What does this mean for you ?
I'm sure you know but maybe someone doesn't and this is a very good question.
Hopefully, you have "rescue" short acting meds too. This is the reason why :
As Stephen correctly stated...
One day for desired amount.
The doctor should provide you with the meds for the first 24 hours of starting Fentanyl the first time.
The first 24 hours you are absorbing the patch. There is a math calculation that he will do based on the patch dose.
You probably are on the short acting already because a Fentanyl patch is not considered safe to give to someone new on opioid medication.
Don't be surprised if he gives you a lower dose of the short acting because the patch starts to deliver the drug as soon as it's applied.
After the first day, your patch should be giving you the exact amount that the doctor wants you to have.
Hopefully, you won't need any of the rescue drug at this point.
Fentanyl is usually good for 72 hours. It's important to change the patch at the same time at each patch change.
If you require an increase in the patch dose because obviously you are having pain.
Apply the new dose patch. Again, the first 24 hours will require the short acting med until 24 hours after the application. You shouldn't need the "rescue" drug after that point.
If the time comes and the doctor wants to discontinue the patch, you do the opposite of when it was first started.
Ideally, he gives you a smaller dose, as opposed to going back to the short acting only.
Apply the lower patch and supplement with the rescue. Here is the point where you may be tempted to use more of the rescue. Your goal is to slowly withdraw the dose, so be careful.
If discontinuing the patch totally, you should not require "rescue" for the first 24 hours after removal because it will still be in your system.
I am saying this with the ideal situation in mind.
The other important issue to know:
Anything that causes increase in body temp will increase the absorption rate.
The patch will not last the projected number of days.
Be aware :
- if you develop a fever take Acetaminophen to keep your body temp down
- if you are hot and sweating from being outside
-avoid prolonged hot showers or tub baths
-avoid sunbathing, hot tubs or spas.
Do not use a hair dryer to get it to stick better. Use your hand and put mild pressure over the patch for a minute and it should stick just fine.
I think I'm forgetting something so if anyone knows, please respond.
- Fentanyl Information for Consumers
- Fentanyl Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Fentanyl (detailed)
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