September 16, 2009

Intranasal cancer pain drug works quickly

The drug Instanyl helps treat breakthrough cancer pain, an Italian researcher said.

The multinational crossover trial found the painkiller administered through the nose more effective than oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate in treating fast onset, intense pain breaking through chronic cancer pain being controlled with other medications.

Instanyl, the first intranasal treatment for breakthrough cancer pain to be licensed, was also preferred to the other orally administered drug by 77 percent of the patients, the study said.

Rapid pain relief is essential for the management of breakthrough cancer pain and with evidence of onset of pain relief as early as 5 minutes, Instanyl offers patients a much more effective pain control than oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate, principal investigator Sebastiano Mercadante of La Maddalena Cancer Center in Palermo, Italy, said in a statement.

The study findings were presented in Lisbon at the sixth congress of the European Federation of Chapters of the International Association for the Study of Pain.