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.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): ABSTRAL
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
history of a drug or alcohol abuse problem
low blood pressure
lung or breathing disease, like asthma
an unusual or allergic reaction to fentanyl, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Leave the tablet in the sealed blister pack until you are ready to take it. With dry hands, open the blister and gently remove the tablet. Place the tablet under your tongue and allow it to dissolve. If more than one tablet is needed, spread them around the floor of your mouth under your tongue. Do not suck, swallow, or chew this medicine. Do not take it 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. 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 medicine is only used when needed for pain.
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medication with any of the following medicines:
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
antihistamines for allergy, cough and cold
antiviral medicines for HIV or AIDS
certain antibiotics like erythromycin and clarithromycin
certain medicines for anxiety or sleep
certain medicines for bladder problems like oxybutynin, tolterodine
certain medicines for blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heart beat
certain medicines for depression like amitriptyline, fluoxetine, sertraline
certain medicines for diabetes like pioglitazone, troglitazone
certain medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole and itraconazole
certain medicines for seizures like phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone
certain medicines for stomach problems like dicyclomine, hyoscyamine
certain medicines for travel sickness like scopolamine
certain medicines for Parkinson's disease like benztropine, trihexyphenidyl
general anesthetics like halothane, isoflurane, methoxyflurane, propofol
local anesthetics like lidocaine, pramoxine, tetracaine
MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
medicines that relax muscles for surgery
other narcotic medicines for pain or cough
phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
St. John's wort
steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone
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 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.
There are different types of narcotic medicines (opiates). If you take more than one type at the same time or you are taking another medicine that also causes drowsiness, you may have more side effects. Give your health care provider a list of all medicines you use. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. Do not take more medicine than directed. Call emergency for help if you have problems breathing or unusual sleepiness.
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.
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.
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.
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
signs and symptoms of low blood pressure like dizziness; feeling faint or lightheaded, falls; unusually weak or tired
trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional 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 medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children. 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). Protect from moisture.
This medicine may cause accidental overdose and death if it is taken by other adults, children, or pets. Remove any unused tablets from the blister card and flush them down the toilet to reduce the chance of harm. Do not flush blister cards down the toilet. Do not use the medicine after the expiration date.
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.