Fentanyl patch are a strong prescription pain medicine. This Fentanyl is an opioid pain medication, sometimes called a narcotic. The patches are use to treat moderate to severe chronic pain around the clock.
Fentanyl patches are use when other pain treatments such as non-opioid pain medicines or immediate-release opioid medicines do not treat your pain well enough or you cannot tolerate them.
The fentanyl skin patch is only use for opioid-tolerant patients. A patient is opioid-tolerant if oral narcotics have already been use for severe pain. Check with your doctor if you have questions about this.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. It is typically use to treat patients with severe pain or to manage pain after surgery. This drug exist in patches, powder, pills and injection solutions. Fentanyl patches form is not use to relieve pain that is mild or that will go away in a few days. Bellow, are its uses;
- It is used to ease pain.
- This medicine is not for mild pain or pain that only lasts a short time (like headaches, toothaches, or pain after surgery).
- This medicine is only for use by people who have been taking pain drugs (opioids) and are used to their effects.
How to take it
Here are a few steps to guide you on how to take your fentanyl patch treatment. However, this step by step description does not stand as the prescription, dosage or protocol. You need to strictly follow your doctors prescriptions. Hence, use this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. It will work only if it has been apply correctly. This guide comes just as a reminder. Follow the steps:
- First, note that Fentanyl skin patches are packaged in sealed pouches. Do not remove the patch from the sealed pouch until you are ready to apply it.
- Wash your hands before and after use.
- Take off old patch first.
- Put patch on clean, dry, healthy skin on the chest, back, upper leg, or upper arm.
- Always put the patch in a new area each time you change the patch.
- If there is hair where you are putting the patch, clip the hair as close to the skin as you can. Do not shave the hair.
- Note You do not need to put the patch on or near where you are having pain for it to work.
- If you have a problem with the patch not sticking, you may put first aid tape on the edges of the patch to hold it in place.
- You may bathe, shower, or swim for short periods after putting on the patch. Cover the patch with plastic wrap and tape to help keep it in place.
- If the patch falls off, put a new one on.
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.
Caution while using Fentanyle
When consuming such a strong drug, some cautions need to be taken for safety, efficiency and effectiveness;
- Do not put a fentanyl skin patch on any person who does not have a personal prescription for this medicine.
- This medicine should only be use on skin that is not irritated or injured. Do not put the patch in your mouth, chew it, or swallow it.
- When handling the skin patch, be careful not to touch the adhesive (sticky) surface with your hand. The adhesive part of the system contains some fentanyl, which can be absorbe into your body too fast through the skin of your hand. If any of the medicine does get on your hand, rinse the area right away with a lot of clear water. Do not use soap or other cleansers.
- The patch will stay in place better if it is apply to an area with little or no hair.
- If you need to clean the area before applying the medicine, use only plain water.
- Remove the patch after 3 days (72 hours), or as directed by your doctor. Choose a different place on your skin to apply the next patch. If possible, use a place on the other side of your body. Wait at least 3 days before using the first area again.
Common fentanyl patch side effects may include:
- headache, dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness;
- nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation;
- itching, redness, or rash where a patch was worn;
- sleep problems (insomnia); or
- increased sweating, or cold feeling.
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