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Papers of the Week

Papers: 23 Dec 2023 - 29 Dec 2023


Drugs Context



Fentanyl in cancer pain management: avoiding hasty judgments and discerning its potential benefits.


Cuomo A


Cancer pain is an important challenge in treatment and requires a rapid onset of action for its control. In particular, breakthrough cancer pain (BTcP) should be adequately controlled with a stable dose of a short-acting oral opioid. Fentanyl is a synthetic, highly selective opioid with many advantageous chemical properties, including high lipophilicity and distinct pharmacokinetic properties. It is recommended for pain management in a variety of settings, including acute pain, chronic pain and BTcP. To date, its variously designed formulations allow non-invasive administration; amongst others, sublingual fentanyl has proven useful in the management of BTcP and in improving the quality of life of patients with cancer. This review provides an update on the management of BTcP with fentanyl, with consideration of safety, as it remains an important tool in the treatment of cancer pain.