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Intranasal and intrapulmonary opioids 

Intranasal and intrapulmonary opioids
Intranasal and intrapulmonary opioids

Andrew Davies

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date: 01 March 2021

The intranasal and intrapulmonary routes are simple, do not necessarily require any specialized equipment, and can be used by both patients and their non-professional caregivers. Intranasal administration may be associated with rapid onset of analgesia. A number of fentanyl-based formulations are commercially available to manage breakthrough cancer pain. Intranasal opioids can be delivered by traditional spray bottles, and also by syringes fitted with atomisers. The intrapulmonary route has the potential for rapid onset of analgesia. and can be delivered by traditional nebulizers, and other inhalation devices (e.g. metered dose inhalers, dry powder inhalers). The transdermal route has less potential for rapid onset of analgesia. However, new patch technology (iontophoretic technology) may alter the current position.

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