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Efficacy, safety, and tolerability of fentanyl pectin nasal spray in patients with breakthrough cancer pain

Authors Ueberall M, Lorenzl S, Lux E, Voltz R, Perelman M

Received 10 February 2016

Accepted for publication 10 April 2016

Published 17 August 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 571—585


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael E Schatman

Michael A Ueberall,1 Stefan Lorenzl,2 Eberhard A Lux,3,4 Raymond Voltz,5 Michael Perelman6

1Institute of Neurological Sciences, Nuremberg, Germany; 2Institute of Nursing Science and Practice, Paracelsus Private Medical University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria; 3Faculty of Medicine, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten, Germany; 4Clinic for Pain and Palliative Care Medicine, St.- Marien-Hospital, Luenen, Germany; 5Department of Palliative Medicine, University Hospital Cologne, Cologne, Germany; 6Archimedes Development Ltd., Nottingham, United Kingdom

Objective: Assessment of analgesic effectiveness, safety, and tolerability of fentanyl pectin nasal spray (FPNS) in the treatment of breakthrough cancer pain (BTcP) in routine clinical practice.
Methods: A prospective, open-label, noninterventional study (4-week observation period, 3 month follow-up) of opioid-tolerant adults with BTcP in 41 pain and palliative care centers in Germany. Standardized BTcP questionnaires and patient diaries were used. Evaluation was made of patient-reported outcomes with respect to “time to first effect”, “time to maximum effect”, BTcP relief, as well as changes in BTcP-related impairment of daily life activities, ­quality-of-life restrictions, and health care resource utilization.
Results: A total of 235 patients were recruited of whom 220 completed all questionnaires and reported on 1,569 BTcP episodes. Patients reported a significant reduction of maximum BTcP intensity (11-stage numerical rating scale [0= no pain, 10= worst pain conceivable]) with FPNS (mean ± standard deviation = 2.8±2.3) compared with either that reported at baseline (8.5±1.5), experienced immediately before FPNS application (7.4±1.7), or that achieved with previous BTcP medication (6.0±2.0; P<0.001 for each comparison). In 12.3% of BTcP episodes, onset of pain relief occurred ≤2 minutes and in 48.4% ≤5 minutes; maximum effects were reported within 10 minutes for 37.9% and within 15 minutes for 79.4%. By the end of the study, there had been significant improvements versus baseline in BTcP-related daily life activities (28.3±16.9 vs 53.1±11.9), physical (35.9±8.4 vs 26.8±6.5), and mental quality of life (38.7±8.5 vs 29.9±7.9) (P<0.001 for each comparison vs baseline); in addition, health care resource utilization requirements directly related to BTcP were reduced by 67.5%. FPNS was well tolerated; seven patients (3.2%) experienced eight treatment-emergent adverse events of which none was serious. There were no indicators of misuse or abuse.
Conclusion: FPNS provided rapid and highly effective BTcP relief in opioid-tolerant cancer patients with substantial improvements in daily functioning and quality of life. FPNS was well tolerated and associated with significant reductions in health care resource utilization and nursing assistance.

Keywords: breakthrough pain, cancer, fentanyl pectin nasal spray, intranasal administration, efficacy, safety, quality of life

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