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Rationales behind the choice of administration form with fentanyl: Delphi survey among Danish general practitioners

Ramune Jacobsen, PhD, Claus Møldrup, PhD, Lona Christrup, PhD


Background and Aim: The aim of this study was to describe the rationale behind the choice of fentanyl administration forms among Danish general practitioners (GPs).
Methods: Thirty-eight Danish GPs were contacted via an Internet survey system to perform a Delphi survey. In the brainstorming phase, the main reasons for prescribing and not prescribing fentanyl patches, oral transmucosal systems (OTFCs), and nasal sprays were identified. In the second phase, GPs were asked to rate the importance of each reason.
Results and Discussion: Thirty-three GPs responded in the brainstorming phase, and 33 and 31 in two rating rounds, respectively. The most important reason to choose fentanyl patches was that patients’ clinical condition did not allow them to take analgesia orally. OTFCs were primarily seen as a self-administrative alternative to injections in case of breakthrough pain. The main reasons for not choosing OTFCs were intolerance to fentanyl and price. The most important possible rationale to choose fentanyl nasal spray was easy administration. The most important possible reasons to not choose fenanyl nasal spray were application side effects.
Conclusions: The rationale behind the choice of administration form with fentanyl partly differed from those overviewed in the literature. Fentanyl nasal spray was seen as a better option for treatment of breakthrough pain among terminally ill patients if compared with OTFCs.


fentanyl, administration, rationale, general practitioners

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