What is this medicine?
FENTANYL (FEN ta nil) is a pain reliever. It is used to treat breakthrough cancer pain that your long acting pain medicine does not control. Do not use this medicine for a pain that will go away in a few days like pain from surgery, doctor or dentist visits. The medicine is used only by people who have been taking an opioid or narcotic pain medicine for at least a week.
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not remove a tablet from the blister until you are ready to use it. Peel the blister backing away to expose the tablet. Do not push the tablet through the blister. Place the tablet in your mouth between your cheek and gum and leave in place until the tablet is dissolved. After 30 minutes if there is any tablet left, swallow it with a glass of water. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 16 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Patients over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction and need a smaller dose.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
changes in vision
feeling faint, lightheaded
mouth pain, sores
problems with balance, talking, walking
trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusually weak or tired
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
loss of appetite
tingling in mouth
What may interact with this medicine?
barbiturates, like phenobarbital
MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
medicines for HIV
medicines for pain
medicines for sleep
phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
What if I miss a dose?
This medicine is only used when needed for pain.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children. Unintended use by a child is an emergency and can result in death. If a child accidentally uses this medicine, get emergency help right away. This drug can be abused. Keep your medicine in a safe place to protect it from theft. Do not share this medicine with anyone. Selling or giving away this medicine is dangerous and is against the law.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
If you are no longer using this medicine, dispose of unused medicine as soon as possible. Contact your health-care provider or open blister pouches and flush the medicine down the toilet. Do not flush the blister pouches or boxes.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
drug abuse or addiction
if you frequently drink alcohol containing drinks
taken an MAOI like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, or Parnate in last 14 days
an unusual or allergic reaction to fentanyl, other opioid analgesics, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Tell your doctor or health care professional if your pain does not go away, if it gets worse, or if you have new or a different type of pain. You may develop tolerance to the medicine. Tolerance means that you will need a higher dose of the medicine for pain relief. Tolerance is normal and is expected if you take the medicine for a long time.
Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medicine. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a non-medical reason. If you have pain, you have a medical reason to take pain medicine. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
If you develop problems breathing or slow breathing, remove this medicine from your mouth, and call emergency for help.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.
This medicine may cause dry eyes and blurred vision. If you wear contact lenses you may feel some discomfort. Lubricating drops may help. See your eye doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.
This medicine will cause constipation. Try to have a bowel movement at least every 2 to 3 days. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your doctor or health care professional.