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


Background: The study aimed to investigate the analgesic effect of a combination of intravenous flurbiprofenaxetil and opioids, and evaluate the relationship between refractory pain relief and plasma β-endorphin levels incancer 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 receivingthe combination treatment of intravenous flurbiprofen axetil and opioid drugs in group B. After 7 days, painrelief, quality of life improvement and side effects were evaluated. Furthermore, plasma β-endorphin levelswere measured by radioimmunoassay.
Results: With the combination treatment of intravenous intravenousflurbiprofen axetil and opioids, the total effective rate of pain relief rose to 91.4%, as compared to 82.1% whenmorphine sulfate sustained-release tablet was used alone. Compared with that of group A, the analgesic effectincreased in group B (p=0.031). Moreover, satisfactory pain relief was associated with a significant increase inplasma β-endorphin levels. After the treatment, plasma β-endorphin level in group B was 62.4±13.5 pg/ml, whichwas higher than that in group A (45.8±11.2 pg/ml) (p<0.05).
Conclusions: Our results suggest the combination ofintravenous flurbiprofen axetil and opioids can enhance the analgesic effect of opioid drugs by increasing plasmaβ-endorphin levels, which would offer a selected and reliable strategy for refractory cancer pain treatment.