Treating Cancer Pain Often Requires More Than One Type of Medication
Undertreatment of Breakthrough Cancer Pain
Many patients are instructed to manage their breakthrough pain with short-acting pain medication (e.g. morphine, oxycodone). However, those pain medications may not be ideal in treating breakthrough pain because they often have a slow onset of pain action.
Short-acting oral opioids used for treating cancer pain may not provide rapid relief for breakthrough cancer pain episodes.
Some medications requiring oral digestion and first-pass hepatic metabolism have an analgesia onset time of 30 minutes to one hour.
Overtreatment of Breakthrough Cancer Pain
Treating breakthrough cancer pain by raising the around-the-clock medication may increase side effects such as:
SELECTED IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
- Opioid non-tolerant patients: Life-threatening respiratory depression and death could occur at any dose in opioid non-tolerant patients
- Acute or postoperative pain including headache/migraine and dental pain, or in the emergency department
- Acute or severe bronchial asthma in an unmonitored setting or in absence of resuscitative equipment.
- Known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus.
- Known hypersensitivity (e.g., anaphylaxis) to fentanyl or components of SUBSYS