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Fentanyl Patch - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Fentanyl Patch: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is a fentanyl patch?

A fentanyl patch is a potent prescription medication that treats severe and chronic pain. It belongs to a class of drugs known as opioid analgesics (effective pain relievers). When applied to the skin, it works on the brain to change how your body reacts to pain. 

A fentanyl patch can be addictive if used for a prolonged time. It is advisable not to use larger doses or alter the duration, as it is a potent drug.

What are the uses of a fentanyl patch?

Fentanyl patches help relieve moderate to severe pain. Doctors recommend a fentanyl patch when other medication or treatments do not alleviate the pain. Cancer patients usually use this medication. Usually, your doctor will start with a lower dose and gradually alter the dosage depending on your condition. Follow your doctor’s instructions strictly for the best outcome. 

Fentanyl patches are not for mild or occasional surgical pain or children below 18 years.

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What are the side effects of a fentanyl patch?

A fentanyl patch can cause mild side effects such as vomiting, drowsiness, headaches, indigestion, changes in vision, anxiety or redness at the application site. Inform your doctor if these conditions persist over time. 

It may also trigger complex conditions such as:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Mood changes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest or back pain
  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Increased menstruation
  • Seizures
  • Serotonin syndrome
  • Allergic reactions like rash, hives or swelling

Seek immediate medical help if symptoms persist.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Fentanyl Patch

1.For how long do you keep a fentanyl patch on?

A fentanyl patch is a potent synthetic opioid analgesic used in the medical field for pain relief. The longest you can keep it on for is three days at a stretch. You must use a fentanyl patch only on the recommendation of your doctor. Never change the duration or dosage as it may trigger side effects.

2. Can fentanyl patches be used long-term?

Use a fentanyl patch only as per the instruction of your doctor. Fentanyl is a potent opioid drug and can lead you to its addiction. You may become dependent on the medication and show withdrawal symptoms over time. It is advisable to seek your doctor’s advice if such a situation arises.

3. Do fentanyl patches get you high?

As a slow-release medication, a fentanyl patch helps relieve pain. Using it appropriately will not get you intoxicated but merely help you tolerate chronic pain. It is potentially fatal if misused. If you overdose on a fentanyl patch, it may lead to life-threatening side effects.

4. How do you dispose of unused fentanyl patches?

If you have unused fentanyl patches, you must do the following:

  • Send them back to the chemist in case they are still usable.
  • Check disposal instructions on the pack if they have already expired.
  • For an expired fentanyl patch, fold the used patch together and flush it down the toilet.
  • Ensure fentanyl patches are kept away from children at all times.

5. How long does a fentanyl patch last?

Typically, a fentanyl patch lasts for 72 hours or three days. Your doctor will decide when and how long you need to use the patch. If you forget to apply the patch at the recommended time, apply it as soon as you remember. Do not apply extra patches to make up for a forgotten dose, as it may lead to overdose.

6. How to get fentanyl patches?

Fentanyl patches are prescription-only drugs available on the recommendation of a medical practitioner. You can get it at a pharmacy, online store or a local medical shop by showing the prescription. Fentanyl patches carry several risks of overdose. There is a slender margin between an appropriate medical and a toxic dose.

7. What special precautions should I follow?

Apply a fentanyl skin patch per the recommendation of your doctor. It should come in direct contact with your skin. Never use it for long periods. Never let it come in close contact with your eyes, ears, nose, mouth or contact with any other individual’s skin. Ensure you never use it for more than three days at a stretch.

8. Where to place a fentanyl patch?

Place a fentanyl patch directly on dry, flat skin. Usually, your doctor will recommend it on your upper arm, back or chest. Do not place it on a scar, open wound, cut or burn. Avoid any hairy area of your body. If a body part has received radiation therapy, do not place the skin patch on it.

9. How does a fentanyl patch work?

A fentanyl patch works by binding to the body’s opioid receptors. These receptors control the feeling of pain and emotions in humans. It can relieve chronic pain slowly over time. As a highly potent medication, doctors recommend it to you if you are suffering from acute and chronic pain and if you can tolerate opioids.

10. Can fentanyl patches be cut?

Never cut fentanyl patches. Do not use fentanyl patches that appear damaged or have holes. Remember to open a new sealed pack every time you use a fentanyl patch. Ensure the adhesive (sticky) surface does not come in direct contact with your hand, as it contains fentanyl that your body could quickly absorb.

 

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Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.

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