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Acute postoperative pain management: focus on iontophoretic transdermal fentanyl

Authors Consalvo Mattia, Flaminia Coluzzi

Published 15 March 2007 Volume 2007:3(1) Pages 19—27

Consalvo Mattia, Flaminia Coluzzi

ICOT-Polo Pontino, Department of Anesthesia, Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Therapy, University “La Sapienza” Roma, Italy

Abstract: Despite progress in the management of chronic pain, acute pain remains an issue for many postoperative patients. Although patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) has demonstrated efficacy and patient satisfaction, current techniques using intravenous (IV) administration present limitations, including the risk of programming errors and the potential to limit patient mobility due to pumps, lines, and tubing. The patient-controlled fentanyl hydrochloride (HCl) iontophoretic transdermal system (fentanyl ITS) was designed to address these concerns. Fentanyl ITS is an innovative, needle-free, self-contained drug-delivery system that uses iontophoretic technology to deliver fentanyl through the skin by application of a low-intensity electrical field. The results of several clinical studies are presented in this review. In three phase 3 placebo-controlled trials, fentanyl ITS was shown to be superior to placebo for the treatment of postoperative pain following major abdominal, orthopedic, and thoracic surgery. The results of one active-comparator phase 3 trial demonstrated comparable safety and efficacy with a standard morphine IV PCA dosing regimen, without significant difference in the side effect profile. Fentanyl ITS represents a safe, easy to use, non-invasive, and convenient alternative to current acute postoperative pain management modalities.

Keywords: patient-controlled analgesia, transdermal, fentanyl, iontophoresis, postoperative pain, needle-free

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