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DURAGESIC
FENTANYL - TRANSDERMAL

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

FENTANYL - TRANSDERMAL

(FEN-tuh-nill)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Duragesic

WARNING: Because serious (sometimes fatal) breathing problems can occur, do not use this medication for short-term pain, pain occurring after surgery, or for mild or infrequent pain (on-and-off pain) relieved by less powerful pain medications. Do not use more fentanyl than prescribed by your doctor. The stronger doses of fentanyl (50mcg/hr or stronger) are for use only in patients that are already using narcotics for pain relief. Do not use this medication in children less than 12 years old nor in children less than 18 years that weigh less than 110lbs (50kg) except in a research setting. This medication should be used only for long-term (chronic) pain requiring continuous narcotic pain relief that is not helped by other less powerful pain medications or less frequent dosing. Seek immediate medical attention in the unlikely event that very slow, shallow breathing occurs.

Uses

This medication is a narcotic analgesic used to relieve chronic pain.

How To Use

The patch should be applied to a clean, dry area on the upper arm or back. If necessary, clip hair from the site prior to applying the patch. Remove the patch from the package, peel off the protective strip and immediately apply it to the site. Press firmly for 30 seconds to make sure the patch stays in place. Be sure the edges are held firmly to the skin. Wash your hands after applying the patch. Each patch may be worn continually for 72 hours even while showering or bathing. Remove the patch carefully and immediately flush it down the toilet. Apply each new patch to a different area to prevent skin irritation. Use this medication exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not increase your dose, use it more frequently or use it for a longer period of time than prescribed because this drug can be habit-forming. Also, if used for an extended period of time, do not suddenly stop using this drug without your doctor's approval. Over time, this drug may not work as well. Consult your doctor if this medication is not relieving the pain sufficiently.

Side Effects

This medication may cause constipation, lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness, stomach upset, nausea or flushing the first few days as your body adjusts to the medication. If these symptoms persist or become bothersome, inform your doctor. Notify your doctor if you develop: irregular or slow heartbeat, anxiety, tremors, seizures. If the area around the patch becomes red, itchy or irritated, try a new site. If the irritation continues or becomes worse, contact your doctor. When stopping this medication you may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, or shivering. If these symptoms persist or worsen, contact you doctor. In the unlikely event you have an allergic reaction to this drug, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Before using this medication, tell your doctor your medical history especially of: heart or lung disease, asthma, difficulty urinating, enlarged prostate, high blood pressure, low thyroid function, any drug allergies. Use caution when engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Limit alcohol consumption because it may add to the dizziness/drowsiness effects of this drug. Do not allow any heat source to warm the patch as it may cause the drug to be released too quickly. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug. This drug should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Fentanyl passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Therefore, do not breast-feed without first consulting your doctor.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of any over-the-counter or prescription medication you may take including: sleeping pills, sedatives, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, medication for depression or seizures, narcotic pain medication, cimetidine, macrolides (e.g., erythromycin), azole antifungals (e.g., ketoconazole), protease inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir), rifampin, medications for colds/allergies or hay fever. Tell your doctor you are taking this medication before undergoing any procedure requiring anesthesia. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, remove the patch. Contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include slow, shallow breathing; drowsiness; deep sleep or loss of consciousness; cold, clammy skin; and slow heart rate.

Notes

To prevent constipation, increase your intake of fiber, drink plenty of water and exercise. Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children. Any unused patches should be destroyed by flushing them down the toilet.

Missed Dose

Skin patches offer the convenience of continuous dosing. If you should forget to replace a patch at the scheduled time, replace it as soon as you remember. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (between 15 and 30 degrees C) away from moisture and heat. Do not store in the bathroom.