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.
Different kinds of pain need various types of treatment. In relation to this, fentanyl comes in several forms like:
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.
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:
If use against its intended prescription, it can lead to tolerance resulting to addiction and overdose.
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:
Taking other medication can greatly increase fentanyl’s potency as well as its adverse effects. Medications that may escalate the risk of fentanyl include:
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.
Heat may trigger rapid release of fentanyl into the skin causing serious adverse effects. It is important to avoid activities and exposure to:
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Dr. Vikram Tarugu, M.D, is the CEO of Detox of South Florida, Inc and medical professional focused on addiction. A veteran in the medical field with over 25 years of professional experience. He is a consultant for many South Florida Rehab centers. Patients travel from allover the US to seek his help with addiction and Hepatitis C treatment.
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