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Applying partially occluded fentanyl transdermal patches to manage pain in pediatric patients

Amy Mitchell, PharmD, Howard S. Smith, MD


Fentanyl transdermal patches (FTPs) have been used for many years in the treatment armamentarium for chronic pain. By design, FTPs release drug into the skin at a constant rate and thereby provide drug in a fashion similar to continuous intravenous infusion without the disadvantages of a venous catheter and the constant presence of an analgesia pump. Pediatric patients may require doses of FTP other than the five commercially available strengths. Application of a partial FTP allows for more flexibility in dosing. Yet, very little information is provided in the literature to suggest a procedure for applying partial FTP. A technique of using a partially occluded FTP is presented in an effort to encourage further study of this and perhaps other techniques.


fentanyl transdermal patch, pain, partially occluded patch, gradual titration

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