Duragesic, fentanyl, Ionsys
Duragesic is a patch used in chronic pain management. Duragesic contains a high concentration of potent fentanyl.
Fentanyl, a painkiller 80 times more potent than morphine, was introduced into medical practice in the 1960s as an intravenous anesthetic under the trade name of Sublimaze.
Duragesic is indicated for management of persistent, moderate/severe chronic pain.
Illicit use of Duragesic first appeared in the mid-1970s in the medical community and continues to be a problem in the US.
It is abused using damaged or cut patches which can lead to rapid release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose of fentanyl.
The biological effects are indistinguishable from heroin, with the exception that fentanyls may be hundreds of times more potent.
Fentanyls are most commonly used by intravenous administration, but like heroin, they may also be smoked or snorted.