On Transdermal Pharmacology and Toxicology.


Objective: To evaluate the underlying pharmacology, safety, and misuse/abuse of transdermal fentanyl, one of the cornerstone pharmacotherapies for patients with chronic pain. Methods: Literature was identified through searches of Medline (PubMed) and several textbooks in the areas of pharmacology, toxicology, and pain management. A bibliographical review of articles identified by these searches was also performed. Search terms included combinations of the following: fentanyl, transdermal, patch, pharmacology, kinetics, toxicity, and poisoning. All pertinent clinical trials, retrospective studies, and case reports relevant to fentanyl pharmacology and transdermal fentanyl administered by any route and published in English were identified. Each was reviewed for data regarding the clinical pharmacology, abuse, misuse, and safety of transdermal fentanyl. Data from these studies and information from review articles and pharmaceutical prescribing information were included in this review.