• Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Fentanyl

Duragesic is a high concentration of the potent opiate Fentanyl. It is available only by prescription from a doctor. Duragesic comes in the form of skin patches that are used to treat moderate to severe pain that's expected to persist. It's typically reserved for patients who can't find relief with other opiates.

Duragesic is in a class of medications called opiate analgesics. It works by binding to the body's opiate receptors in the brain that control pain and emotion, changing the way the brain and nervous system respond. This medication is contained in a gel and is used for transdermal use only (absorbed through skin).

Duragesic, as with many narcotics, has a great potential to lead to opiate abuse and misuse. This medication should only be taken by the person it is prescribed for and never shared. Opiates present the risk for severe respiratory depression. Duragesic is a central nervous system depressant and in some situations may have a harmful effect on breathing.

Who Is Not A Good Candidate For Duragesic Therapy?

Duragesic should not be taken:

  • With alcohol or other drugs
  • By anyone with a history of opiate addiction or abuse
  • For longer than recommended
  • In a higher dose than prescribed
  • Unless already tolerant to an opiate
  • With any other medication that has CNS depressant effects
  • By anyone who is allergic to narcotic medications
  • By anyone who has a breathing condition such as COPD
  • By anyone who suffers from liver or kidney disease
  • By anyone with a head injury or brain tumor
  • By anyone with a heart rhythm disorder

Caution should be used when taking Duragesic. This medication may cause dizziness and fainting. Because of this, patients should avoid driving or operating heavy machinery and any other potentially dangerous activities while under the influence of Duragesic.

Duragesic can depress the central nervous system. Accidental death can occur if Duragesic is combined with other medications that have this same effect such as alcohol, sedatives, muscle relaxers, hypnotics and other opiates.

It's important that prescription guidelines and warnings are followed. Every prescription contains an insert that informs users of precautions and possible opiate side effects. It's meant to keep patients safe.

Increase Your Chances For Staying Safe When Taking Duragesic

People have taken opiates for many years without serious problems. They have been valued for their ability to provide relief in times of pain and discomfort. However, for some, the use of Duragesic and other opiates could turn into problematic use.

An allergic reaction to opiates is one of the risks involved when taking Duragesic and can be fatal. If any of the following symptoms persist, seek emergency medical attention immediately

  • Hives
  • Rash and/or Itching
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of face, lips, tongue or throat

Duragesic may become habit forming, especially if it's been used for an extended period of time. Recreational use of Duragesic can be extremely dangerous because of these serious risks. Unfortunately, opiate abuse has become rampant over the last several years. Misuse and abuse of Duragesic can result in severe outcomes such as overdose or death.

Duragesic Dependence Can Be Strictly Physical, Or It Can Progress To Addiction

If Duragesic is taken for an extended period of time, developing physical dependence is likely. If the body grows accustomed to the drug, physical opiate withdrawal symptoms will occur when the patient tries to stop taking it.

Duragesic addiction occurs when a person has become both physically and psychologically dependent upon the drug. This is a very serious problem and physical dependence alone can progress to this level if there is misuse of any kind.

Duragesic Addiction Is Difficult To Overcome Without Help

If your use of Duragesic has become compulsive and you are taken over by a need to get and take this drug, it is highly probable that you have developed an addiction. Some other signs to look for if you suspect addiction:

* Overall deterioration in health and appearance * Proof of "doctor shopping" * Agitation, anxiety or sickness when Duragesic supply runs out * Mood changes and lack of motivation

Side Effects Of Duragesic

More serious side effects of Duragesic can occur and should be reported to a doctor. They can include: chest pain; confusion; coughing up blood, difficulty talking, thinking or walking; difficulty urinating; shallow breathing; slow or irregular heartbeat; memory loss; numbness; seizures; and vision problems.

One of the most common side effects is constipation. Others are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Exaggerated sense of well being
  • Headache
  • Indigestion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mild redness or swelling at the application site
  • Nausea
  • Sleeplessness
  • Stomach Pain
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting

Duragesic Abuse Can Have Deadly Consequences

There are times that people take their medication inappropriately but don't realize it until it's too late. Most people don't intend to abuse their prescription painkillers. For some, it's due to opiate tolerance. Pain becomes unmanageable for people who become tolerant to their meds. They need to take more to achieve the same effect. Opiate abuse has become rampant in this country.

Evidence of this can include:

* Taking Duragesic for longer than prescribed * Altering dosage * Taking Duragesic in conjunction with other drugs in order to obtain a greater "high" * "Doctor Shopping," or getting medication from various doctors * Forging prescriptions * Getting involved in shady practices in order to obtain Duragesic * Altering the medication in a way to cause a rapid high (cutting up and ingesting the gel)

Duragesic Misuse Is On The Rise

The image of a drug abuser has changed over the years. They no longer are limited to poverty-stricken, crime riddled cities. This problem also affects those in the suburbs. Drugs do not discriminate and everyday, more and more people are falling victim to addiction. Some people argue we're all one serious injury or illness away from opiate dependence.

Duragesic Withdrawal Symptoms

With intense physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms, Duragesic can be unbearable to quit. However, with the right opiate treatment, the patient will have the tools needed for a safe, comfortable and humane recovery.

Withdrawal from Duragesic can be dangerous and life threatening. The effect of withdrawal on the body can be so intense at times it may cause the patient to give up and return to using (relapse). For this reason, it's recommended that people get help during the detox process and don't try to do it alone. Symptoms include:

* Vomiting and Nausea * Muscle Pain * Stomach Cramps * Anxiety, Irritability * Chills * Tremors * Excessive Sweating * Loss of Appetite * Rapid Heart Rate * Extreme Cravings

An Overdose Can Happen If Duragesic Is Not Used According To Directions

Emergency medical attention should be pursued immediately if you experience any of these overdose symptoms: extreme drowsiness; breathing problems; hypotension; slow heart rate; fluid in the lungs; confusion; fainting; dizziness; problems thinking, talking or walking; or seizures.

All of the symptoms could potentially lead to coma or death so it's important to seek help immediately if you believe a Duragesic overdose is happening. An overdose can happen in any of the following situations:

  • Taking too much Duragesic
  • Mixing Duragesic with other substances in order to achieve a greater "high"
  • An increase in body temperature, which can cause too much medication to be absorbed too quickly
  • If you have recovered from Duragesic addiction and suddenly relapse, your tolerance drops and this can cause overdose

What To Do if You Find Yourself Dependent Upon Duragesic

Oftentimes, people do not achieve success the first time they try to detox from opiates. You will greatly increase your chances of recovery if you seek the help of an addiction specialist. Never give up, there are several options available to help you reach your goal of being opiate free.

When making the decision to seek help, you will want to thoroughly consider your options before deciding between an inpatient facility or outpatient opiate treatment. Your decision should be based on your own unique circumstances and concerns. You will need to think about your financial situation, work and family obligations. Drug addiction specialists and people in the medical field can help maintain your safety and comfort throughout your transition to wellness.

Types Of Duragesic Treatment To Consider

Inpatient Duragesic treatment involves a more thorough approach to detox. Most inpatient treatment programs manage withdrawal while also dealing with the psychological aspect of addiction, through intensive counseling.

Outpatient treatment usually includes opiate replacement therapy with methadone, Suboxone and Subutex. These drugs are opiates as well and are used to ease patients off of drugs that are considered more dangerous. However, since they are opiates, there is also potential for abuse and dependence.

Rapid opiate detox is another option that can yield impressive results. There are several companies that offer this form of treatment but the ones that do it right emphasize the safety, comfort and dignity of the patient. This particular type of treatment should be performed in an accredited hospital where medical professionals can supervise the patient closely. This detox method is done intravenously while the patient is under deep sedation. The medications administered are meant to alleviate the dependency to opiates in less than two hours. The deep sedation allows patients to go through the withdrawal process without having to experience the often debilitating symptoms. Patients should be admitted to an aftercare facility immediately following the detox to deal with the psychological aspect of addition and ensure the best possible outcome, a complete recovery.