Intranasal fentanyl for pain control: current status with a focus on patient considerations

Patient Prefer Adherence. 2011 Mar 18;5:157-64. doi: 10.2147/PPA.S7665.


Of several newer delivery systems under development and investigation for the administration of opioids, the intranasal route has received a substantial amount of attention. Intranasal administration is a convenient form of delivery that is applicable to several opioids. It has the potential for self-administration, combined with a rapid onset of action, allowing for patient-controlled analgesia. In clinical practice, intranasal administration has been found to be a reliable drug delivery method that is familiar to patients. Intranasal opioids have proven to be useful in both in-hospital and out-of-hospital pain management settings. Fentanyl, a highly lipophilic step 3 opioid, has been evaluated for intranasal administration. The purpose of this review is to examine the role of the nasal route of opioid administration and examine the evidence base for the use of fentanyl intranasally.

Keywords: breakthrough pain; fentanyl; intranasal; pain.