fentanyl sublingual tablet (generic name)

Abstral (brand name)

It is used to treat breakthrough cancer pain that your long acting pain medicine does not control
(FEN ta nil)
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What is this medicine?

FENTANYL (FEN ta nil) is a pain reliever. It is used to treat breakthrough cancer pain that your long acting pain medicine does not control. Do not use this medicine for a pain that will go away in a few days like pain from surgery, doctor or dentist visits. The medicine is used only by people who have been taking an opioid or narcotic pain medicine for at least a week.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • brain tumor
  • head injury
  • heart disease
  • history of a drug or alcohol abuse problem
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • low blood pressure
  • lung or breathing disease, like asthma
  • mental illness
  • seizures
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to fentanyl, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Leave the tablet in the sealed blister pack until you are ready to take it. With dry hands, open the blister and gently remove the tablet. Place the tablet under your tongue and allow it to dissolve. If more than one tablet is needed, spread them around the floor of your mouth under your tongue. Do not suck, swallow, or chew this medicine. Do not take it more often than directed.

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. Special care may be needed.

Patients over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction and need a smaller dose.

Overdosage: If you think you've taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

What if I miss a dose?

This medicine is only used when needed for pain.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • alcohol
  • antihistamines
  • aprepitant
  • barbiturates, like phenobarbital
  • certain antibiotics like clarithromycin, erythromycin, and telithromycin
  • certain medicines for diabetes like pioglitazone and troglitazone
  • certain medicines for fungal infections like fluconazole, ketoconazole, itraconazole
  • certain medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin
  • cimetidine
  • diltiazem
  • general anesthetics
  • grapefruit juice
  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • medicines for HIV
  • medicines for sleep
  • modafinil
  • muscle relaxants
  • narcotic medicines (opiates) for pain
  • phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
  • rifabutin
  • rifampin
  • supplements like St John's Wort
  • steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone
  • verapamil

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Last Updated: August 22, 2012
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