The Flush List – Proper Disposal of fentanyl patches

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Safe Use Initiative has updated their webpage to include consumer articles, educational videos, and an updated Flush List — a list of all medicines that the FDA recommends disposal by flushing down the toilet because of safety concerns. Used fentanyl patches contain enough residual medicine to harm or kill children and pets. The FDA is working to increase public knowledge about how to safely use, store, and dispose of fentanyl patches. What people don’t know about these patches continues to harm the ones they love and care for. Keeping unused and used fentanyl patches out of the sight and reach of children can save lives. The fentanyl patch is one of a small number of potent medications that, if accidentally or inappropriately used, can be fatal in just a single dose. New patches contain a 3‐day supply of fentanyl. Used patches still contain enough fentanyl to harm or cause death in a child. From 1997 to 2012, there have been 26 reported cases of accidental fentanyl patch poisonings in young children. Ten of these children died. These poisonings have occurred at home as well as in healthcare settings where children have accompanied adults to visit patients. It is extremely important that only patients prescribed fentanyl patches (or their caregivers) have access to the patches and that used patches are disposed of safely.