Fentanyl

Where is Fentanyl used?

Fentanyl is a prescription used for controlling sudden pain in cancer patients. This medicine is usually used in patients 18 years old and above. A dose is given for those who are having opioid therapy already because of their underlying cancer pain.

Fentanyl belongs to the group of medications called analgesics. This is supplied as a sublingual tablet designed for oral administration. This medication is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

How does Fentanyl work?

Fentanyl is a pure opioid agonist. The main therapeutic action of it is analgesia. Analgesia is an agent for lessening pain. This medication works by binding to the opioid receptors of the body which are found in areas of the brain that control emotions and pain.

Most people get pain relief within 5 to 10 minutes and the effect lasts for 30 to 60 minutes.

How is Fentanyl taken?

The recommended dosage for this medicine depends on your medical condition and response to the first given dosage.

  • Place the tablet under your tongue and let it dissolve rapidly under the tongue. It will be absorbed to provide pain relief.
  • Do not suck it or swallow it.
  • Do not drink water or eat anything until the tablet is already dissolved.

To lessen your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start at a low dose and slowly increase it. Follow the instructions of your doctor promptly. If you need a second dose, wait for at least 30 minutes after starting the first dose. You should not use more than two doses per episode of pain. If you are using again a dose of this medicine, wait for 2 hours before using it for another episode of pain. Do not double the dosage of this medication. If you missed a dose, call your doctor for advice.

What are the possible side effects of Fentanyl?

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Dry and sore mouth
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Tiredness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Blurred vision

What are the precautions in taking Fentanyl?

  • Before taking this medicine, consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Inform your doctor if you have any medical history.
  • Avoid drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit while using this medicine unless your doctor says you may do so safely. It may increase the chance of having side effects with this drug. Ask your doctor for more details.
  • Inform your doctor if you have more than 4 episodes of breakthrough pain, if your pain gets worse or if it does not get better daily, or if you need to use 2 doses of medicine for each episode of pain.
  • When this prescription is taken for a long time, it may not work as well. Discuss with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
  • Do not use this tablet for any other treatment unless it is prescribed by a doctor.
  • Do not share this with anyone who has the same condition as yours.
  • Do not change the doses on your own without the prescription of your doctor.
  • Keep this away from the reach of children.