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IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
FENTANYL - SUBLINGUAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Abstral
WARNING: See also Uses and How To Use sections.
Fentanyl has a high risk for abuse and severe, possibly fatal, breathing problems. Do not use fentanyl sublingual tablets unless you have been regularly taking moderate to large amounts of narcotic pain medication. Otherwise, it may cause overdose (even death). The risk for harm is higher if you take the wrong dose/strength, or if you take it along with other drugs that might also affect breathing. Get medical help right away if you notice unusual slow/shallow breathing.
Carefully follow the specific directions for using fentanyl sublingual tablets. Since they are not taken the same way, different forms of fentanyl (including lozenges, buccal tablets, patches) do not have the same effects at equal strengths and should not be substituted for each other. Tell your doctor or pharmacist of all medications that you use, especially of drugs that can affect how fentanyl works (see also Drug Interactions section). Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Keep this medicine in a safe place to prevent theft, misuse, or abuse. If a child accidentally swallows this drug, get medical help right away.
Because of the risk of misuse, abuse, and overdose, you will need to register with a special distribution program (ABSTRAL REMS) before receiving your prescription. Only doctors and pharmacies enrolled in this program may prescribe or dispense this medication. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for details.
USES: This medication is used to help relieve sudden (breakthrough) pain in people who are already taking narcotic medication around-the-clock for cancer pain. Fentanyl belongs to a class of drugs known as narcotic (opiate) analgesics. It works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain.
This medication should not be used to relieve mild or short-term pain (such as due to headache/migraine, dental procedures, surgery).
HOW TO USE: Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using fentanyl and each time you get a refill. Learn all usage and disposal instructions. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Use fentanyl sublingual tablets as directed by your doctor. If your mouth is dry, take a sip of water to moisten it before using this medication. Spit out or swallow the water. With dry hands, open the blister pack unit just before using. Do not push the tablet through the foil of the blister pack because this could damage the tablet. Place the tablet in your mouth under your tongue, as far back as you can. If your dose is for more than one tablet, spread them around the floor of your mouth under your tongue. Do not break, bite, chew, suck, or swallow the tablet whole. Do not eat or drink anything until the tablet dissolves completely.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. If you need a second dose, wait 30 minutes after starting the first dose. Do not use more than 2 doses per episode of breakthrough pain. Wait at least 2 hours before using fentanyl sublingual tablets again for another episode of breakthrough pain. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed.
Pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.
You should continue to also take your around-the-clock narcotic medication as directed by your doctor. Other non-narcotic pain relievers (such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen) may also be prescribed with this medication. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about using fentanyl safely with other drugs.
This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as restlessness, watering eyes, runny nose, nausea, sweating, muscle aches) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Along with its benefits, this medication may rarely cause abnormal drug-seeking behavior (addiction). This risk may be increased if you have abused alcohol or drugs in the past. Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lessen the risk of addiction.
Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication unless your doctor or pharmacist says you may do so safely. Grapefruit can increase the chance of side effects with this medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Tell your doctor if your pain persists or worsens, if you have more than 4 episodes of breakthrough pain daily, or if you need to use 2 doses of medication for each episode of pain.
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