The US Food and Drug Administration has approved fentanyl iontophoretic transdermal system (Ionsys, The Medicines Co), the first needle-free, patient-controlled, preprogrammed fentanyl delivery system for management of acute postoperative pain in adults requiring opioid analgesia in the hospital, according to a company news release.

Ionsys is a “novel alternative” to traditional intravenous patient-controlled analgesia that uses a “credit-card-sized, self-adherent device employing an imperceptible electric current to deliver on-demand fentanyl,” Eugene R. Viscusi, MD, professor of anesthesiology and director of acute pain management at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, said in the release.