Management of breakthrough pain in adult patients using opioid therapy for chronic cancer pain. Breakthrough pain is a transient exacerbation of otherwise controlled chronic background pain.
Abstral should only be administered to patients who are considered tolerant to their opioid therapy for persistent cancer pain. Patients can be considered opioid tolerant if they take at least 60 mg of oral morphine daily, at least 25 micrograms of transdermal fentanyl per hour, at least 30 mg of oxycodone daily, at least 8 mg of oral hydromorphone daily or an equianalgesic dose of another opioid for a week or longer.
Method of administration:
Abstral sublingual tablets should be administered directly under the tongue at the deepest part. Abstral sublingual tablets should not be swallowed, but allowed to completely dissolve in the sublingual cavity without chewing or sucking. Patients should be advised not to eat or drink anything until the sublingual tablet is completely dissolved.
In patients who have a dry mouth water may be used to moisten the buccal mucosa before taking Abstral.
The object of dose titration is to identify an optimal maintenance dose for ongoing treatment of breakthrough pain episodes. This optimal dose should provide adequate analgesia with an acceptable level of adverse reactions.
The optimal dose of Abstral will be determined by upward titration, on an individual patient basis. Several doses are available for use during the dose titration phase. The initial dose of Abstral used should be 100 micrograms, titrating upwards as necessary through the range of available dosage strengths.
Patients should be carefully monitored until an optimal dose is reached.
Switching from other fentanyl containing products to Abstral must not occur at a 1:1 ratio because of different absorption profiles. If patients are switched from another fentanyl containing product, a new dose titration with Abstral is required.
The following dose regimen is recommended for titration, although in all cases the physician should take into account the clinical need of the patient, age and concomitant illness.
All patients must start therapy with a single 100 microgram sublingual tablet. If adequate analgesia is not obtained within 15-30 minutes of administration of a single sublingual tablet, a supplemental (second) 100 microgram sublingual tablet may be administered. If adequate analgesia is not obtained within 15-30 minutes of the first dose an increase in dose to the next highest tablet strength should be considered for the next episode of breakthrough pain (Refer to figure below).
Dose escalation should continue in a stepwise manner until adequate analgesia with tolerable adverse reactions is achieved. The dose strength for the supplemental (second) sublingual tablet should be increased from 100 to 200 micrograms at doses of 400 micrograms and higher. This is illustrated in the schedule below. No more than two (2) doses should be administered for a single episode of breakthrough pain during this titration phase.