Helpful News from McLean Home Care and Hospice re Fentanyl Patches

FDA’s Safe Use Initiative is asking everyone to help ensure the safe use and disposal of fentanyl transdermal system “patches” (Duragesic® and its generics). FDA has released multiple advisories concerning fentanyl patches. They continue work to increase public knowledge about how to safely use, store, and dispose of fentanyl patches. The FDA advisory warns “What people don’t know about these patches continues to harm the ones they love and care for. Keeping unused and used fentanyl patches out of the sight and reach of children can save lives. The fentanyl patch is one of a small number of potent medications that, if accidentally or inappropriately used, can be fatal in just a single dose. New patches contain a 3-day supply of fentanyl. Used patches still contain enough fentanyl to harm or cause death in a child. From 1997 to 2012, there have been 26 reported cases of accidental fentanyl patch poisonings in young children. Ten of these children died. “

The FDA advisory continues “These poisonings have occurred at home as well as in healthcare settings where children have accompanied adults to visit patients. It is extremely important that only patients prescribed fentanyl patches (or their caregivers) have access to the patches and that used patches are disposed of safely. Fentanyl skin patches are to be worn for up to 3 days and then removed for disposal. Immediately after a patch is removed from the skin, it should be folded, sticky sides together, and flushed down a toilet. Flushing the patch after use is important and necessary. When flushed, immediately, the patch cannot be accidently used by children, or anyone else for whom it was not prescribed, including family pets.”

McLean Home Care & Hospice is pleased to join the FDA Safe Use Initiative in a broad-based collaborative effort to encourage safer use of fentanyl patches. For more information, click here.

For more information on the McLean Palliative Care Program, call 860-658-3950 or click here.