[Use of Transdermal Fentanyl in a Hospital].Gan To Kagaku Ryoho. 2016 Mar; 43(3):341-4.GT
Recently, the use of transdermal fentanyl (TDF) has been increasing at our hospital owing to its convenience. Furthermore, TDF tends to be increasingly used for patients who have never used opioids. However, the appropriate criteria for indicating TDF have not been established yet. Therefore, we examined how TDF was prescribed in practice and determined its effective dosage. In 43 cases, the reasons, effects, and side effects of TDF were investigated retrospectively. Of the patients, 60% continued using TDF for 30 days. Meanwhile, approximately 25% of them terminated TDF therapy within 8 days. Of those who discontinued TDF therapy, some entirely stopped taking TDF and others chose other opioids instead because of poor pain control. Before receiving TDF therapy, 17 patients (45%) used oxycodone and 14 (37%) never used opioids. In addition, the main reason for starting TDF in opioid-naive patients was gastrointestinal condition. Between opioid-naive and opioid-using groups, no significant differences were observed in usage duration and incidence of side effects. The side effects included somnolence in 6 patients, delirium in 2 patients, and nausea and vomiting, constipation, and breathing restraint in 1 patient each. TDF was considered as an effective treatment regardless of the previous use of opioids. Nonetheless, careful deliberation is necessary because of the slow effects and difficulty with dosage adjustment.