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FENTANYL (FEN ta nil) treats severe, chronic pain. It is prescribed when other pain medications do not work well enough or cannot be tolerated. It works by blocking pain signals in the brain. It belongs to a group of medication called opioids. It is a long-acting pain medication. Do not use it to treat sudden pain.
This medication is for external use only. Apply the patch to your skin. 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 medication. If the area is hairy, clip the hair with scissors, but do not shave. Do not cut or damage the patch. A cut or damaged patch can be very dangerous because you may get too much medication.
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 medication. 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, 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.
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 care team regarding the use of this medication in children. While this medication may be prescribed for children as young as 2 years old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
Keep out of the reach of children and pets. This medication can be abused. Keep it in a safe place to protect it from theft. Do not share it with anyone. It is only for you. Selling or giving away this medication is dangerous and against the law.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Keep this medication in the original packaging until you are ready to take it. Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.
This medication may cause harm and death if it is taken by other adults, children, or pets. It is important to get rid of the medication as soon as you no longer need it, or it is expired. You can do this in two ways:
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
Do not take this medication with any of the following:
This medication may also interact with the following:
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.
Tell your care team 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 this medication. Tolerance means that you will need a higher dose of the medication for pain relief. Tolerance is normal and is expected if you take this medication for a long time.
Do not suddenly stop taking your medication because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medication. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a medication for a nonmedical reason. If you have pain, you have a medical reason to take pain medication. Your care team will tell you how much medication to take. If your care team wants you to stop the medication, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.
If you take other medications that also cause drowsiness such as other narcotic pain medications, benzodiazepines, or other medications for sleep, you may have more side effects. Give your care team a list of all medications you use. They will tell you how much medication to take. Do not take more medication than directed. Call emergency services if you have trouble breathing or are unusually tired or sleepy.
Talk to your care team about naloxone and how to get it. Naloxone is an emergency medication used for an opioid overdose. An overdose can happen if you take too much opioid. It can also happen if an opioid is taken with some other medications or substances, such as alcohol. Know the symptoms of an overdose, such as trouble breathing, unusually tired or sleepy, or not being able to respond or wake up. Make sure to tell caregivers and close contacts where it is stored. Make sure they know how to use it. After naloxone is given, you must call emergency services. Naloxone is a temporary treatment. Repeat doses may be needed.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you. Do not stand up 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 medication. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
This medication will cause constipation. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your care team.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your care team if the problem does not go away or is severe.
This patch is sensitive to body heat changes. If your skin gets too hot, more medication will come out of the patch and can cause a deadly overdose. Call your care team if you get a fever. Do not take hot baths. Do not sunbathe. Do not use hot tubs, saunas, hairdryers, 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, an MRI, CT scan, or other procedure, tell your care team that you are using this medication. You may need to remove the patch before the procedure.
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