Pain is experienced by most cancer patients and represents an important issue in the clinical setting. Breakthrough pain is a transitory flare of pain that occurs in most cancer patients on a background of otherwise controlled persistent pain. Treatment of breakthrough pain is a challenging phenomenon. Oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate (OTFC; Actiq®, Cephalon, UK), a new opioid formulation with a unique delivery system, utilizing the advantages that nanotechnology offers, reflects the characteristics of breakthrough pain (rapid onset of action and short duration), which makes it an effective treatment to cancer patients who are already receiving opioids and continue to experience such flares of pain. Oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate is specifically developed and approved for the management of breakthrough pain in cancer patients and it has the potential to be a useful tool for clinicians
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