Fentanyl is a narcotic drug used as a painkiller. It is an opioid pain killer drug. Fentanyl skin patch or transdermal system such as Duragesic is used for treatment of pain occurring due to breakthrough of cancer. It is used when other medicines fail to control the cancer related pain. It is used for treatment of moderate to severe pain. It is not meant for normal pains such as abdominal pain, headache or other such pain. Doctors prescribe it for other purposes, which are not listed in medical guide as well based on their clinical judgment.

Side Effects of Fentanyl

Fentanyl use could lead to many common or severe side effects. These common side effects are temporary in nature and subside with the time but there could be some serious side effects of this drug as well. It is advisable to seek immediate medical help in case of severe side effects.

Less serious side effects

Most of the medicines have some common side effects. Fentanyl could also lead to some common side effects as follows-

  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Stomach pain, constipation or gas.
  • Dizziness or drowsiness.
  • Anxiety or sleeping problems
  • Muscle stiffness and back pain;
  • It could cause temporary itching, blistering, redness, or swelling at the place of the patch.
  • Increased sweating
  • Less urination.
  • Oedema
  • Confusion
  • Headache or sedation
  • Lightheadedness
  • Swelling of hands or feet.
  • Tiredness
  • Feeling very thirsty or hot or dryness in throat
  • Hot and dry skin at the place of patch

Severe Side Effects

Use of Fentanyl could lead to many severe side effects. If any of the following severe side effects occurs remove the patch and immediately call the doctor.

  • Use of this drug could cause weak or shallow breathing or any other breathing trouble.
  • It could cause severe weakness or feeling light-headed or fainting feeling.
  • Use of this drug could have cold, clammy skin as a side effect.
  • Pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding is another serious side effect of Fentanyl use.
  • It could lead to transient hypotension.
  • Other serious side effect is peripheral vasodilation
  • It could lead to increased intracranial pressure
  • CNS depression is another serious side effect of use of this drug.
  • Respiratory depression could also result due to use of this drug.
  • Some patients may experience trunk rigidity as a side effect of using this drug.
  • Some patients could develop laryngospasm as a side effect.
  • Bronchoconstriction could also develop in some patients as a severe side effect of this drug.
  • Some patients may experience fainting, seizure or severe dizziness.
  • Some patients may experience unusual drowsiness or difficulty waking up.
  • It could lead to allergic reactions such as rash, itching or swelling of the face, tongue and throat.
  • It could also cause mental or mood changes. Patients may feel agitated, confusion or hallucinations.
  • Some patients may have severe stomach or abdominal pain.
  • Less urine or difficulty urinating is another severe side effect of this drug.
  • Some patients may develop allergic reaction such as hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.