Duragesic is a medication that helps treat moderate-to-severe chronic pain. It comes in the form of a skin patch that is applied every three days. This medication contains a strong narcotic pain medicine and is only used when other pain medications are not adequately providing pain relief. Duragesic is approved for use in adults and children as young as two years old.
What Is Duragesic Used For?Duragesic® (fentanyl patch) is a prescription skin patch approved to treat persistent, moderate-to-severe chronic (long-lasting) pain. It should only be used to treat pain that is not adequately controlled with other pain medications and that requires continuous, around-the-clock treatment.
Duragesic is meant to be used on a regular schedule. It is not approved for "as needed" or short-term use. It should also not be used to treat mild pain, acute pain (pain expected to last only a limited amount of time), pain that can be controlled with occasional pain medication, or pain from surgery or other medical or dental procedures.
Duragesic is an opioid narcotic medication. It should only be used in people who have already been using opioids and who are tolerant to the effects of these drugs. In general, people are considered opioid tolerant if they have been taking at least 60 mg of morphine, 30 mg of oxycodone, 8 mg of hydromorphone, or an equivalent dose of another opioid every day for at least a week.
How Does Duragesic Work?Duragesic is a skin patch that contains fentanyl, a very strong opioid narcotic medication. Duragesic patches continuously release fentanyl in the same amount over a three-day period.
Fentanyl binds to a specific type of opioid receptor, called the opioid mu-receptor. Opioid mu-receptors are located throughout the body. While the main fentanyl effects occur in the central nervous system, fentanyl can produce effects anywhere opioid mu-receptors are found. Some of these effects, such as pain relief, are desirable; other effects are undesirable.
Effects of fentanyl may include but are not limited to:
- Pain relief
- Changes in mood, including feelings of unease (dysphoria) or unusually pleasant feelings (euphoria)
- Cough suppression
- Slowed or shallow breathing
- Slowing of the digestive tract
- Physical dependence.