Fentanyl is a narcotic pain reliever intended to provide relief to patients experiencing chronic pain. The fentanyl patch is prescribed to allow individuals a convenient method of receiving a consistent dosage of the analgesic. It generally takes a few days for fentanyl to build up in the system and provide optimal pain relief. Therefore, it is recommended for new users of the medication to continue taking an additional narcotic orally until the patch begins to work effectively at managing chronic pain. As with any prescription medication it is important to carefully follow a doctor’s instructions regarding use of the drug.
Fentanyl skin patches are designed to be worn by most patients for a maximum of three days at which point the patch should be removed and a new one placed in a different location. It is advisable to apply the patch to a dry area of skin, preferably on the back, chest or arm in close proximity to the shoulder. Some individuals find their fentanyl patch keeps falling off despite following recommendations for application. Optimal results should occur when the fentanyl is placed in a location free of hair and abrasions, on skin that is dry and not oily. In order to minimize irritation from a transdermal method of medication patients need to find a location on their skin that is intact and free of rashes, cuts or scars. If despite these recommendations the individual still experiences that their fentanyl patch wont stay on it is beneficial to investigate the use of tegaderm film.