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Fentanyl is a custom pharmacy drug classified in the family of drugs known as narcotic (opiate) analgesics. Fentanyl works within the nervous system and brain by altering the response to pain. Fentanyl is prescribed often for surgery or medical procedure patients to help prevent pain and for certain cancer patients who experience sudden painthat is not prevented by other pain medications also prescribed by their doctor.


Fentanyl may be compounded by your compounding pharmacist into multiple forms of administration such as sublinguals for underneath the tongue administration, lozenges, tablets, buccals for administration between the gum and cheek, and injectables. Fentanyl is a strong narcotic and should only be taken under the close supervision of your doctor. Fentanyl should never be used more than four times in one day regardless of the dose. Follow your doctor's directions carefully.


Side effects differ from patient to patient and there is no way to know beforehand which side effects, if any, a patient will experience. Common side effects seen with fentanyl are:

  • Changes in Vision
  • Heartburn
  • Weight Loss
  • Unusual Thoughts or Dreams
  • Drowsiness
  • Stomach Pain
  • Irritation In The Mouth in Area where Medication was Administered
  • Pain in the Mouth in Area where Medication was Administered
  • Sores in the Mouth in Area where Medication was Administered
  • Swelling (Hands, Arms, Feet, Ankles, or Lower Legs)
  • Difficulty Falling Asleep
  • Difficulty Staying Asleep
  • Back Pain
  • Chest Pain
  • Extra Gas
  • Dry Mouth
  • Difficulty Urinating
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sudden Reddening of Face
  • Unusual Reddening of the Neck and/or Upper Chest
  • Uncontrollable Shaking

If you experience any of the above and the side effects are getting worse or lingering then you should contact your doctor right away.

Partial List of Other Potentially Severe Side Effects:

Call your doctor immediately if any of the following potentially severe side effects are experienced at any time while taking fentanyl:

  • Seizures
  • Change in Heartbeat
  • Fast Heartbeat
  • Nausea and/or Vomiting
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Intense Muscle Stiffness
  • Twitching
  • Coordination Loss
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Fever and/or Sweating
  • Confusion
  • Shivering
  • Dizziness
  • Inability to Get or Maintain an Erection
  • Irregular Menstruation
  • Decrease of Libido
  • Hives and/or Rash and/or Itching

Severe Side Effects in Need of Emergency Treatment Immediately

Some side effects may be severe to the point that emergency medical treatment is needed immediately. A partial list of some of these severe side effects requiring immediate medical treatment is below:

  • Extreme Drowsiness
  • Dizziness and/or Confusion
  • Fainting
  • Slow or Difficult Breathing
  • Shallow Breathing
  • Decrease in Urge to Breathe
  • Trouble Swallowing


All patients who are considering the use of fentanyl should first consult with their doctor before beginning use.

Fentanyl transdermal system is contraindicated in all of the following cases:

  • Hypersensitivity to Fentanyl
  • Acute and/or Severe Bronchial Asthma
  • Opioid-intolerant Patients
  • Paralytic Ileus
  • Post-Operative Pain Management
  • Mild or Intermittent Pain Management
  • Acute Pain Management in Patients Who Need Opioid Analgesia for a Short Course
  • In Cases of Serious/Severe Respiratory Depression

Consult with your doctor for a full overview of possible contraindications.

Discuss openly all medications, drugs (pharmaceutical or street), supplements, etc. that you are currently taking or have recently taken to avoid any possible drug interactions that could be severe or life threatening.

Always follow your doctor's exact instructions when taking any drug, especially with a strong narcotic such as fentanyl.

IMPORTANT: Watch for signs of overdose or allergic reaction. Ask your doctor about these while having your initial consultation before beginning any use of fentanyl.

  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA