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Comparison of analgesia, adverse effects, and quality of life in cancer patients during treatment of procedural pain with intravenous morphine, fentanyl nasal spray, and fentanyl buccal tablets

Authors Piotrowska W, Leppert W, Majkowicz M

Received 3 July 2018

Accepted for publication 16 November 2018

Published 18 February 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 1587—1600


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Rituraj Purohit

Wieslawa Piotrowska,1 Wojciech Leppert,1 Mikolaj Majkowicz2

1Laboratory of Quality of Life Research, Chair and Department of Palliative Medicine, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland; 2Institute of Health Sciences, Pomeranian Academy, Słupsk, Poland

Aim: Comparison of analgesia, adverse effects, and quality of life (QoL) of cancer patients in the treatment of procedural pain induced by nursing procedures with the use of intravenous morphine, fentanyl nasal spray, and fentanyl buccal tablets.
Methods: In adults with cancer with opioid tolerance and suffering procedural pain, intravenous morphine was used at an inpatient palliative medicine unit (20 patients) and fentanyl by intranasal (15 patients) and buccal routes (nine patients) at home. Five procedural pain episodes were examined: the Mini-Mental State Examination was used to assess cognitive function, the Brief Pain Inventory – short form (BPI-SF) to assess intensity and impact of pain on daily activities, a pain and adverse-effect questionnaire to assess the intensity of pain and adverse effects, and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-C15-PAL to assess QoL.
Results: All five procedural pain episodes were completed by 32 patients. Twelve patients stopped treatment due to death or referral to the hospital (four patients in each group), changes in the treatment of background pain (three patients), and intense drowsiness (one patient). Similar beneficial analgesic effects were observed in all patient groups. During fentanyl therapy, a smaller negative effect of pain on patients’ activity, walking, and work (BPI-SF) was observed. Among adverse effects, fewer breaths (10–14 per minute) were observed in 17 patients and slight disturbances of consciousness in seven. For QoL, an improvement in emotional functioning, overall QoL, and fatigue was observed. Patients treated with intranasal and buccal fentanyl had higher physical functioning and were more active.
Conclusion: In the treatment of procedural pain induced by nursing procedures in cancer patients, intravenous morphine and rapid-onset fentanyl show similarly high analgesic efficacy, with good tolerance of treatment and improvement in QoL.

Keywords: analgesia, cancer, procedural pain, adverse effects, quality of life

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