Switching from reservoir to matrix systems for the transdermal delivery of fentanyl: A prospective, multicenter pilot study in outpatients with chronic pain

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey/reviewContributedpeer-review


  • Rainer Freynhagen - , Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, University Hospital Duesseldorf (Author)
  • Hans Jürgen Von Giesen - , Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (Author)
  • Peter Busche - , Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (Author)
  • Rainer Sabatowski - , University of Cologne (Author)
  • Christhoph Konrad - , University of Mannheim (Author)
  • Stefan Grond - , Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (Author)


Matrix systems for transdermal fentanyl will replace the reservoir systems in Europe. In an industry-independent, prospective, multicenter pilot study, 46 outpatients with chronic pain were asked to assess pain intensity, sleep interference, adverse events, and multiple secondary parameters during administration of the last reservoir and the first two matrix patches. There was no difference in pain intensity, sleep interference, and the rate of adverse events between both systems. Self assessment on a 6-step numeric rating scale (1 = very good, 6 = insufficient) comparing the two systems (reservoir vs. matrix) showed that skin compatibility (2.6 vs. 1.5), adhesive properties (3.2 vs. 1.8), wearability/comfort (2.8 vs. 1.5), and general satisfaction (2.5 vs. 1.8) improved significantly with the new matrix technology. At study endpoint, 91% of patients preferred the matrix system for future use. The new fentanyl matrix system is characterized by a high level of general satisfaction, ease of use, patient acceptance, and improved skin compatibility. Reservoir and matrix systems appear to have comparable efficacy and safety so that outpatients can be switched directly from the reservoir to the matrix system without difficulties and new dose titration.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-297
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of pain and symptom management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005
Externally publishedYes

External IDs

PubMed 16183013



  • Chronic pain, Fentanyl, Matrix, Opioid side effects, Reservoir, Transdermal therapeutic systems