Back Pain Home > Fentanyl Patch Disposal
You must properly dispose of fentanyl patches -- they contain a strong narcotic medicine that could cause dangerous complications when used unintentionally. To dispose, fold the sticky sides of the patch together and flush it down the toilet. Even after three days of use, fentanyl patches contain enough medication to cause death in children, pets, and people who are not used to opioid medications.
How Should I Dispose of Fentanyl Patches?The fentanyl patch (Duragesic®) is a very strong, long-acting prescription opioid narcotic used to treat moderate-to-severe chronic pain. It is a federally controlled substance because -- like all narcotics -- it has the potential to be abused. The high concentration of fentanyl in these patches can make this medication particularly desirable for abuse.
Additionally, the patches can be very dangerous if used by people for whom they are not prescribed. Therefore, it is very important to store the patches in a safe place, and dispose of them properly.
Proper Fentanyl Patch StorageFentanyl patches should be kept in a safe place to prevent possible theft and unintended use. Make sure to store unused patches away from children or pets. Accidental use of the patches by someone for whom they were not prescribed is a medical emergency, and can be life-threatening. If someone you know accidently uses fentanyl patches, seek immediate medical attention.
Proper Fentanyl Patch DisposalWhen it is time to replace your fentanyl patch, take it off your body and fold it in half by folding the sticky sides of the patch together. Immediately flush the folded patch down the toilet. Any used fentanyl patches may still contain enough medication to be very harmful, and could cause death in children, pets, and people who are not prescribed this medication.
If you no longer need your fentanyl patches, dispose of any unused patches immediately. Do not hold on to them for future use. To dispose of an unused patch, open the unused package, fold the sticky sides of the patch together, and flush the patch down the toilet.
If a fentanyl patch falls off before 72 hours (three days), fold the patch in half and flush it down the toilet. The patch will still have medication in it, but should not be reused. Instead, place a new patch on a different skin site, and leave the new patch in place for 72 hours (three days). Make sure to tell your healthcare provider that this has happened.