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Neuromodulation. 2012 May-Jun;15(3):194-8; discussion 198-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1403.2012.00432.x. Epub 2012 Feb 29.

Sufentanil versus fentanyl: efficacy and patient satisfaction with intrathecal pain management.

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  • 1The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35806, USA.



This study compared fentanyl vs. sufentanil in intrathecal pain pumps. H1: both reduce patient subjective pain ratings. H2: sufentanil is more effective than fentanyl. H3: overall satisfaction with pain control is greater with sufentanil.


This is an archival study of patients in tertiary pain management (N = 97, mean age = 58.77, standard deviation = 14.88). Pain was measured using the subjective units of discomfort scale. Satisfaction with pain control/relief was measured by asking patients each visit if they are satisfied with pain management and is recorded in a "yes"/ "no" manner. Pain ratings were analyzed with repeated measures analysis of variance and satisfaction was analyzed with chi square.


Sufentanil was found to be marginally more effective, but both medications controlled a significant degree of variance in pain reduction over time. A significantly greater number of patients maintained on sufentanil were satisfied with care than patients on fentanyl.

© 2012 International Neuromodulation Society.

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