FDA Releases New Resources, Guidance on Fentanyl Patch Disposal

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated its guidance on fentanyl patch disposal and created new online resources as part of its “Safe Use Initiative.” FDA’s guidance recommends that for all used fentanyl patches, upon removal from the skin, “the adhesive side of the patch should be folded together and then the patch should be flushed down the toilet.” This advice is consistent with that from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which raised concerns about used fentanyl-patch disposal in a November 2012 memo to state survey agencies. Both agencies have highlighted concerns about the potential for accidental exposure and overdose from used patches, particularly for young children. Additionally, the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy requires the destruction of used fentanyl patches to be documented and witnessed to avoid any potential for diversion.

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