Clinical application of iontophoretic technology for acute postoperative pain
Opioids are used to treat moderate to severe postoperative pain that may not respond well to other pain medications and these act on the nervous system to relieve pain. Pain management for surgical patients occur before, during and after procedures with the goal of reducing or eliminating postoperative pain.
Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) is commonly used to administer opioids in the postoperative period for pain management. Previous studies have shown that patients prefer PCA to conventional techniques of analgesia. As PCA has become a widely used means of pain control, newer options for its delivery have evolved. For the management of postoperative and other pain requiring opioid analgesia, PCA is widely used as the standard care in many hospitals.
Most recently a new forms of PCA have been developed which is Fentanyl iontophoretic transdermal system (ITS). Fentanyl is an opioid analgesic, providing on-demand systemic delivery of fentanyl for up to 24 hours or a maximum of 80 doses, whichever comes first. Fentanyl ITS is an innovative, needle-free, self-contained drug-delivery system that uses iontophoretic technology to deliver fentanyl through the skin by application of a low-intensity electrical field. The active ingredient in fentanyl ITS is fentanyl (10.8 mg fentanyl hydrochloride is equivalent to 9.7 mg fentanyl).
Fentanyl ITS represents a safe, easy to use, non-invasive, and convenient alternative to current acute postoperative pain management modalities for both patients and healthcare professionals. In clinical settings, fentanyl exerts its principal pharmacologic effects on the central nervous system. Its primary actions of therapeutic value are analgesia and sedation. Fentanyl increases the patient’s tolerance for pain and decrease the perception of suffering.