Medication information

Duragesic 12mcg/hr 72h-patch

This medication is a narcotic pain reliever. Typically, it is used to relieve pain. Its effects can be noticed within a few hours.

Instructions

This medication is contained in a patch that is to be applied to your skin. Apply the adhesive side of the patch to a dry area of your chest, your back, your flank or your upper arm. Avoid areas where the skin is oily, broken or irritated. To clean the skin, use only water, not alcohol or soap. If the area is hairy, clip hair with scissors. Do not shave it; it would irritate the area.

Avoid touching the sticky side when handling the patch. Apply the patch on the skin and press firmly. Patches are waterproof; you may swim or take a shower. If the patch does not stick well on your skin, you can tape only the edges down with first aid tape. In the event that the patch falls off, put a new one on at a different skin site.

When you change patches, remove the patch you have been wearing, then fold the used one in half so the sticky side sticks to itself. Thereafter, patches should be packaged and returned to a pharmacy for proper disposal.

Wash your hands with water after applying or removing the patch.

The patch may cause itching or a rash where it has been applied. If such a reaction persists, consult your pharmacist.

Heat may increase drug absorption. Avoid heat sources such as heating pads, electric blankets, saunas, heated waterbeds, hot baths or sun bathe. Call your doctor or pharmacist if you get a fever.

This medication is typically used once every 3 days. However, your doctor or pharmacist may have suggested a different schedule that is more appropriate for you. Apply it regularly and continuously to maintain its beneficial effect.

Important: Follow the instructions on the label. Do not use more of this product, or more often, than prescribed. It is not advisable to stop using this product suddenly, particularly if you have been on it for several weeks. If you are considering stopping the medication, talk to your doctor or pharmacist first.

Avoid consuming alcohol or alcohol-containing products while taking this medication.

Side effects

In addition to its desired action, this medication may cause some side effects, notably:

  • it may cause nausea and vomiting;
  • it may cause drowsiness -- use caution when driving;
  • it may cause constipation -- to prevent this, drink plenty of water or juice, and eat more dietary fibre;
  • it may cause difficulty breathing;
  • it may cause unusual tiredness;
  • it may cause local irritation.

Each person may react differently to a treatment. If you think this medication may be causing side effects (including those described here, or others), talk to your doctor or pharmacist. He or she can help you to determine whether or not the medication is the source of the problem.

Storage

As with most medications, this product should be stored at room temperature. Store it in a secure location where it will not be exposed to excessive heat, moisture or direct sunlight. Do not allow it to freeze and keep it out of reach of young children. There is enough drug left in a used patch to be harmful to children. Before you dispose of a patch, fold it in half with the sticky sides together. Make sure that children will not be able to manipulate it. This drug is occasionally sought out by teenagers for non-medical purposes. Please store in a safe place.

Additional Information

This medication may interact with other medications or supplements, sometimes significantly. Many interactions, however, may be dealt with by a dosage adjustment or a change in medication schedule. Check with your pharmacist before using this medication in combination with any other medications (including non-prescription products), vitamins or natural products.

Rarely, this product causes potentially severe reactions, mostly if taken at high doses or with some other drugs. If you experience agitation, confusion, diarrhea, fever, tremor and muscular rigidity or contractions you should contact your doctor.

General notes

It is important to tell the health professionals you consult:

  • if you have a history of any other medical condition, whether you smoke and for women, if you are or want to become pregnant or breastfeeding;
  • if you have allergies to any medications or any other allergies (e.g. to food, latex, etc.);
  • all medications you are taking, prescription and non-prescription, including vitamins and natural products and supplements.