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      Patient considerations in the use of transdermal iontophoretic fentanyl for acute postoperative pain

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          Abstract

          Opioids are commonly used in the management of moderate-to-severe postoperative pain. Patient-controlled analgesic techniques are recognized as preferred administration methods. Previously, research has focused on intravenously administered opioids via a programmable pump. More recently, an iontophoretic transdermal system (ITS), which is patient controlled, has been developed. The focus of this review is on pain management using the fentanyl ITS during the 24–72-hour time period immediately following surgery. Fentanyl ITS offers a needle-free alternative to traditional intravenous (IV) patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) system that is as effective and safe as IV PCA. This system is easy to use for both patients and nurses. The use of fentanyl ITS is generally associated with a better ease-of-care profile, including a greater ease of mobility, from a patients’ perspective when compared with morphine IV PCA.

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          Most cited references 25

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          Prospective, randomized, controlled trial between a pathway of controlled rehabilitation with early ambulation and diet and traditional postoperative care after laparotomy and intestinal resection.

          In an era of dwindling hospital resources and increasing medical costs, safe reduction in postoperative stay has become a major focus to optimize utilization of healthcare resources. Although several protocols have been reported to reduce postoperative stay, no Level I evidence exists for their use in routine clinical practice. Sixty-four patients undergoing laparotomy and intestinal or rectal resection were randomly assigned to a pathway of controlled rehabilitation with early ambulation and diet or to traditional postoperative care. Time to discharge from hospital, complication and readmission rates, pain level, quality of life, and patient satisfaction scores were determined at the time of discharge and at 10 and 30 days after surgery. Subgroups were defined to evaluate those who derived the optimal benefit from the protocol. Pathway patients spent less total time in the hospital after surgery (5.4 vs. 7.1 days; P = 0.02) and less time in the hospital during the primary admission than traditional patients. Patients younger than 70 years old had greater benefits than the overall study group (5 vs. 7.1 days; P = 0.01). Patients treated by surgeons with the most experience with the pathway spent significantly less time in the hospital than did those whose surgeons were less experienced with the pathway (P = 0.01). There was no difference between pathway and traditional patients for readmission or complication rates, pain score, quality of life after surgery, or overall satisfaction with the hospital stay. Patients scheduled for a laparotomy and major intestinal or rectal resection are suitable for management by a pathway of controlled rehabilitation with early ambulation and diet. Pathway patients have a shorter hospital stay, with no adverse effect on patient satisfaction, pain scores, or complication rates. Patients younger than 70 years of age derive the optimal benefit, and increased surgeon experience improves outcome.
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            Patient-controlled transdermal fentanyl hydrochloride vs intravenous morphine pump for postoperative pain: a randomized controlled trial.

            Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) with morphine is commonly used to provide acute postoperative pain control after major surgery. The fentanyl hydrochloride patient-controlled transdermal system eliminates the need for venous access and complicated programming of pumps. To assess the efficacy and safety of an investigational patient-controlled iontophoretic transdermal system using fentanyl hydrochloride compared with a standard intravenous morphine patient-controlled pump. Prospective randomized controlled parallel-group trial conducted between September 2000 and March 2001 at 33 North American hospitals, enrolling 636 adult patients who had just undergone major surgery. In surgical recovery rooms, patients were randomly assigned to intravenous morphine (1-mg bolus every 5 minutes; maximum of 10 mg/h) by a patient-controlled analgesia pump (n = 320) or iontophoretic fentanyl hydrochloride (40- microg infusion over 10 minutes) by a patient-controlled transdermal system (n = 316). Supplemental analgesia (morphine or fentanyl intravenous boluses) was administered as needed before and for the first 3 hours after activation of the PCA treatments. Patients then used the PCA treatments without additional analgesics for up to 72 hours. The primary efficacy variable was patient global assessment of the method of pain control during the first 24 hours. Additional efficacy measures were the proportion of patients discontinuing the study because of inadequate analgesia for any reason, patient-reported pain intensity scores on a 100-mm visual analog scale (VAS), and patient global assessments at 48 and 72 hours. Adverse effects were also recorded. Ratings of good or excellent after 24 hours of treatment for the method of pain control were given by 73.7% of patients (233/316) who used transdermal fentanyl PCA and 76.9% of patients (246/320) who used intravenous morphine PCA; treatment difference was -3.2% (95% confidence interval, -9.9% to 3.5%; P =.36). Early patient discontinuations (25.9% fentanyl vs 25.0% morphine; P =.78) and last pain intensity scores (32.7 fentanyl vs 31.1 morphine on the VAS; P =.45) were not different between the 2 treatments. With continued treatment for up to 48 or 72 hours, more than 80% of patient assessments in each treatment group were good or excellent. The incidence of opioid-related adverse events was similar between the groups. An investigational PCA transdermal system using iontophoresis to deliver fentanyl provided postsurgical pain control equivalent to that of a standard intravenous morphine regimen delivered by a PCA pump.
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              The history and development of the fentanyl series.

              In the last two decades, opioid analgesics have assumed an important place in general anesthetic practice in the United States. Part of the reason for this has been the introduction of the potent new agonists fentanyl, sufentanil, and alfentanil. Because of problems with morphine-oxygen anesthesia (incomplete amnesia, occasional histamine-related reaction, marked increases in intra- and postoperative respiratory depression), a suitable alternative was sought but not found among existing opioids. A breakthrough came in 1960, when fentanyl was synthesized, laying the foundation for a better understanding of the structure-activity relationships of narcotic analgesics and stimulating interest in developing compounds with even greater potency and safety margins. Investigators interested in opioid anesthesia began to study fentanyl in animals and then in humans. Fentanyl (50-100 micrograms/kg) with oxygen (100%) was evaluated as an anesthetic in patients undergoing mitral valve and coronary artery surgery. Changes in cardiovascular dynamics with induction doses ranging from 8 to 30 micrograms/kg consisted of small decreases in heart rate and arterial blood pressure. All other cardiovascular variables studied, including cardiac output, remained unchanged, even with additional doses up to 100 micrograms/kg. It was determined that fentanyl had use as a narcotic anesthetic, despite its potential for cardiovascular depression and stimulation, respiratory depression, muscle rigidity, and, occasionally, incomplete anesthesia. Since the introduction of fentanyl, two other potent synthetic opioids have been introduced into clinical practice--sufentanil and alfentanil.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                1178-7090
                2016
                19 April 2016
                : 9
                : 215-222
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Beaumont Health System, Troy, MI, USA
                [2 ]The Medicines Company, Parsippany, NJ, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Craig T Hartrick, Beaumont Health System, 44201 Dequindre Road, Troy, MI 48085, USA, Email chartrick@ 123456beaumont.edu
                Article
                jpr-9-215
                10.2147/JPR.S89278
                4847597
                27186073
                © 2016 Hartrick et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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