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Help! Fentanyl Pain Patches Side effects

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Chronic Pain
I need some advice on my Fentanyl Pain Patches and the side effects. Can anyone else out there on these patches let me know the side effects they are experiencing. Some of mine are bizarre and I need to know if anyone else is experiencing anything similiar.

thanks so much....
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Comments

  • you will be getting more replies soon. I have heard of people using them so I hope you'll get some answers soon. Sorry I cannot help, but have heard that many side effects lessen with time and use with most meds.

    Hang in there until you get answers but call your doctor if you get some bad side effects like swelling of body parts, hard to breath or rashes. Good luck!
  • The only real side effect I've suffered from the patches was the first time I had one applied. The ER doc put it on my chest and I had the most vivid nightmares for several days. When I filled the prescription I asked the pharmasist and he suggested that I change the location. No more nightmares. I've actually had less problems with the patches than any other pain med, long acting or breakthrough.

    What side effects are you having and how long have you been on the patch? Some brands can affect people differently as well and it can take time to adjust.

    Hope we can be of help,

    Griff
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,728
    Hi debfla, It's been quite some time ago but the mental mood changes were too much to bear. My pm doc. lowered the dose. But it still took 3 trys and eventually I could tolerate them.
    But in my opinion the doc. should not have been so insistent, one of the mood swings was suicidal thoughts. And there are just to many other drugs available to try. Rather than to take chances like that.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • I've been on 12 microgram Fentanyl patch for over a year - no side effects... except for the normal constipation & occasional nausea.
  • my husband has been on the patches for several months now. they seemed to help pain but recently he has gotten soooo ill and moody, mad at the world.. says he feels like he is about to blow up mentally.. He takes other meds too i hope the patches are causing this and he can come off them... He wants to get off them.. he goes to pm doc next week and we are hoping he will change this..
  • I, like Griff, had TERRIBLE and very vivid nightmares while on Fentanyl, but I was also in a real "daze" and never felt like I was ever very alert. I didn't have nasty mood swings, but I was extremely emotional while on it. I also found that Fentanyl didn't help with my pain enough to stay on it, so I eventually had to wean off it and went through 10 days of withdrawal h*ll!!

    One other thing worth mentioning is that if you have the patches anywhere that heat may have contact (i.e. heating pads), be VERY careful; I came close to overdosing when I fell asleep on a car trip with my heating pad on. Heat expedites the penetration of the drug into your system, so it can be dangerous.

    Tracy

  • As someone mentioned, what side effects are you experiencing?

    The stated possibilities are: Major side effects (more than 10% of patients) include diarrhea, nausea, constipation, dry mouth, somnolence, confusion, asthenia (weakness), and sweating; and, Less frequently (3 to 10% of patients), abdominal pain, headache, fatigue, anorexia and weight loss, dizziness, nervousness, hallucinations, anxiety, depression, flu-like symptoms, dyspepsia (indigestion), dyspnea (shortness of breath), hypoventilation, apnea, and urinary retention. Fentanyl use has also been associated with aphasia.Fentanyl patch has been associated with altered mental state leading to aggression in an anecdotal case report.

    After nearly 2 years of narcotic use (and 2 reconstructive spinal surgeries), I went to a Pain Management physician who started me on a 50 microgram patch. The only issue I had was in, approximately, the 11th hour following adherence of the patch. I felt a brief (60min.) euforia, with slight anxiety and increased heart rate and breathing. None of this was extreme, as it was only a slimmed down version of standard narcotic break-through symptoms.

    I had my 2nd reconstructive spinal surgery of 2008 on 12/30/08 (yes...just a few days ago) and they upped me to the 75 microgram patch. No side effects noticed.

    Again, more information would be helpful, but remember...Fentanyl is a powerful drug that has many potential effects. Not all people are "cut out" for such powerful narcotics. If you are in ANY WAY uncomfortable with your perceived side effects, talk to your physician immediately. What I would say is that it is likely you feel just fine after a couple of days with the patch.

    Best of luck to you.
    Mike
  • is this true?

    been a bit out of it since my brother died on the 18th of december. i couldn't even get a doctor to give me breakthrough meds so i could get on a flight.

    for some reason, he is okay with rxing 90 mg. of methadone plus 15 mg. of extended release morphine, but nothing a bit less hardcore. i don't get it. think it's just the city i live in.

    i was doing better on the oxycontin. weaned myself down to 120 mg. and now i am on methadone. that's scary. i don't want to be on methadone.

    and have no idea what is pain caused by brother dying and anxiety or normal pain.

    one doc gave me fentanyl but i had bad reaction with redness on skin. hurt too much no matter where i put the patch and insurance wouldn't cover the 15 per month, only
    ten.
    did they recall fentanyl?

    sorry for not being on much. death really got to me. so much that i didn't eat for 2 was, fainted, and was stuck in hospital with no pain meds for 10 hours. that sucked.

    i must be in worst city for pain mgt. too much abuse and the doctors are all scared to death.

    but prescribing 90 mg. of methadone for someone who would be fine on probably 90 mg. of oxycondone now seems ridiculous. i'm taking 30, but pain is not managed due to breakthrough and i don't want to take more than that.

    any info about fentanyl would be appreciated. i think it was my mother who said it was being recalled a few days ago.????
  • Hi there,
    I was on these for 2 years and didn't have much problems. Due to the rebound headaches I was getting on percocet and I was on about 40-50mg a day of perc, my neuro slapped my on a 50 mcg patch. OMG...that was WAY too much for me. I was falling to sleep sitting up. So, I called and they backed me up to 25 and it was much better. I even tried a 25+12=37 and it was to sedating (no pain though :) ).

    I got off about 3 months or so ago for my cerv DDD, but then turned around and herniated l5s1, so now I'm on oxy, but my hubby didn't want my back on the patch b/c he thinks I was too lethargic on them...I don't feel I was on the 25s. The think that's nice about them is the constant level of medicine. I did loose weight. I did not feel euphoric b/c the med stays constant, which I would think docs like for abuse potential. I really liked the patch. My hubby didn't know about the leakage chance though and saw it on the discovery channel AFTER I came off...he will never let me on them again. Just be careful NOT to cut them and if you get really sleepy, PLEASE take it off!! Some people go to sleep and don't wake b/c of it being too sedating. If you are used to narcotics, it's usually fine of course. Many docs give breakthru pain meds with it, mine did not. Obviously, it isn't for everyone, so if it isn't working, tell your doc. Good luck.
  • Hi there,
    I was on these for 2 years and didn't have much problems. Due to the rebound headaches I was getting on percocet and I was on about 40-50mg a day of perc, my neuro slapped my on a 50 mcg patch. OMG...that was WAY too much for me. I was falling to sleep sitting up. So, I called and they backed me up to 25 and it was much better. I even tried a 25+12=37 and it was to sedating (no pain though :) ).

    I got off about 3 months or so ago for my cerv DDD, but then turned around and herniated l5s1, so now I'm on oxy, but my hubby didn't want my back on the patch b/c he thinks I was too lethargic on them...I don't feel I was on the 25s. The think that's nice about them is the constant level of medicine. I did loose weight. I did not feel euphoric b/c the med stays constant, which I would think docs like for abuse potential. I really liked the patch. My hubby didn't know about the leakage chance though and saw it on the discovery channel AFTER I came off...he will never let me on them again. Just be careful NOT to cut them and if you get really sleepy, PLEASE take it off!! Some people go to sleep and don't wake b/c of it being too sedating. If you are used to narcotics, it's usually fine of course. Many docs give breakthru pain meds with it, mine did not. Obviously, it isn't for everyone, so if it isn't working, tell your doc. Good luck.
  • Gabriella, I'm sorry to hear about your brother and you and your family have my heartfelt condolences.

    Fentanyl patches haven't been taken off the market. I continue to fill mine like I do every month. I'm on 75 mcg and I change it every 2 days. Thankfully my insurance pays for 15 patches. Most plans have a quantity limit of 20; if you needed that much, you would be changing it every other day. 15 is faily common and insurance plans recognize that doctors write it for every 2 days as well. To me it's better because I don't have to deal with levels dropping off on Day 3 that would make me more uncomfortable. Some people metabolize it quicker than others and that's why docs do the 2 day schedule.
    If you put the patch on your belly, the side effects are minimal or gone altogether. The chest is the worst place to put it, because there is not a lot of fat cells there, and Fentanyl works better where there's more concentration.
    Yes, I occasionally have weird, vivid dreams. As long as it is not nightmares, I can deal with it. And every time my dose was titrated higher, I tolerated it very well.
    Make sure there is no heat source applied to it directly, and always keep from getting overheated.
    Fentanyl does not alter me in any way and I feel comfortable driving on it. But of course always exercise caution and be extra careful when you drive. Never forget that you are on a strong medication and always be responsible.
  • after first surgery, pain dr took me off oxy and put me on 100mg fenatyl patch. i changed every 3 days and at first use i went through withdrawl symptoms for a couple of days then the patches kicked in. when i sweated they would come off and i had vivid dreams. dr put me back on oxy and i use fenatyl suckers ,700 microgrms 4x's a day for breakthrough pain. i have had no problems with the suckers. i have them compounded at a special pharmacy. with insurance i pay $200 a month. the regular ones, atiq(sp) they are $500 a month. i like them. with the oxy and the suckers, pain is somewhat controlled. the problem with suckers is they taste real good and they also put in a ant constipation med which sometimes gives me diahrreah,sp. i don't like patches, oxy is best for me. but if you can try the suckers, they really help with breakthrough pain. i recommend for everyone the suckers. originally they were used for cancer patients, but they are used more for regular pain patients. there is a warning on box, for use only for opoid tolerant patients. if you take them and are not used to narcotics, you might have problems. take them only if you are used to narcotics and not for first time users
    jon
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • My pain clinic physician took me of 15 grms of mor-
    phine used 3 times a day because it simply was not
    helping with pain. She prescribed methodone that
    was the best pain reliever I ever had in all my years living with chronic pain - EXCEPT ONE BIG
    PROBLEM!!!! I began itching after 3 days of using
    this, including my eyes, and began to break out with
    rashes.

    She took me off the med and replaced it with Fentanyl 25MCG/HR pain patch. As the methodane, it
    works great, but the problem is I appear to be in
    a state of mind with the feeling of anxiety and
    dread.

    Will this wear off. This is my second patch worn
    72 hrs. before changing. She prescribed 5 patches
    in the event I could'nt tolerate it, and I acci-
    dently screwed the first patch up beyond use.

    Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    P.S.
    For some reason this patch reminds me of the times
    in my younger days when I smoked weed and got a
    similar anxiety feeling. Wonder it this patch
    doesn't make me a little horney unlike other meds
    that seemed to suppress that feeling. I guess time
    will tell. Thanks.
  • debfla said:
    I need some advice on my Fentanyl Pain Patches and the side effects. Can anyone else out there on these patches let me know the side effects they are experiencing. Some of mine are bizarre and I need to know if anyone else is experiencing anything similar.

    thanks so much....
    Hi! I was on these patches myself. Due to my pain right now, I will try to reply best I can, having lived this ordeal of a 10 year hell on the subject of never ending chronic pain and (narcotic) medications and their side effects. I am currently on quite a lot of narcotics, NSAIDS, etc and was on the "F" patch myself.

    The drug Fentanyl was once used, and may still be, as an anesthesia. ITS A VERY STRONG AND POTENTIALLY VERY DANGEROUS DRUG. It is used for severe pain, usually prescribed by pain management docs. I found after getting thru the horrible nausea that it worked really well and then suddenly, like you, had many bizzare reactions to it. Currently this patch is under review for safety and there have been ads on the TV about a class action suit against the makers of the Fentanyl patch for exactly what I went through, though I am not a part of that suit.

    I personally would never take that nor have a pain pump, regardless of the drug, put in my spine, a suggestion offered when I couldn't tolerate the Fentanyl Patch and almost had an OD due to too much pain med seeping from the patch into my system.(I will also not use ANY drug patch for that same reason now- it was really scary and bizarre.)

    I didn't see what your reactions were but I would strongly suggest that you talk to your prescribing doc about what you are experiencing and see if there is a drug you can take, preferably by mouth, so you always know what dose you are getting and so that you may have a better outcome with less side effects -especially "bizarre" ones as you stated.

    If your doc doesn't specialize in pain management, I would recommend you seek a pain management doctor, center or a Physiatrist(a doc that specializes in pain and rehabilitation) & discuss your situation with them.

    Also be careful with comparing your side effects with others because what may be mild for me may be deadly for you--so I think it's be better to list your effects and ask if anyone has experienced these same effects and what they'd advise but it is ALWAYS best to speak with the prescribing doc or call ANY pharmacy when you are experiencing them and ask what they would advise--which is what I had to do as I started to feel very sick, cold, and like I was dying at 3AM when I felt OK at 9 PM. When I called the Pharmacy-- and it was just one that was open not one I used, my skin was pale, my heart rate slow, my lips were so pale the y looked white. I called a friend and asked them to come by thinking I would end up in the hospital or die. The pharmacist was a HUGE help to me and after that day, I never used them again. I took them back to my pain doc to give to someone uninsured as they are very costly-at least then they were and since it is never good and is not only dangerous plus illegal to give the drugs away to others yourself, returning it to the prescribing doc was the best way to go and hopefully helped a fellow suffer who could tolerate the drug but couldn't afford it. I know some folks that are prescribed 2 patches at a time- I couldn't even get through 14 hours on one-- so everyone's different and therefore it's hard to use others reactions as a guideline for yourself.

    One issue about chronic pain that I have noticed is that doctors are either compassionate and will work with you to find the best treatment plan for you, typically combining medication and other modalities, sometimes it comes down to just medications. I found other doctors seem too scared or too judgmental to prescribe narcotics,or they over prescribe them, and tend to blame the patient as if they asked to be in severe pain. I have found more judgmental doctors in this realm, than compassionate ones and the ones willing to help and not scared to work with you-- will help you find the best possible relief, without judgment. These docs are a blessing and hard to find, so it may take a few tries to find a doctor you are comfortable with.I find trust and confidence in your doc, especially with the seriousness of pain meds, is crucial to good care. Also crucial is for you, the patient, to ask questions, tell your doc about all meds you take even if they seem totally unrelated(like synthroid or Xalatan, blood pressure meds, etc)so the doctor can try to find the most relief with the least side effects. Ask questions, do not allow the doc to rush you and never leave without understanding how a drug(s) works and the possible side effects. I do that with both the doc and then again with the pharmacist just to ensure I understand everything as best I can.

    Whatever the medication, if it is not working or causing strange effects- never alter the prescribed amount without talking to the doctor as this can cause serious and possibly life threatening issues. It is wise if on multiple meds to use a pill box with the days or create a system and if in doubt if you took something and can't count the pills to be sure - I will skip a dose instead of risking taking too much. I take Morphine and if I double it up, I'd put myself at risk for respiratory failure, especially if I take other narcotics with it-which I do. Fentanyl can also cause this to occur and is a very strong and dangerous medication. I can only take it (Fentanyl) as "Actiq" a 15 minute,"lollipop" that is short acting and requires a complex system for disposal since it can be highly toxic. They now will typically only prescribe Actiq to cancer patients in end stages for that very reason and because it's expensive and the insurance companies don't want to pay for it. If for medical reasons it's the only drug you an be on, see if it the dose can be adjusted and perhaps, if available, it'd be better to take it in a form other than a patch, if you can.

    There is a responsibility of both you and your physician to realize these pain drugs are necessary for so many that suffer, but they ALL come at a price and the better informed you are and the more open the dialogue with your doctor, the better your chances for not only better pain management but safer use of these drugs.

    Also, expect that no matter what the drug, each will come with some adverse effects and most likely none will make you pain free. Also with chronic and severe pain, there's typically not a euphoria so often folks think that means its not working-- that's not true, with chronic pain the reaction would be much different then a well person taking a narcotic for "recreation" vs. medical needs.

    I am not sure from your post if you are being brief or if you don't realize the seriousness of the drug you are taking and how trans-dermal meds work, or if it's too high a dose, or like me you just don't tolerate the drug well -- not a judgment at all -- I'm just not sure. It seems as if the doc just wrote the Rx and said "wear a patch for a week, change it on the seventh day, and see me in a month"-- if anything even close to that scenario occurred - you need a different doctor or a pain specialist if the doc isn't one. If that is not the case and my misinterpretation, my apologies.But I still stand by the other information I wrote.

    You may also need to try different meds or a combination of meds or a different patch, though as I wrote, I personally do not like patches for many reasons, mostly an uneven delivery of the drugs to ones system-that is why I went from "OK" to "OH MY GOD WHAT'S HAPPENING TO ME???!!!!" within hours when I used the "F" patch.

    I have been going thru chronic pain hell for 10 years now and have been through many combinations of meds until we found what works "best" for me, though they all come with a price. What the pain doesn't take from your life, the drugs will -- unless you fare better than I have--which I would hope you or anyone other fellow suffer.

    Your best bet, is a good, compassionate doc that listens and is a patient advocate. The next best thing is to understand how the drug(s) work, how they interact with other drugs you may be on as well as certain foods. Try to be well informed by the doctor, and again, the pharmacist and to do your own research so you can be as knowledgable as possible. While narcotics can be a great help, they are dangerous and you need to be your best advocate first and foremost.

    I am not a good typist and it's hard for me to sit and type this out as I feel the pain shoot through me as my legs are going numb while I try to type this out. I am sorry if I am redundant, but ultimately I hope you and perhaps others can find some value in my tens years of experience with this ordeal.

    I hope you will start to heal and feel better and eventually not need these meds, unfortunately, unless science and technology comes up with something that will help me, I do not see an end in sight for my situation. I hope that won't be the case for you or others who are suffering from 24/7 pain.

    I wish you better days ahead and in the meantime hope you can find a good doctor and medications that will work better for you than I am guessing the Fentanyl does. God Bless and best wishes!
    -Eliza

  • There is a class action suit against the manufacturers of Fentanyl due to safety issues, alleged over-doses and deaths caused by this drug from the patches releasing uncontrolled amounts, since it's a trans-dermal delivery system and sometimes it releases too little and other times too much causing many serious and life threatening adverse effects.

    RE: Methadone or any drug you do not want to take: Express your concern with the doctor regarding the Methadone or any drug you have issues with. If you were on something that worked for you before they may put you back on that-- if they won't ask them why-- they may have a valid concern and they may not. If they will not put you back on what you felt worked well for whatever the reason, then ask him to prescribe something other than methadone and explain all your feelings regarding your pain and meds with your doc.

    As mentioned on my original and first post to this site - it is essential for not only good health care but especially pain management to have GOOD, OPEN AND HONEST dialogue with your prescribing doctor.


    As for your not understanding why the pain is worse right now-- stress will increase pain and losing a sibling or someone you love and care for is extremely stressful, so the emotional pain, the lack of proper food and hydration, and the stress of the loss of your brother all factored into the increase in pain. Your doc may be concerned that your emotionally upset right now and may be prescribing how he feels is best in light of your physical and emotional state. I don't know...but with time you will be emotionally stronger and will be able to cope better.

    As for the methodone-- again you do not HAVE to take any drug that you don't want to-- but that doesn't mean you get to pick what you want to take due to the tough scrutiny pain management docs go through.

    It's not the state you live in-- it's a nation wide issue. Either docs won't prescribe pain meds, or judge patients on them if they are not pain management docs, or the pain meds help the patient and then they sue the only doc willing to prescribe pain meds to them -- even when it helped them...so from a docs point of view -- it's a hard job due to sue happy patients or crazy DEA laws and some state laws. For the pain suffering patient -- you get treated like an addict or a drug seeker even if you are totally compliant and don't abuse drugs.

    It's hard for both the docs willing to prescribe and the person suffering from pain....

    I know I have been thru a lot of hell and judgment and I never used drugs until I was butchered by a surgeon who got away with crippling me (he did the wrong surgery and then I had to do an emergency surgery because I bled into my back for 10 days,causing spinal cord compression since he left the OR to attend a cocktail party and left me with a resident not qualified to do the procedure, even if it was --and again, it was the wrong procedure and even after 2 attempts,the surgery was never done right nor was it ever completed but the spine was so damaged they couldn't do any more damage than they did.He libeled and slandered me,lied on my medical records,changed documents in my chart, "lost" damning proof from my chart, lied to my primary doctor (in writing) , lied to the insurance company, etc....and got away with ALL of it...and is still practicing today. A doc just out of med school would have been done -- this guy has so much clout, $$ and power and is well known, and has many connections. It's not always about whats fair, legal or right...or he wouldn't be practicing today. He's the Bernie Madoff of Medicine--except he's not in prison where he should be...or at least banned from Medicine since he's a burned out butcher.

    Yes--it cost me my life at 38, 10 years of pain hell, 10 years of heavy duty narcotics,when I never used drugs before, which (the drugs)have now caused me multiple other health problems,he damaged me so I had to learn to walk again & lost a job I loved, landed on disability, lost all my savings and ONLY by the grace of God, I am still here today, though I suffer a lot of pain even with the meds and paid a hell of a price to be medically abused and worse off than before the surgery...had I not lived my story, I wouldn't believe it myself...but I lived it and I live the aftermath, 24/7, with no end in sight and losing hope that I can't continue on this way.

    But he had the power, the $$$, the political pull...I was alone, without an advocate or the understanding of law and was busy trying to learn to walk and desperate not to be where I am now--disabled and not working.

    So no, it's not the doc--it's all the craziness in this area of medicine. Pain was only recognized as something that hospitals MUST adequately treat per the Joint Commission on Hospital Accrededation in 1997 or 1998 aprox- but it doesn't apply to private practices - just docs. So it's taken the medical community a long time to recognize the seriousness of pain and it's physical, emotional & spiritual effect on those who suffer.

    As for the methadone-- I am not sure why you don't want to take it but you need to explain that to your doc as I wrote above.

    I the meantime, hang in there and I am deeply sorry for all you are going through and the loss of your brother on top of of all you are suffering.

    Good luck with your doctor...be honest and talk it all out with him and I am sure he will work with you to get you back on track. I just saw this post is in reply to a post 7 months old -- but my wishes are still the same --I hope that 7 months later you are at least emotionally healing.
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