Journals Library

An error has occurred in processing the XML document

An error occurred retrieving content to display, please try again.

Page not found (404)

Sorry - the page you requested could not be found.

Please choose a page from the navigation or try a website search above to find the information you need.

{{metadata.Title}}

{{metadata.Headline}}

{{author}}{{author}}{{($index < metadata.AuthorsAndEtalArray.length-1) ? ',' : '.'}}

An error has occurred in processing the XML document

An error has occurred in processing the XML document

{{metadata.Journal}} Volume: {{metadata.Volume}}, Issue: {{metadata.Issue}}, Published in {{metadata.PublicationDate | date:'MMMM yyyy'}}

https://doi.org/{{metadata.DOI}}

Citation: {{author}}{{ (($index < metadata.AuthorsArray.length-1) && ($index <=6)) ? ', ' : '' }}{{(metadata.AuthorsArray.length <= 6) ? '.' : '' }} {{(metadata.AuthorsArray.length > 6) ? 'et al.' : ''}} {{metadata.Title}}. {{metadata.JournalShortName}} {{metadata.PublicationDate | date:'yyyy'}};{{metadata.Volume}}({{metadata.Issue}})

You might also be interested in:
{{classification.Category.Concept}}

Report Content

The full text of this issue is available as a PDF document from the Toolkit section on this page.

The full text of this issue is available as a PDF document from the Toolkit section on this page.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

To identify the drug treatments currently available for the management of spasticity and pain in multiple sclerosis (MS), and to evaluate their clinical and cost-effectiveness.

DATA SOURCES

Electronic bibliographic databases, National Research Register, MRC Clinical Trials Register and the US National Institutes of Health Clinical Trials Register.

REVIEW METHODS

Systematic searches identified 15 interventions for the treatment of spasticity and 15 interventions for treatment of pain. The quality and outcomes of the studies were evaluated. Reviews of the treatment of spasticity and pain when due to other aetiologies were also sought.

RESULTS

There is limited evidence of the effectiveness of four oral drugs for spasticity: baclofen, dantrolene, diazepam and tizanidine. Tizanidine appears to be no more effective than comparator drugs such as baclofen and has a slightly different side-effects profile. Despite claims that it causes less muscle weakness, there was very little evidence that tizanidine performed any better in this respect than other drugs, although it is more expensive. The findings of this review are consistent with reviews of the same treatments for spasticity derived from other aetiologies. There is good evidence that both botulinum toxin (BT) and intrathecal baclofen are effective in reducing spasticity, and both are associated with functional benefit. However, they are invasive, and substantially more expensive. None of the studies included in the review of pain were designed specifically to evaluate the alleviation of pain in patients with MS and there was no consistency regarding the use of validated outcome measures. It was suggested that, although expensive, the use of intrathecal baclofen may be associated with significant savings in hospitalisation costs in relation to bed-bound patients who are at risk of developing pressure sores, thus enhancing its cost-effectiveness. No studies of cost-effectiveness were identified in the review of pain. There is evidence, albeit limited, of the clinical effectiveness of baclofen, dantrolene, diazepam, tizanidine, intrathecal baclofen and BT and of the potential cost-effectiveness of intrathecal baclofen in the treatment of spasticity in MS.

CONCLUSIONS

Many of the interventions identified are not licensed for the alleviation of pain or spasticity in MS and the lack of evidence relating to their effectiveness may also limit their widespread use. Indeed, forthcoming information relating to the use of cannabinoids in MS may result in there being better evidence of the effectiveness of new treatments than of any of the currently used drugs. It may therefore be of value to carry out double-blind randomised controlled trials of interventions used in current practice, where outcomes could include functional benefit and impact on quality of life. Further research into the development and validation of outcomes measures for pain and spasticity may also be useful, as perhaps would cost-utility studies.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

To identify the drug treatments currently available for the management of spasticity and pain in multiple sclerosis (MS), and to evaluate their clinical and cost-effectiveness.

DATA SOURCES

Electronic bibliographic databases, National Research Register, MRC Clinical Trials Register and the US National Institutes of Health Clinical Trials Register.

REVIEW METHODS

Systematic searches identified 15 interventions for the treatment of spasticity and 15 interventions for treatment of pain. The quality and outcomes of the studies were evaluated. Reviews of the treatment of spasticity and pain when due to other aetiologies were also sought.

RESULTS

There is limited evidence of the effectiveness of four oral drugs for spasticity: baclofen, dantrolene, diazepam and tizanidine. Tizanidine appears to be no more effective than comparator drugs such as baclofen and has a slightly different side-effects profile. Despite claims that it causes less muscle weakness, there was very little evidence that tizanidine performed any better in this respect than other drugs, although it is more expensive. The findings of this review are consistent with reviews of the same treatments for spasticity derived from other aetiologies. There is good evidence that both botulinum toxin (BT) and intrathecal baclofen are effective in reducing spasticity, and both are associated with functional benefit. However, they are invasive, and substantially more expensive. None of the studies included in the review of pain were designed specifically to evaluate the alleviation of pain in patients with MS and there was no consistency regarding the use of validated outcome measures. It was suggested that, although expensive, the use of intrathecal baclofen may be associated with significant savings in hospitalisation costs in relation to bed-bound patients who are at risk of developing pressure sores, thus enhancing its cost-effectiveness. No studies of cost-effectiveness were identified in the review of pain. There is evidence, albeit limited, of the clinical effectiveness of baclofen, dantrolene, diazepam, tizanidine, intrathecal baclofen and BT and of the potential cost-effectiveness of intrathecal baclofen in the treatment of spasticity in MS.

CONCLUSIONS

Many of the interventions identified are not licensed for the alleviation of pain or spasticity in MS and the lack of evidence relating to their effectiveness may also limit their widespread use. Indeed, forthcoming information relating to the use of cannabinoids in MS may result in there being better evidence of the effectiveness of new treatments than of any of the currently used drugs. It may therefore be of value to carry out double-blind randomised controlled trials of interventions used in current practice, where outcomes could include functional benefit and impact on quality of life. Further research into the development and validation of outcomes measures for pain and spasticity may also be useful, as perhaps would cost-utility studies.

If you would like to receive a notification when this project publishes in the NIHR Journals Library, please submit your email address below.

 

Responses to this report

 

No responses have been published.

If you would like to submit a response to this publication, please do so using the form below.

Comments submitted to the NIHR Journals Library are electronic letters to the editor. They enable our readers to debate issues raised in research reports published in the Journals Library. We aim to post within 2 working days all responses that contribute substantially to the topic investigated, as determined by the Editors.

Your name and affiliations will be published with your comment.

Once published, you will not have the right to remove or edit your response. The Editors may add, remove, or edit comments at their absolute discretion.

By submitting your response, you are stating that you agree to the terms & conditions