Bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension compared with bupivacaine HCl for the reduction of opioid burden in the postsurgical setting

Curr Med Res Opin. 2012 Oct;28(10):1609-15. doi: 10.1185/03007995.2012.721760. Epub 2012 Sep 3.


Objective: Assess comparative efficacy of liposome bupivacaine administered at doses ≤266 mg and bupivacaine HCl administered at doses ≤200 mg for postsurgical analgesia.

Research design and methods: Analysis of pooled efficacy and safety data from nine double-blind, placebo or active (bupivacaine HCl) controlled multimodal analgesia studies using a single dose of liposome bupivacaine or comparator, given via administration into the surgical site before end of surgery (i.e., inguinal hernia repair, total knee arthroplasty, hemorrhoidectomy, breast augmentation, or bunionectomy). Data from study arms that received liposome bupivacaine doses ≤266 mg were included.

Clinical trial registration: Pooled data analysis includes nine studies: Study 1 - NCT01203644; Study 2 - NCT00485433; Study 3 - NCT00485693; Study 4 - NCT00529126; Study 5 - NCT00745290; Study 6 - NCT00744848; Study 7 - NCT00813111; Study 8 - NCT00890721; Study 9 - NCT00890682.

Main outcome measures: Outcome measures included area under the curve (AUC) of pain intensity scores assessed by numeric rating scale (NRS) through 72 h postsurgery, time to first use of rescue opioid medications, total amount (mg) of opioid medications used, and occurrence of opioid-related adverse events (ORAEs). Incidence of overall AEs was also assessed.

Results: Mean cumulative pain score (AUC of NRS through 72 h) was significantly lower with liposome bupivacaine (283) compared with bupivacaine HCl (329, p = 0.039). Median time from administration of study drug to first use of opioid rescue medication was significantly longer for liposome bupivacaine (10 h vs 3 h, p < 0.0001). Liposome bupivacaine was associated with a significant reduction in opioid use (12 mg vs 19 mg; p < 0.0001) and incidence of ORAEs (20% vs 36%; p < 0.0001), compared with bupivacaine HCl.

Conclusions: In this pooled analysis from nine studies representing five different surgical procedures, liposome bupivacaine administered at doses ≤266 mg in a multimodal setting was associated with statistically significant and clinically meaningful lower cumulative pain score at 72 h, delayed and less consumption of opioids, and fewer ORAEs than bupivacaine HCl.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics, Opioid / adverse effects
  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Anesthetics, Local / adverse effects
  • Bupivacaine / administration & dosage*
  • Bupivacaine / adverse effects
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liposomes
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy*


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Liposomes
  • Bupivacaine

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00813111
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00890721
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01203644
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00485693
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00890682
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00745290
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00529126
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00744848
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00485433