The Duragesic patch is a prescription transdermal patch containing strong pain medication for treating moderate to severe chronic pain. Specifically, the Duragesic patch contains a gel form of fentanyl, an opioid-based pain medication 100 times stronger than morphine. Once applied directly to the skin, the Duragesic patch works by delivering fentanyl through the skin into the blood stream at a regulated rate for up to 72 hours.

Who Should Use the Duragesic Patch?

The Duragesic patch should only be used by patients who are already receiving opioid therapy, who have demonstrated opioid tolerance, and who require a total daily dose at least equivalent to Duragesic 25 milligrams. Patients are considered opioid-tolerant if they have taken at least 60 mg of morphine a day for a week or longer (or its equivalent).

Because the Duragesic patch contains powerful medicine meant only for

serious pain, it should only be used when other less potent medicines have not been effective and when pain needs to be controlled around the clock. Fentanyl, the medication in the Duragesic patch, can be habit-forming. As a result, the Duragesic patch should only be used by those it is prescribed to and should never be given to someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction.

Duragesic Patch Dangers

While the Duragesic patch has incredible value for people who live in pain, it can be deadly if not used properly. To begin with, patients should never put a heating pad on top of the Duragesic patch because heat increases the drug’s absorption into the bloodstream. The same effect can occur with sunbathing, hot tubs, fever, or any activity that increases body temperature.

As another precaution, patients should never cut the Duragesic patch with scissors because the patch contains medication that will leak out all at once, rather than being delivered over a three day period. Further, Duragesic patch patients should be careful to properly dispose of used patches because the Duragesic patch can be fatal to children and pets if swallowed. .

Duragesic Patch Deaths

Since its approval in 1990, the Duragesic patch has been blamed for at least 120 deaths. Both the Duragesic patch, and it generic version, the fentanyl patch, have been the subjects of Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) health advisories warning about potentially life-threatening side effects caused by the drugs. 

Contact Us Today

If you or a loved one were injured by the Duragesic Patch please contact us today as you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. 

Published November 17, 2011 by