Transdermal fentanyl: suggested recommendations for clinical use.


Journal Article (Review)

Transdermal fentanyl offers the advantage of providing continuous administration of a potent opioid in the absence of needles and expensive drug-infusion pumps for the treatment of cancer pain. When transdermal fentanyl is initiated, it may be necessary to change the dose every 24-48 hr until an appropriate dose is titrated to the needs of the patient. This should be done by providing short-acting opioids as rescue analgesics for breakthrough pain. Well-accepted principles established for chronic opioid use in cancer pain management should apply to the administration of transdermal fentanyl as well. These include dose titration, the coadministration of adjuvant drugs to counteract opioid side effects and enhance analgesia, and the need to reassess the patient continuously for recurrent tumor and other new sources of pain. Further clinically relevant studies are needed and include 1) the determination of the relative potency of transdermal fentanyl, especially in comparison with oral and parenteral morphine; 2) a prospective study of the side-effect profile of transdermal fentanyl in relationship to oral morphine; and 3) the role of oral transmucosal administration of fentanyl in selection of starting doses of transdermal fentanyl and as a means to provide rescue doses for breakthrough pain.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Payne, R

Published Date

  • April 1, 1992

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 7 / 3 Suppl

Start / End Page

  • S40 - S44

PubMed ID

  • 1517631

Pubmed Central ID

  • 1517631

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-6513

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0885-3924

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0885-3924(92)90052-j


  • eng