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Oral Transmucosal Fentanyl Citrate for
the Treatment of Migraine Headache
Pain in Outpatients: A Case Series
Stephen H. Landy, MD
Posted: December 2004  
Headache 2004;44:762-766

Background:   Migraine headache pain that does not respond to traditional antimigraine medications frequently requires treatment in the emergency department (ED) with parenteral opioids. Rapid onset of pain relief in an outpatient setting for migraine headache is the primary objective of patients and clinicians. Oral transmucosal Fentanyl citrate (OTFC) is a novel opioid product designed to deliver rapid analgesia to patients who experience breakthrough pain (BTP).

Objective:   To evaluate the effectiveness, tolerability, and patient satisfaction with OTFC for the outpatient treatment of acute, refractory migraine headache pain.

Conclusions:  OTFC rapidly and significantly relieved acute, refractory migraine pain in outpatients, prevented the need for an ED visit, and was associated with high patient satisfaction ratings. The rapid onset of migraine headache pain relief in this case series is consistent with the analgesic effect reported with the use of OTFC in patients with BTP. OTFC was well tolerated in these patients who had a history of tolerating parenteral opioids in the ED when experiencing refractory migraine pain and had been treated with outpatient opioid therapies in attempts to manage their migraine pain. OTFC may be effective for outpatient treatment of acute, refractory migraine headache pain. Further controlled studies are warranted.