[Transdermal route as an alternative to oral administration of opioids in cancer pain]

M Burza, P Ginobbi, G Fusco, L Laurenzi, W Tirelli, E Arcuri
La Clinica Terapeutica 1998, 149 (4): 277-80
Fentanyl TTS, the only transdermal opioid, represents a real tool for a better quality of life in patients with cancer pain. In this paper we report a short description of the pharmacologic properties and administration procedures of this drug that is a useful alternative when other opioids recommended on the third step of the WHO analgesic ladder, are ineffective or present unbearable side effects (nausea and/or vomiting-severe mucosites and dysphagia). In particular we indicated some changes and adjustments switching from morphine per os to fentanyl TTS. In addition we report the results of a study carried out in our Pain Therapy Center on 49 patients with severe oncologic pain, previously treated with opioids and other drugs associations. Our results indicated a good control of continuous nociceptive cancer pain, with a better quality of life and lesser side effects to respect the previous regime of orally opioids.

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