According to the FDA, a recent report from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) warns about the dangers of misprescribing fentanyl transdermal patches, such as Duragesic. Recommendations to help avoid tragic and preventable errors includes:
- Sometimes patients and family members do not understand that heat can increase absorption of the drug to dangerous levels. So patients should be told to avoid heating pads, electric blankets or hot baths while the patch is in place, and let their doctors know if they develop a temperature above 102 degrees.
- There have also been cases where children found used patches in the trash and applied them to their own bodies, and died as a result. And so patients should be warned to dispose of the patches by folding them in half and flushing them down the toilet.