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Medications

Fentanyl transmucosal film

What is this medicine?

FENTANYL (FEN ta nil) is a pain reliever. It is used to treat breakthrough cancer pain that your long acting pain medicine does not control. Do not use this medicine for a pain that will go away in a few days like pain from surgery, doctor, or dentist visits. The medicine is used only by people who have been taking an opioid or narcotic pain medicine for at least a week.

How should I use this medicine?

Use this medicine in the mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Wet the application area with tongue or rinse mouth with water before using this medicine. Open package with dry hands just before you are ready to use it. Do not cut or tear the film. Use the tip of a dry finger to put one film in the mouth at a time with the pink side of the film facing the cheek. Hold the medicine film in place for 5 seconds. If you use more than one film for a dose, put them in different places on your cheek. Do not overlap or stack films. After you place the medicine on your cheek: (1.) leave the film in place until it dissolves away; (2.) do not move or touch the film with fingers or tongue; (3.) do not drink for 5 minutes; and (4.) do not eat until the film is gone. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. This medicine is not approved for use in children.

Patients over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction and need a smaller dose.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • breathing problems

  • confusion

  • signs and symptoms of low blood pressure like dizziness; feeling faint or lightheaded, falls; unusually weak or tired

  • trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • constipation

  • dry mouth

  • nausea, vomiting

  • tiredness

What may interact with this medicine?

  • alcohol

  • antihistamines

  • barbiturates, like phenobarbital

  • clarithromycin, erythromycin

  • general anesthetics

  • grapefruit juice

  • itraconazole, ketoconazole

  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate

  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances

  • medicines for HIV

  • medicines for sleep

  • muscle relaxants

  • naltrexone

  • narcotic medicines (opiates) for pain

  • phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine

  • verapamil

What if I miss a dose?

This medicine is only used when needed for pain.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children. Unintended use by a child is an emergency and can result in death. If a child accidentally uses this medicine, get emergency help right away. This drug can be abused. Keep your medicine in a safe place to protect it from theft. Do not share this medicine with anyone. Selling or giving away this medicine is dangerous and is against the law.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from freezing and moisture.

This medicine may cause accidental overdose and death if it is taken by other adults, children, or pets. Flush any unused medicine down the toilet to reduce the chance of harm. Do not flush foil package or carton down the toilet. Throw them away in a lidded trash can. Follow the directions in the MedGuide. Do not use the medicine after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • brain tumor

  • breathing problems

  • drug abuse or addiction

  • head injury

  • if you frequently drink alcohol containing drinks

  • kidney disease

  • liver disease

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to fentanyl, other opioid analgesics, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your pain does not go away, if it gets worse, or if you have new or a different type of pain. You may develop tolerance to the medicine. Tolerance means that you will need a higher dose of the medicine for pain relief. Tolerance is normal and is expected if you take the medicine for a long time.

Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medicine. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a non-medical reason. If you have pain, you have a medical reason to take pain medicine. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.

There are different types of narcotic medicines (opiates) for pain. If you take more than one type at the same time, you may have more side effects. Give your health care provider a list of all medicines you use. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. Do not take more medicine than directed. Call emergency for help if you have problems breathing.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

If you develop problems breathing or slow breathing, remove this medicine from your mouth, and call emergency for help.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.

This medicine may cause dry eyes and blurred vision. If you wear contact lenses you may feel some discomfort. Lubricating drops may help. See your eye doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.

This medicine will cause constipation. Try to have a bowel movement at least every 2 to 3 days. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your doctor or health care professional.


NOTE:This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider. Copyright© 2017 Elsevier