A Public Health Advisory has been issued by the FDA about the risk of skin burns from certain transdermal patches (medicated patches applied to the skin), as some of these medications may contain aluminum or other metal that could overheat during an MRI scan.
According to the advisory issued on March 5, 2009, more than 25 percent of the 60 available medication patches, including fentanyl pain patches and other over-the-counter skin patch products, may contain enough aluminum or other metals in their backing to conduct electricity and overheat during an MRI scan.
“The risk of undergoing an MRI scan while using a metallic pain patch has been well-established, but the FDA recently discovered that not all manufacturers include a safety warning with their patches,” says Dr. Janet Woodcock of the FDA.
The agency is reviewing labeling and composition of all medicated patches to ensure that those that are made with materials that contain metal provide a warning about the risk of burns to patients who wear them during an MRI.
Until the safety review is completed, the FDA advises patients who use medicated patches, which includes nicotine patches, to adhere to the following:
Inform doctors referring you for an MRI that you are using a patch and why (pain, hormones or smoking cessation)
You should inform the MRI facility during your appointment phone call and during the healthy history questions when you arrive for your appointment that you are using a patch.
Patients and health care professionals are urged to report possible cases of skin burns while wearing patches during an MRI scan to the FDA through their MedWatch program by phone (1-800-FDA-1088) or online: http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/index.html #