Duragesic – Information, Uses, Side Effects and Dosage


Drug trade Name-Duragesic

Category- Narcotic Pain Reliever

Generic Name-Fentanyl Transdermal (skin patch)



Introduction and quick information:

Duragesic is a narcotic pain reliever that contains fentanyl, which is a strong prescription pain medicine for treating moderate to severe chronic pain. This narcotic pain reliever can provide long-lasting relief from consistent or persistent pain.

Duragesic should only be taken by people who have already experienced the effects of opioid pain medications. This medication is only prescribed when other medicines have shown no improvement in relieving pain. Duragesic is designed to provide relief from pain for up to 72 hours that is ( 3 days).

It is a schedule II controlled substance, it means there are some strict laws and regulations associated with this drug and one cannot use this medicine until a doctor prescribes this narcotic pain reliever personally. Schedule II medication such as Duragesic is weighed to have the highest potential for addiction and abuse.

Is Duragesic Approved by FDA?

United States food and drug administration (FDA) has approved Duragesic patch in August, 1990 for treating moderate to severe pain. FDA has set strict law and regulation for the use of this medication as Duragesic has a potential of abuse and addiction.

Usage and Benefits of Duragesic:

Duragesic is a skin patch narcotic pain reliever approved to treat persistent, moderate to severe chronic pain. This medicine should only be taken to treat pain when other medications fail to treat the chronic pain.

Duragesic is prescribed to use on a regular schedule as it is not prescribed for short-term usage. This medication should also not be used for treating acute pain, mild pain or pain that can be controlled with occasional pain relievers. This medicine also is not prescribed for pain caused by dental procedures, surgery and other medical procedures.

Duragesic is an opioid narcotic medication that is prescribed for people who have already taken opioid medication or who are tolerant of the effects of opioid medication.

Important notification FDA has strict law and regulation over the uses of Duragesic. Therefore you should not try to take this medicine without a doctor prescription.

Side Effects of Duragesic:


There are some side effects possible with this narcotic pain reliever, however, everyone will not experience side effects of this medicine but it has happened only when someone has already used any opioids medication. Duragesic side effects can be fatal and life-threatening so you have to be careful while taking this medicine as side effects can worsen your condition.  Here are some medically known side effects of Duragesic (fentanyl) patch side effects such as-

  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Dry mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Flu-like symptom such as aches, fever, chills
  • Dizziness, heartburn or indigestion
  • An exaggerated sense of well-being (euphoria)
  • Difficulty sleeping ( quite common in children)
  • Problems urinating, infection of the upper respiratory tract
  • Itching, pain and redness at the application site
  • Difficulty in breathing or irregular breathing
  • Slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Loss of consciousness or fainting
  • cold and clammy skin
  • problems in taking, thinking and walking
  • hallucinations
  • seizures, mood swings including hostility, agitation, depression or anxiety
  • dizziness in sitting and lying position
  • allergic symptoms such as wheezing, hives, unexplained rash, itching, swelling of the throat or mouth

This is not a complete list of Duragesic side effects, you may ask your doctor to get more information on side effects and their consequences. There are some side effects of this medicine which can lead to fatal and life-threatening conditions for you. Therefore, in case of side effects, medical assistance is required to just make sure you are not in the middle of fatal side effects as the side effects spread rapidly and prove fatal.

Important notification- Elder adults are more susceptible to have side effects of Duragesic.

General Recommended Dosages of Duragesic:

Duragesic dosages depend on a number of factors that your health care provider should keep in mind while prescribing this medicine. Here are some factors that can major role in your dosing schedule such as-

  • types and severity of pain
  • type and dosage of other pain medication you have used
  • response of the medication
  • uses of other medication
  • other health conditions you may have

Duragesic Dosing Guidelines– Duragesic is a strong narcotic pain reliever that cannot be prescribed as normal pain reliever medicine. This medicine should only be used in patients who are already using any opioid pain medicine (at least Duragesic 25 mcg dose).

The initial dosage of Duragesic is highly individualized because Duragesic prescription mostly depends on the type and amount of opioid dosages you have been taking.

Along with Duragesic dosage, your healthcare provider may prescribe you a short-acting pain reliever to be taken on an “as needed” basis. Such sorts of short-acting pain relievers are prescribed because Duragesic takes time to show its full effects while in the meantime short-acting pain relievers help to reduce pain and related discomforts.

Your healthcare provider may increase your dose amount if you are not getting expected benefits. Increased dose can provide you maximum pain relief.

Because Duragesic is available in skin patch form hence you do not need to follow any strict dosing guideline. Only your doctor can decide when you need to remove skin patch.

In Case I Miss my Dose?

Since Duragesic patch is used as needed, you do not need to follow any dosing schedule. However, if you are wearing Duragesic skin patches on regular basis then you have to follow instructions given by your health care provider. If you somehow miss wearing Duragesic skin patch, do not wear missed one without telling your doctor. Never try to wear extra patches to make up for the missed one as this could lead to some adverse side effects.

 In Case I Take Overdose

Duragesic is a prescription narcotic pain reliever approved to treat persistent, chronic pain in patients who have already used opioids medicines. Like any other medicines, too much use of Duragesic can cause some serious overdose side effects. An overdose of this moderate to severe pain medicine can be dangerous.

Overdose effects can be varied and depending on number of factors that you may ask your healthcare provider to explain you.

Overdose symptoms may include confusion, extreme drowsiness, slow heartbeat, seizures, fluid in lungs, fainting etc.

If you notice any of overdose consequence, seek for immediate medical help to avoid these fatal overdose reactions.

Drug Interactions of Duragesic:

Tell your healthcare provider if you have been taking sleeping pills, sedatives, seizure medicines, and cold/ allergy medicines as these medicines can add discomforts. Apart from these medicines, must tell your doctor if you have been using any of the below-mentioned medicines:

  • Any antibiotic such as erythromycin, clarithromycin, telithromycin, rifampin, dalfopristin/quinupristin
  • Heart or blood pressure medication such as diltiazem, amlodipine, nicardipine, verapamil,
  • Seizure medication such as oxcarbazepine, phenytoin, carbamazepine
  • Antifungal medication such as fluconazole, voriconazole, ketoconazole, miconazole, itraconazole
  • HIV/AIDS medicine such as delavirdine, indinavir, nevirapine, efavirenz, atazanavir, saquinavir, fosamprenavir
  • Aprepitant
  • Nefazodone
  • John’s Wort
  • Isoniazid (for treating tuberculosis);
  • Medication that causes drowsiness such as sleep medications, anxiety medications, antipsychotic medications, muscle relaxants etc

This is not a complete list of drug interactions of Duragesic. You may ask your doctor to explain you the risks and damages associated with other drugs. Also, inform your doctor if you are taking any vitamin supplements and herbal products along with this medicine. You should not start taking any new drug without telling your doctor.

Life Style and Food Habits you must follow when on Duragesic:

Do not use Duragesic if you are already being treated by any opioid painkiller. Talk to your doctor if you are not sure if you are opioid-tolerant or if you have any of these health conditions such as-

  • heart rhythm disorder
  • liver disease
  • kidney disease
  • Breathing disorder such as COPD
  • History of head injury or brain tumor

Apart from these health conditions, tell your doctor if you have any allergic reaction to opioid medicines or have an infection with certain medication. These things can disturb your treatment procedure. Your health care provider may prescribe you some strict lifestyle routine that you must follow to get safe and rapid results. Talk to your doctor if you need to take any particular diet as there are some foods that can have an adverse reaction to your body.

How safe is Duragesic for Pregnant women or Nursing Mothers?

Fentanyl may cause seizure, breathing problems, addition or withdrawal symptoms in nursing mothers and newborn baby if mother takes this strong narcotic pain reliever during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are expecting or planning to become pregnant while taking this medicine. You should not breastfeed if you are taking this medicine.

Complications and Conditions Possible due to prolonged use of Duragesic:

Medical studies have shown that Duragesic skin patch narcotic pain reliever has habit-forming capabilities and you should use this pain reliever if you have drug abuse and addiction. Do not wear Duragesic skin patch longer than recommended as it could produce some severe and dangerous side effects to the body. Do not recommend this medicine to any other person especially who have drug abuse and addiction.

Availability of Duragesic:

Duragesic is an FDA approved narcotic pain reliever for treating moderate to severe pain. It is available at every FDA and government approved drug stores. To buy this medicine you should have doctor’s prescription as there are some FDA laws and regulations associated with Duragesic. Now you can buy Duragesic skin patch from online drug stores after providing information regarding your prescription.