Fentanyl: Uses & Side effects

Fentanyl is an opioid pain medication. It is sometimes called a narcotic.

Fentanyl patches are a strong prescription pain medicine. The patches are used to treat moderate to severe chronic pain around the clock.

Fentanyl patches are used when other pain treatments such as non-opioid pain medicines or immediate-release opioid medicines cannot not treat your pain well enough or you cannot tolerate them.

Fentanyl patches are not for treating mild or occasional pain or pain from surgery. They are not used to treat pain that is not around-the-clock.

Important information

Fentanyl can slow or stop your breathing, and may be habit-forming. Misuse of narcotic medicine can cause addiction, overdose, or death, especially in a child or other people who use the medicine without a prescription.

Using this medicine during pregnancy may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.

Fatal side effects can occur if you use this medicine with alcohol, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.

Side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to a fentanyl patch: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as:

Common fentanyl patch side effects may include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • tired feeling
  • sleep problems (insomnia)
  • increased sweating, or cold feeling

Serious side effects may be more likely to appear in older adults and those who are overweight, malnourished, or debilitated.

Long-term use of opioid medication may affect fertility (ability to have children) in men and women. It is not known whether opioid effects on fertility are permanent.

Keywords: fentanyl.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.