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Papers of the Week

2022 Mar 25

J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother

Application Site Reactions from the Buprenorphine Transdermal Patch: A Case Series.


Meyer-Junco L, Rea B, Mendoza K, Fudin J
J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother. 2022 Mar 25:1-6.
PMID: 35332848.


Buprenorphine is a partial mu-opioid agonist available as a transdermal patch for use in patients with chronic pain. Transdermal products can be associated with application site reactions (ASRs). The incidence of ASRs to the buprenorphine transdermal patch (BTP) have been described as low and seldom requiring patch discontinuation. In this case series, we describe four patients who developed an erythematous, rash-like ASR to the BTP leading to treatment discontinuation or rotation to buprenorphine buccal films (BBF). All subjects had demonstrated tolerability to lower patch strengths before developing an ASR with titration to a BTP of a higher strength. The strength at which an ASR emerged varied among subjects; however, all ASRs developed with BTP strengths 10 mcg/hr or higher. The dose-response relationship and prolonged onset to ASR emergence may be suggestive of an allergic delayed hypersensitivity reaction. However, in this case series three subjects demonstrated tolerability to BBF either before or after developing a skin reaction to BTP.