Duragesic patches have a serious issue with accidental exposure, especially when it comes to young children who might not know what the drug is for. It is important to take steps to protect your loved ones from being exposed to this medication.
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Accidental Exposures Involving Duragesic
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there is a high risk of accidental exposure when it comes to the Duragesic patch. The drug, unlike most opioids, which are usually tablets and sealed in childproof containers, is administered through a transdermal patch, which “young children and pets can easily remove” from “household trash.” This leads to a high number of accidental exposure incidents, especially in these populations.
How Can I Protect Others Against Accidental Exposure?
Changes have been made to the patch and its packaging material to try and minimize the likelihood of this issue, but there are also steps you can take to protect yourself and others from accidental exposure.
- Keeping the patches, even when they are in their packaging, out of sight of those who do not need them can help prevent them being opened or used by children.
- Because children may think that these patches are temporary tattoos, stickers, or another type of toy, it is best to keep them somewhere out of reach and out of sight.
- Always make sure, after putting the patch on, that it does not fall off. You can put a bandage over the patch in order to make sure it stays on securely or you can simply check throughout the day to make sure that it has not left your body. Doing this will help ensure that the patch does not slip off somewhere where a pet or child could get ahold of it.
- Always dispose of the patch correctly and safely. Even if you have used it for the standard amount of time, it could still contain some of its medication after you remove it, which could potentially be absorbed by someone else.
- According to the National Library of Medicine, fentanyl drugs like Actiq (which contain the drug in a lozenge on a handle) must be disposed of in a garbage can that is not within a child or pet’s reach. The same can be said of the Duragesic patch.
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Making sure the drug is always accounted for whether it is in its packaging, on your body, or in the trash is absolutely essential to protecting others from accidental exposure. It can also help to talk to your children in order to make sure everyone understands that the drug is not a toy and if it is ever found somewhere it is not supposed to be, an adult should be told immediately. You can protect your loved ones from accidental exposure to Duragesic.
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