Ionsys is a transdermal system with fentanyl for the treatment of postoperative pain. Ionsys seems to have approximately the same effect and side effects as morphine administered intra venous via a PCA- pump (morphine PCA) even if the results of the comparative studies possibly suggest a lower initial effect.
Ionsys is a new interesting administration form, which patients and nurses subjectively consider as an positive alternative to intravenous morphine, but the lack of blinded studies implies that the nurses and the patients preferences might have been biased. Consequently the summery of product characteristics does not contain any information on Ionsys being therapeutic equivalent with morphine PCA.
The price of Ionsys is 10 times more expensive than the equivalent amount of intravenous morphine, which partly balances the costs for a PCA- pump and presumably more nursing. The non-published health economic analysis shows different results in advantage of respectively Ionsys and morphine PCA, which is why there can not be drawn any conclusion about cost efficiency at the existing basis.
For the time being, IRF is of the opinion that Ionsys should not be used by routine in postoperative pains.
Ionsys was marketed on the 8th of September 2008.