Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available



  • Patch
  • Patch extended release
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Mouth spray
  • Lozenge
  • Buccal tablet
  • Nasal spray
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Treats severe pain.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our bottom line

Duragesic (Fentanyl) is an excellent pain reliever, but should only be used by people who've tried other opioid pain medications and still need more relief.

Prescription opioids are used to treat several kinds of pain - but they carry significant risks, including addiction. Learn more about these drugs and be sure to discuss the risks with your doctor.


  • It's used for people who have tried other opioid medications, but still need stronger pain relief.
  • Duragesic (Fentanyl) is stronger than morphine, works quickly, and doesn't cause as many stomach problems.
  • It's available in many dosage forms, including a patch, injection, film, nasal spray, and lollipop.
  • The Duragesic (Fentanyl) patch provides long-term pain relief and lowers the number of times you need to take pain medications each day.
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  • Duragesic (Fentanyl) isn't for everyone. It's a really strong pain medication and taking too much can be deadly.
  • It doesn't provide quick pain relief.
  • Often causes drowsiness and constipation. If using it long-term, use a stool softener.
  • Like all opioids, don't use when pregnant, since the baby can become dependent on it and have withdrawal symptoms after birth.
  • Shouldn't be used for people with breathing problems (like asthma and COPD), a slow heart rate, or in the elderly.
  • If using the patch, you won't be able to get the medicine out of your body quickly in case of an overdose.

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What to expect when you take Duragesic (Fentanyl)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Duragesic (Fentanyl) should only be used for people whose pain is not controlled by other opioid medications for at least one week.
  • For pain, the patch takes 12 hours to start working and all other forms start working in 30 minutes or less.
  • If using the patch, keep it away from heat sources like heating pads, or else it'll cause the medication to be unsafely released into your skin.
  • Never stop taking Duragesic (Fentanyl) suddenly or else you'll have withdrawal effects. To stop taking it, you'll need to lower your dose slowly.
  • Never drink alcohol when using Duragesic (Fentanyl).
  • Just one dose can be harmful or fatal to children, so store and dispose of this medication in a way that children can't get to it.
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Side effects for Duragesic (Fentanyl)

From clinical trials of fentanyl / Chronic pain  ( 289)

  • VomitingVomiting34% for Fentanyl vs.0% for placebo
  • NauseaNausea24% for Fentanyl vs.0% for placebo
  • NauseaNausea23% for Fentanyl vs.0% for placebo
  • DizzinessDizziness17% for Fentanyl vs.0% for placebo
  • DrowsinessDrowsiness17% for Fentanyl vs.0% for placebo
  • HeadacheHeadache16% for Fentanyl vs.0% for placebo
  • ConstipationConstipation13% for Fentanyl vs.0% for placebo
  • DiarrheaDiarrhea13% for Fentanyl vs.0% for placebo
  • ItchingItching13% for Fentanyl vs.0% for placebo
  • HeadacheHeadache12% for Fentanyl vs.0% for placebo

Risks and Warnings for Duragesic (Fentanyl)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Current use of medicine that affects liver enzyme CYP 3A4
    • Age 65 or greater
    • Higher dose
    • People with not enough thyroid hormones
    • History of lung problems

    Taking too much Duragesic (Fentanyl) can cause irregular or slow breathing that can put you in a coma and can cause death. Duragesic (Fentanyl) should be swallowed whole, don't ever crush or chew. If your lips and fingers start turning blue from low oxygen, see a doctor immediately. In the hospital, doctors can give you a medicine that reverses the effects of Duragesic (Fentanyl). Don't take more than your doctor prescribes. Always check with your doctor before starting any new medicines or supplements.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Duragesic (Fentanyl)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Never drink alcohol when using Duragesic (Fentanyl).
  • Never prep the skin site for the patch with alcohol swabs!
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Often causes drowsiness and constipation. If using it long-term, use a stool softener.
  • It made me sleep the whole time I was on it . Nasty med. for me.