How to administer fentanyl through Transdermal route

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl can be applied to the skin and absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream by a medication patch. This route allows medication to be released slowly and constantly, rather than in a large, single dose. Patches are simply placed on the skin, worn for a prescribed period of time, removed, and replaced with a new patch.

  • The Fentanyl Patch can be worn for 72 hours.
  • When the patch is finished, remove it from the skin and fold it in half so it sticks to itself and flush down the toilet.
  • Use a different part of the body each time you use a new patch (if possible).
  • If the patch falls off replace with a new one.
  • If more than one patch is prescribed the edges of the patches should not overlap or touch. 


  • Fentanyl Patch
  • Wash cloth and water
  • Tegaderm (if applying half of a patch – only applicable for Fentanyl Patches) 


Preparing the skin and placing a patch

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Remove old patch (if applicable) by gently peeling up the sides. Fold the patch in half so it sticks to itself and flush down the toilet.
  3. Wash your hands.
  4. Select the area of skin to apply the patch. Rotate the site (ex: choose a new area of skin to place the patch than its previous location). *DO NOT place over broken or irritated skin*
  5. Wash the area with water and pat dry – do NOT use soaps to clean the skin. Ensure there are no lotions, oils or powders on or near the area of application.
  6. Carefully open the packaging – avoid using scissors if possible.
    *NEVER use a patch that has been cut or damaged*
  7. Remove the protective liner. Be sure not to touch the sticky part of the patch.
  8. Press the patch firmly down with the palm of your hand for 30 seconds and then go around the edges with your fingers to press them on to the skin. Make sure the patch is flat against the skin.
  9. Wash your hands.

If applying half of a patch:

  1. Place a Tegaderm onto the skin where the patch will be applied.
  2. 2. Remove protective liner from patch and place half of the patch directly on the skin and the other half over the Tegaderm.

If applying more than one patch:

  1. You can place patches in the same area.
  2. Ensure that there is space between the patches and that the edges DO NOT overlap or touch.
  3. Apply patches at the same time so there is no confusion about which patch to change after 72 hours.

Safety measures to consider

At high temperatures, more fentanyl can be released from the patch. Avoid exposing the area to external heating sources such as heating pads, electric blankets or hot water bottles.

This medicine should be thrown out when your child no longer needs it or if the medicine is expired. Remove the patch from the pouch, remove the liner. Fold in half. Flush the folded patch down the toilet. Make sure children and pets do not come in contact with disposed patches.

If you have any questions, please call Canuck Place: 604-742-3475

How to administer fentanyl through Transdermal route pdf 114.48 kb