Leppert, W., & Majkowicz, M. (2010). The impact of tramadol and dihydrocodeine treatment on quality of life of patients with cancer pain. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 64(12), 1681–1687.doi: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2010.02422.x
To compare the impact of tramadol to that of dihydrocodone (DHC) treatment on the quality of life (QoL) and performance status (PS) of patients with cancer pain
Patients received treatment with either tramadol or DHC controlled-release tablets for seven days. Then drugs were switched and administered for another seven days. QoL and PS were measured at baseline, at the 7th day, and on the 14th day of therapy.
Randomized crossover trial
DHC treatment was associated with better global QoL, cognitive functioning, analgesia, and appetite and with less fatigue, sleep disturbances, nausea, and vomiting. Tramadol therapy was associated with better emotional functioning, less constipation, and fewer financial problems. Performance status deteriorated in both groups.
Findings suggest that the decision between tramadol and DHC should be based on each patient's status and symptoms of concern. To date, no other studies have compared tramadol to DHC in patients with cancer-elated pain. Further research would be beneficial.