Pain Home > Subsys Uses

Subsys is a drug prescribed for relieving breakthrough cancer pain in adults who are taking around-the-clock pain medication. This medication is used on an as-needed basis, and is not approved to treat pain following a surgery, headache pain, or any other short-term pain. There are no widely accepted off-label (unapproved) uses for Subsys at this time.

What Is Subsys Used For?

Subsys® (fentanyl sublingual spray) is a strong prescription opioid pain medication used to manage breakthrough pain in people with cancer who are already on regularly scheduled pain treatment for their persistent cancer pain. Breakthrough pain is intense pain that occurs suddenly, even though other pain medication is being taken on a regular basis.
Subsys comes as a liquid that is sprayed under the tongue.
This medicine is only appropriate for use in people who have been taking other opioid pain medications, and are tolerant to their effects. In general, people are considered opioid tolerant if they have been taking one of the following products every day for at least a week:
This medication should not be used to treat short-term pain (acute pain), including headache or migraine pain, or pain after surgery or other medical or dental procedures.
Subsys is a Schedule II controlled substance, which means it has a very high potential for abuse. Schedule II medications are considered to have the highest abuse potential of all prescription medicines. Thus, there are strict laws and regulations for prescribing and obtaining this medication.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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