Blog

fentanyl patch
Jul 18, 2017
by Detox of South Florida

What is Fentanyl Patch?

Fentanyl

Fentanyl belongs to a group of drug called opioids, sometimes referred to as a narcotic. These drugs are derived from the Asian Poppy Plant. Doctors use fentanyl as a part of anesthesia to prevent pain after surgery or other medical procedures.

The Food and Drug Administration considered the drug as a Schedule II prescription drug. Fentanyl helps people who suffer from severe pain who otherwise cannot be treated with other drugs. Some people develop tolerance to other opioids, fentanyl serves as their last chance of treatment for pain.

Branded names of Fentanyl include:

  • Nasalfent
  • Subsys
  • Actavis
  • Sublimaze
  • Durogesic
  • Duragesic
  • Fentanyl citrate
  • PriCara
  • Lazanda

However, fentanyl goes a lot of names in the street such as:

  • Apache
  • China girl
  • Drop dead
  • Goodfella
  • Jackpot
  • Murder 8
  • TNT
  • Percopop
  • China white
  • Serial killer
  • Shine

Different kinds of pain need various types of treatment. In relation to this, fentanyl comes in several forms like:

  • oral tablets
  • nasal sprays
  • injections
  • lozenges
  • lollipops
  • patches

Fentanyl Patches

Fentanyl Patches is a form of fentanyl medication used to treat moderate to severe pain.  As a narcotic pain medicine, using the patches may become habit-forming leading to addiction. Doctors commonly prescribe fentanyl transdermal patches for cancer patients suffering from severe chronic pain due to the disease.

In such occasions, patients need continuous drug treatment for their pain. The patches adhere to the skin and releases fentanyl constantly for a long period of time. Once applied, fentanyl patches can release chemicals lasting about 48 to 73 hours. Even when removed, fentanyl still has an effect around 13 to 24 hours.

Typically, doctors and addiction treatment centers prescribe low dose of fentanyl and gradually increase dosage as needed. The recommended dose is not more than once every three days or not more than once every six days.

Slowly increasing dosage or tapering off, ensure the safety of patients. An individual who suffers moderate pain will not be prescribed more than what they need to avoid drug dependence. Slowly tapering off from fentanyl patches will avoid any withdrawal symptoms that users may experience. In opiate drugs, abruptly stopping from medication can result to intense withdrawal period. Doctors need to carefully watch for any dependence, tolerance, and misuse of the drug to prevent addiction.

How fentanyl patches are abuse

Users sometimes choose to obtain patches because of its availability.  The patches can still produce ample amounts of fentanyl. Users remove the gel substance, abusing it by:

  • eating the gel
  • sticking it under the tongue
  • smoking it
  • snorting the drug
  • preparing it for injection

If use against its intended prescription, it can lead to tolerance resulting to addiction and overdose.

Side effects of Fentanyl Patches

Just like other opiates, fentanyl patch can cause severe and serious breathing problems. The risk increases when patients first started using the drug or in higher doses.

It is important to always follow medical prescription when using fentanyl patch. Do not use the drug if:

  • when users already develop tolerance to other narcotic pain reliever
  • right after surgery
  • if the pain is mild, or use as-needed pain relief
  • For long-term use.

Taking other medication can greatly increase fentanyl’s potency as well as its adverse effects. Medications that may escalate the risk of fentanyl include:

  • amiodarone
  • amprenavir
  • aprepitant
  • carbamazepine
  • clarithromycin
  • diltiazem
  • erythromycin
  • fluconazole
  • fosamprenavir
  • itraconazole
  • ketoconazole
  • nefazodone
  • nelfinavir
  • phenytoin
  • rifampin
  • ritonavir
  • troleandomycin
  • verapamil

Fentanyl Side Effects

Fentanyl can cause respiratory problems like decreased breathing or slow heart rate. Transdermal patches can produce several skin reactions particularly in the site of application. Redness and swelling may occur which can last for 6 hours after the removing the patch.

Other side effects of fentanyl include:

  • dry mouth
  • abdominal cramps
  • loss of appetite
  • drowsiness
  • confusion
  • headache
  • hallucinations
  • nervousness
  • anxiety
  • depression

Other severe effects include:

  • respiratory depression
  • fainting
  • severe low blood pressure
  • seizures
  • slow heart rate
  • paralytic ileus
  • cardiac arrest
  • difficulty in breathing
  • death due to drug overdose

Other risks involved when using fentanyl patches:

  • Improper disposal of the patches can lead to accidental ingestion or exposure to fentanyl.  It can result serious adverse reactions especially in children.
  • Exposing fentanyl patches to heat can cause immediate and concentrated release of the drug into the skin. This can cause serious fatal effects including overdose.
  • Using fentanyl patches during pregnancy can cause drug dependence of the fetus to the drug. Newborn babies can immediately suffer life-threatening fentanyl withdrawal symptoms once born.

Things to avoid when using fentanyl patches

Heat may trigger rapid release of fentanyl into the skin causing serious adverse effects. It is important to avoid activities and exposure to:

  • electric blankets
  • heat lamps
  • saunas
  • hot tubs
  • heated waterbeds
  • heating pads
  • sunbathing
  • long hot showers
  • other activities that may increase body temperature

Get help at Detox of South Florida. We care about your sobriety and living the life you have wanted.

Check out this playlist from Detox of South Florida.

« Back to the blog

Latest posts

Nov 15, 2017
Drug Epidemics Across the US: The Best Rehab Center You Can Trust

There is a good chance that, if you’ve spent any time paying attention to the news, you have heard about the drug epidemics that are gripping the United States. There is often the misconception that only a certain group of people will be impacted by heroin or prescription drugs. This could not be further from… read more

Nov 8, 2017
How Long Do Alcohol and Drugs Stay in Your System?

It’s a simple fact: the things that you put into your body determine many factors of how your body acts and reacts. These things you ingest, smoke, or inject stay in your system for a longer time than one might think. And while food can be digested rather quickly, drugs and alcohol can linger for… read more

Nov 1, 2017
Top Rated Drug and Alcohol Detox and Rehab Centers In Florida

If you’ve found yourself addicted to a dangerous substance, such as heroin or cocaine, you’re going to need assistance sooner rather than later. There is a very slim possibility that you’ll actually be able to kick these drugs on your own. You should understand that “going cold turkey” can be extremely dangerous. It is in… read more

Need Help Now? Please call our 24 hour hotline
(863) 623-4923

Request a Free Call Today

Privacy Guaranteed