What is this medication?

FENTANYL (FEN ta nil) treats severe pain. It may also be used to cause drowsiness before a procedure. It is often prescribed when other pain medications do not work well enough or cannot be tolerated. It works by blocking pain signals in the brain. It belongs to a group of medications called opioids.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Sublimaze

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

How should I use this medication?

This medication is injected into a vein or muscle. It is given in a hospital or clinic.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply. This medication is not for regular use.

What may interact with this medication?

Do not take this medication with any of the following:

This medication may also interact with the following:

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Tell your care team 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 this medication. Tolerance means that you will need a higher dose of the medication for pain relief. Tolerance is normal and is expected if you take this medication for a long time.

Do not suddenly stop taking your medication because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medication. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a medication for a nonmedical reason. If you have pain, you have a medical reason to take pain medication. Your care team will tell you how much medication to take. If your care team wants you to stop the medication, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.

If you take other medications that also cause drowsiness like other narcotic pain medications, benzodiazepines, or other medications for sleep, you may have more side effects. Give your care team a list of all medications you use. They will tell you how much medication to take. Do not take more medication than directed. Get emergency help right away if you have trouble breathing or are unusually tired or sleepy.

Talk to your care team about naloxone and how to get it. Naloxone is an emergency medication used for an opioid overdose. An overdose can happen if you take too much opioid. It can also happen if an opioid is taken with some other medications or substances, like alcohol. Know the symptoms of an overdose, like trouble breathing, unusually tired or sleepy, or not being able to respond or wake up. Make sure to tell caregivers and close contacts where it is stored. Make sure they know how to use it. After naloxone is given, you must call emergency services. Naloxone is a temporary treatment. Repeat doses may be needed.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you. Do not stand up 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 medication. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

This medication will cause constipation. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your care team.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your care team if the problem does not go away or is severe.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

This medication is given in a hospital or clinic. It will not be stored at home.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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