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What is Duragesic

Fentanyl is in a class of drugs called narcotic analgesics. It relieves pain.

Duragesic patches are used to treat chronic pain that cannot be controlled by less potent pain relievers.

Duragesic may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

General medical information about Duragesic

Duragesic should not be used to treat acute or post-operative pain. Duragesic is used to treat chronic pain.

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Fentanyl may cause drowsiness or fatigue. If you experience drowsiness or fatigue, avoid these activities.

Also avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, sedatives, and antihistamines. These medications also may cause dangerous sedation.

Duragesic can also cause constipation. Drink plenty of water (six to eight full glasses a day) to lessen this side effect. Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet can also help to alleviate constipation.

Never use more fentanyl than is prescribed for you. If your pain is not being adequately treated, talk to your doctor.

What you should discuss with your doctor before using Duragesic

Duragesic should not be used to treat acute or post-operative pain. Duragesic is used to treat chronic pain.

Fentanyl is habit forming and should be used under close medical supervision.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have:
- kidney disease;
- liver disease;
- asthma;
- urinary retention;
- an enlarged prostate;
- hypothyroidism;
- seizures or epilepsy;
- gallbladder disease;
- a head injury; or
- Addison's disease.

You may not be able to use Duragesic, or you may require a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Fentanyl is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether fentanyl will harm an unborn baby. This medication may cause addiction and withdrawal symptoms in an unborn baby. Do not use Duragesic without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

Fentanyl may also cause addiction and withdrawal symptoms in a nursing infant. Do not use Duragesic without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Duragesic patches are not approved for use by children younger than 12 years of age or by children younger than 18 years of age who weigh less than 50 kg (110 lbs).

If you are older than 60 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from fentanyl therapy. A lower dose or special monitoring may be necessary.

How should you use Duragesic

Use Duragesic exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Apply the patch to a flat, dry, area such as the chest, back, side, or upper arm. Any hair on the application site should be clipped short but not shaved. Avoid areas that are irritated or otherwise damaged.

If the application site must be washed before the patch is applied, use clear water only. Do not use soaps, oils, lotions, alcohol, or other chemicals. Washing with these substances could change how much of the drug gets absorbed through the skin, which could be dangerous. Allow the skin to dry completely before applying the patch.

Apply the patch as directed. Press the patch firmly with the palm of your hand for 30 seconds making sure that the patch is sticking, especially around the edges. Each patch is worn for 72 hours.

After removing the patch, press the sticky side to itself and dispose of the system in the toilet. If another patch is required, apply it to a different skin site.

Do not cut or otherwise damage the patch, and do not apply any patch that has been cut or damaged.

Never use more of this medication than is prescribed for you. Too much fentanyl could be very harmful.

Increase the amount of fiber and water in your diet to prevent constipation.

Do not share this medication with anyone else. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets.

Store Duragesic at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose:

Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. Do not use a double dose of this medication. Wait the prescribed amount of time before applying your next patch.

What happens if you overdose:

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a fentanyl overdose include slow breathing, seizures, dizziness, weakness, loss of consciousness or coma, confusion, tiredness, cold and clammy skin, and small pupils.

What should you avoid while using Duragesic

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Fentanyl may cause drowsiness or fatigue. If you experience drowsiness or fatigue, avoid these activities.

Avoid alcohol while using Duragesic. Alcohol will greatly increase the drowsiness and dizziness caused by fentanyl and could be dangerous.

Also avoid sleeping pills, tranquilizers, sedatives, and antihistamines. These medications also may cause dangerous sedation.

Avoid becoming overheated or applying direct heat such as a heating pad to the area

Where you have a patch. Increased temperature can increase the amount of drug you absorb through your skin and may cause harmful effects.

Possible side effects of Duragesic

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop using Duragesic and seek emergency medical attention:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- slow, weak breathing;
- seizures;
- cold, clammy skin;
- severe weakness or dizziness; or
- unconsciousness.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to use Duragesic and talk to your doctor if you experience
- constipation;
- dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, or decreased appetite;
- dizziness or lightheadedness;
- drowsiness or fatigue;
- muscle twitches;
- sweating;
- itching;
- decreased urination; or
- decreased sex drive.

Fentanyl is habit forming. Do not stop using it suddenly.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Duragesic

Duragesic may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), other pain relievers, anxiety medicines, and muscle relaxants. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any medicine unless your doctor approves.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Duragesic. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

All prescription drugs:

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