Fentanyl skin patch
What is this medicine?
FENTANYL (FEN ta nil) is a pain reliever. It is used to treat persistent, moderate to severe chronic pain. It is used only by people who have been taking an opioid or narcotic pain medicine for more than one week.
How should I use this medicine?
Apply the patch to your skin. Do not cut or damage the patch. A cut or damaged patch can be very dangerous because you may get too much medicine. Select a clean, dry area of skin above your waist on your front or back. The upper back is a good spot to put the patch on children or people who are confused because it will be hard for them to remove the patch. Do not apply the patch to oily, broken, burned, cut, or irritated skin. Use only water to clean the area. Do not use soap or alcohol to clean the skin because this can increase the effects of the medicine. If the area is hairy, clip the hair with scissors, but do not shave.
Take the patch out of its wrapper, and take off the protective strip over the sticky part. Do not use a patch if the packaging or backing is damaged. Do not touch the sticky part with your fingers. Press the sticky surface to the skin using the palm of your hand. Press the patch to the skin for 30 seconds. Wash your hands at once with soap and water.
Keep patches far away from children. Do not let children see you apply the patch and do not apply it where children can see it. Do not call the patch a sticker, tattoo, or bandage, as this could encourage the child to mimic your actions. Used patches still contain medicine. Children or pets can have serious side effects or die from putting used patches in their mouth or on their bodies.
Take off the old patch before putting on a new patch. Apply each new patch to a different area of skin. If a patch comes off or causes irritation, remove it and apply a new patch to different site. If the edges of the patch start to loosen, first apply first aid tape to the edges of the patch. If problems with the patch not sticking continue, cover the patch with a see-through adhesive dressing (like Bioclusive or Tegaderm). Never cover the patch with any other bandage or tape.
To get rid of used patches, fold the patch in half with the sticky sides together. Then, flush it down the toilet. Do not discard the patch in the garbage. Pets and children can be harmed if they find used or lost patches. Replace the patch every 3 days or as directed by your doctor or health care professional. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not take more medicine than you are told to take.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 2 years old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
If someone accidentally uses a fentanyl patch and is not awake and alert, immediately call 911 for help. If the person is awake and alert, call a doctor, health care professional, or the Poison Control Center.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
signs and symptoms of low blood pressure like dizziness; feeling faint or lightheaded, falls; unusually weak or tired
trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
itching at the site where the patch was applied
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medication with any of the following medicines:
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
antihistamines for allergy, cough and cold
antiviral medicines for HIV or AIDS
certain antibiotics like erythromycin and clarithromycin
certain medicines for anxiety or sleep
certain medicines for bladder problems like oxybutynin, tolterodine
certain medicines for blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heart beat
certain medicines for depression like amitriptyline, fluoxetine, sertraline
certain medicines for diabetes like pioglitazone, troglitazone
certain medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole and itraconazole
certain medicines for seizures like phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone
certain medicines for stomach problems like dicyclomine, hyoscyamine
certain medicines for travel sickness like scopolamine
certain medicines for Parkinson's disease like benztropine, trihexyphenidyl
general anesthetics like halothane, isoflurane, methoxyflurane, propofol
local anesthetics like lidocaine, pramoxine, tetracaine
MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
medicines that relax muscles for surgery
other narcotic medicines for pain or cough
phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
St. John's wort
steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone
What if I miss a dose?
If you forget to replace your patch, take off the old patch and put on a new patch as soon as you can. Do not apply an extra patch to your skin. Do not wear more than one patch at the same time unless told to do so by your doctor or health care professional.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children. This medicine can be abused. Keep your medicine in a safe place to protect it from theft. Do not share this medicine with anyone. Selling or giving away this medicine is dangerous and against the law.
Store below 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Do not store the patches out of their wrappers.
This medicine may cause harm and death if it is taken by other adults, children, or pets. Return medicine that has not been used to an official disposal site. Contact the DEA at 1-800-882-9539 or your city/county government to find a site. If you cannot return the medicine, flush it down the toilet as instructed above. Do not use the medicine after the expiration date.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
Crohn's disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or ulcerative colitis
drug abuse or addiction
if you frequently drink alcohol containing drinks
kidney disease or problems going to the bathroom
lung disease, asthma, or breathing problems
taken isocarboxazid, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, or selegiline in the past 2 weeks
an allergic or unusual reaction to fentanyl, meperidine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Tell your doctor or health care professional if your pain does not go away, if it gets worse, or if you have new or a different type of pain. You may develop tolerance to the medicine. Tolerance means that you will need a higher dose of the medicine for pain relief. Tolerance is normal and is expected if you take the medicine for a long time.
Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medicine. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a non-medical reason. If you have pain, you have a medical reason to take pain medicine. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.
There are different types of narcotic medicines (opiates). If you take more than one type at the same time or you are taking another medicine that also causes drowsiness, you may have more side effects. Give your health care provider a list of all medicines you use. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. Do not take more medicine than directed. Call emergency for help if you have problems breathing or unusual sleepiness.
This medicine patch is sensitive to certain body heat changes. If your skin gets too hot, more medicine will come out of the patch and can cause a deadly overdose. Call your healthcare provider if you get a fever. Do not take hot baths. Do not sunbathe. Do not use hot tubs, saunas, hair dryers, heating pads, electric blankets, heated waterbeds, or tanning lamps. Do not do exercise that increases your body temperature.
If you are going to need surgery, a MRI, CT scan, or other procedure, tell your doctor that you are using this medicine. You may need to remove this patch before the procedure.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that may be dangerous until you know how the medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
The medicine will cause constipation. Try to have a bowel movement at least every 2 to 3 days. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your doctor or health care professional.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.
July 17, 2018