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Sufentanil sublingual tablet system in the treatment of acute postoperative pain in adults: a profile of its use

Abstract

The novel sufentanil sublingual tablet system (sufentanil STS; Zalviso®) provides an alternative option to opioid-based intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (IV PCA) for the management of acute moderate to severe postoperative pain in adults in the hospital setting. It overcomes some of the drawbacks associated with opioid-based IV PCA, as the preprogrammed, noninvasive design of the sufentanil STS avoids the risk of pump programming errors and other complications that can occur with IV PCA technology. With each device activation, the patient-controlled sufentanil STS device delivers a sublingual sufentanil 15 μg nanotablet, with patients self-administering to analgesia by varying the interval between doses (minimum between-dose interval 20 min; maximum recommended treatment duration 72 h). Relative to morphine IV PCA, sufentanil delivered by the STS is as effective in relieving post-operative pain with a more rapid onset of analgesia and, according to patient and healthcare professional assessments, provides higher rates of success and overall satisfaction, and is easier to use. Sublingual sufentanil is generally well tolerated, with an adverse event profile typical of that of other opioids and a relatively low risk of respiratory depression.

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Acknowledgements

The manuscript was updated from Drugs, 2016;76(6):719-29 [36], and was reviewed by: C.T. Hartrick, Beaumont Health System, Troy (MI), USA; A.L. Kovac, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City (KS), USA; A. Laudani, Anesthesia and Intensive Care Unit, Azienda per l’Assistenza Sanitaria, Pordenone, Italy; A. Valente, Anesthesiologist Department, University Hospital of Parma, Parma, Italy; D.W. Wheeler, University Department of Anaesthesia, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK. During the peer review process, the marketing authorization holder (Grünenthal GmbH) of the sufentanil STS was also offered an opportunity to review this article. Changes resulting from comments received were made on the basis of scientific and editorial merit.

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Correspondence to Katherine A. Lyseng-Williamson.

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The preparation of this review was not supported by any external funding.

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K.A. Lyseng-Williamson and J.E. Frampton are employees of Adis/Springer, are responsible for the article content and declare no conflicts of interest. Additional information about this Adis Review Q&A can be found at http://www.medengine.com/Redeem/247AF0607AF0841C

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Lyseng-Williamson, K.A., Frampton, J.E. Sufentanil sublingual tablet system in the treatment of acute postoperative pain in adults: a profile of its use. Drugs Ther Perspect 33, 409–417 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40267-017-0434-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40267-017-0434-6