Brand Names : Duragesic
Proper Use of This Medicine
Transdermal fentanyl comes with patient instructions. Read them carefully
before using the product
. If you do not receive any printed instructions
with the medicine, check with your pharmacist.
Use this medicine exactly as directed by your
. It will work only if it has been applied correctly.
Fentanyl skin patches are packaged in sealed pouches. Do not remove the patch from the sealed pouch until you are ready to apply
When handling the skin patch, be careful not
to touch the adhesive (sticky) surface with your hand
. The adhesive
part of the system contains some fentanyl, which can be absorbed into your
body too fast through the skin of your hand. If any of the medicine does get
on your hand, rinse the area right away with a lot of
clear water. Do not use soap or other cleansers
Be careful not to tear the patch or make any
holes in it
. Damage to a patch may allow fentanyl to pass into your
skin too quickly. This can cause an overdose.
Apply the patch to a dry, flat skin area on your upper arm, chest,
or back. Choose a place where the skin is not very oily
and is free of scars, cuts, burns, or any other skin irritations. Also, do
not apply this medicine to areas that have received radiation (x-ray) treatment
The patch will stay in place better if it is applied to an area with
little or no hair. If you need to apply the patch to a hairy area, you may
first clip the hair with scissors, but do not shave it
If you need to clean the area before applying the medicine, use only plain water. Do not use soaps, other cleansers, lotions,
or anything that contains oils or alcohol
. Be sure that the skin is
completely dry before applying the medicine.
Remove the liner covering the sticky side of the skin patch. Then
press the patch firmly in place, using the palm of your hand, for a minimum
of 30 seconds. Make sure that the entire adhesive surface is attached to your
skin, especially around the edges.
If the patch becomes loose, tape the edges with first aid tape.
If the patch falls off after applying it, throw it away and apply
a new patch in a different area.
If you need to apply more than 1 patch at a time, place the patches far enough apart so that the edges do not touch or overlap
Wash your hands with a lot of clear water after applying the medicine.
Do not use soap or other cleansers.
Remove the patch after 72 hours (3 days), or as directed by your
doctor. Choose a different place on your skin to apply
the next patch
. If possible, use a place on the other side of your
body. Wait at least 3 days before using the first area
After a patch is applied, the fentanyl it contains passes into the skin
a little at a time. A certain amount of the medicine must build up in the
skin before it is absorbed into the body. Therefore, up to a day may pass
before the first dose begins to work. Your health care professional may need
to change the dose during the first several applications (each kept in place
for 3 days) before finding the amount that works best for you. Even if you
feel that the medicine is not working, do not increase
the amount of transdermal fentanyl that you apply
. Instead, check with
your health care professional.
You will probably need to take a faster-acting narcotic to relieve pain
during the first few days of transdermal fentanyl treatment. You may continue
to need another narcotic while your dose of fentanyl is being adjusted, and
also to relieve any "breakthrough" pain that occurs later on. Be sure that you do not take more of the other narcotic, and do not take it
more often, than directed. Taking other narcotics together with fentanyl can
increase the chance of an overdose
Dosing - The dose of transdermal fentanyl will be different
for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or
the directions on the label
. The following information includes only
the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different,
do not change it
unless your doctor tells you to do so.
dosage form (stick-on
For relief of severe, continuing pain:
Adults - If you have not already been using other narcotics regularly,
your first dose will probably be one patch that releases 25 micrograms (mcg)
of fentanyl every hour. If you have already been using other narcotics regularly,
your first dose will depend on the amount of other narcotic you have been
taking every day. If necessary, your health care professional will change
the dose after 3 days, when the first patch is replaced. The size of the new
dose will depend on how well the medicine is working and on whether you had
any side effects during the first 3-day application. Other changes in dose
may be needed later on. Some people may need to use more than one patch at
Children - Use and dose must be determined by the doctor.
Missed dose - If you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as
soon as possible. Remove the new patch 3 days after applying it.
Storage - To store this medicine:
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store away from heat and direct light.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. To dispose
of this medicine, first fold the patch in half, with the sticky side inside.
If the patch has not been used, take it out of the pouch and remove the liner
that covers the sticky side of the patch before folding it in half. Then flush
it down the toilet right away.