Fentanyl transdermal patch is an opioid-type narcotic analgesic pain reliever. It is known under the brand name Duragesic. It is available in five different doses and patch sizes. The fentanyl transdermal patch is only to be used for chronic or long-term pain for patients who require continuous, 24-hour pain relief.
Application of Fentanyl Patch
Every Duragesic patch is individually packaged in its own protective pouch. The patch consists of a protective liner, a drug-containing layer, and a backing layer. You should not open the pouch until you are ready to use the patch.
You should make sure to apply the fentanyl transdermal patch to an area of skin that is not oily, burned, broken out, cut, irritated or damaged in any way. Avoid any sensitive areas and areas that move around a great deal. If you have hair in the area that you will be applying the Duragesic patch, clip the hair as close as possible to the skin. Do not shave the area as this can cause skin irritation. You should clean the skin area with only clear water before applying the patch and avoid using any soaps, oils, lotions or alcohol on the area.
The skin areas where you should apply the patch are either on the chest, back, sides of your waist, or on the upper arms where there is little to no hair. If a Duragesic patch has been prescribed to a child or a mentally impaired adult it should be placed on the upper back to lower chances of removal and of any attempts to put the patch in the mouth.
You should remove the patch from the pouch and be careful not to cut or tear the patch. If this occurs, do not use this patch. Peel off the backing layer of the patch and avoid touching the sticky side of the patch. Press the patch onto your skin site and, with your palm, hold it in place for 30 seconds. Check to make sure the patch sticks well and all the edges are sticking in place. Always wash your hands after application of a Duragesic patch.
While wearing the fentanyl transdermal patch, you can bathe, swim and shower. If the patch would fall off before the 72 hour mark, discard it and place a new patch on a different area of your skin. You should notify your physician if this occurs.
You should never expose the Duragesic patch to direct sources of heat such as electric blankets, saunas, hot tubs, heating pads or heated water beds. Notify your physician if, while wearing the patch, you develop a fever. Heat can cause the Duragesic patch to release too much medication into your skin and can cause life-threatening side effects.
The Duragesic patch should only be used in patients who have been receiving opioid therapy, have demonstrated an opioid tolerance and who require at least a total daily dose equal to Duragsic 25mcg/h. Duragsic 25mcg/h is the lowest dosage available. Fatal overdoses due to respiratory depression have been reported with the misuse of the Duragesic patch. You should always have supervision when first using the Duragesic patch to assess you for any serious or life-threatening reactions.
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