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Common side effects of the fentanyl patch include nausea, vomiting, and constipation. While these side effects generally require little or no treatment, potentially serious problems are possible while using this medication. If you experience more serious side effects, such as difficulty breathing, hallucinations, or seizures, notify your healthcare provider right away.

An Introduction to Side Effects of the Fentanyl Patch

As with any medicine, the fentanyl patch (Duragesic®) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
 
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with fentanyl patches. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
 

Serious Fentanyl Patch Side Effects

Some fentanyl patch side effects are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
 
  • The urge to use more fentanyl patches than prescribed or for a non-medical purpose (see Duragesic Abuse)
  • Any difficulty breathing, including reduced, shallow, slow, or irregular breathing
  • A slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or problems thinking, walking, or talking
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not really there)
  • Severe constipation
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
  • Unusual changes in behavior or mood (including depression, hostility, agitation, or anxiety)
  • Dizziness when getting up from a seated or lying position, which may be a sign of low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
 
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the mouth or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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