Fentanyl Patches and Hot Weather
For those of us who wear fentanyl patches, regardless of the brand, this is a critical time of the year. The unrelenting hot weather can cause the patch to release more medication than we need, and it can knock you out.
Here are a few tips from my primary physician who prescribes the patches for me. First, wear loose fitting clothing -preferably cotton - over the area where the patch is applied. If you can avoid using overlays due to adhesion problems, do so. Overlays, while being micro thin, stop a certain amount of heat transfer, so your patch will be warmer. If you don't have air conditioning, use a fan and have the air movement going across the area of the patch. This helps dissipate heat quickly. Be sure to remove the patch if the skin under it develops heat sores or any rash. Those allow more fentanyl into your system.
If you feel overly groggy, remove the patch and call your doctor. I was heavily sedated for a few days, thinking I was just over tired. Turns out I was getting too much fentanyl because I was hot and sweaty. I took the patch off, and with in two hours, I was out of the fog.
It's also important to switch sites often. If you wear the patch on the same site over and over, you're likely to run into problems. Most importantly, drink plenty of fluids during hot weather. This is for everyone - not just people who wear the patch. If you become dehydrated, fentanyl can become dangerous. Drink water often so avoid that. Cola, tea and coffee aren't the best choice - water is recommended.