Intranasal fentanyl reduces pain during screening for retinopathy of prematurity

  • Sindhur M & al.
  • J Perinatol
  • 13 Feb 2020

  • curated by Kelli Whitlock Burton
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Compared with standard pain management alone, intranasal fentanyl along with standard pain management is linked to significantly lower pain during screening of premature infants for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).
  • Risk for respiratory depression was not increased.

Why this matters

  • This is the first randomized control trial (RCT) to examine the efficacy of intranasal fentanyl to reduce pain during screening for ROP.

Study design

  • Study of 111 preterm infants between 30 and 34 weeks' postmenstrual age who received either intranasal fentanyl (2 μg/kg) or intranasal normal saline.
  • Outcome: PIPP-R (premature infant pain profile-revised) score during the screening.
  • Funding: None disclosed.  

Key results

  • 32% infants were born at
  • Intranasal fentanyl vs standard pain management alone had:
    • Lower pain during the retinal examination (PIPP-R, score 8.3 vs 11.5; P<.001>
    • No significant difference for adverse effects (5.3% vs 1.8%; P=.62).

Limitations

  • Results may not be generalizable.
  • Single-center study.

Coauthored with Vijay Rathod, PhD.