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Fentanyl Buccal Tablet for the Treatment of Breakthrough Pain: Pharmacokinetics of Buccal Mucosa Delivery and Clinical Efficacy

Author(s): Mona Darwish | Ehab Hamed | John Messina

Journal: Perspectives in Medicinal Chemistry
ISSN 1177-391X

Volume: 2010;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 11;
Date: 2010;
Original page

The treatment of breakthrough pain (BTP), a transitory exacerbation of pain that occurs on a background of otherwise-controlled, persistent pain, requires an opioid formulation and/or method of administration that can provide rapid and extensive systemic exposure. Fentanyl buccal tablet (FBT; FENTORA®, Cephalon, Inc.) employs OraVescent® drug delivery technology, which enhances the rate and extent of fentanyl absorption. OraVescent technology enhances the oral dissolution and buccal absorption of fentanyl, which facilitates rapid uptake of fentanyl into the bloodstream, reducing gastrointestinal absorption and minimizing extensive first-pass metabolism. The resulting pharmacokinetic profile of FBT is characterized by greater bioavailability and a higher early systemic exposure compared with the earlier oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate formulation. In clinical studies of opioid-tolerant patients with cancer-related and noncancer- related BTP, FBT has provided consistent and clinically relevant improvements in pain intensity and pain relief relative to placebo, with a safety and tolerability profile that is generally typical of that observed with other potent opioids. The pharmacokinetic properties of FBT allow for meaningful clinical efficacy, with an onset of action that closely matches the onset of BTP.
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