May 28, 2017
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Duragesic Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using a fentanyl transdermal skin patch?

Do not use this medication unless you are already being treated with a similar opioid (narcotic) pain medicine and your body is tolerant to it. Opioid medicines include codeine (Tylenol #3), hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin, Vicoprofen), hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo), oxycodone (OxyContin, Combunox, Roxicodone, Percocet), methadone (Methadose, Dolophine), morphine (Kadian, MS Contin, Oramorph), oxymorphone (Opana), and others. Talk with your doctor if you are not sure you are opioid-tolerant.

To make sure you can safely use fentanyl transdermal, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • a breathing disorder such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
  • a history of head injury or brain tumor;
  • a heart rhythm disorder;
  • liver disease; or
  • kidney disease.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether fentanyl will harm an unborn baby. Fentanyl may cause breathing problems, seizure, or addiction and withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother uses the medication during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using fentanyl transdermal.

Fentanyl may also cause addiction and withdrawal symptoms in a nursing infant. You should not breast-feed while using fentanyl transdermal.

Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medicine.

Fentanyl may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. This medication should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Store the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

The fentanyl transdermal patch may burn your skin if you wear the patch during an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Remove the patch before undergoing such a test.

How should I use fentanyl transdermal skin patches?


Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Never use fentanyl in larger amounts, or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Read all patient instructions carefully before using a fentanyl transdermal skin patch. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

If the skin must be washed before you apply a skin patch, use clear water only. Allow the skin to dry completely before applying the patch.

Do not use soaps, oils, lotions, alcohol, or other chemicals on the skin where you will apply a fentanyl transdermal skin patch. These substances could increase the amount of fentanyl that your skin absorbs, possibly causing harmful effects.

Apply the skin patch to a flat, dry, hairless area of the chest, back, side, or outer side of your upper arm. To remove any hair from these areas, clip the hair short but do not shave it. Press the patch firmly with the palm of your hand for 30 seconds. Make sure the patch is sticking firmly, especially around the edges. You may wear the patch for up to 72 hours. Never wear more than 1 fentanyl transdermal skin patch at a time unless your doctor has told you to.

After removing a skin patch fold it in half, sticky side in, and flush the patch down the toilet. Apply a new patch to a different skin area on the chest, back, side, or upper arm. Do not use the same skin area twice in a row.

Do not use a fentanyl transdermal skin patch if it has been cut or damaged. Doing so could expose you to too much fentanyl, which can cause a life-threatening overdose.

Store the skin patches at room temperature. Keep each patch in its foil pouch until you are ready to use it.

Keep both used and unused fentanyl transdermal patches out of the reach of children or pets. The amount of fentanyl in a used skin patch could be fatal to a child or pet who accidentally sucks on or swallows the unit. Seek emergency medical attention if this happens.

Keep track of how many skin patches have been used from each new package. Fentanyl is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

Side Effects Centers

Duragesic - User Reviews

Duragesic User Reviews

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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