For the treatment of cancer patients with severe pain that breaks through their regular narcotic therapy.
Fentanyl is an opioid analgesic. Fentanyl interacts predominately with the opioid mu-receptor but also binds to kappa and delta-type opioid receptors. These mu-binding sites are discretely distributed in the human brain, spinal cord, and other tissues. In clinical settings, Fentanyl exerts its principal pharmacologic effects on the central nervous system. Its primary actions of therapeutic value are analgesia and sedation. Fentanyl may increase the patient's tolerance for pain and decrease the perception of suffering, although the presence of the pain itself may still be recognized. In addition to analgesia, alterations in mood, euphoria and dysphoria, and drowsiness commonly occur. Fentanyl depresses the respiratory centers, depresses the cough reflex, and constricts the pupils.
Mode of Action:
Opiate receptors are coupled with G-protein receptors and function as both positive and negative regulators of synaptic transmission via G-proteins that activate effector proteins. Binding of the opiate stimulates the exchange of GTP for GDP on the G-protein complex. As the effector system is adenylate cyclase and cAMP located at the inner surface of the plasma membrane, opioids decrease intracellular cAMP by inhibiting adenylate cyclase. Subsequently, the release of nociceptive neurotransmitters such as substance P, GABA, dopamine, acetylcholine and noradrenaline is inhibited. Opioids also inhibit the release of vasopressin, somatostatin, insulin and glucagon. Fentanyl's analgesic activity is, most likely, due to its conversion to morphine. Opioids close N-type voltage-operated calcium channels (OP2-receptor agonist) and open calcium-dependent inwardly rectifying potassium channels (OP3 and OP1 receptor agonist). This results in hyperpolarization and reduced neuronal excitability.
Fentanyl is metabolized primarily via human cytochrome P450 3A4 isoenzyme system.
Fentanyl has an LD50 of 3.1 milligrams per kilogram in rats, and, 0.03 milligrams per kilogram in monkeys. The LD50 in humans is not known.
Van Bever WF, Niemegeers CJ, Janssen PA: Synthetic analgesics. Synthesis and pharmacology of the diastereoisomers of N-(3-methyl-1-(2-phenylethyl)-4-piperidyl)-N-phenylpropanamide and N-(3-methyl-1-(1-methyl-2-phenylethyl)-4-piperidyl)-N-phenylpropanamide. J Med Chem. 1974 Oct;17(10):1047-51. Pubmed Messina J, Darwish M, Fine PG: Fentanyl buccal tablet. Drugs Today (Barc). 2008 Jan;44(1):41-54. Pubmed Taylor DR: Fentanyl buccal tablet: rapid relief from breakthrough pain. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2007 Dec;8(17):3043-51. Pubmed Simpson DM, Messina J, Xie F, Hale M: Fentanyl buccal tablet for the relief of breakthrough pain in opioid-tolerant adult patients with chronic neuropathic pain: a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Clin Ther. 2007 Apr;29(4):588-601. Pubmed
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