A Comparison of Oral Transmucosal Fentanyl Citrate and Oral Hydromorphone for Inpatient Pediatric Burn Wound Care Analgesia

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The ideal oral wound care analgesic for children should be palatable, provide potent analgesia of rapid onset and short duration, and require minimal, yet appropriate, monitoring. With use of a double-blinded crossover design, we compared the efficacy and safety of oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate (OTFC) (10 μg/kg) with die efficacy and safety of oral hydromorphone (60 μg/kg) in 14 pediatric inpatients (ages 4 to 17 years) undergoing daily burn wound care in a ward setting. Pulse oximetry, vital signs, side effects, patient pain scores, and observer scores for cooperation, anxiety, and sedation were recorded. Pulse oximetry, vital signs, cooperation, sedation, incidence of nausea or vomiting, and the amount of time it took to resume normal activities were similar in both treatment groups. OTFC resulted in improved pain scores before wound care and improved anxiolysis during wound care, but at other points it was similar in effect to hydromorphone. We conclude that OTFC is a safe and effective analgesic, that it may provide minor improvements in analgesia and anxiolysis compared with hydromorphone, and that it offers a palatable alternative route of opioid administration without intravenous access for wound care procedures in children. (J Burn Care Rehabil 1998:19;516–21)

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