Once an effective amount is established, your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate Abstral strength that will allow you to use only one tablet for each breakthrough pain episode. This is your maintenance dose.
If, on occasion, your pain is not relieved 30 minutes after taking your maintenance dose, you may use one additional tablet. You must then wait at least two hours before taking another dosage of Abstral for breakthrough pain.
If you find that your maintenance dose does not adequately manage your pain for several breakthrough episodes in a row, contact your healthcare provider. You may need another increase.
Do not use Abstral more than four times a day. If you experience more than four episodes of breakthrough pain episodes each day, your healthcare provider may choose to increase your scheduled (around-the-clock) opioid dosage.
General Information on Taking AbstralSome considerations to keep in mind during treatment with Abstral include the following:
- This medication comes in the form of a small tablet, which is dissolved on the floor of the mouth under the tongue. It is usually taken no more often than every two hours if needed for breakthrough pain.
- Do not take more than two doses of this medication (30 minutes apart) for each breakthrough pain episode. Also, do not take Abstral more than four times in a day.
- Do not chew, swallow, or suck on the tablets. Keep the tablet under your tongue until it completely dissolves.
- Do not cut, crush, or break the tablets. They must be placed in the mouth whole.
- If your mouth is dry, you may moisten it with water before using Abstral. Once the tablet is in your mouth, you should not eat or drink anything until the tablet completely dissolves.
- Continue to take your regularly scheduled, around-the-clock, opioid pain medication. Abstral alone will not control your pain.
- Abstral comes in a blister card that contains four blister units. Each blister unit contains one tablet. Keep the tablet in the sealed blister unit until just before use.
- To use Abstral, remove a blister unit from the blister card by tearing along the perforation. Once the unit is separated, peel back the foil to expose the tablet. Do not try to push the tablet through the foil, as this may damage the tablet.
- Abstral should be placed on the floor of your mouth, under your tongue, as far back as you can put it. If you are using more than one tablet, spread them out under the tongue. Do not place them on top of each other.
- This medication may be dangerous, and could even cause death if ingested by a child or someone for whom it was not prescribed. Store the unopened tablets in a safe place, out of the reach of children (see Abstral Storage and Disposal for more information).
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Do not increase your dose or suddenly stop using Abstral without your healthcare provider's approval.
- If you are unsure about anything related to dosing with Abstral, please talk with your healthcare provider or pharmacist.