Generic Name: fentanyl transdermal (skin patch) (FEN ta nil trans DERM al)
Brand Names: Duragesic
What is Duragesic?
Duragesic is a skin patch containing fentanyl, an opioid pain medication. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic.
Duragesic is used to treat moderate to severe chronic pain around the clock.
Duragesic is not for treating mild or occasional pain or pain from surgery.
Fentanyl can slow or stop your breathing. MISUSE OF DURAGESIC CAN CAUSE DEATH, especially in a child who gets a hold of the skin patch and places it in the mouth or on the skin.
Fentanyl may be habit-forming. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction.
Do not use a Duragesic skin patch if you have a breathing problem, a blockage in your stomach or intestines, or if you are NOT already being treated with a similar opioid (narcotic) pain medicine and are tolerant to it. You may not be able to use Duragesic if you also use certain antibiotics, antifungal medications, heart or blood pressure medications, or medicines to treat HIV or AIDS.
Avoid sources of heat while you are wearing a Duragesic skin patch. Heat can increase the amount of drug your skin absorbs.
Before taking this medicine
Fentanyl may be habit-forming, and the Duragesic transdermal skin patch contains a high concentration of this medicine. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away fentanyl is against the law.
Do not use a Duragesic skin patch if you are allergic to fentanyl, or if you have:
a severe breathing problem such as asthma attacks;
a blockage in your digestive tract (stomach or intestines); or
if you are NOT already being treated with a similar opioid (narcotic) pain medicine and are tolerant to it.
Some medicines can cause unwanted or dangerous effects when used with fentanyl. You may not be able to use Duragesic if you also use certain antibiotics, antifungal medications, heart or blood pressure medications, or medicines to treat HIV or AIDS. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use.
Some medicines can interact with fentanyl and cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome. Be sure your doctor knows if you also take medicine for depression, mental illness, Parkinson's disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. Ask your doctor before making any changes in how or when you take your medications.
To make sure Duragesic is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
any type of breathing problem or lung disease;
a history of head injury, brain tumor, mental illness, alcoholism or drug addiction;
liver or kidney disease; or
problems with your gallbladder, pancreas, or thyroid.
Do not put a Duragesic skin patch on any child who does not have a personal prescription for this medicine.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. If you use fentanyl while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Fentanyl can pass into breast milk and may cause withdrawal symptoms in a nursing infant. Do not breast-feed while using Duragesic.
The Duragesic skin 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 Duragesic?
Use Duragesic exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Never use fentanyl in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain. Do not use a skin patch if it has been cut or damaged, or you could receive a fatal overdose of fentanyl.
MISUSE OF DURAGESIC CAN CAUSE HARMFUL SIDE EFFECTS OR DEATH, especially in a child who gets a hold of the skin patch and places it in the mouth or on the skin.
Do not use this medicine on a child who does not have a prescription to use Duragesic. When placing a skin patch on a young child, choose a wearing area where the child cannot easily remove the patch unsupervised.
A Duragesic skin patch is for use only on the skin. Avoid touching the sticky side of a skin patch. Do not allow the medicine to come into contact with your eyes, nose, mouth, or lips.
Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Avoid sources of heat while you are wearing the Duragesic patch. Do not use a heating pad or electric blanket, a waterbed heater, tanning bed or sauna. Do not sit in hot water, sunbathe, or raise your body temperature with vigorous activity. Heat can increase the amount of drug you absorb through your skin and may cause an overdose or death.
Remove and replace the Duragesic patch every 72 hours. Apply the new patch to a different skin area on the chest, back, side, or upper arm. After removing a skin patch: fold it in half firmly with the sticky side in, and flush the patch down the toilet right away. Do not place a used skin patch into a trash can.
Do not keep any unused skin patches. Ask your pharmacist where to locate a drug take-back disposal program. If there is no take-back program, flush the unused patches in the same folded manner described above. Do not flush the foil pouch or patch liners; place them in a trash container out of the reach of children and pets.
Keep both used and unused Duragesic skin 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 chews, sucks on, or swallows the patch. Seek emergency medical attention if this happens.
Store the Duragesic skin patches at room temperature. Keep each patch in its foil pouch until you are ready to use it. 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.
What happens if I miss a dose?
If you are using the skin patches on a schedule, apply the missed patch as soon as you remember. Continue wearing the patch for up to 72 hours and then apply a new one if needed for pain. Do not wear extra patches to make up a missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. A fentanyl overdose can be fatal, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Overdose symptoms may include slow breathing and heart rate, severe drowsiness, muscle weakness, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, and fainting.
What should I avoid while using a Duragesic patch?
Fentanyl may impair your thinking or reactions. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how fentanyl will affect you. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents.
Do not drink alcohol or dangerous side effects and death could occur. Check your food and medicine labels to be sure these products do not contain alcohol.
Avoid wearing a Duragesic skin patch on a part of your body where a child could reach or remove the patch from your skin. Avoid allowing children to watch you put on a skin patch. Never tell a child that the Duragesic skin patch is a "bandage."
Duragesic side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Duragesic: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Remove the Duragesic skin patch and call your doctor at once if you have:
slow heart rate, sighing, weak or shallow breathing (up to several days after removing the skin patch);
chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats; or
extreme drowsiness, feeling like you might pass out.
Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Common Duragesic side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation;
drowsiness, dizziness, tired feeling;
sleep problems (insomnia); or
increased sweating, or cold feeling.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect Duragesic?
Some medicines can cause unwanted or dangerous effects when used with fentanyl. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use now, and any medicine you start or stop using.
Using Duragesic with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous or life-threatening side effects. Ask your doctor before using Duragesic with a sleeping pill, a sedative or tranquilizer, other narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.
Other drugs may interact with fentanyl transdermal, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
More about Duragesic (fentanyl)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- 70 Reviews – Add your own review/rating
- Generic Availability
- Drug class: narcotic analgesics
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about Duragesic.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Duragesic only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2017 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 10.08.
Date modified: March 13, 2017
Last reviewed: April 3, 2017