DrugLib.com — Drug Information Portal

Rx drug information, pharmaceutical research, clinical trials, news, and more

Fentanyl (Fentanyl Citrate) - Indications and Dosage

 
 



INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Fentanyl transdermal system is indicated for management of persistent, moderate to severe chronic pain that:

  • requires continuous, around-the-clock opioid administration for an extended period of time, and
  • cannot be managed by other means such as non-steroidal analgesics, opioid combination products, or immediate-release opioids.

Fentanyl transdermal system should ONLY be used in patients who are already receiving opioid therapy, who have demonstrated opioid tolerance, and who require a total daily dose at least equivalent to fentanyl transdermal system 25 mcg/hr (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). Patients who are considered opioid-tolerant are those who have been taking, for a week or longer, at least 60 mg of morphine daily, or at least 30 mg of oral oxycodone daily, or at least 8 mg of oral hydromorphone daily, or an equianalgesic dose of another opioid.

Because serious or life-threatening hypoventilation could result, fentanyl transdermal system is contraindicated for use on an as needed basis (i.e., prn), for the management of post-operative or acute pain, or in patients who are not opioid-tolerant or who require opioid analgesia for a short period of time (see BOX WARNING CONTRAINDICATIONS ).

An evaluation of the appropriateness and adequacy of treating with immediate-release opioids is advisable prior to initiating therapy with any modified-release opioid. Prescribers should individualize treatment in every case, initiating therapy at the appropriate point along a progression from non-opioid analgesics, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen, to opioids, in a plan of pain management such as outlined by the World Health Organization, the Agency for Health Research and Quality, the Federation of State Medical Boards Model Policy, or the American Pain Society.

Patients should be assessed for their clinical risks for opioid abuse or addiction prior to being prescribed opioids. Patients receiving opioids should be routinely monitored for signs of misuse, abuse, and addiction. Persons at increased risk for opioid abuse include those with a personal or family history of substance abuse (including drug or alcohol abuse or addiction) or mental illness (e.g., major depression). Patients at increased risk may still be appropriately treated with modified-release opioid formulations; however these patients will require intensive monitoring for signs of misuse, abuse, or addiction.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Special Precautions

Fentanyl transdermal system contains a high concentration of a potent Schedule II opioid agonist, fentanyl. Schedule II opioid substances which include fentanyl, hydromorphone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, and oxymorphone have the highest potential for abuse and associated risk of fatal overdose due to respiratory depression. Fentanyl can be abused and is subject to criminal diversion. The high content of fentanyl in the systems (fentanyl transdermal system) may be a particular target for abuse and diversion.

Fentanyl transdermal systems are intended for transdermal use (on intact skin) only. The fentanyl transdermal system should not be used if the pouch seal is broken or the system is cut, damaged, or changed in any way.

Each fentanyl transdermal system may be worn continuously for 72 hours. The next system should be applied to a different skin site after removal of the previous transdermal system.

If problems with adhesion of the fentanyl transdermal system occur, the edges of the system may be taped with first aid tape. If problems with adhesion persist, the system may be overlayed with a transparent adhesive film dressing (e.g., Bioclusive™).

If the system falls off before 72 hours, dispose of it by folding in half and flushing down the toilet. A new system may be applied to a different skin site.

Fentanyl transdermal system is ONLY for use in patients who are already tolerant to opioid therapy of comparable potency. Use in non-opioid tolerant patients may lead to fatal respiratory depression. Overestimating the fentanyl transdermal system dose when converting patients from another opioid medication can result in fatal overdose with the first dose. Due to the mean half-life of approximately 20 to 27 hours of fentanyl transdermal system, patients who are thought to have had a serious adverse event, including overdose, will require monitoring and treatment for at least 24 hours.

The concomitant use of fentanyl transdermal system with all cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitors (such as ritonavir, ketoconazole, itraconazole, troleandomycin, clarithromycin, nelfinavir, nefazodone, amiodarone, amprenavir, aprepitant, diltiazem, erythromycin, fluconazole, fosamprenavir, grapefruit juice, and verapamil) may result in an increase in fentanyl plasma concentrations, which could increase or prolong adverse drug effects and may cause potentially fatal respiratory depression. Patients receiving fentanyl transdermal system and any CYP3A4 inhibitor should be carefully monitored for an extended period of time and dosage adjustments should be made if warranted (see BOX WARNING, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY – Drug Interactions, WARNINGS, and PRECAUTIONS Pediatric patients converting to fentanyl transdermal system with a 25 mcg/hr system should be opioid-tolerant and receiving at least 60 mg of oral morphine or the equivalent per day. The dose conversion schedule described in Table C, and method of titration described below are recommended in opioid-tolerant pediatric patients over 2 years of age with chronic pain (see PRECAUTIONS – Pediatric Use).

Respiratory depression is the chief hazard in elderly or debilitated patients, usually following large initial doses in non-tolerant patients, or when opioids are given in conjunction with other agents that depress respiration.

Fentanyl transdermal system should be used with caution in elderly, cachectic, or debilitated patients as they may have altered pharmacokinetics due to poor fat stores, muscle wasting, or altered clearance (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY – Special Populations, Geriatric Use).

General Principles

Fentanyl transdermal system is indicated for management of persistent, moderate to severe chronic pain that:

  • requires continuous, around-the-clock opioid administration for an extended period of time
  • cannot be managed by other means such as non-steroidal analgesics, opioid combination products, or immediate-release opioids.

Fentanyl transdermal system should ONLY be used in patients who are already receiving opioid therapy, who have demonstrated opioid tolerance, and who require a total daily dose at least equivalent to fentanyl transdermal system 25 mcg/hr. Patients who are considered opioid-tolerant are those who have been taking, for a week or longer, at least 60 mg of morphine daily, or at least 30 mg of oral oxycodone daily, or at least 8 mg oral hydromorphone daily, or an equianalgesic dose of another opioid.

Because serious or life-threatening hypoventilation could occur, fentanyl transdermal system is contraindicated:

  • in patients who are not opioid-tolerant
  • in the management of acute pain or in patients who require opioid analgesia for a short period of time.
  • in the management of post-operative pain, including use after outpatient or day surgeries (e.g., tonsillectomies)
  • in the management of mild pain
  • in the management of intermittent pain (e.g., use on an as needed basis [prn])

(See CONTRAINDICATIONS for further information.)

Safety of fentanyl transdermal system has not been established in children under 2 years of age. Fentanyl transdermal system should be administered to children only if they are opioid-tolerant and 2 years of age or older (see PRECAUTIONS - Pediatric Use).

Prescribers should individualize treatment using a progressive plan of pain management such as outlined by the World Health Organization, the Agency for Health Research and Quality, the Federation of State Medical Boards Model Policy, or the American Pain Society.

With all opioids, the safety of patients using the products is dependent on health care practitioners prescribing them in strict conformity with their approved labeling with respect to patient selection, dosing, and proper conditions for use.

As with all opioids, dosage should be individualized. The most important factor to be considered in determining the appropriate dose is the extent of pre-existing opioid-tolerance (see BOX WARNING CONTRAINDICATIONS ). Initial doses should be reduced in elderly or debilitated patients (see PRECAUTIONS).

Fentanyl transdermal system should be applied to intact, non-irritated, and non-irradiated skin on a flat surface such as the chest, back, flank, or upper arm. In young children and persons with cognitive impairment, adhesion should be monitored and the upper back is the preferred location to minimize the potential of inappropriate system removal. Hair at the application site should be clipped (not shaved) prior to system application. If the site of fentanyl transdermal system application must be cleansed prior to application of the system, do so with clear water. Do not use soaps, oils, lotions, alcohol, or any other agents that might irritate the skin or alter its characteristics. Allow the skin to dry completely prior to system application.

Fentanyl transdermal system should be applied immediately upon removal from the sealed package. Do not use if the pouch seal is broken. Do not alter the system (e.g., cut) in any way prior to application and do not use cut or damaged systems.

The transdermal system should be pressed firmly in place with the palm of the hand for 30 seconds, making sure the contact is complete, especially around the edges.

Fentanyl transdermal system should be kept out of the reach of children. Used systems should be folded so that the adhesive side of the system adheres to itself, then the system should be flushed down the toilet immediately upon removal. Patients should dispose of any systems remaining from a prescription as soon as they are no longer needed. Unused systems should be removed from their pouches, folded so that the adhesive side of the system adheres to itself, and flushed down the toilet.

Dose Selection

Doses must be individualized based upon the status of each patient and should be assessed at regular intervals after fentanyl transdermal system application. Reduced doses of fentanyl transdermal system are suggested for the elderly and other groups discussed in PRECAUTIONS.

Fentanyl transdermal system is ONLY for use in patients who are already tolerant to opioid therapy of comparable potency. Use in non-opioid tolerant patients may lead to fatal respiratory depression.

In selecting an initial fentanyl transdermal system dose, attention should be given to 1) the daily dose, potency, and characteristics of the opioid the patient has been taking previously (e.g., whether it is a pure agonist or mixed agonist-antagonist), 2) the reliability of the relative potency estimates used to calculate the fentanyl transdermal system dose needed (potency estimates may vary with the route of administration), 3) the degree of opioid tolerance and 4) the general condition and medical status of the patient. Each patient should be maintained at the lowest dose providing acceptable pain control.

Initial Fentanyl Transdermal System Dose Selection

Overestimating the fentanyl transdermal system dose when converting patients from another opioid medication can result in fatal overdose with the first dose. Due to the mean half-life of approximately 20 to 27 hours of fentanyl transdermal system, patients who are thought to have had a serious adverse event, including overdose, will require monitoring and treatment for at least 24 hours.

There has been no systematic evaluation of fentanyl transdermal system as an initial opioid analgesic in the management of chronic pain, since most patients in the clinical trials were converted to fentanyl transdermal system from other narcotics. In addition, patients who are not opioid-tolerant have experienced hypoventilation and death during use of fentanyl transdermal system. Therefore, fentanyl transdermal system should be used only in patients who are opioid-tolerant.

To convert adult and pediatric patients from oral or parenteral opioids to fentanyl transdermal system, use Table C:

Alternatively, for adult and pediatric patients taking opioids or doses not listed in Table C, use the following methodology:

  • Calculate the previous 24-hour analgesic requirement.
  • Convert this amount to the equianalgesic oral morphine dose using Table D.
  • Table E displays the range of 24-hour oral morphine doses that are recommended for conversion to each fentanyl transdermal system dose. Use this table to find the calculated 24-hour morphine dose and the corresponding fentanyl transdermal system dose. Initiate fentanyl transdermal system treatment using the recommended dose and titrate patients upwards (no more frequently than every 3 days after the initial dose or than every 6 days thereafter) until analgesic efficacy is attained. The recommended starting dose when converting from other opioids to fentanyl transdermal system is likely too low for 50% of patients. This starting dose is recommended to minimize the potential for overdosing patients with the first dose. For delivery rates in excess of 100 mcg/hr, multiple systems may be used.
TABLE C1 DOSE CONVERSION GUIDELINES
Alternatively, for adult and pediatric patients taking opioids or doses not listed in Table C, use the conversion methodology outlined above with Table D.
1 Table C should not be used to convert from fentanyl transdermal system to other therapies because this conversion to fentanyl transdermal system is conservative. Use of Table C for conversion to other analgesic therapies can overestimate the dose of the new agent. Overdosage of the new analgesic agent is possible (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION - Discontinuation of Fentanyl Transdermal System).
Current Analgesic Daily Dosage (mg/d)
Oral morphine 60–134 135–224 225–314 315–404
IM/IV morphine 10–22 23–37 38–52 53–67
Oral oxycodone 30–67 67.5–112 112.5–157 157.5–202
IM/IV oxycodone 15–33 33.1–56 56.1–78 78.1–101
Oral codeine 150–447 448–747 748–1047 1048–1347
Oral hydromorphone 8–17 17.1–28 28.1–39 39.1–51
IV hydromorphone 1.5–3.4 3.5–5.6 5.7–7.9 8–10
IM meperidine 75–165 166–278 279–390 391–503
Oral methadone 20–44 45–74 75–104 105–134
IM methadone 10–22 23–37 38–52 53–67
Recommended Fentanyl Transdermal System Dose 25 mcg/hr 50 mcg/hr 75 mcg/hr 100 mcg/hr
TABLE D1,a EQUIANALGESIC POTENCY CONVERSION
1 Table D should not be used to convert from fentanyl transdermal system to other therapies because this conversion to fentanyl transdermal system is conservative. Use of Table D for conversion to other analgesic therapies can overestimate the dose of the new agent. Overdosage of the new analgesic agent is possible (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION - Discontinuation of Fentanyl Transdermal System).
a All IM and PO doses in this chart are considered equivalent to 10 mg of IM morphine in analgesic effect. IM denotes intramuscular, PO oral, and PR rectal.
b Based on single-dose studies in which an intramuscular dose of each drug listed was compared with morphine to establish the relative potency. Oral doses are those recommended when changing from parenteral to an oral route. Reference: Foley, K.M. (1985) The treatment of cancer pain. NEJM 313(2):84-95.
c Although controlled studies are not available, in clinical practice it is customary to consider the doses of opioid given IM, IV or subcutaneously to be equivalent. There may be some differences in pharmacokinetic parameters such as Cmax and Tmax.
d The conversion ratio of 10 mg parenteral morphine = 30 mg oral morphine is based on clinical experience in patients with chronic pain. The conversion ratio of 10 mg parenteral morphine = 60 mg oral morphine is based on a potency study in acute pain. Reference: Ashburn and Lipman (1993) Management of pain in the cancer patient. Anesth Analg 76:402-416.
e Dilaudid® is a registered trademark of Abbott Laboratories
f Dolophine® is a registered trademark of Roxane Laboratories
g Levo-Dromoran® is a registered trademark of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International
h Numorphan® is a registered trademark of Endo Pharmaceutical, Inc.
i Demerol® is a registered trademark of Sanofi-Synthelabo
Name Equianalgesic Dose (mg)
IMb,c PO
Morphine 10 60 (30)d
Hydromorphone (Dilaudid®)e 1.5 7.5
Methadone (Dolophine®)f 10 20
Oxycodone 15 30
Levorphanol (Levo-Dromoran®)g 2 4
Oxymorphone (Numorphan®)h 1 10 (PR)
Meperidine (Demerol®)i 75
Codeine 130 200
TABLE E1 RECOMMENDED INITIAL FENTANYL TRANSDERMAL SYSTEM DOSE BASED UPON DAILY ORAL MORPHINE DOSE
NOTE: In clinical trials, these ranges of daily oral morphine doses were used as a basis for conversion to fentanyl transdermal system.
1 Table E should not be used to convert from fentanyl transdermal system to other therapies because this conversion to fentanyl transdermal system is conservative. Use of Table E for conversion to other analgesic therapies can overestimate the dose of the new agent. Overdosage of the new analgesic agent is possible (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION - Discontinuation of Fentanyl Transdermal System).
Oral 24-hour Morphine (mg/day) Fentanyl Transdermal System Dose (mcg/hr)
60–134 25
135–224 50
225–314 75
315–404 100
405–494 125
495–584 150
585–674 175
675–764 200
765–854 225
855–944 250
945–1034 275
1035–1124 300

The majority of patients are adequately maintained with fentanyl transdermal system administered every 72 hours. Some patients may not achieve adequate analgesia using this dosing interval and may require systems to be applied every 48 hours rather than every 72 hours. An increase in the fentanyl transdermal system dose should be evaluated before changing dosing intervals in order to maintain patients on a 72-hour regimen. Dosing intervals less than every 72 hours were not studied in children and adolescents and are not recommended.

Because of the increase in serum fentanyl concentration over the first 24 hours following initial system application, the initial evaluation of the maximum analgesic effect of fentanyl transdermal system cannot be made before 24 hours of wearing. The initial fentanyl transdermal system dose may be increased after 3 days (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION - Dose Titration).

During the initial application of fentanyl transdermal system, patients should use short-acting analgesics as needed until analgesic efficacy with fentanyl transdermal system is attained. Thereafter, some patients still may require periodic supplemental doses of other short-acting analgesics for “breakthrough” pain.

Dose Titration

The recommended initial fentanyl transdermal system dose based upon the daily oral morphine dose is conservative, and 50% of patients are likely to require a dose increase after initial application of fentanyl transdermal system. The initial fentanyl transdermal system dose may be increased after 3 days based on the daily dose of supplemental opioid analgesics required by the patient in the second or third day of the initial application.

Physicians are advised that it may take up to 6 days after increasing the dose of fentanyl transdermal system for the patient to reach equilibrium on the new dose (see graph in CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). Therefore, patients should wear a higher dose through two applications before any further increase in dosage is made on the basis of the average daily use of a supplemental analgesic.

Appropriate dosage increments should be based on the daily dose of supplementary opioids, using the ratio of 45 mg/24 hours of oral morphine to a 12.5 mcg/hr increase in fentanyl transdermal system dose.

Discontinuation of Fentanyl Transdermal System

To convert patients to another opioid, remove fentanyl transdermal system and titrate the dose of the new analgesic based upon the patient's report of pain until adequate analgesia has been attained. Upon system removal, 17 hours or more are required for a 50% decrease in serum fentanyl concentrations. Opioid withdrawal symptoms (such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, and shivering) are possible in some patients after conversion or dose adjustment. For patients requiring discontinuation of opioids, a gradual downward titration is recommended since it is not known at what dose level the opioid may be discontinued without producing the signs and symptoms of abrupt withdrawal.

Tables C, D, and E C, D, and E for conversion to other analgesic therapies can overestimate the dose of the new agent. Overdosage of the new analgesic agent is possible.

HOW SUPPLIED

Fentanyl transdermal system is supplied in cartons containing 5 individually packaged systems. See chart for information regarding individual systems.

Fentanyl Transdermal
System Dose
System
Size
(cm2)
Fentanyl
Content
(mg)
NDC Number
For Pouch
(Containing Individual System)
NDC Number
For Carton
(Containing 5 Systems)
Fentanyl Transdermal
System 25 mcg/hr
19 2.55 60505-7001-0 60505-7001-2
Fentanyl Transdermal
System 50 mcg/hr
38 5.10 60505-7002-0 60505-7002-2
Fentanyl Transdermal
System 75 mcg/hr
57 7.65 60505-7003-0 60505-7003-2
Fentanyl Transdermal
System 100 mcg/hr
76 10.20 60505-7004-0 60505-7004-2

Safety and Handling

Fentanyl transdermal system is supplied in sealed pouches which pose little risk of exposure to health care workers. Do not use a fentanyl transdermal system if the pouch seal is broken or the system is cut, damaged, or changed in any way.

KEEP FENTANYL TRANSDERMAL SYSTEM OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN AND PETS.

Store in original unopened pouch. Store up to 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15 to 30°C (59 to 86°F). Apply immediately after removal from individually sealed pouch. Do not use if the pouch seal is broken. For transdermal use only.

Bioclusive™ is a trademark of Ethicon, Inc.

A schedule CII narcotic. DEA order form required.

Manufactured by:
Noven Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Miami, FL 33186

Manufactured for:
Apotex Corp.
Weston, FL 33326

[Part Number]/[Print Version]

[Revision Month Year]

-- advertisement -- The American Red Cross
 
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Site usage policy | Privacy policy

All Rights reserved - Copyright DrugLib.com, 2006-2015