Breakthrough Cancer Pain Managed Effectively With Fentanyl Buccal Tablets

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This prospective, noninterventional trial evaluated the response of 276 patients to FBT from 64 pain and oncology clinics
This prospective, noninterventional trial evaluated the response of 276 patients to FBT from 64 pain and oncology clinics

Patients with advanced cancer experienced fewer episodes of breakthrough cancer pain (BTcP) and rapid pain relief with fentanyl buccal tablets (FBTs), according to a study published in Supportive Care in Cancer.

This prospective, noninterventional trial evaluated the response of 276 patients to FBT from 64 pain and oncology clinics. Pain was assessed utilizing a numeric rating scale, and other measurements such as BTcP episodes, opioid therapy, and FBT dose were recorded at baseline. An interim evaluation occurred 2 to 4 weeks after study initiation, and a final follow-up was performed at 8 weeks.

At baseline, 77% of study patients described their pain quality as being mixed, while 14% experienced nociceptive pain, and 9% experienced neuropathic pain. Patients had previously received pain treatment with transdermal fentanyl, hydromorphone, oxycodone, sustained-release morphine, and buprenorphine.

The median pain intensity score was 6 points, and patients experienced an average of 2 to 5 BTcP episodes per day.

After successful titration of FBT, 36% of patients reported achieving BTcP control within 5 minutes, 68% within 10 minutes, and 95% within 15 minutes. The pain intensity score decreased to 4, and patients experienced less than 1 to 3 episodes of BTcP daily.

Eighty-nine percent to 99% of patients rated BTcP control and FBT onset of action, potency, tolerability, and safety as good or excellent.

The results of the study demonstrate that FBT is a well-tolerated and effective therapeutic option for BTcP.

Reference

1. Masel EK, Landthaler R, Gneist M, Watzke HH. Fentanyl buccal tablet for breakthrough cancer pain in clinical practice: results of the non-interventional prospective study ErkentNIS [published online August 28, 2017]. Support Care Cancer. doi: 10.1007/s00520-017-3853-y

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