Ep 430 - Fentanyl Patches – Another Look: “I Have a Client Who . . .” Pathology Conversations with Ruth Werner

Image of a person getting bodywork to their lower back.

A client uses fentanyl patches to manage chronic pain from a back injury. What kind of risk does this present to the therapist? And, if we’re not careful, the bigger risk might be to the client. Check it out on this episode of “I Have a Client Who . . .” with Ruth Werner.


Cai, B., Engqvist, H. and Bredenberg, S. (2015) ‘Development and evaluation of a tampering resistant transdermal fentanyl patch’, International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 488(1), pp. 102–107. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2015.04.061.

Commissioner, O. of the (2023) ‘Accidental Exposures to Fentanyl Patches Continue to Be Deadly to Children’, FDA [Preprint]. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/accidental-exposures-fentanyl-patches-continue-be-deadly-children (Accessed: 4 April 2024).

‘Drug Overdoses - Data Details’ (no date) Injury Facts. Available at: https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/home-and-community/safety-topics/drugoverdoses/data-details/ (Accessed: 4 April 2024).

Duragesic Transdermal: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing - WebMD (no date). Available at: https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-14008/duragesic-transdermal/details (Accessed: 4 April 2024).

Ep 186 – Fentanyl Patches: “I Have a Client Who . . .” Pathology Conversations with Ruth Werner (2022) Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals. Available at: https://www.abmp.com/podcasts/ep-186-fentanyl-patches-i-have-client-who-pathology-conversations-ruth-werner (Accessed: 4 April 2024).

Equity--OS-OPAE--1600, O. of P.A. and (no date) Fentanyl Exposure in Public Places | Washington State Department of Health. Available at: https://doh.wa.gov/community-and-environment/opioids/fentanyl-exposure-public-places (Accessed: 4 April 2024).

Fentanyl Facts (2024). Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/fentanyl/index.html (Accessed: 4 April 2024).

Khan, S. and Sharman, T. (2024) ‘Transdermal Medications’, in StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK556035/ (Accessed: 4 April 2024).

Kim, T.S. et al. (2015) ‘Comparison of adhesion and dissolution of fentanyl patches: Fentadur® and Durogesic DTrans®’, Journal of Pharmaceutical Investigation, 45(5), pp. 475–480. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40005-015-0195-y.

Mann, B., News, A.P.-K.H. and Bebinger, M. (2023) ‘In 2023 fentanyl overdoses ravaged the U.S. and fueled a new culture war fight’, NPR, 28 December. Available at: https://www.npr.org/2023/12/28/1220881380/overdose-fentanyl-drugs-addiction (Accessed: 4 April 2024).

Overdose (no date) Drug Policy Alliance. Available at: https://drugpolicy.org/overdose/ (Accessed: 5 April 2024).

Prausnitz, M.R. and Langer, R. (2008) ‘Transdermal drug delivery’, Nature Biotechnology, 26(11), pp. 1261–1268. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1038/nbt.1504.

Shearn, I.T. (2023) Fentanyl myth: Police cry overdose, facts prove otherwise, NJ Spotlight News. Available at: https://www.njspotlightnews.org/special-report/fentanyl-myth-police-cry-overdose-facts-prove-otherwise/ (Accessed: 5 April 2024).

Using Skin Patch Medicines Safely (no date). Available at: https://www.poison.org/articles/using-skin-patch-medicines-safely (Accessed: 4 April 2024).

Wong, W.F. et al. (2023) ‘Recent Advancement of Medical Patch for Transdermal Drug Delivery’, Medicina, 59(4), p. 778. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59040778.

Author Images: 
Author Bio: 

Ruth Werner is a former massage therapist, a writer, and an NCBTMB-approved continuing education provider. She wrote A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology, now in its seventh edition, which is used in massage schools worldwide. Werner is also a long-time Massage & Bodywork columnist, most notably of the Pathology Perspectives column. Werner is also ABMP’s partner on Pocket Pathology, a web-based app and quick reference program that puts key information for nearly 200 common pathologies at your fingertips. Werner’s books are available at www.booksofdiscovery.com. And more information about her is available at www.ruthwerner.com.   



Books of Discovery: www.booksofdiscovery.com

Anatomy Trains: www.anatomytrains.com

Elements Massage: www.elementsmassage.com/abmp

Upledger: www.upledger.com


Anatomy Trains is a global leader in online anatomy education and also provides in-classroom certification programs for structural integration in the US, Canada, Australia, Europe, Japan, and China, as well as fresh-tissue cadaver dissection labs and weekend courses. The work of Anatomy Trains originated with founder Tom Myers, who mapped the human body into 13 myofascial meridians in his original book, currently in its fourth edition and translated into 12 languages. The principles of Anatomy Trains are used by osteopaths, physical therapists, bodyworkers, massage therapists, personal trainers, yoga, Pilates, Gyrotonics, and other body-minded manual therapists and movement professionals. Anatomy Trains inspires these practitioners to work with holistic anatomy in treating system-wide patterns to provide improved client outcomes in terms of structure and function.             

Website: anatomytrains.com              

Email: info@anatomytrains.com          

Facebook: facebook.com/AnatomyTrains         

Instagram: www.instagram.com/anatomytrainsofficial

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2g6TOEFrX4b-CigknssKHA  


Founded by a massage therapist for massage therapists, the Elements Massage brand is a network of independently-owned and operated studios dedicated to changing lives--including yours!  The Elements Massage brand believes massage therapists deserve a supportive team, business and marketing resources, and the chance to learn as much as they want, so many Elements Massage studios offer and reimburse continuing education on an ongoing basis. It's no surprise Elements Massage therapist and client satisfaction leads the industry. That's because from day one, the brand has kept an unmatched commitment to deliver the best therapeutic massage experiences possible for both clients and massage therapists. Elements Massage studios expects the best. So should you. If this sounds like a fit, reach out. Studios are  hiring! 

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Each Elements Massage® studio is independently owned and operated. Franchise owners (or their designated hiring managers) are solely responsible for all employment and personnel decisions and matters regarding their independently owned and operated studios, including hiring, direction, training, supervision, discipline, discharge, compensation (e.g., wage practices and tax withholding and reporting requirements), and termination of employment. Elements Therapeutic Massage, LLC (ETM) is not involved in, and is not responsible for, employment and personnel matters and decisions made by any franchise owner. All individuals hired by franchise owners’ studios are their employees, not those of ETM. Benefits vary by independently owned and operated Elements Massage® studios. Elements Massage® and Elements Massage + design are registered trademarks owned by ETM.


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