Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Friday, December 05, 2008 larowe, Community Member, asks

Q: how long does it take for a fentanyl patch to work

how long does it take for fentanyl patch to work. I have never used this pain medication before. I am taking hydrocodone now this has been added. I havent put it on yet. What can I expect

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Answers (9)
Cort, Health Guide
12/ 5/08 10:43pm

The FDA has a great webpage on Fentanyl patches. There really is quite alot you should be aware of - theres alot of pain reliever packed into those patches and you don't want to much to come out too fast. You shouldn't therefore apply them to damaged skin, shouldn't put a heating pad anywhere near them, shouldn't have two of them on at once, etc. 


The FDA page states it can take as long as 12-18 hours for the first patch to work but please do check out the complete page. Good luck with the patch.



Neva, Community Member
5/18/10 11:58am

In response to the FDA length of time it takes before the Fentanyl Patch to work, they say 12-18 hours.  I started with the Fentanyl Patch on May 13, 2010, it is now May 18, 2010, I have changed 3 total since then, I have had no pain relief at all.  I am in worse pain now that before I started taking the patch.  I called the Pain Management Doctor that prescribed it to me and told his nurse that it wasn't working for me, she tells me that it usually takes up to a week before it starts working, still nothing but pain.  I call back and the doctor says he won't see me until my next appt.  Which isn't until June 10, 2010.  Some Pain Management Doctor HUH?????????

I would like some kind of information on this if anyone has any at all, please respond to this.   Thanks,  N. E. in Alabama

mommabird2000, Community Member
12/ 6/08 9:55am

I can't remember how long it took, but just wanted to pass along this, BE SURE NOT TO PUT PATCH ON UPSIDE DOWN!!! meaning med side up, I had awful problems keeping my patches on, I was able to get some patch covers (clear adhesive that went over patch to keep it on) free from some med supply (sorry do not remember who) anyway one day I took it off to take a bath and after when I put it back on  it had somehow flipped over, later that day (within hours) I started going through withdrawl, which was terrible, when I figured out what had happened it took a while before it kicked back in.


I then started weaning myself off and had Dr. change meds, never again will I use any pain meds that I could risk going through that again, that quickly.


I now have learned to stagger when I take my meds (now morphine) over the years so that even if I miss a whole day or longer, I do not go through withdrawl at all, course pain is still there, but no freaky scary withdrawl!!! Hope this helps.

BrwnEydPrtyGrl, Community Member
9/24/09 10:57pm

Hi there my name is Jennifer and my mother has esophogeal (throat) cancer so she is taking a lot of pain meds (120mg Oxycontin 2x per day and 60 mg Morphine Sulfate IR every 3 hours) I was looking something up for a friend when I saw your comment stating that you stagger your meds so you have no withdraw symptoms when you are without them and I was wondering if you might share with me the details of this technique so I could ask my moms doctor if this would work for her.    Thank You very much, Jennifer

Robert Veilleux, Community Member
4/ 3/11 11:12pm

Pain meds have a huge effect on kdneys and liver.  There is a non narcotic patch called lidoderm 05.% effective 12 hours very little toxity. less effective with humidity, oily skin

best time to use is after showering if necessary to keep this 3X3 (approximate patch)

in place there is a special tape called medipore by 3 m you can utilize to protect.  This tape leaves no marks, no irration and patch has no or very little toxity, is not a narcotic and

not addictive.  If it is to large it can be cut before utilizing to maximize usage.

remember 12 hours on and 12 hours nothing.

Good luck


hurting36, Community Member
12/ 8/08 9:07am

I just recently switched from the patch, just had problems with them sticking. I recommend whoever the manufacturer of your patch is (I suggest Mylan, they are flat stick fairly well on their own), that you call them immediately, and have them send you free of charge cover patches that go over the original. They are clear, and will save you days of headaches! Because if you are active at all, I almost guarrantee the patch will not stay on the full 72 hrs, or whatever time frame youre on. The edges will start coming off first then you start wanting to rub it etc,etc. Its just a hassle. But the Mylan patch is flat, no reservoir, seemed to be better for me. Another piece of advice, I have never had any problems with constipation, until I statred the patches. And I dont mean just uncomfortable, I mean total blockage, so you better plan on some some of stool softener/laxative! I wish you luck, and hope I didnt scare you, any questions just send me a personal message, and I would be glad to answer any questions I can.

Robert Veilleux, Community Member
4/ 3/11 11:04pm

I havefound with any tyoe if atch humidility, oil,creams will cause less effectiveness.  There is a lidoderm 05.% patch non narcotic that is effective for most people in most areas.  The best aspect there is no narcotic and extremely effective for most. it is a about a 3/X3

size patch it can even be cut if it isw to large.  If you have trouble with either sticking  you

can use a special tape called medipore manfuctured by 3M that leaves no marks, irration and can help keep ANY p[atch in place and NOT reduce effectiveness..  The lidorm is 12 hours on and 12 hour nothing, concept is use when pain is at greatest.  I do not know

if you have a method to ask further questions.  I will furnish my personal e-mail address

please remove it from this respone if possible and be more than happy to assist.

I hope this little info helps.


good luck,


P.S. I have spentthe last 10 years working in pain management natural and narcotic rotating products does makes products more effective. I would also add I am not a MD or medical practioner just 45 years of pain problems from military days

mick m, Community Member
2/27/14 3:03pm

allkare (protective barrier wipes), the company's name is convatec. i call them glue wipes and there about 24$, for 100 wipes.


these come in little square packages about the size of a little alcohol wipe and are not expensive. i have no idea how these "glue wipes" work,as they are not sticky after it dries,yet if you put a patch on afterwards it sticks extremely not use it where you have hair,unless you enjoy hot wax hair removal,cause after the wipes are used, the patch is difficult to remove.


not one of my 7 doctors knew about them, because you don't need a script for them. it is still pretty sad for the lack of knowledge. i found out about them when i saw my hairdresser wearing the patch. these wipes work so well that you could even use the patches when you sweat a lot.


please pass this info around, so it can help others, as i have had the patches for years before i found this product. i can not believe these Dr's don't know about them,because this dramatically helps a patient that were prescribed these medical patches by jackass Dr's.

Kiviana, Community Member
1/25/09 10:53pm

My first patch started working in eight hours. If I go one day without it I start going through withdrawls, my arms muscles start to hurt and throb, I have rapid or slow heartbeat depending on my body chemistry that day. So if you have a cell phone where you can record dates I would set it up to remind me three times every three days its time for a new patch. Your body can tell, but sometimes you can still forget especially if its your first time withdrawing. After you start to withdraw you will have to wait several hours after the new patch is on for it to start working. About two hours, for me on bad days.


I do not recomend taking them off to shower or take a bath, hot tub, etc. They are made to stay on through that, so you shouldn't have to worry. Sometimes they do come off if your cloths catch them just right, so check every couple hours that you have yours on still. Your body should tell you, but I check every time I go to the restroom just in case. Otherwise you may stat having problems. If they come off, do not open another one, just use medical tape, vet tape, or clear medicine adhesive patches (like the ones the other reader mentioned) and put them on over them.


Oh if you get the clear ones don't play with the jelly too much. I am not sure it makes a difference, but I did play with one and I started having slight overdose symptoms, so best not to play around.

I know I gave you more then your answer but I hope it helps anyway. Good luck!

D HYATT, Community Member
7/18/09 1:07pm


hunnybean6, Community Member
5/ 7/09 2:13pm

you should feel the patch within one hour and yes he hydro's will be taken with this

Michelle, Community Member
9/ 2/09 6:19pm

I used the patch for the first time and it began working in about 3 hours, but watch out for headache, take or keep a tylenol handy as you may get a rebound headache as soon as the meds to start working. (rebound headache is when your body isnt used to the meds and its telling you there's too much going in at once. Tylenol helps take care of that.) I have patients that have patches that dont work for 6-8 hours, i guess it just depends on your body.


Question: where can you get the clear adhesive patches to go over the fentanyl patch? I cant find them, and i do have problems with mine coming off- i dont wear the jelly ones anymore because they dont stick- the flat smaller ones are better, but sometimes come off too.  thanks

Meow, Community Member
12/18/09 4:02am

CVS has a cover patch for the small ones called a Suresite Window. It works great and never comes off.


Anyway good luck.



louis, Community Member
11/ 1/10 12:02pm

Any good drug store will keep you supplied bioclusive transparent dressing.Let them know if they don't you will take your prescription to another store.Ten patches cost about 1000$. Walgreens shows how much you insurance saves you so that dollar amount will get you the covers free.

Fentanyl100, Community Member
3/13/12 4:10pm

I wear a gel filled 100mcg patch.  As you probably know, the greater the mcg, the larger the patch.  When I first started wearing the patch I had a lot of problems keeping them on (especially when I increased to 100mcg), even though they are supposed to be water resistant.  To make a long story short, they would NOT stay on for 72 hrs. 


My brother is a diabetic and wears an insulin pump.  In case you don't know anything about them they work like a tiny IV pump.  The little needle has to be covered to keep it from coming out.  So, when my brother heard my complaint, he gave me some a box of these clear dressings he had. Now they're not very big (it takes 4 of them to cover a 100 mcg patch, but they are wonderful.  They are very thin, flexible and comfortable.  I can't even tell I'm wearing them. 


My advice to you would be to go to your pharmacy and ask for these.  I'm sure they make a larger size.  These are 6cm X 7cm (2 3/8 in X 2 3/4 in).  The makers of these are "Smith & Nephew".  They are called "IV 3000 1 Hand" (I also hear that 3M makes them).  It is my understanding that your pain doctor can give you an Rx for these and your insurance will pay for them.  If not I also understand that since these patches are so expensive and the Pharmacists profit so much from them, they will give them to you for free.  If not, I would tell another Pharmacy that you are considering xferring your prescription there if they will supply you with clear dressing.  They should not hesitate giving it will only cost them a few dollars to fill a $500 Rx.  Hope this helps you in some way.

dan shoemaker, Community Member
8/14/10 12:14am

well it takes the patch 24 hrs to kick in, they started me off on 50 then they put it at 100mcg, i don't think they help as much of the oxycodone 30mg ir i take-

louis, Community Member
12/ 5/10 10:35pm

You should see pain relief within the first eight hrs.I Find that the first twenty four hrs I have a hard time going to sleep.So you might apply your patch right before bedtime.Your first patch might be applied in the morning so you can monitor your breathing.If you are taking breakthrough meds you also can watch for over medicating cold hands or feet,or any trouble with your breathing.Hope this helps, as for my experience this medication has been a godsend.

Robt in De, Community Member
4/ 6/12 2:58pm

I have been on oxycodone 15mg for 10 months. I was taking 1 every 4 1/2 hours. My pain makes me sick and I just wish I could bend & make it crack. The pain level has been a constant 8 or 9 (based on a 1-10 scale ten being more painful) for many months now. I thought they would change me to a stronger oxycodone.What they did was knock me down to (4) 15mg oxycodone. They also added this 12mcg Fentanyl patch thing. I put this on yesterday about noon, it is now 3 P.M. the next day. (so 27 hours) I have felt absolutley no relief in my pain levels. The pain is so bad I am about to go to the ER. Because I simply cannot deal with this pain at all. Hell prisoners should just have to go through whats going on with me & my pain. I swear they would NEVER EVER commit another crime as long as they live. My pain is so bad I feel God is punishing me!

Sammiesmile, Community Member
3/18/13 12:47am
Wow, I say the same thing. "The pain is so bad that God is punishing me!" I'm in a lot of post operative cancer surgery pain. For cancer patients they throw the whole pharmacy at you. I've been on 30 mg Oxycodone ir. every five hours for about two years, one new pain doctor, thankfully, put me on the 25 mcg. fentynal patch. After titration I'm now at 75 mcg. 72 hrs. And the same Oxycodone, I'll take as needed maybe 8 - 10 hours apart as needed. BE VERY CAREFUL !!! Over dose on the patch is very easy and you could die...a new patch will take from 8 - 10 hours to start working, some people up to 12. Use the breakthrough meds. for the time left in between. That's all they are meant for. I am lucky to still be around. I have overdosed three times to learn that and it's not fun!!! Your heart starts to pound and you might start to feel nausea, sweating, anxiety, and Of course the rapid heart beat. Not nice at all!!! It's important to just keep a close eye on how often you take and how much your taking. Write it down and keep a log just in case. People die all the time from accidental overdose. And also, you'll always have to deal with some pain, the meds are never going to work 100%. You'll just have to live with a certain amount always. Take Care... Reply
Sammiesmile, Community Member
3/18/13 12:55am
Oh, and the makers of the patch (like Mylan) would send you free bandage/covers for their patches. Usually their email or phone number is on the box. Take care. Reply
moe, Community Member
2/14/14 4:15pm

Normally I've been using Fentenal 50 and they last aboUT 52 hrs, if they remain stuck to my arm like it was designed. If I slip up through,  it will make the between 5&6 hours for me to start feeling relief from the new patch. So that's not something that you want to do very often if you're in a lot of pain. I've been on for about 10 years now. 3 boxes are 15 packages will last me for a month depending on whether it's like 29 30 or 31 day month.  that allowed me enough to get back and see my doctor pick up my new script and if my pharmacy had to reorder the patches because they were out I usually have one or two spares to get me through until I got my new script so that works really well for me or at least it has.  Now that's not to say you're not going to have some breakthrough pain if you have a broke  back like I do. So I have some morphine sulfate 15 milligrams IR that I can take for breakthrough pain . For me the patches supply of baseline and the MSIR  take care of the break through pain.. Hope this helps someone. It took me a long time to get this formula figured out for me and every person it will probably be different names the thing you'll learn quick is the information on the insert or the back of the box,  is   .. that it states the time the patch  is supposed to work, it doesn't. Now that could be because the link the time I have been using them. When I first started with the patches, the box it indicated they would last 72 hours which was crazy.


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By larowe, Community Member— Last Modified: 02/27/14, First Published: 12/05/08