fentanyl transdermal patch (generic name)

It is used to treat persistent, moderate to severe chronic pain
(FEN ta nil)
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What if I miss a dose?

If you forget to replace your patch, take off the old patch and put on a new patch as soon as you can. Do not apply an extra patch to your skin. Do not wear more than one patch at the same time unless told to do so by your doctor or health care professional.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • alcohol
  • antihistamines
  • clarithromycin
  • diltiazem
  • erythromycin
  • herbal products that contain St. John's wort
  • itraconazole
  • ketoconazole
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • medicines for sleep
  • muscle relaxants
  • naltrexone
  • narcotic medicines (opiates) for pain
  • nelfinavir
  • nicardipine
  • phenobarbital, phenytoin, or fosphenytoin
  • rifampin
  • ritonavir
  • troleandomycin
  • verapamil

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Other pain medicine may be needed the first day you use the patch because the patch can take some time to start working. Tell your doctor or health care professional 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 the medicine. Tolerance means that you will need a higher dose of the medicine for pain relief. Tolerance is normal and is expected if you take the medicine for a long time.

Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medicine. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a non-medical reason. If you have pain, you have a medical reason to take pain medicine. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.

You may get drowsy or dizzy when you first start taking the medicine or change doses. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that may be dangerous until you know how the medicine affects you. Stand or sit up slowly.

There are different types of narcotic medicines (opiates) for pain. If you take more than one type at the same time, you may have more side effects. Give your health care provider a list of all medicines you use. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. Do not take more medicine than directed. Call emergency for help if you have problems breathing.

The medicine will cause constipation. Try to have a bowel movement at least every 2 to 3 days. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your doctor or health care professional.

Your mouth may get dry. Drinking water, chewing sugarless gum, or sucking on hard candy may help. See your dentist every 6 months.

Heat can increase the amount of medicine released from the patch. Do not get the patch hot by using heating pads, heated water beds, electric blankets, and heat lamps. You can bathe or swim while using the patch. But, do not use a sauna or hot tub. Tell you doctor or health care professional if you get a fever.

If gel leaks from the patch, wash your skin well with water only. Do not use soap or cleansers containing alcohol. Remove the patch from your skin and discard as instructed above. Medicine from a partly attached or leaking patch can transfer to a child or pet when they are being held. Exposure of children or pets to the patch can cause serious side effects and even death.

If you are going to have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedure, tell your MRI technician if you have this patch on your body. It must be removed before a MRI.

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Last Updated: August 22, 2012
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