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      Transdermal fentanyl patch for postoperative analgesia in total knee arthroplasty: a randomized double-blind controlled trial

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          To assess the efficacy of a transdermal fentanyl patch (TFP) (50 μg/hour) applied 10–12 hours before surgery versus placebo for postoperative pain control of total knee arthroplasty (TKA).

          Materials and methods

          We enrolled 40 patients undergoing elective TKA under spinal anesthesia using isobaric or hyperbaric bupivacaine. Subjects were randomized to receive a TFP (Duragesic ® 50 μg/hour) or placebo patch applied with a self-adhesive to the anterior chest wall 10–12 hours before spinal anesthesia. Every patient was given patient-controlled morphine for postoperative pain control. Patients were evaluated every 4 hours until 48 hours.


          Morphine consumption at 24 and 48 hours in the TFP group versus the placebo group was 15.40±12.65 and 24.90±20.11 mg versus 33.60±19.06 and 57.80±12.65 mg ( P≤0.001). Numeric rating scale scores at rest and during movement over 48 hours were lower in the TFP group. Ambulation and nausea/vomiting scores were statistically greater, but not clinically significant in the TFP group. Sedation scores were low and not statistically significantly different between groups. There was no severe respiratory depression.


          TFP (50 μg/hour) applied 10–12 hours before surgery can effectively and safely decrease morphine consumption and pain scores during the first 48 hours after TKA surgery.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Femoral nerve block improves analgesia outcomes after total knee arthroplasty: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

          Femoral nerve blockade (FNB) is a common method of analgesia for postoperative pain control after total knee arthroplasty. We conducted a systematic review to compare the analgesia outcomes in randomized controlled trials that compared FNB (with and without sciatic nerve block) with epidural and patient-controlled analgesia (PCA). We identified 23 randomized controlled trials that compared FNB with PCA or epidural analgesia. These studies included 1,016 patients, 665 with FNB, 161 with epidural, and 190 with PCA alone. All 10 studies of single-shot FNB (SSFNB) used concurrent PCA opioids. SSFNB was found to reduce PCA morphine consumption at 24 h (-19.9 mg, 95% credible interval [CrI]: -35.2 to -4.6) and 48 h (-38.0 mg, 95% CrI: -56.0 to -19.7), pain scores with activity (but not at rest) at 24 and 48 h (-1.8 visual analog pain scale, 95% CrI: -3.3 to -0.02 at 24 h; -1.5 visual analog pain scale, 95% CrI: -2.9 to -0.02 at 48 h) and reduce the incidence of nausea (0.37 odds ratio, 95% CrI: 0.1 to 0.9) compared with PCA alone. SSFNB had similar morphine consumption and pain scores compared with SSFNB plus sciatic nerve block, and SSFNB plus continuous FNB. SSFNB or continuous FNB (plus PCA) was found to be superior to PCA alone for postoperative analgesia for patients having total knee arthroplasty. The impact of adding a sciatic block or continuous FNB to a SSFNB needs to be studied further.
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            Plasma fentanyl concentrations during transdermal delivery of fentanyl to surgical patients.

            Plasma fentanyl concentrations were measured during and after transdermal fentanyl delivery in groups of patients undergoing general surgery. At 8 and 12 h, concentrations did not differ from those observed in a matched group of patients receiving fentanyl by i.v. infusion. At 24 h, concentrations were significantly lower in one of the transdermal groups. Plasma fentanyl clearance did not differ significantly between the groups. Plasma fentanyl concentrations decreased slowly after removal of the transdermal system.
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              Transdermal fentanyl: pharmacology and toxicology.

              To evaluate the underlying pharmacology, safety, and misuse/abuse of transdermal fentanyl, one of the cornerstone pharmacotherapies for patients with chronic pain. Literature was identified through searches of Medline (PubMed) and several textbooks in the areas of pharmacology, toxicology, and pain management. A bibliographical review of articles identified by these searches was also performed. Search terms included combinations of the following: fentanyl, transdermal, patch, pharmacology, kinetics, toxicity, and poisoning. All pertinent clinical trials, retrospective studies, and case reports relevant to fentanyl pharmacology and transdermal fentanyl administered by any route and published in English were identified. Each was reviewed for data regarding the clinical pharmacology, abuse, misuse, and safety of transdermal fentanyl. Data from these studies and information from review articles and pharmaceutical prescribing information were included in this review. Fentanyl is a high-potency opioid that has many uses in the treatment of both acute and chronic pain. Intentional or unintentional misuse, as well as abuse, may lead to significant clinical consequences, including death. Both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada have warned of potential pitfalls associated with transdermal fentanyl, although these have not been completely effective in preventing life-threatening adverse events and fatalities related to its inappropriate use. Clinically consequential adverse effects may occur unexpectedly with normal use of transdermal fentanyl, or if misused or abused. Misuse and therapeutic error may be largely preventable through better education at all levels for both the prescriber and patient. The prevention of intentional misuse or abuse may require regulatory intervention.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                01 August 2014
                : 7
                : 449-454
                [1 ]Department of Anesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen
                [2 ]Chulabhorn Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Thepakorn Sathitkarnmanee, Department of Anesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, 123 Moo 16 Mittraphap Road, Tambon Muang, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand, Tel +66 81 954 7622, Fax +66 43 348 390, Email thepakorns@ 123456gmail.com
                © 2014 Sathitkarnmanee et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research


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