Fentanyl Patches for Pain Relief

Fentanyl is a highly powerful painkiller. It’s so powerful that even a tiny amount can lead to an overdose, so while it is a Schedule II drug and can be prescribed, it’s intended only for limited situations. As with other opioids, fentanyl has a high potential for abuse as well.

There are several routes by which fentanyl can be administered to a patient. These include as a dissolvable tablet or film, a lozenge or a lollipop. One of the most popular ways physicians prescribe fentanyl is in patch form, however.

We’ll discuss how fentanyl for pain relief works in general, as well as details of fentanyl patches for pain relief.

Fentanyl Patches for Pain Relief
Before looking specifically at fentanyl patches for pain relief, first, it’s helpful to understand fentanyl for pain relief, regardless of the way it’s given. Fentanyl is an opioid. Other opioids include morphine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone, but also illicit street drugs like heroin. While these drugs have differences from one another, they also have similarities, namely in how they act on the brain and the body. When a person takes an opioid, it attaches to their brain’s opioid receptors, and they send signals called the opioid effect. This is what’s responsible for blocking pain, but at the same time it also slows respiration and calms the body. When you suffer from chronic or severe pain, your body isn’t capable of naturally producing enough opioids to keep you from feeling that, but your body also can’t produce enough natural opioids to lead to an overdose. Opioids activate certain receptors because their structure is similar to a neurotransmitter and they replicate certain brain chemicals. When you take fentanyl patches for pain relief, as an example, the opioids flood your brain with dopamine, which activates your reward system. Dopamine is responsible for the regulation of emotions and feelings of pleasure. Thus the sense of euphoria people often get from fentanyl and other opioid painkillers.
The fentanyl transdermal patch, available under several different brand names, is just one of many ways this medicine can be given. Unlike other opioids, fentanyl is intended only for chronic pain in people who are opioid-resistant, meaning they’re already tolerant to other opioids. The transdermal patch was introduced as a way to lower some of the risks that come with using fentanyl for pain relief, including abuse and overdose, but there are still risks with the patch. When someone uses transdermal fentanyl or fentanyl patches for pain relief, a patch with gel is applied directly to their skin. The gel in the patch contains a reservoir of medicine, which is released gradually into the skin. It has to build up in the skin to a certain point before it enters the bloodstream. The slow release of fentanyl using fentanyl patches for pain relief is meant to cut down on some of the risk of abuse, but it still exists. Fentanyl patches for pain relief may take up to 24 hours for full effect, and then the patch is left in place for three days before being removed and replaced with a new one. Unfortunately, some people abuse fentanyl patches by wearing more than one at a time, chewing them, boiling them and drinking the medication as a type of tea, or by injecting the gel. This medicine is meant to be released slowly, so abusing patches in any of these ways can be dangerous, resulting in death. There are other things keep in mind when using not just fentanyl for pain relief, but more specifically, fentanyl patches for pain relief. For example, if children or anyone who’s not opioid-resistant comes in contact with the gel in the patch, it can be dangerous or deadly. It’s also important that people with fentanyl patches for pain relief don’t do things that raise their body temperature, because it can increase the potency of the patch, leading to overdose. There are also side effects of using fentanyl patches for pain relief including nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, and rash where it’s applied. Fentanyl for pain relief is something that has to be taken very seriously, and extreme caution needs to be used. This extends to using fentanyl patches for pain relief as well. These patches must only be used exactly as directed, because of their potency and the potential risks.
Fentanyl Patches for Pain Relief
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Fentanyl Patches for Pain Relief was last modified: June 28th, 2017 by The Recovery Village