Fentanyl: It´s Advantages and Disadvantages as a Morphine Drug

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1Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opiate analgesic, which has a primary function in managing malignant and non-malignant contractible pain, similar to morphine however it is more potent. This is because fentanyl has an octanol-water partition of 9550 compared to morphine, which has 6. This effectively demonstrates that fentanyl is highly lipid soluble, crossing the blood brain barrier more rapidly. Hence it has a quicker reaction time but at a shorter duration compared to morphine. It is commonly used to treat patients with severe pain or patients experiencing pain after a surgery. Fentanyl can also be used to treat patients with chronic pain that are physically tolerant to opiates. Patients who are not physically tolerant to opiates…show more content…
This can be done by the iontopheretic procedure, which is a process that uses an electric current to deliver ionized molecules of fentanyl across the skin and into the systemic circulation. This is made possible by the electrical potential across the skin, which alters its permeability hence producing potential-dependent pores in the lipid bilayer. The increase in pores is directly proportional to the current applied relative to the desired quantity of fentanyl administered.2 3Transdermal delivery of fentanyl has a variety of advantages compared to other delivery systems. Unlike oral administration, transdermal fentanyl avoids first–pass hepatic effect of the liver, which can prematurely metabolize drugs. In comparison with oral opioids, transdermal fentanyl has a lower incidence and impact of adverse effects such as constipation and vomiting, it also enhances patience compliance (as administration is every 72 hours). Transdermal delivery of fentanyl is also more convenient in comparison to hypodermic injection which can be very painful but also exert dangerous medical waste and increase disease transmission with the re use of needles (which is very common in developing countries). The iontopheretic process of fentanyl used in hospitals eliminates potential excessive dosing (this is due to its pre-programed electronics) but also allows cancer patients who are unable to swallow or have gastrointestinal problems to receive fentanyl without any discomfort.3

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