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Advances in patient-controlled analgesia: the role of fentanyl ITS

Authors Power I, McCormack J

Published 12 January 2009 Volume 2008:1 Pages 49—57


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Ian Power, Jon G McCormack

Department of Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, The University of Edinburgh, Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, UK

Abstract: Effective pain relief is an essential component of a patient’s peri-operative care package. Good analgesia has been shown to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular, respiratory and thrombo-embolic complications following surgery. Satisfactory analgesia facilitates early patient ambulation following surgery, which may reduce in-patient stay. Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) systems are a well established standard therapy for acute post-operative pain; however some practical limitations limit their clinical utility. The fentanyl inotophoretic transdermal system (ITS) is a novel self-contained needle-free PCA device, which delivers boluses of fentanyl transdermally. This system has been shown to provide analgesia equivalent to conventional PCA modalities, with unique design features that may confer advantages to patients and staff, including facilitating patient mobilization in the post-operative phase. This review will discuss the technology of iontophoretic systems, the pharmacology of transdermal fentanyl delivery, and some practical implications of the fentanyl ITS.

Keywords: iontophoresis, transdermal, patient-controlled analgesia, fentanyl, post-operative pain

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