Comparing Morphine IV Patient Controled Analgesia with Fentanyl Iontophoretic Transdermal System

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Postoperative surgical pain can often be moderate to severe leaving the client in a state of discomfort that requires the administration of opioid analgesic medications. Morphine intravenous (IV) patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) is commonly provided through a pump to treat postoperative surgical pain, but with advances in the medication administration field, a fentanyl iontophoretic transdermal system (ITS) has become another popular method (Lindley, Pestano, & Gargiulo, 2009). Morphine and fentanyl are similar medications in that they are both opioid analgesics and are both equally effective to reduce pain, but they offer differences through their administration techniques, comfort for the client, and providing care in a timely manner by the nurse. The nurse must take into consideration these differences to choose the proper medication for their specific client. The morphine IV PCA and fentanyl ITS administer equally effective and equally safe medications that are used to treat acute postoperative pain (Lindley et al., 2009). These medications belong to the opioid agonist classification and provide relief from moderate to severe pain for clients hospitalized following surgical procedures. The patient can safely provide self-administration of a programmed dose to relieve pain by the push of a button (“IONSYS,” 2006; Lindley et al., 2009). Although highly effective at relieving pain, both medications must be monitored closely to safely prevent the common adverse
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