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01.03.2012 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2012

Supportive Care in Cancer 3/2012

Long-term tolerability, efficacy and acceptability of fentanyl pectin nasal spray for breakthrough cancer pain

Supportive Care in Cancer > Ausgabe 3/2012
Lukas Radbruch, Luis M. Torres, John E. Ellershaw, Antonio Gatti, Guillermo Luis Lerzo, Julia Revnic, Donald Taylor



Previous studies show that fentanyl pectin nasal spray (FPNS) rapidly provides clinically meaningful pain relief in the treatment of breakthrough cancer pain (BTCP). This study assessed the long-term tolerability, acceptability and consistency of effect of FPNS in patients with BTCP.


Patients (new and rolled over from earlier controlled studies) with cancer experiencing one to four episodes per day of BTCP whilst taking ≥60 mg/day of morphine (or equivalent) given orally for cancer pain entered an open-label 16-week safety study. Safety and tolerability were assessed by adverse events (AEs), adverse drug reactions (ADRs), withdrawal due to AEs and by nasal assessments. Acceptability assessments included ratings of overall satisfaction with each treated episode and ease of use and convenience of FPNS. Additional rescue medication and dose stability were used to evaluate the consistency of effect.


Four hundred three patients were included in the safety and intent-to-treat analysis (42,227 episodes), 356 entered the treatment phase and 110 completed 16 weeks. Overall, 24.6% of 403 patients reported treatment-related treatment-emergent AEs that were generally mild/moderate and typical of opioids; 20 patients discontinued treatment due to an AE (9 were ADRs). Nasal assessments revealed no clinically significant effects; 94% of FPNS-treated episodes required no additional rescue medication. More than 90% of patients did not have to increase their dose during the study. Patients reported overall satisfaction with FPNS for 90.1% of episodes. At week 12, 96.9% of patients were satisfied with the ease of use and 97.9% with the convenience of FPNS.


FPNS was generally well tolerated and well accepted for the treatment of BTCP, and doses remained stable over the 4-month study period.

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