Medications and Drugs
Brand Names: Abstral, Subsys
Generic Name: fentanyl (sublingual) (Pronunciation: FEN tan il sub LIN gwal)
What is fentanyl sublingual (Abstral, Subsys)?
Fentanyl sublingual (under the tongue) is an opioid pain medication. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic.
Fentanyl sublingual tablets (Abstral) and sublingual spray (Subsys) are used to treat "breakthrough" cancer pain. Fentanyl sublingual is taken together with other non-fentanyl narcotic pain medicine that is used around the clock. This medication is not for treating pain that is not cancer-related, such as pain from surgery or dental work, migraine headaches, or back pain.
Fentanyl sublingual may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What are the possible side effects of fentanyl (Abstral, Subsys)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using fentanyl and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
Less serious side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is the most important information I should know about fentanyl (Abstral, Subsys)?
Do not use this medication to replace any other form of fentanyl, such as Actiq, Fentora, Onsolis, Duragesic, Lazanda, or generic brands of fentanyl (injection, skin patch, dissolving film, or "lollipop" device).
Before taking fentanyl, tell your doctor if you have a breathing disorder (asthma, wheezing, COPD), slow heartbeats, seizures, mental illness, low blood pressure, liver or kidney disease, a debilitating condition, or a history of head injury, brain tumor, or addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Tell your doctor if there are children living in the home where you will store this medicine. Keep fentanyl out of the reach of children. The amount of fentanyl in each Abstral tablet or Subsys spray unit can be fatal to a child.
Never share fentanyl with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Pain Management Resources
- Early Care for Your Premature Baby
- What to Eat When You Have Cancer
- When to Take More Pain Medication