Signs and Symptoms: The manifestations of fentanyl overdosage are an extension of its pharmacologic actions, the most serious effect being respiratory depression.
Treatment: For management of respiratory depression, immediate countermeasures include removing the DUROGESIC patch and physically or verbally stimulating the patient. These actions can be followed by administration of a specific opioid antagonist such as naloxone. Respiratory depression following an overdose may outlast the duration of action of the opioid antagonist. The interval between IV antagonist doses should be carefully chosen because of the possibility of re-narcotization after the patch is removed; repeated administration or a continuous infusion of naloxone may be necessary. Reversal of the narcotic effect may result in acute onset of pain and release of catecholamines.
If the clinical situation warrants, a patent airway should be established and maintained, possibly with an oropharyngeal airway or endotracheal tube, and oxygen should be administered and respiration assisted or controlled, as appropriate. Adequate body temperature and fluid intake should be maintained.
If severe or persistent hypotension occurs, hypovolemia should be considered, and the condition should be managed with appropriate parenteral fluid therapy.