Cancer patients can find relief from breakthrough pain with a new intranasal spray, a study has shown.
Studies of the fentanyl spray report meaningful pain relief 10 minutes after use, according to the Fifth Research Forum of the European Association for Palliative Care in Norway.
Breakthrough pain is a transitory increase of pain experienced by patients who have relatively stable and adequately controlled background pain.
All patients involved in the trial were already receiving effective treatment to control background pain, but still experienced episodes of breakthrough pain every day.
Intranasal fentanyl spray is aimed at managing breakthrough pain in adult patients with cancer who are already receiving maintenance opioid therapy for their background pain.
Dr Thomas Nolte, of the Pain and Palliative Care Centre, Wiesbaden, Germany, who led the team of investigators conducting the trial, said: “These results suggest that the intranasal fentanyl spray is a very promising treatment for breakthrough pain in patients with cancer. It is also easy to use, which means patients can be more independent, knowing they can simply administer their own analgesia and gain fast relief from their pain.”
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