[Direct low-dose fentanyl patch (2.1mg) introduction for opioid naïve outpatients with cancer pain].Gan To Kagaku Ryoho. 2011 Mar; 38(3):415-8.GT
The administration of opioids to outpatients with cancer pain can be difficult because the constant dose modification and treatments of side effects involved are occasionally impossible. Therefore, more effective and safer drugs with better patients compliance are needed to complete a successful opioid introduction. Compared with other opioids, low-dose fentanyl has been suggested to produce milder side effects such as nausea, constipation, and somnolence. Further more, compliance can be improved because the drug is a patch,administered transdermally.
Between July 2008 and December 2009, we investigated the safety and analgesic effect of a fentanyl patch (2.1 mg) as a direct opioid introduction for 36 outpatients with cancer pain without titrations of other opioids.
Side effects of constipation, nausea, somnolence, and dizziness were observed in 17 (47%), 6 (17%), 4 (11%), and 3 (8%) patients, respectively, and no respiratory suppression was observed. Regarding the analgesic effect, 23 (64%) patients reported improvement on pain scales one week after the initiation of the fentanyl patch.
Opioid introduction to opioid-naÏve outpatients with cancer pain using the low-dose fentanyl patch (2.1 mg) may be effective.