Effects of Fentanyl Patches

The fentanyl patch (Duragesic®) is a long-acting prescription opioid narcotic used to treat chronic (long-lasting) pain that is moderate to severe in nature. It should only be used in people who are already tolerant to the effects of opioid pain medications, and only when around-the-clock (continuous) pain relief is needed.
This skin patch contains fentanyl, a very strong opioid narcotic medication. Fentanyl patches continuously release fentanyl in the same amount over a three-day period.
Fentanyl binds to specific types of opioid receptors found throughout the body. While the drug's main effects occur in the central nervous system, fentanyl can produce effects anywhere in the body.
Some of these effects, such as pain relief, are desirable. Other effects are undesirable and cause the side effects associated with fentanyl patch use. Effects of fentanyl may include but are not limited to:
  • Drowsiness
  • Changes in mood, including feelings of unease (dysphoria) or unusually pleasant feelings (euphoria)
  • Slowed or shallow breathing
  • Physical dependence.
(Click Fentanyl Patch for a closer look at the effects of this medication. This full-length article offers a complete overview of this medicated skin patch, including details on how it works, dosing guidelines, and safety precautions.)
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