The drug is available as a dermal patch that can be removed rather easily in case it gives off unwanted effects and is issued only to a prescription as self use can be rather dangerous and has the potential to bring about life threatening events. In general, the drug will act through binding the receptors which are responsible for carrying the pain signals in the brain as well as in the nerves.
What are the precautions that need to be taken in taking this medication?
Before discussing the potential side effects from this drug, it is necessary to highlight some of the important precautions that need to be taken in minimizing the occurrence of such unwanted effects. As such, the Duragesic patches should be only used in instances where the patient had already being treated with other opioid drugs such as morphine and oxycodone. At the same time, the drug can cause addiction and should not be used in persons who has the potential to misuse the patches. While wearing the patch, it should not be exposed to heat as it can increase the absorption of the drug and could lead to dangerous side effects. Similarly, intake of alcohol while on the drug would also be dangerous due to the same reason.
Although these are some of the precautions that need to be taken, the best option would be to discuss with your doctor regarding the existing medical problems and other drugs that you take which may show dangerous drug interactions before starting on Duragesic.
What are the serious side effects of Duragesic?
These can present in various forms of which suppression of normal breathing pattern would top the list. Thus, if a person develops shallow breathing while taking the drug, the patch should be removed immediately and they should receive urgent medical attention as well.
Another serious side effect can manifest as lightheadedness, faintishness and severe weakness whereas cold and clammy skin would also be present in certain instances.
Some of the other manifestations which are considered serious would include easy bruising, bleeding and the appearance of a pale skin.
Last but not least, allergic reactions should also be considered serious as it can lead to life threatening anaphylactic reactions. Thus, the manifestations can include difficulty in breathing, wheezing, lip and facial swelling, appearance of hives and rashes…etc.
What are the less serious side effects?
Apart from the more serious side effects, symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, dizziness, sleep disturbances, drowsiness, muscle cramps, back pain, increase sweating and local reactions such as blistering and redness have also been reported.
In any event, if you have been prescribed Duragesic, you should obtain all the necessary information from the prescribing physician and take precautions as to prevent overdose and prolonged unnecessary use.