Pain patches could be deadly if not taken correctly - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Pain patches could be deadly if not taken correctly

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - If you're experiencing chronic pain, the doctor may prescribe you fentanyl patches.

"It's a potent pain medication that is put in a patch form and it's formulated to release slowly, usually over a period of two to three days," said Jordan Morrison, Pharmacist for Access Pharmacy.

Morrison says it gives patients more freedom to use the patches than to take a pill.

"It allows a patient to have a good bas line amount of pain medication. They don’t have to think about taking it at a certain time or eating it with or without food," said Morrison.

However, when not used correctly, this patch that is considered convenient can turn deadly.

"If you do anything that takes out all of the drug at once, you've effectively done about 3 days’ worth of dose at one time," said Morrison. "It could shut down your respiratory system you can't breathe, you wind up suffocating."

You're not the only one at risk, he says the patches need to be discarded by folding the sticky sides together and then flushing it down the toilet to keep other hands and paws away from it.

"If a small child got it and licked it or a pet got it a chewed it up then you've ingested a large dose of medicine," said Morrison.

Morrison tells Channel 3 there isn't a magic number when it comes to the dosage before it could be deadly, especially if they aren't using it for medical purposes.  

"If they did something like chew it up, that could potentially kill anybody," said Morrison.

He says it's just like any other opioid.

"If any of them are used improperly, you can have serious problems," said Morrison.

Morrison says there are variables involved to find out if the patches are a good option for each patient.

He also adds that if you are already using the patches to make sure you don't get any heat sources too close to it. He tells Channel 3 that could increase the transfer of the medicine and could be dangerous.

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