The authors determined whether fentanyl incorporated into a candy lollipop, oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate (OTFC), would cross mucosal tissues of the mouth in sufficient quantities during and after dissolution to produce sedation and/or analgesia. Associated respiratory and circulatory changes, side effects, and plasma concentrations of fentanyl were also measured. The evaluations were done in 28 adult volunteers who received fentanyl citrate in doses of 5, 4, 2, 1, and 0.5 mg in OTFC and rapidly sucked the lollipops (N = 20) or allowed them to passively dissolve (N = 8). Rapid consumption of OTFC resulted in more rapid onset of a pleasant feeling (first subjective sensation) but not more rapid onset of objective sedation or analgesia than passive dissolution. There was a significant correlation between dose of OTFC and magnitude of sedation (P < 0.001, Spearman rank correlation = −0.82). Higher doses of OTFC produced greater and longer lasting analgesia and respiratory depression and a higher incidence of nausea and vomiting than lower doses, but pruritus (33%-87%) was not related to the dose of OTFC. Heart rate and arterial blood pressures were not changed by any dose of OTFC. The data indicate that low doses of OTFC (0.5 and 1 mg, equivalent to 5–20 äg·kgminus;1 of fentanyl citrate) produce analgesia and sedation with minimal side effects and little respiratory depression in adult volunteers and deserve further evaluation in patients.
Address correspondence to Dr. Stanley, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Utah School of Medicine, 50 North Medical Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84132.
© 1989 International Anesthesia Research Society