Since 1st May 2016, Targin® (oxycodone/naloxone) and Norspan® (buprenorphine) have been available in additional strengths, as shown in Table 1, and listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the treatment of chronic severe disabling pain that is unresponsive to non-opioid analgesics.

Table 1. Additional Targin® and Norspan® strengths available

Targin®

Norspan®

2.5/1.25mg*

5µg/hour

5/2.5mg

10µg/hour

10/5mg

15µg/hour *

15/7.5mg*

20µg/hour

20/10mg

25µg/hour *

30/15mg*

30µg/hour *

40/20mg

40µg/hour *

 

*New strengths available from 1st May 2016.

Targin® is a modified release preparation. Therefore only whole tablets may be administered. The new lower strength offers greater dosing flexibility during titration and may be an option for patients with renal or hepatic impairment.

Additional strengths of Norspan® may improve adherence to application recommendations. Norspan® patches should only be applied to non-irritated, intact skin and use of the same site should be avoided for three weeks. Due to these restrictions, the use of a single patch is preferable to increase ease of use and patient satisfaction.

Targin® and Norspan® cannot be split without compromising their medication release characteristics. In the management of chronic pain, it is critical that appropriate doses are prescribed that provide adequate pain relief while minimising side effects. The greater flexibility offered by these new strengths may play a role in achieving that balance.

References:

  1. Norspan® (buprenorphine) Australian approved product information. Sydney: Mundipharma Pty Ltd. Approved November 2015.
  2. Targin (oxycodone/naloxone) Australian approved product information. Sydney: Mundipharma Pty Ltd. Approved July 2015.

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