Fentanyl Patch Safe and Effective Alternative to Oral Opioids for Pediatric Pain Patients
A new study says using a transdermal patch to deliver the opioid fentanyl is an effective way to control pain in children. Results from an international study published in the December 15, 2005 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, indicate that the fentanyl patch is safe for children aged 2 to 16 years.
Opioids, such as morphine and its derivatives, have been shown to clearly reduce pain and improve quality of life in adults. However, little is known about the pain experience and the safety and efficacy of this class of analgesics in children. Until recently, children were thought to feel pain to a lesser degree and have a higher risk of addiction than adults. Newer information indicates that not only do children experience severe pain and are no more at risk for addiction than adults, but they are also at greater risk for psychological disturbances that have immediate and long-term developmental impact. However, children may not readily accept the methods of delivery of most opioids