CONTEXT: Chronic abdominal pain is the most difficult management issue in patients with chronic pancreatitis. Recently, a long-acting depo-formulated version of octreotide has been developed that can be given as a once monthly intramuscular injection, Octreotide LAR(R) (O-LAR) rather than as a thrice daily subcutaneous injection (octreotide short-acting, O-SA).
OBJECTIVE: To see if O-LAR is similar in efficacy to O-SA in the treatment of painful chronic pancreatitis in a small open-label, unblinded pilot study.
PATIENTS: Seven advanced chronic pancreatitis patients with daily, severe abdominal pain who had previously responded to O-SA were recruited from the pancreas clinics of the University of Florida and monitored for one month on O-SA and for four months while on O-LAR. Each patient served as his/her own control as this was a paired data set.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: 1) Daily VAS scores; 2) daily morphine equivalents; 3) monthly health related quality of life chronic pancreatitis surveys; 4) daily diaries of work/pleasurable activities missed or hospitalization/Emergency Department visits.
RESULTS: Average daily VAS scores for patients during O-SA therapy were 4.50+/-2.28 and during the fourth month of O-LAR therapy, 3.86+/-2.11, difference -0.64+/-0.80 (P=0.078). Average daily morphine equivalents were not dissimilar at 124.3+/-177.3 mg during O-SA therapy and 131.6+/-194.3 mg during O-LAR therapy; difference 7.3+/-17.5 mg P=0.310. Health related quality of life chronic pancreatitis scores were not significantly changed when moving from O-SA to O-LAR. Adverse events were rare.
CONCLUSIONS: Octreotide LAR(R) may be a reasonable substitute for tid octreotide in treating chronic pancreatitis pain. Further, larger studies would be useful to better characterize the role of Octreotide LAR(R) in the management of chronic pancreatitis pain.