Quality of life and cancer pain: satisfaction and side effects with transdermal fentanyl versus oral morphine.
PURPOSE: To compare pain-related treatment satisfaction, patient-perceived side effects, functioning, and well-being in patients with advanced cancer who were receiving either transdermal fentanyl (Duragesic, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Titusville, NJ) or sustained-release oral forms of morphine (MS Contin, Perdue Frederick Co, Norwalk, CT, or Oramorph SR, Roxanne Laboratories, Columbus, OH). PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 504 assessable cancer patients participated in this cross-sectional, quality-of-life study. Relevant elements of four validated scales were used--the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G) scale, the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) questionnaire, and the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale (MSAS)--as well as original scales that were developed and validated for this study. RESULTS: The majority of patients in both treatment groups had late-stage (IV/D) cancer. Patients who received transdermal fentanyl were more satisfied overall with their pain medication than those who received sustained-release oral forms of morphine (P = .035). Fentanyl patients also experienced a significantly lower frequency (P < .002) and impact (P < .001) of pain medication side effects. These results occurred despite the fact that cancer patients who received fentanyl were significantly older (P < .001) and had significantly lower functioning and well-being scores (P = .001). Measures of pain intensity, sleep adequacy, and symptoms demonstrated no significant differences between treatment groups. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that patients are more satisfied with transdermal fentanyl compared with sustained-release oral forms of morphine. A lower frequency and reduced impact of side effects with transdermal fentanyl may be one reason cancer patients who receive fentanyl are more satisfied with their pain management.
Payne, R; Mathias, SD; Pasta, DJ; Wanke, LA; Williams, R; Mahmoud, R
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