The FDA has issued a public health advisory that highlights important information for the safe use of the fentanyl transdermal system, also known as the fentanyl patch. Despite issuing an advisory in July 2005 that emphasized the safe use of the fentanyl patch, the FDA continues to receive reports of death and life-threatening side effects in patients who use the fentanyl patch. The fentanyl patch (marketed as Duragesic and generics) is a narcotic (opioid) pain medicine applied to the skin for treating persistent moderate to severe pain in opioid-tolerant patients who need to be on a narcotic pain medicine around-the-clock for more than a few days.

For more information visit www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm152289.htm.