Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What's The Fentanyl Transdermal System

Fentanyl is a type of narcotic analgesic used to relieve chronic pain. The fentanyl transdermal system uses a patch to administer fentanyl rather than the patient taking the drug orally.


The fentanyl transdermal system allows medication to enter your body through the pores. Once inside your body, fentanyl functions by binding to sites on your brain and spinal cord and blocking the transmission of pain signals.


Doctors prescribe the fentanyl transdermal system to patients who have moderate to severe pain that requires constant administering of medication. Use of the system is restricted to patients who cannot receive relief from other medications, states the U.S. National Library of Medicine.


One fentanyl patch remains effective for up to 72 hours after application, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The chest, back and upper arm are the most beneficial locations to place the patch.


The fentanyl transdermal system poses a risk of respiratory depression, a potentially fatal condition in which the brain is unable to properly regulate breathing. Risk increases when patients combine the patch with alcohol or other medications that suppress the central nervous system.


Because its effects upon fetal development are unknown, doctors reserve use of the fentanyl transdermal system in pregnant women for instances when there is no safe alternative. Many other medical conditions may make the patch unsuitable for particular patients.

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