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Fentanyl Patches the best place to put them?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Pain Medications
My question is where is the best place to put them. I've had good luck with putting them right on the spine and the higher the better, it seems like they don't work as well when placed low on the back also if they get wet when I shower they don't work as well. Any suggestions?


  • I found my 'four best spots', and rotated them each time I would change the patch. I used the insides of my thighs, halfway up, and also about 3-4 inches above each nipple on my chest, just a bit below my collar bone. (not sure why above post says 'Never put a patch on the chest.'; it makes no difference in the delivery and effectiveness of the patch, just as putting it by the spine does not increase pain relief to that area). I chose my 2 spots due to the fact that there was minimal body hair, it was smooth even skin, and those locations did not move very much even when I was moving around. As for getting them wet (assuming warm/hot shower), the heat can cause the medicine to transfer to your body too fast, which is unsafe and potentially very dangerous(i.e. fatal), but also leaves the patch mostly on empty, which is why it doesn't work afterwards.

    As for it falling off from the water, Charry mentioned the plastic bag; just tape it on with medical/waterproof tape right before your shower, and take off after you are done drying. Make sure the plastic is bigger than the patch, so the patch is undisturbed. I think Johnson and johnson has some sort of 'patch covers' that are breathable and help them stay on, so that you can leave them on 24/7, shower with it, and just remove it each 2nd or 3rd day with the patch.

    Those patches were so much more work than I ever thought they would be, and the things mentioned above HAD to be done if I wanted to get at least 2 days out of one, and be able to shower. Other people have had much better luck; I hope you are one of them!

    (ps- no baths, or hot tubs when using the patch; just in case nobody warned you..)
  • I also wear mine on my chest area, just below my collar bone. I alternate from right side to left side. One of my reasons is the same as JWM - it's an area of my skin that stays flat and doesn't move. The second reason is that my physician said that hot tub sessions as part of my physical therapy were fine, as long as the patch wasn't submerged. Putting it on my upper chest keeps it out of the water.

    As far as the patches falling off, I think I must have special skin or something. I spend ~8 hours a week exercising (submersed up to my neck) in a heated pool as part of my therapy, and after each pool session I spend 15 minutes in the hot tub (submerged to my bra line). I've never had a patch fall off or needed tape to hold it in place correctly. I guess it's just willing to stick with me through anything. =))

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  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    Hi,and welcome to S.H. The doc. said the best place for absorption was a fatty area. the problem with that is most fatty areas either stretch, and the patch won't stretch with you. Or the fold or crease and that loosens the patch also. I used the patch for about 2 years and put them on my shoulders alternating the shoulder and the shoulder height. I never had one come off.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Thank You, my DO told me not to put them above my heart for some reason, any thoughts?
  • Does anyone else have trouble with them not lasting the full two days? Or working really well for one day and then the next time you put one on it doesn't work quit as well and there is a lot of B/T pain?
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  • I think how long they last depends in part on how they fit in your overall pain management regemin. I change my patch every 3 days and I don't normally have problems with them losing effectiveness. However, I have noticed the effect wanes and I require much more breakthrough medication when I'm not eating properly and/or when I take days off from my therapy/exercise routine.
  • I was just prescribed Duragesic 25mcg/hr patch, I bought the generic (I dont know if that makes any difference) And I am supposed to change it every 72 hours. Prior to this, I was taking 20mg of percocet every 4 hours(while awake). I still have the percocet for breakthrough pain. I put that patch on as instructed by the paper that came with them. its been 3 days, I have used two patches (not at the same time ofcourse) and I have felt withdrawal symptoms even while taking my percocet for breakthrough pain. I dont know if this is the right thread to discuss this in, but has anyone else had this problem? I called my doc, and he said that it can take up to a week for it to start working.. How could that be possible with a medication so strong?
  • It sounds like you are doing the right thing putting them high on back or shoulder back. You could tape plastic bag over the patch to keep it dry. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Fentanyl withdrawal is the worst thing I have experienced in my entire life, without a doubt.
  • I agree on he withdrawals. It is horrible. I just switched from 50mg to 25mg and i am having difficulties. Im not sure if its because the weather is so hot and the patch is wearing out quickly, or if im having withdrawal from cutting my dose in half, or what the problem is. things worked really well at 50 mg. 25 not so much. and considering how much the meds cost, i cant really afford to try much else. so i guess im not really helping with this thread. I usually wear my patches on my ribs. no one said anything to me about where i should wear them. i probably should have asked. maybe ill try a new spot and see if it works better.
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