Patients should wash their hands before and after touching a patch to avoid contaminating the drug and to keep the drug from being applied to an unsafe area such as the eyes or mouth.
Pain-relief patches should only be used on skin that is not broken, cut or scraped. In some cases, a patch can cause irritation, blisters or a burning sensation where it is applied. These adverse effects are usually mild and go away after a few hours.
Problems have been reported with the use of patches that have been cut to apply a smaller dose of the drug. Patches should not be cut, and patients should not use a pain-relief patch that has been cut, torn, or damaged unless directed to do so by their physician.
Like all medicines, patches should be stored away from children and pets. The best way to dispose of a patch is to fold it in half so the adhesive side sticks to itself. A used patch should be thrown away where children and pets cannot come into contact with it.