Bupivacaine and meloxicam (HTX-011) in a fixed-dose combination is in development for the management of post-operative pain. Post-operative pain is a typical example of acute pain. Acute pain typically lasts for less than 3-6 months (unlike chronic pain which carries on for longer than 12 weeks), and is provoked by identifiable stimuli and disappears as soon as the tissue injury or damage that had caused it is healed. All surgical procedures are associated with a certain level of post-operative pain. Opioids are often used to manage post-operative pain but carry the risk of harmful side effects, abuse and addiction.
In HTX-011, the inclusion of low-dose meloxicam reduces local inflammation and reverses the acidic environment caused by surgery, allowing enhanced penetration of bupivacaine (a local anaesthetic) into the nerves and thereby increasing its effect. HTX-011 is in development for application into the surgical site and early studies have shown its potential to reduce severe post-operative pain and the need for opioid analgesics for up to 72 hours. If licensed, HTX-011 may offer an additional treatment option for the management of post-operative pain with a potential to reduce the need for opioids.
Liposomal bupivacaine is in clinical development for the treatment of post-operative pain in paediatric patients. Post-operative pain is a common occurrence in patients who have undergone surgery. Managing post-operative pain is important in order for patients to have a positive post-operative experience and to enhance their recovery, and for the prevention of chronic post-surgical pain in the long-term.