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Discontinued Warning IconPlease Note: This Brand Name drug is no longer available in the US.
(Generic versions may still be available.)


Patient Bedside Information Sheet

(fentanyl iontophoretic transdermal system)

40 mcg per activation

IMPORTANT: Never leave the hospital with an IONSYS™ system on your skin. IONSYS™ is not for home use. IONSYS™ can cause life-threatening breathing problems or death if it is used the wrong way.

System Components and Structure - Illustration

What is IONSYS™?


  • contains the prescription medicine, fentanyl. Fentanyl is a very strong narcotic pain medicine (opioid).
  • is only for hospitalized adults with short-term, moderate to severe pain after surgery
  • is a patient-controlled medicine device (system) that sticks to the skin

IONSYS™ is not:

  • for use at home
  • for patients who cannot understand or use IONSYS™ without help
  • for patients who are allergic to:
  • fentanyl
  • Cepacol® (cetylpiridinum chloride)

Your nurse or doctor:

  • will tell you about IONSYS™ and teach you how to use it before your surgery
  • will put an IONSYS™ system on your skin (on your upper outer arm or chest) after your surgery
  • will control pain from your surgery with other pain medicines until you are awake enough to use IONSYS™
  • will monitor you for side effects from IONSYS™. IONSYS™ can cause life-threatening breathing problems because it contains a very strong narcotic pain medicine.
  • will replace your IONSYS™ system as needed
  • will remove your IONSYS™ system before you leave the hospital

Using Ionsys - Illustration

Using IONSYS™:

  • You can push the IONSYS™ dosing button when needed to control your pain or just before you do an activity that may increase your pain such as physical therapy or getting out of bed.
  • To get a dose of pain medicine from IONSYS™, double-click the dosing button (twice within 3 seconds).
  • When you push the dosing button you will hear a single beep and the red light above the dosing button will light up. This red light will remain lit for the 10 minutes it takes to deliver a dose of fentanyl.
  • You cannot give yourself another dose of medicine from IONSYS™ while the red light is lit.
  • When IONSYS™ is finished delivering a dose, the red light will start flashing. This means you can give yourself more pain medicine, if needed, by double clicking the dosing button. The flashes also tell your doctor and nurse about how many doses of medicine from IONSYS™ that you have taken.
  • Let your doctor or nurse know if you have problems using IONSYS™. They will check your IONSYS™ system to make sure it is working.


  • Never let anyone else press the IONSYS™ dosing button for you.
  • Never touch the sticky side of IONSYS™ if it falls off of your skin. Let your nurse or doctor know right away if an IONSYS™ system has come off of your skin. Wash your hands right away if you accidentally touch the sticky side of IONSYS™ and let your doctor or nurse know right away.
  • Never remove or replace an IONSYS™ system yourself.
  • Never leave the hospital with an IONSYS™ system on your skin. Make sure your nurse or doctor removes your IONSYS™ system before you leave the hospital

Last reviewed on RxList: 6/12/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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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