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Subsys Uses

Obtaining Subsys

Subsys is only available through a special program, called the Subsys Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program. This special program is intended to help reduce the risks associated with using Subsys, including the risks of abuse, misuse, and overdose.
Everyone involved in Subsys use must be enrolled in the Subsys REMS program, including healthcare providers who prescribe the medication, pharmacies that dispense it, and people who use it. In order to receive this medication, you will need to understand the risks and benefits of using Subsys, and sign an agreement stating you understand how to use it.
The pharmacy where you receive the medication will enroll you in the program the first time you get your prescription filled. Only pharmacies enrolled in the Subsys REMS program can dispense Subsys. Your healthcare provider can help you find one of these pharmacies near your home.
Enrollment in the REMS program is not necessary for people who are in inpatient facilities, such as hospitals, hospices, and long-term care facilities.

How Does It Work?

Subsys contains fentanyl, a strong opioid narcotic medication. Fentanyl binds to opioid mu-receptors, which are located throughout the body. After fentanyl binds to the receptors, certain chemicals are released that produce a variety of effects.
Some of these effects, such as pain relief, are desirable. Others, such as slowing of the digestive tract, are undesirable and lead to side effects like constipation.
The effects of fentanyl include but are not limited to:
  • Pain relief
  • Drowsiness
  • Changes in mood, including feelings of unease (dysphoria) or unusually pleasant feelings (euphoria)
  • Cough suppression
  • Slowed or shallow breathing
  • Slowing of the digestive tract
  • Pupil constriction
  • Itching
  • Physical dependence.
8 Frequent Pain Syndromes

Subsys Medication Information

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