(PRWEB UK) 6 August 2014
Cancer pain presents a significant clinical challenge. Even when background pain is effectively controlled, patients often experience episodes of breakthrough cancer pain (BTcP), which typically reach maximum intensity in 10 minutes and last for 60 minutes. Immediate-release opioids are often used to treat BTcP, but only produce analgesia after 20–30 minutes and their full analgesic effect after 60–90 minutes, so transmucosal formulations of fentanyl citrate have been developed that produce analgesia more rapidly.
A new sublingual transmucosal formulation (the FE tablet) utilises a unique three-layer structure and is available in dosages from 67 μg to 800 μg. This review summarises available data on the new formulation. In phase I trials, it has demonstrated dose proportionality, absolute bioavailability of approximately 70 % and higher plasma fentanyl concentrations than an oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate lozenge. In a prospective, randomised, double-blind, crossover study to evaluate efficacy and safety, pain relief was recorded from 6 minutes after administration onwards and lasted for up to 60 minutes.