fentanyl transdermal patch, Duragesic (cont.)

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Fentanyl can cause respiratory depression (decreased rate or depth of breathing), muscle rigidity, and slow heart rate. Nausea or vomiting, constipation, and itching can occur during treatment with fentanyl. Transdermal fentanyl can cause a variety of skin reactions. Commonly, redness occurs at the site of application and can last for 6 hours following removal of the patch.

Other side effects include:

The FDA is investigating reports of deaths and other serious side effects from the use of the fentanyl transdermal system as well as overdoses.

Exposing the patch to heat can increase the amount of fentanyl released and may lead to an overdose. Some patches may cause burns of the skin if worn during an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan. Patients should tell their health-care professional that they are using a medication patch prior to receiving an MRI scan.

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Transdermal systems labeled as delivering 12, 25, 537.50, 62.5, 75, 87.5, or 100 mcg/hour.

STORAGE: Patches should be stored at room temperature below 30 C (86 F). Used patches should be folded in half with the sticky sides together, and then flushed down the toilet. Patients must avoid exposing the patches to excessive heat as this promotes the release of fentanyl from the patch and increases the absorption of fentanyl through the skin which can result in fatal overdose.

DOSING: Patches should be applied to a flat, non-irritated area on the upper torso. The area of application should be clean and washed with water only prior to application. The patch should be applied immediately after removing it from the package and pressed firmly against the skin for 10 to 20 seconds especially around the edges. Patches should never be cut or otherwise damaged. Doses required to control pain vary widely among patients. The recommended dose is 25 to 100 mcg/hour patch applied every 72 hours. The manufacturer considers a fentanyl transdermal dose of 100 µg/hour approximately equivalent to 360 mg/day of oral morphine.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/8/2015


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