Fentanyl Citrate

This form:

Pronounced

"FEN-tuh-nill"

Uses

This medication is used to help relieve sudden (breakthrough) cancer pain in people who are regularly taking moderate to large amounts of opioid pain medication. Fentanyl belongs to a class of drugs known as opioid (narcotic) analgesics. It works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain.

This medication should not be used to relieve mild or short-term pain (such as due to headache/migraine, dental procedures, surgery).

How to Use This Medication

Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using fentanyl and each time you get a refill. Learn all usage and disposal instructions. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

A Child Safety Kit is available from the manufacturer. It contains important safety and educational materials and a safe storage container to keep this medication out of reach of children. If you have any questions about the materials in this kit, bring them to your doctor or pharmacist, or contact the manufacturer.

Use fentanyl lozenges as directed by your doctor. Just before using, open the package with scissors. Remove the lozenge and place the medication end in your mouth between your cheeks and gums. Actively suck on the medication. Twirl the handle often and move the medication along the cheeks in your mouth, occasionally switching sides of the mouth. You should finish the medication in 15 minutes to get the most relief. Do not bite or chew the medication. You may drink some water before using this medication, but do not eat or drink anything while you are using it.

Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication unless your doctor or pharmacist says you may do so safely. Grapefruit can increase the chance of side effects with this medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

If you start to have side effects (such as dizziness, feeling sick to your stomach, severe drowsiness) before finishing a dose, your doctor may need to adjust your dose. Remove the rest of the lozenge from your mouth and store or dispose of it properly (see Medication Guide). Tell your doctor promptly if this happens.

The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. If you need a second dose, wait 30 minutes after starting the first dose. Do not use more than 2 doses per episode of breakthrough pain. Wait at least 4 hours before using fentanyl lozenges again for another episode of breakthrough pain. To avoid any confusion and chance of overdose, you should only keep a supply of one strength of this medication. Do not increase your dose, take the medication more frequently, or take it for a longer time than prescribed.

Pain medications work best if they are used when the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.

You should continue to also take your long-acting opioid medication as directed by your doctor. Other pain relievers (such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen) may also be prescribed. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using fentanyl safely with other drugs.

This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as restlessness, watering eyes, runny nose, nausea, sweating, muscle aches) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions right away.

When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.

Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Use this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Tell your doctor if your pain persists or worsens, if you have more than 4 episodes of breakthrough pain daily, or if you need to use 2 units of medication for each episode of pain.

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Information expires December 2018.