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FENTANYL is a pain reliever. It is used to treat breakthrough cancer pain that your long acting pain medicine does not control. Do not use this medicine for a pain that will go away in a few days like pain from surgery, doctor or dentist visits. The medicine is used only by people who have been taking an opioid or narcotic pain medicine for at least a week. Compare opioids.

Insurance Coverage: Many major insurance plans no longer cover brand-name Abstral as of 2015. Learn More

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Abstral Side Effects

What should I watch for?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your pain does not go away, if it gets worse, or if you have new or a different type of pain. You may develop tolerance to the medicine. Tolerance means that you will need a higher dose of the medicine for pain relief. Tolerance is normal and is expected if you take the medicine for a long time.

Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medicine. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a non-medical reason. If you have pain, you have a medical reason to take pain medicine. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.

There are different types of narcotic medicines (opiates). If you take more than one type at the same time or you are taking another medicine that also causes drowsiness, you may have more side effects. Give your health care provider a list of all medicines you use. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. Do not take more medicine than directed. Call emergency for help if you have problems breathing or unusual sleepiness.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

This medicine will cause constipation. Try to have a bowel movement at least every 2 to 3 days. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your doctor or health care professional.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.

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Common and Rare Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

Black, tarry stools

blurred vision

chest pain

confusion

convulsions

cough

decreased urine

difficult or labored breathing

dizziness

dry mouth

fainting

fever or chills

increased thirst

irregular heartbeat

lightheadedness

loss of appetite

lower back or side pain

mood changes

muscle pain or cramps

nausea or vomiting

nervousness

numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips

painful or difficult urination

pale skin

pounding in the ears

rapid breathing

sneezing

sore throat

sunken eyes

swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs

tightness in the chest

troubled breathing with exertion

ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth

unusual bleeding or bruising

unusual tiredness or weakness

wrinkled skin

Less common

Abdominal or stomach pain

change in walking and balance

clumsiness or unsteadiness

decreased awareness or responsiveness

decreased frequency of urination

headache

muscle twitching or jerking

pounding in the ears

rhythmic movement of the muscles

seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there

seizures

severe constipation

severe sleepiness

shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet

slow or fast heartbeat

thinking abnormalities

trembling or shaking of the hands or feet

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:

Symptoms of overdose

Extremely shallow or slow breathing

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Back pain

diarrhea

difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)

difficulty with moving

discouragement

feeling sad or empty

irritability

lack or loss of strength

loss of interest or pleasure

muscle stiffness

pain in the joints

sleepiness or unusual drowsiness

tiredness

trouble concentrating

trouble sleeping

weight loss

Less common

Changes in vision

excessive muscle tone

feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings

feeling of warmth or heat

flushing or redness of the skin, especially on the face and neck

irritation, pain, or sores at the site of application

itching skin

muscle tension or tightness

rash

sensation of spinning

sweating

Incidence not known

Tooth pain

trouble with gums

trouble with teeth

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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