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Drugs. 2008;68(14):2001-9.

Transdermal matrix fentanyl membrane patch (matrifen): in severe cancer-related chronic pain.

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  • 1Wolters Kluwer Health | Adis, Auckland, New Zealand.


The matrix fentanyl membrane patch is a new transdermal patch designed with a reduced drug load compared with established reservoir and matrix fentanyl patches. The drug is contained within a silicone matrix with a rate-controlling membrane designed to maintain constant serum fentanyl concentrations over the 72-hour application period. The matrix fentanyl membrane patch was equivalent to the reservoir fentanyl patch in terms of transdermal delivery of fentanyl, as demonstrated after both single (100 microg/h) and multiple (50 microg/h) applications by the peak serum fentanyl concentration and the area under the serum concentration-time curve over 72 hours. In a randomized, nonblind, multicentre trial, the transdermal matrix fentanyl membrane patch was noninferior to standard opioid therapy (transdermal reservoir or matrix fentanyl patch or an oral opioid) in terms of analgesic efficacy over 30 days in patients with cancer-related chronic pain requiring long-term opioid use. The transdermal matrix fentanyl membrane patch was as well tolerated as standard opioid therapy; patient-rated tolerability scores for constipation, nausea, daytime drowsiness and sleep disturbance were similar between treatments.

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