Reducing and managing pain is one of the major concerns when treating Lupus (reducing inflammation is the other major concern). Lupus pain is a pervasive, chronic, and sometimes an overwhelming aspect of our lives. We deal with it every single day, and sometimes every minute of the day and so getting relief is as important as breathing!
Fentanyl Transdermal (Otherwise known as the Duragesic patch), is a narcotic analgesic and is often used for postoperative pain, as well as for chronic pain (like we experience with Lupus). The patches come in varying strengths, from 25 to 100 mcg of fentanyl per hour. They are applied to the upper torso and can be worn for up to 72 hours.
The advantage to this type of pain medication is that there are no pills to swallow or injections to take. The disadvantage is that when you have the patch on, you usually can't take any other pain medication, so if it isn't working, you have to wait to try something else.
There are also other side effects, including confusion, dizziness, nausea, and depression. Some of the more dangerous side effects are seizures, arrythmias, chest pain, or respiratory depression.
Because this is a narcotic pain medication, there is also the potential for abuse or even dependence. Not everyone who needs pain medication automatically becomes a drug addict, so do not dismiss using this medication based upon that fear. Also, if a patient has no previous history of drug abuse or dependence, then doctors should be willing to offer this medication for pain relief.
Make sure that you do not have any allergic reaction to adhesives before using the patch. If you do have a reaction (called contact dermatitis) it might be a little bothersome but not enough to stop using the patch. If it is very bothersome, you can cut off the adhesive and tape it to your skin with a tape that you do not have an allergic reaction to and it will work just as well.
I wish you the very best!
Peace and Blessings
Look For The Good and Praise It!