Fentanyl Patch

The fentanyl patch is a prescription medication approved to treat moderate-to-severe chronic pain. This medicated skin patch is a strong opioid narcotic and should only be used in people who are used to the effects of opioid medications. This patch is applied to the skin every three days and provides continuous, around-the-clock pain relief. Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, and constipation.

What Is a Fentanyl Patch?

The fentanyl patch (Duragesic®) is a very strong, long-acting prescription opioid narcotic used to treat moderate-to-severe chronic pain that is not adequately managed with other pain medications. 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.
The fentanyl patch is a Schedule II controlled substance, which means there are strict laws and regulations controlling its use. Schedule II medications, such as fentanyl patches, are considered to have the highest potential for abuse.
(Click What Is Fentanyl Patch Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

Just like any medicine, the fentanyl patch can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the drug will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well.
If reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects of fentanyl patches may include but are not limited to:
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Sweating
  • Pain and redness at the patch site.
(Click Fentanyl Patch Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
What Your Pharmacist Wishes You Knew About Chronic Pain Medications

Fentanyl Patch Drug Information

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