan Command, People's Liberation Army) ;
  • Yao, Guo-Qing (1Department of Oncology, Wuhan General Hospital of Guangzhou Command, People's Liberation Army) ;
  • Yang, Bo (1Department of Oncology, Wuhan General Hospital of Guangzhou Command, People's Liberation Army) ;
  • Rao, Zhi-Guo (1Department of Oncology, Wuhan General Hospital of Guangzhou Command, People's Liberation Army) ;
  • Gao, Jian-Fei (1Department of Oncology, Wuhan General Hospital of Guangzhou Command, People's Liberation Army) ;
  • Zhang, Bi-Cheng (1Department of Oncology, Wuhan General Hospital of Guangzhou Command, People's Liberation Army)
  • Published : 2015.01.22

Abstract

Background: The study aimed to investigate the analgesic effect of a combination of intravenous flurbiprofen axetil and opioids, and evaluate the relationship between refractory pain relief and plasma ${\beta}$-endorphin levels in cancer patients. Materials and Methods: A total of 120 cancer patients was randomly divided into two groups, 60 patients took orally morphine sulfate sustained-release tablets in group A, and another 60 patients receiving the combination treatment of intravenous flurbiprofen axetil and opioid drugs in group B. After 7 days, pain relief, quality of life improvement and side effects were evaluated. Furthermore, plasma ${\beta}$-endorphin levels were measured by radioimmunoassay. Results: With the combination treatment of intravenous intravenous flurbiprofen axetil and opioids, the total effective rate of pain relief rose to 91.4%, as compared to 82.1% when morphine sulfate sustained-release tablet was used alone. Compared with that of group A, the analgesic effect increased in group B (p=0.031). Moreover, satisfactory pain relief was associated with a significant increase in plasma ${\beta}$-endorphin levels. After the treatment, plasma ${\beta}$-endorphin level in group B was $62.4{\pm}13.5pg/ml$, which was higher than that in group A ($45.8{\pm}11.2pg/ml$) (p<0.05). Conclusions: Our results suggest the combination of intravenous flurbiprofen axetil and opioids can enhance the analgesic effect of opioid drugs by increasing plasma ${\beta}$-endorphin levels, which would offer a selected and reliable strategy for refractory cancer pain treatment.

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