Cancer Home > What Is Fentanyl Sublingual Spray Used For?
Fentanyl sublingual spray is approved for treating breakthrough cancer pain in adults. This prescription medicine is specifically designed for use in people who are already taking around-the-clock pain medication and are accustomed to the effects of opioid medications. Fentanyl sublingual spray should not be used to treat short-term pain, such as pain due to a headache or dental procedure.
An Overview of Uses for Fentanyl Sublingual SprayFentanyl sublingual spray (Subsys®) is a strong prescription opioid pain medication used to manage breakthrough pain. Specifically, it is used in people with cancer who are already on regularly scheduled pain treatment for their persistent cancer pain. Breakthrough pain is intense pain that occurs suddenly, even though other pain medication is being taken on a regular basis.
Fentanyl sublingual spray comes as a liquid that is sprayed under the tongue.
This medicine is only appropriate for use in people who have been taking other opioid pain medications, and are tolerant to their effects. In general, people are considered opioid tolerant if they have been taking one of the following products every day for at least a week:
- 60 mg of morphine
- 30 mg of oxycodone
- 8 mg of hydromorphone
- 25 mcg of fentanyl patch (Duragesic®)
- An equivalent dose of another opioid.
This medication should not be used to treat short-term pain (acute pain), including headache or migraine pain, or pain after surgery or other medical or dental procedures.
Fentanyl sublingual spray is a Schedule II controlled substance, which means it has a very high potential for abuse. Schedule II medications are considered to have the highest abuse potential of all prescription medicines. There are strict laws and regulations for prescribing and obtaining this medication.