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Other drug names: A-Am An-Az B C-Ch Ci-Cz D-Dh Di-Dz E F G H I-J K-L M-Mh Mi-Mz N-Nh Ni-Nz O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q-R S-Sn So-Sz T-To Tp-Tz U-V W-Z 0-9   

Fentanyl Skin Patches

IMPORTANT WARNING:

Fentanyl may cause serious or life-threatening breathing difficulties. Fentanyl should not be used in children under 12 years old or people under 18 years old who weigh less than 110 pounds. Fentanyl should be used only for chronic pain that cannot be managed by safer pain relievers. Talk to your doctor about the risk of taking this medication.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Fentanyl skin patches are used to relieve chronic pain associated with cancer and other diseases.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

Fentanyl skin patches are applied to the skin. The patch usually is changed every 3 days. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Apply fentanyl patches exactly as directed.

Fentanyl can be habit-forming. Do not apply a larger dose, apply it more often, or for a longer period than your doctor tells you to.

To apply the patch, follow the directions provided by the manufacturer and these steps:

  • Select a clean, dry area of skin on your front or back, above the waist. Do not apply the patch to oily, broken, burned, cut, or irritated skin. To clean the skin area, use only clear water, no soap or alcohol. If the area is hairy, clip hair with scissors, but do not shave it. Be sure that the area is completely dry before applying the patch.
  • Remove the skin patch from its protective pouch and peel off the protective strip, exposing the adhesive surface. Try not to touch the sticky side.
  • Immediately place the adhesive side against the skin.
  • Press the patch firmly, for about 10-20 seconds, with the palm of your hand. Be sure that the edges adhere to your skin.
  • Wash your hands promptly with clear water.
  • Apply each patch to a different skin area to avoid irritation. Remove the patch before applying another one.

If a patch accidentally comes off or if the skin under the patch becomes irritated, remove the patch and replace it with a new one in a different area; be sure that this new skin area is clean and dry.

Do not remove a skin patch from its protective pouch or remove the protective backing until just before applying it. Do not use a patch if the pouch or backing has been broken or damaged.

Dispose of all used (and any leftover unused) patches immediately. Fold each patch in half with the sticky sides together (after removing the protective strip from each unused patch), and flush it down the toilet.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before using fentanyl skin patches,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to fentanyl, adhesives, or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially other pain relievers; antidepressants; carbamazepine (Tegretol), clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, others), HIV protease inhibitors such as ritonavir (Norvir), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), MAO inhibitors [phenelzine (Nardil) or tranylcypromine (Parnate)]; medications for cough, cold or allergies; phenytoin (Dilantin), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane), sedatives; sleeping pills; tranquilizers; and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver or kidney disease, a history of alcoholism, lung or thyroid disease, heart disease, prostatic hypertrophy, or urinary problems.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using a fentanyl skin patch, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using fentanyl skin patches.
  • you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
  • remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
  • keep in mind that you should not expose the skin patch to direct heat or sunlight, heating pads, electric blankets, hot tubs, or other heat sources. Heat may increase the amount of fentanyl you receive.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Apply the missed skin patch as soon as you remember it. Leave it on for 3 days and then replace it. Do not wear two patches at once.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Although side effects from fentanyl skin patches are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • skin rash
  • itching
  • blisters
  • swelling
  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • drowsiness
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • stomach pain
  • difficulty urinating

If you experience either of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • difficulty breathing
  • fainting

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed by flushing it down the toilet.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

You may bathe and swim while wearing a fentanyl skin patch.

If you develop a fever while using fentanyl skin patches, call your doctor. Your dose may need to be adjusted.

Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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