The versatility of fentanyl made the drug the number one choice for doctors for pain management in recent decades. The synthetic opioid first appeared in the 1960s under the name Sublimaze, and its use in cancer treatment and palliative care became widespread when it appeared as a gel-filled patch that could be absorbed through the skin. The drug acts quickly and pharmacists often use it in combination with other opioids that take longer to take effect.
As well as applied intravenously and as a patch, it can also be prescribed as a pill, nasal spray, lollipop or lozenge.
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