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Etanercept Cuts Sciatic Pain From Lumbar Disc Herniation

Two transforaminal injections, two weeks apart, relieved pain for up to 26 weeks of follow-up

Etanercept Cuts Sciatic Pain From Lumbar Disc Herniation

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with placebo, transforaminal injections of etanercept provide relief from leg and back pain in patients with symptomatic lumbar disc herniation (LDH), according to research published in the Nov. 1 issue of Spine.

Brian J.C. Freeman, D.M., of the University of Adelaide in Australia, and colleagues randomized 49 patients, aged 18 to 70 years, who had persistent lumbosacral radicular pain secondary to LDH, to receive etanercept (0.5 mg, 2.5 mg, or 12.5 mg) or placebo as two transforaminal epidural injections, two weeks apart.

The researchers found that mean daily worst leg pain was significantly reduced in patients receiving 0.5-mg etanercept compared with those receiving placebo. Among these patients, 50 percent reported a 100 percent reduction in worst leg pain at four weeks compared with none of the patients receiving placebo. No difference was observed in the incidence of adverse events in the etanercept and placebo groups.

"Epidural etanercept may offer patients with sciatica a safe and effective nonoperative treatment," the authors write.

Two study authors are employed by BioAssets Development Corporation (now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceuticals), which funded the study.

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