Table of Contents > Drug > Fentanyl Print



Related terms
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    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Abstral®;Actiq®;Duragesic®;Fentora®;Lazanda®;Onsolis®;Subsys®
    • Brand Names: Canada: AbstralT;Actiq®;Duragesic®;Duragesic® MAT;Fentanyl Citrate Injection, USP;Novo-Fentanyl;PMS-Fentanyl MTX;RANT-Fentanyl Matrix Patch;RANT-Fentanyl Transdermal System;ratio-Fentanyl

    • It is used to ease pain.
    • Fentanyl lowers the feeling of pain and how one reacts to pain.


    How to take

    • All products:
    • Do not take this drug with other strong pain drugs or if you are using a pain patch without talking to your doctor first.
    • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
    • Keep a pain diary.
    • Shot:
    • It is given as a shot into a vein.
    • Skin patch:
    • Do not use patches that are cut or do not look right.
    • If you or anyone else touches the gel, wash the skin with lots of water. Do not use soap.
    • You do not need to put the patch on or near where you are having pain for it to work.
    • 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.
    • Do not put the patch on the belt line, bra line, or skin folds.
    • Clip hair at site before putting patch on. Do not shave.
    • Move the patch site with each patch.
    • 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.
    • If the patch loosens, put tape ONLY on the edges of the patch to hold it in place.
    • Lozenge:
    • Place lozenge in your mouth between the cheek and lower gum.
    • Suck oral lozenge. Do not chew, break, or crush it. Do not swallow it whole.
    • Cheek film:
    • Wet the inside of your cheek with your tongue or water.
    • Place the film inside your mouth on a wet cheek. Hold for 5 seconds so it sticks to the cheek. Let it melt.
    • Do not chew or swallow.
    • You may drink liquids 5 minutes after using.
    • You may eat after film melts.
    • Cheek tablet:
    • Place tablet in your mouth above a rear molar tooth between the upper cheek and gum and let melt.
    • Do not chew, break, or crush.
    • Nose spray:
    • For the nose only.
    • Prime pump by spraying it 4 times into the supplied pouch. A green bar will show when it is ready to use.
    • Close 1 nostril.
    • Put spray 1/2 inch into nostril. Press down on finger grip. A click will sound letting you know the dose was given.
    • Under the tongue (sublingual) spray:
    • Spray into the mouth under the tongue.
    • Under the tongue (sublingual) tablet:
    • Place under tongue and let melt all the way. Do not chew, suck or swallow tablet.
    • Do not eat or drink until tablet has melted all the way.
    • You may wet your mouth with water, if needed, before you take.

    Missed Dose

    • Use a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Many times this drug is taken on an as needed basis.


    • Store at room temperature. Do not freeze.
    • Throw away any unused drug by flushing down a toilet or sink.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Use Fentora® tablets right after opening.
    • Use OnsolisT film right after opening.
    • Use Abstral® tablets right after opening.
    • Under the tongue (sublingual) spray:
    • Use right after opening.
    • Put used spray into the small throw away bag that comes with this drug. Seal bag and throw away in the trash.
    • If any sprays are not used and are not needed anymore, drain the drug into the bottle that comes with this drug. Place the bottle into the large throw away bag, seal the bag, and then throw away in the trash.
    • Patch:
    • After you take off a skin patch, be sure to fold the sticky sides of the patch to each other.
    • Throw away unused patches when they are no longer needed by flushing down a toilet or sink. Take them from the pouch, take off liner, and fold in half.
    • Nose spray:
    • Spray any left over drug from the bottle into the supplied pouch.
    • Put drained bottle and sealed pouch inside the supplied child resistant holder.
    • Put cap on the holder and twist to lock.
    • Throw away holder in the trash.
    • Shot:
    • The shot will be given to you in a hospital or doctor's office. You will not store it at home.



    • You will be watched closely to make sure you do not misuse, abuse, or become addicted to this drug.
    • This warning is for Fentora®, lozenges (eg, Actiq®), Lazanda®, Abstral®, Subsys®, or Onsolis® only. It is for cancer pain that is poorly treated by other pain drugs. It is not to be used for pain caused by surgery. Keep away from children. Do not use in children. It may slow down breathing too much if not used the right way. You may only get these products from the TIRF REMS Access program.
    • This warning is for the skin patch only. It is only used to treat lasting, long-term pain that cannot be helped by other drugs. It is only for use in patients who already take opioids (such as morphine, oxycodone, or hydromorphone) and are use to them. It is not for mild pain or pain that comes and goes. It is not for use in children younger than 2 years of age. Do not use a cut patch or one that does not look right.
    • Sometimes drugs are not safe when you take them with certain other drugs. Taking them together can cause bad side effects. This is one of those drugs. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all the drugs you take.
    • Please read the medication guide.


    • If you have an allergy to fentanyl or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you have any of these health problems: Asthma, bowel block, or very bad lung disease.


    • All products:
    • Do not run out of this drug.
    • This drug may be habit-forming with long-term use.
    • If you have been taking this drug for many weeks, talk with your doctor before stopping. You may want to slowly stop this drug.
    • If you have heart disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have kidney disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have liver disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have low blood pressure, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have lung disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have mental illness, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have thyroid disease, talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Avoid drugs and natural products that slow your actions. These include sedatives, tranquilizers, drugs for mood, antihistamines, and other pain drugs.
    • Avoid beer, wine, or mixed drinks.
    • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
    • You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
    • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
    • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
    • Skin patch:
    • Avoid use of heat sources (such as sunlamps, tanning beds, heating pads, electric blankets, heat lamps, saunas, hot tubs, heated waterbeds). Avoid long, hot baths or sunbathing. Your temperature may rise and cause too much drug to pass into your body.
    • Fever may cause too much drug to pass into your body. Call your doctor.
    • The patch may have metal. Take off the patch before an MRI.
    • Under the tongue (sublingual) spray:
    • If have sores in your mouth, talk with your doctor.

    Side Effects

    • Trouble breathing. Slow breathing, shallow breathing, or trouble breathing are all signs of this. Call your doctor right away.
    • Feeling lightheaded, sleepy, having blurred eyesight, or a change in thinking clearly. Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert or have clear eyesight until you see how this drug affects you.
    • Feeling dizzy. Rise slowly over a few minutes when sitting or lying down. Be careful climbing.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Hard stools (constipation). Drinking more liquids, working out, or adding fiber to your diet may help. Talk with your doctor about a stool softener or laxative.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue or gray skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • If anyone else takes your drugs or touches your patch.
    • If you are using the patch and have a fever.
    • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
    • Change in thinking clearly and with logic.
    • Poor pain control.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Very hard stools (constipation).
    • Feeling very tired or weak.
    • Any rash.
    • Side effect or health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
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    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.