Intrathecal Ziconotide for Neuropathic Pain: A Review


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Abstract

Neuropathic pain is a considerable burden that affects activities of daily living. The management of neuropathic pain can be challenging because of multiple etiologies and complex manifestations. Ziconotide is a nonopioid intrathecal (IT) analgesic option for patients with neuropathic pain refractory to conventional treatments. The objective of this article is to review the published literature on ziconotide for the treatment of neuropathic pain. Relevant publications were identified through searches of all years of 6 databases, which included PubMed, EMBASE, and CINAHL. Search terms used were ziconotide, SNX-111, MVIIA, Prialt, and neuropathic pain. Publications were included if ziconotide was intrathecally administered (either alone or in combination with other IT agents) to treat neuropathic pain of any etiology and if pain assessment was an outcome measure. Data extracted included study design, IT drug doses, pain outcome measures, and adverse events (AEs). Twenty-eight articles met the inclusion criteria: 5 were preclinical studies and 23 were clinical studies. In the preclinical studies, ziconotide demonstrated antiallodynic effects on neuropathic pain. Data from double-blind, placebo-controlled (DBPC) trials indicated that patients with neuropathic pain reported a mean percent improvement in pain score with ziconotide monotherapy that ranged from 15.7% to 31.6%. A low starting dose and slow titration of ziconotide resulted in an improved safety profile in the aforementioned trials. Common AEs associated with ziconotide include nausea and/or vomiting, dizziness, confusion, urinary retention, and somnolence. Evidence from DBPC trials, open-label studies, case series, and case studies suggests that ziconotide, as either monotherapy or in combination with other IT drugs, is a potential therapeutic option for patients with refractory neuropathic pain. Additional studies are needed to establish the long-term efficacy and safety of ziconotide for neuropathic pain.

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