Use of parecoxib by continuous subcutaneous infusion for cancer pain in a hospice population

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Abstract

Objectives

To characterise the use of the parenteral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug parecoxib when given by continuous subcutaneous infusion (CSCI) in a hospice population. Clinical experience suggests parecoxib CSCI may be of benefit in this population, but empirical evidence in relation to its safety and efficacy is lacking.

Methods

Retrospective chart review of patients with a cancer diagnosis receiving parecoxib CSCI from 2008 to 2013 at the Marie Curie Hospice, Belfast. Data were collected on treatment regime, tolerability and, in patients receiving at least 7 days treatment, baseline opioid dose and changes in pain scores or opioid rescue medication requirements.

Results

Parecoxib CSCI was initiated in 80 patients with a mean administration of 17.9 days (median 11, range 1–94). When used for a period of 7 days, there was a statistically significant reduction in pain scores (p=0.002) and in the number of rescue opioid doses required (p=0.001), but no statistically significant opioid-sparing effect (p=0.222). It was generally well tolerated, although gastrointestinal, renal adverse effects and local site irritation were reported.

Conclusions

Parecoxib may have a valuable place in the management of cancer pain, especially towards the end of life when oral administration is no longer possible and CSCI administration is relied on. Further studies into the efficacy and tolerability of parecoxib CSCI are merited.

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