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HealthInfo Canterbury

Fentanyl in palliative care

Fentanyl is an opioid medicine that can relieve severe pain. It's similar to morphine and is used by people who can't take morphine. This might be due to allergies, side effects, vomiting or not being able to swallow.

You most often take Fentanyl through a patch that you put on your skin. You absorb the Fentanyl into your blood.

Possible side effects

Fentanyl can cause a few side effects, including breathing problems, drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, constipation, nausea (feeling sick), itching and skin rash. If you're having problems with any of these side effects, it's important to tell your doctor or nurse.

This leaflet from Canterbury DHB has instructions on how to use your fentanyl patch.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed November 2020.

Page reference: 360269

Review key: HIPAL-17434