What is a fentanyl patch?
Fentanyl is an opioid pain medication, sometimes called a narcotic.
Fentanyl patches are a strong prescription pain medicine. The patches are used to treat moderate to severe chronic pain around the clock.
Fentanyl patches are used when other pain treatments such as non-opioid pain medicines or immediate-release opioid medicines do not treat your pain well enough or you cannot tolerate them.
Fentanyl patches are not for treating mild or occasional pain or pain from surgery. The patches are not for use to treat pain that is not around-the-clock.
Fentanyl can slow or stop your breathing, and may be habit-forming. MISUSE OF NARCOTIC MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.
Using this medicine during pregnancy may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.
Fatal side effects can occur if you use this medicine with alcohol, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use fentanyl unless you recently used opioid medicine and your body is tolerant to it (ask your doctor if you’re not sure).
Do not put a fentanyl skin patch on any person who does not have a personal prescription for this medicine. You should not use fentanyl if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
- severe asthma or other breathing problems; or
- a stomach or bowel obstruction (including paralytic ileus).
To make sure fentanyl patches are safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- breathing problems, sleep apnea;
- a head injury, brain tumor, or mental illness;
- alcoholism or drug addiction;
- urination problems;
- a seizure disorder;
- liver or kidney disease; or
- problems with your gallbladder, pancreas, or thyroid.
Tell your doctor if you have been sick with a fever. Having a high temperature can increase the amount of drug you absorb through your skin.
If you use opioid medicine while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on opioids may need medical treatment for several weeks.
Do not breastfeed while you are using fentanyl.