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Fentanyl Help

BIGGIsmallsBBIGGIsmalls Posts: 8
edited 04/22/2014 - 12:00 PM in Pain Medications
Hi everyone.

I'm new here so please excuse me if this is in the wrong section. I was put on fentanyl a couple of years ago for bad back. I was started out on 50 and I'm now on 75. It was working great but after a while it wasn't working as well. A friend told me to cut a piece and chew on it, the rest is history. I had no idea at the time how evil these things were. Now, I seem to have a very small piece in my mouth all day long. I use one 75 a day. I want to so very badly come off of this stuff but it's been the hardest thing I've ever tried to do in my life. Can anyone please help me by giving me their experience? If any others chewed the patch and got off, how did you do it? Any and all help would be appreciated. Thank you all.


  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 04/22/2014 - 11:59 AM
    I don't know why you would listen to someone who told you to abuse/misuse the medication. You are lucky that you are alive to tell the tale. Doing what you are doing is dangerous and often deadly.
    As for what you need to do, you need to have a frank, honest discussion with your doctor, and he can help you develop a tapering plan or put you on suboxone.
    Any medication, when used properly is going to lead to tolerance issues, which your doctor could have helped you with by changing the dosage or the medication that you were taking.
    I would strongly suggest that you start by putting the patch on, and leaving it on, and contacting your doctor for an appointment to discuss your options going forward. DO NOT put another piece of the patch in your mouth.

  • Thank you Sandy. I know I'm going to get some answers I don't like. And to be honest, I didn't think chewing such a small piece was that big of deal, I know I was wrong, but I have to try and move forward. I also know I need to just put it back on and leave it there, problem is, I just can't seem to leave it on? And when I do leave it one, I feel like I'm withdrawing? So, Im not sure how to go about this? But thank you for answering me.....:)
  • Also, my Dr doesn't want me off this stuff. I've explained to him I don't like it, but he says it's best I stay on it. I haven't told him I chew it, but I might tell him next appointment. He and I have a very good relationship, and I would feel horrible that I betrayed his trust.
  • I know and understand, but what you did could very well have been deadly......you may very well be experiencing some withdrawal since chewing the patch as you did released all of the fentanyl in that bit of the patch each time you did it....so you inundated your body with all of the fentanyl, many times over during the course of a day.....It might very well be uncomfortable for you for a few days, but the best advice that I can give you, is to have an honest discussion with your doctor. How are you not running out early every month, if you are chewing a patch a day? What are you doing when you do run out?
    I would strongly encourage you to put a patch on, and leave it on........it will hold off the worst of the withdrawal symptoms, and there are things you can do to ease the rest of the symptoms. Immodium helps with the diarrehea if you have it, and coke syrup available in pharmacies help with the stomach upset........gatorade and even pedialyte help with keeping the electrolytes in balance.......and melatonin helps with sleep.....
    The worst of withdrawal should be over in about 3 days, and toward the end of the third day, you should be feeling a little better.....
    Read the do's and don'ts of pain management at the bottom of my post.......
  • I'm sorry this has happened to you. Your friend gave you some terrible advice. You are going to need to come clean to your doctor. It's going to be hard, but I don't see any other option. As to what he will do, I don't know. I don't think he'll be angry. Explain that you did this on the advice of your friend when you felt the medicine wasn't working anymore. I think you and your doctor should be able to work things out so that your pain is controlled without needing to take medicine the wrong way. The fact that you are not using more medicine than prescribed, just using it the wrong way, is a positive thing.
  • Thank you all so very much for the advice...:) I also need to be honest with you all, I am running out early, and this is what really bothers me the most. I have been buying off the street from a guy who sells his instead of using them. I know it's wrong, I really do, and it depresses me to think I've sank this low. I've never been one to abuse anything, heck, I don't even drink. When I started chewing the patch, very little pieces, 1/8th of an inch, I felt instantly better, I had a little energy and life just felt better. But it really is bothering mentally what I'm doing because although I feel so much better, I know what I'm doing is wrong. My biggest problem is I can't stop chewing the damn things, I know more than anyone that I need to get them put back on and I still can't get myself to do it without feeling like total crap. Do you all think that maybe I should ask my Dr to boost me up to 100 per patch as I would get more then the 75 so it would be a little more med into my system? But I'm also to the point I don't think I can trust myself. This is the position I'm in. This drug has really helped me, but had I known then what I know about it now, I would have said HELL NO to it! and suffered.
  • I'd like to also say that the last 5 days I've got down to about 50 or less a day. I've really stretched it out. I know it doesn't sound like much or a lot, but for me, that's really a big deal. But it's been a rough 5 days. But man, I'm trying my best
  • It may be difficult to tease out what is happening here. For one, you have pain, so you are using to control it. Tolerance to the meds is resulting in escalating dosage and needing to buy off the street. It sounds like you are medicating your pain but also getting high. Do you use just the amount to control the pain or do you take more until you feel high (relaxed, sense of wellbeing etc.)? I am in no qualified to diagnose an addiction but there are several warning signs you seem be experiencing. Chasing the high, loss of self-control with regards to usage of the drug, buying off the street and deceptive or manipulative behaviour to hide drug use or obtain drugs are some of them. If you feel you have lost control, you may need additional help. Counseling, Narcotics Anonymous meetings, inpatient rehab and opioid substitution therapy (methadone or suboxone) are some ways people get control of their addictions. As you have pain requiring strong opioids anyway, you would probably benefit from substitution with methadone or suboxone. These are effective painkillers and can replace your Fentanyl. They are given in ways to avoid abuse such as a single dose being dispensed at a time, at least to start off with. You may not need all these measures. I may have misjudged your post and your situation may not be so dire but either way, something needs to be done. Many people have died from fentanyl patches being misused. Even applying heat to the area with the patch has killed people. Things will get better, but you need to see your doctor and you need to be 100% honest. If you keep going the way you are, it won't be pretty. Trust me.
  • mcjimjam said:
    It may be difficult to tease out what is happening here. For one, you have pain, so you are using to control it. Tolerance to the meds is resulting in escalating dosage and needing to buy off the street. It sounds like you are medicating your pain but also getting high. Do you use just the amount to control the pain or do you take more until you feel high (relaxed, sense of wellbeing etc.)? I am in no qualified to diagnose an addiction but there are several warning signs you seem be experiencing. Chasing the high, loss of self-control with regards to usage of the drug, buying off the street and deceptive or manipulative behaviour to hide drug use or obtain drugs are some of them. If you feel you have lost control, you may need additional help. Counseling, Narcotics Anonymous meetings, inpatient rehab and opioid substitution therapy (methadone or suboxone) are some ways people get control of their addictions. As you have pain requiring strong opioids anyway, you would probably benefit from substitution with methadone or suboxone. These are effective painkillers and can replace your Fentanyl. They are given in ways to avoid abuse such as a single dose being dispensed at a time, at least to start off with. You may not need all these measures. I may have misjudged your post and your situation may not be so dire but either way, something needs to be done. Many people have died from fentanyl patches being misused. Even applying heat to the area with the patch has killed people. Things will get better, but you need to see your doctor and you need to be 100% honest. If you keep going the way you are, it won't be pretty.

    And no, I don't think you should ask your doc for a stronger patch. You cannot do this on your own. You said yourself that you can't stop chewing the patches. That means you are going to need help to stop.
  • If you were in Australia they would probably put you on a methadone program. That way you get enough to control your pain but it is taken under supervision. It's better than chasing round the streets looking for narcotics. And spending the rest of your life waiting to get your next fix. It also doesn't cost anything here - so the continual waiting and chasing down narcotics are gone. I guess the underworld of drugs isn't a really good place to be.

    Talk to your Dr - you've obviously had enough but only you can decide for yourself. Anything we say will fall on deaf ears until one of your friends dies, you are put in a situation where people would kill you for illegal drugs, someone steals from you and no-one in your circle of friends cares about another person - drugs are more important or something drastic happens to make you want to change.

    But if you do it now you won't waste years of your life with a drug controlling you, your behaviour and your values.

    It's your decision how you want to spend the rest of your life.
  • You have been very brave & very honest here. I can only start to imagine the courage you had to summon to admit your addiction & illegal activity. Let's be honest, even if they double the strength of your patches & you follow instruction & use them properly you will never get close to the high you are experiencing by chewing them. Considering increasing your dose is like giving a heroin addict a cupboard full of the stuff & telling them to just use a little each day. I know that I wouldn't have the strength to resist cutting one in your situation. I've been on high doses of narcotic medications (used correctly) & no quantity will completely eliminate your pain.
    I consider myself fortunate that I've never been tempted to abuse my meds. I don't know what it feels like to achieve a pain free escape, it will be incredibly difficult to forget that you have this option. We're very hard on addicts here at times but I admit if I didn't have little children & I knew there was a way to eliminate the nightmare of chronic pain, I would be very, very tempted!
    The truth of your situation has led you to us. I think you know that this has all gone too far & you need professional help. Addiction is a sickness & you need the correct specialists to help heal you. Please consider your addictive nature before starting with methadone. It has a very long half life & you could overdose very easily if you abuse that medication. I don't know if a methadone program will be available for you. Please think very long & hard if it's not. I would not like to see you with a months supply tempting you. You are very lucky to be alive. Please don't jump from the frying pan into the fire!
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Would you mind sharing what your spine condition is that led you to being prescribed fentanyl originally? Has your back deteriorated? When did you last have diagnostic tests? Let's not forget that you have 2 problems, chronic pain & addiction. Do you still need narcotic therapy to help manage your pain? Did you sign a medication contract with your prescribing doctor?

    I'm very concerned that you know how to obtain narcotics illegally & you have those contacts. I'm worried that your doctor could refuse to treat you when you come clean & that could lead to deeper illegal use with tragic results.

    Please keep talking here. I'm happy to help in any way I can, without judgements. I've never been in your situation but I can understand how it all started. Thank you for sharing. People will read this..you could be saving lives in the future!
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • I thank all of you very very much. I've just read all of the comments, and I'm so thankful for each and everyone of you, I really am. I have a hell of a story to tell. I"m born and raised on the Indian rez, drugs are everywhere. I have used everything under the sun at one point in my life when growing up. But I never let anything out of control and it's been 25 yrs since any illegal stuff or drinking. My condition is from work. I have destroyed nerves in my back and spine, lifting anything hurts bad, sleeping is horrible as I have to change beds about every 3 nights. I chew this patch for pain, and it works very well, but I also seem to get a little bit of energy. I like this because I can get up and do things instead of sitting all day with nothing to do. I was used to 12 hour days, now I just sit and look out the window and chew this patch. The guilt is getting to me bad, I know I need something but I feel as if I enjoy doing it that its wrong. I'm more guilty about what I'm doing then anything. But I try to tell myself that I do need this. I really would like it to work by just putting it back on, but it just doesn't seem to work for me that way. That's the position I'm in. And yes, I think my Dr would be upset, he is a very good guy.
  • SarahLindeauSarahLindeau Posts: 767
    edited 04/23/2014 - 4:31 PM
    I remember receiving an injection of fentanyl during the chaos of my delivery of my daughter, before they opted for an emergency c section. I know how it feels- it's a peaceful, lingering aura of no pain and no worry. For about five minutes, I stopped screaming and had an out of body feeling. And it also scared me. That feeling is so dangerous and to people with an already addictive nature, it can open a door (or should I say trap door), into which you fall; down the rabbit hole.

    From what I've read about you, I think you are in a place right now where you will either make the right choice and fight to get off this stuff for good, or you will end up dead. I really don't see any other way out. And the fighting it is going to be a whole lot harder than just continuing what you're doing and dying.

    You have to make a conscious decision that you say "NO MORE!" and you MEAN it. As others have said, you need to enroll help to make this stand. And you need to never, ever put the fentanyl patch in your mouth again. You'll need to have a friend that will keep an eye on you and hold you to your commitment. And you need to reach out to a narcotics anonymous support group.

    Im proud of you that you acknowledge your problem. That is the first step. Now you need to move on to the next one.
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • Sarah, you are right and I know it, even as I sit here looking a this god***n patch with a piece in my mouth. I just can't seem to stop??? I'm going to make a appt. for next week with a addiction person. Just to see what my option s are. I'm terrified of withdrawals, I have went 3 days without and it was the worst thing ever, and I mean ever! I can't do it, there is no way I can. I have a bad heart and maybe its just the withdrawal, but it seems like I was close to a HA, when I went to ER, my BP was 170 over 116. So they put a patch on me right away. I just can't get over what I've done to myself? I truly never expected this. And what's really scary is I know this can kill me but I just seem to not care sometimes and keep chewing away. Fricking dumb, I know. I'm going to do what you all have told me, I'm going to try and not put it in my mouth, but first I need a plan with a Dr to move forward and do it right. Can anyone tell me how Suboxon and Methodone work. It is worth going from one devil to another? Sorry for the spelling mistakes, I was a terrible English student. lol
  • Firstly I must admit Fentanyl as a patch never worked for me. I waited the 3 days for it to kick in and it never did. Maybe it was because I would have a shower and water got in the patch.

    The only experience I have had with suboxone is a girl who was staying with me was sent by her parents to an expensive private clinic for withdrawal. The whole time she was at my place I had no idea she was taking drugs. It was one of the ground rules of her staying. It cost her parents a small fortune and as soon as she came back she was back into the same circle of friends and off looking for drugs again. I thought she was had quit and gave her money, later I found out she was buying street drugs, so I had to ask her to leave as she was putting my job in jeopardy as my security clearance needed to stay in tact. It was before my accident, so there were no meds in my house, - she also stole things which I eventually got back but she must have hocked them.

    I think in Australia the methodone program works by people going and getting their methadone under supervision each day. It is a highly addictive drug as well but it is free and keeps people out of their old circle of friends and the continual search for expensive and dangerous, as sometimes other substances are added, street drugs.

    So they would probably convert your exisiting fentanyl dose into the equivalent dose of methadone. Then as you want to you gradually decrease the amount. For the final withdrawal stages they put you in a clinic and you withdraw with other people who also have addictions. Therefore you have a support group around you outside you normal circle of friends. Here they have group therapy, lectures on addiction so you understand what it is, good meals, forms of therapy like painting, so they keep you busy all day with other people who are getting off as well. Bit like the Betty Ford Clinic but in Australia they are free. I guess the cost of the clinics is more than paid for by the reduced crime rate of addicts.

    Withdrawing from opiates is very difficult but I think they give you other meds to help with withdrawals. If you really want to withdraw you do need to start again away from your circle of friends and make new ones, if people don't do that they seem to slip back into the same old life.

    Withdrawal will be difficult so you shouldn't need to do it alone without support. The other thing is you will have to find a happy medium for your physical pain.

    It is going from one devil to the other but at least the devil is supervised and you have other people to help you get through it. It's in a clinic or hospital so you have nurses and doctors to monitor you and keep an eye on you. It probably takes about 3 weeks at the end to get the drug completely out of your system - but if there is a clinic close by you should have a support group to help you when you feel tempted again.

    Good luck, you are brave to be open about it, I really hope you fight this and win - other people need to help you.
  • addiction and in some cases, also to treat pain......Both medications work on the same opiate receptors in the brain that opiates /drugs do, however they block those receptors so that the DOC ( drug of choice) can not reach the receptors...this is a very basic explanation.
    Suboxone is a newer drug and can be used in one of two ways for someone with addiction and pain- used at LOW doses, it helps prevent withdrawal symptoms and also has pain relieving properties, so it is a good choice for someone with a pain condition and addiction/misuse issues.
    In this situation it is one that I would strongly recommend that Big talk to his doctor about........I sent him a pm regarding suboxone before I read the rest of this thread, so in his particular situation, staying on it for a while might be his best option.

    Methadone is a drug that was and still is commonly used to treat pain, and addiction/misuse......it has a long half life, as does suboxone , but there are issues in certain patients such as a condition known as long Q-T syndrome that effect the heart. Given that he has a heart condition, it probably is not an option.

    I would also strongly recommend that Big seek and find a NA group near by, because withdrawal is just the beginning, it is important, more so than anything else to change the way you view the patterns of behavior that brought you to this point, and work hard at changing your life so that you don't go down that road again.
    Support and working at a program will help him do that. You can start by having an honest discussion with your doctor.
    And Big, no , increasing the amount of dosage of fentanyl would only serve to feed the addiction and make it even worse....please don't do that...........
  • Thoracic spine pain is right. You cannot do this alone. If you do, you will most likely fail. Get the help you need and the support group to get you through the difficult times ahead.

    Do you have family nearby? Do you have kids? You need to make a promise to them that you are going to fight as hard as you can. Find a motivation to help you. Think about how devastated they would be if you died.
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • One last observation, you CAN stop chewing the patches, you just don't want to .......is it easy, no , most assuredly NOT, but will power, and determination go a long way in battling anything, and getting through withdrawal, is part determination, and part will power. Thousands before you have done it, and you almost ( had you hung in there one more day) would have made it through the worst of the withdrawal, and been on the road to stopping.
    Beating addiction is going to be tough, you have allowed yourself to believe that the fentanyl somehow makes things "better" in your life but by your own words, you used to work 12 hour days, and now all you do is sit and watch as life is passing you by....how is it that fentanly improved your life again? It's led you to illegal activity that can and eventually will wind up with either your death or jail.......or both. You are lying to yourself, the people who surround you and care about you, , your doctor, family , friends, co workers....and worry constantly about getting the next fix......how is it that fentanyl has improved your life?
    Wanting to change is half the battle, the other half is doing what needs to be done to make that happen. I know that you want to make the right choice, otherwise you wouldn't be here, asking for help...........we've given you suggestions, now it up to YOU to take whatever steps are necessary to help yourself. You deserve better than what you are giving yourself.
  • You guys are all great!! Love all of ya!!
    Here's what I've been doing the last few days, I know it's not the way I should be doing it but it's at least in the right direction in y opinion for me. I have cut these patches in half, instead of chewing on a 75 or 100 patch, I'm tapering down. I'm going to beat this devil, and I've been good so far. When I get my 75 refilled, I'm going to cut them in half too. once I get down to the last 5 I've told myself I am putting it on my back and leaving it there....period. Around that time I will have my house to myself for about 4 days, so just a little alone time to not feel so great and not a bunch of teenagers coming and going I think I will be able to do this. I can say with 100% certainty that if I am able to get myself off this stuff that I will NEVER do this again, no matter how bad it hurts. I hate it that much. You all have been so good to me on here. It so nice to see others who have beat this and listen to the help you all offer. I'm going to this! I know I am!!!
  • I really and truly hope that you do.......that would be the best thing, but don't forget that part of this is going to be making some serious changes to your "friends' and environment that you were in ......that's just as important as getting off the chewing of the fentanyl.....
  • Methadone and Suboxone are both synthetic opioid drugs similar to Fentanyl. Methadone is usually given as a syrup. When you first enroll in the methadone program you will visit the pharmacy every time you are due to take a dose, they will hand you a cup of syrup, and you drink it there. I think it taken twice a day, I'm not sure. This prevents any abuse of the medication. Methadone also works as a pain med, it is usually prescribed as tablets like any other med in that situation. Suboxone is similar to methadone, I have heard it is slightly weaker. It is a film that dissolves on your tongue and is taken twice a day. As well as an opioid ingredient, it has another ingredient to prevent abuse.

    Both of these drugs are used in conjunction with other behavioral addiction treatments such as counselling, NA meetings, group therapy and inpatient rehab. While the substitution is good at delivering the drug in a more controlled, safe, affordable manner, there's nothing stopping you from supplementing your prescription with drugs procured illegally. So other help is necessary to deal with the psychological side of addiction and reduce the temptation to get high. Methadone or Suboxone will help prevent withdrawal and hopefully reduce your pain to tolerable level, but you probably won't be high like you are chewing the patches.

    It's really great that you are seeing an addiction medicine doctor. That is what I would probably do as my first step if I ran into this kind of trouble. I imagine they are the best person to confess to initially, because they deal with addiction all the time, so they shouldn't be judgemental. They won't chastise you. They'll only want to help. I really hope you can get on top of this, it sounds like if you get help now, you'll bounce back. It's a "quit while you still can" kind of situation. I think you can do it. Good luck :)
  • Sending my thoughts your way! Good luck!
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • Hi,
    I haven't been on the forum for years, but I thought someone could advise me. I had 3 spinal surgeries, the last one an A/P revision with cage and hardware. I am 62 with osteoporosis and adrenal insufficiency. I have always been compliant and have been in pain management for years..I was on Fentanyl 75 which I withdrawal from myself at home after my last surgery. It was horrible and I don't recommend it but I wanted to try to get off pain meds. This was in 2012. Unfortunately, I have a horrible back, and other problems arose. I had to return to a pain management center to a big city, take a number place in 2012. I had previously had a wonderful pain management doc, whom I adored, but he stopped taking any insurance in 2012 and charged a yearly fee, that we could not afford.

    I have been on Morphine 30 mg ER three times a day, plus, Oxycodone 15 4 times a day PRN - which I needed for the past two years. . The pain was becoming unbearable, so they switched me to Fentanyl 25 mic about 10 days ago to be changed every 3 days. No instructions, just gave me 2 months of scripts and also set me up for bilateral facet injections L3/4 next week. Luckily, I knew how to apply the patches. The minute I put the first one on, I started with side effects. Headache, chills, sweats, shivering, body aches, anxiety, diarrhea. This was on a Saturday. I tried to take the Oxycodone and I also have Valium, but I don't think with the runs, I was absorbing them. I saw my Endocrinologist on Tuesday. She said I was in withdrawal or having side effects from the Fentanyl. Call the pain doctor immediately

    . I went home and called. I had a return call from a cocky resident who was unable to spend 2 minutes on the phone with me. He would not listen to my symptoms and said, "I don't know what to tell you?. We have never called this pain center before, as long as I have been a patient. When you go there, a different resident comes in each time, spends 2 minutes with you, then the head honcho comes in and hands you your scrips, blah blah blah. This last visit, I told them I was taking Hydrocortiisone, as I was signing the permit for the injections. The resident kept correcting me, "You are taking Hydrocortisone Cream.". I had to repeat 5 times that it was oral hydrocortisone because of Addison's Disease. Finally, he just gave me a blank stare. Next, my husband calls and yells into the message that he needs a call back, his wife is in withdrawal. The cocky resident calls back the next day and has me mixed up with someone who lost their Fentanyl Patches. I tell him who I am, and he tells me again, he does not know what to do??? I am under tons of blankets with the heat up to 75, Then, I break out in a sweat and the chills start all over again. I notice that if I take an oxycodone, and valium, it helps for an hour or two. This has been going on for 10 days. I do notice that it is really bad on the third day and the morning of changing the patch.

    This morning, my husband called and cancelled the facet injections. He told them I was having to many side effects from the Fentanyl to have the procedure next Tuesday. I guess it was a secretary, they just said fine. I really need it done, though,

    We have found another pain management doctor, but we can't get an appointment until May 7th. Late last night, I did cheat and changed the patch, instead of this morning.I couldn't stand the freezing, chills and sweats. I feel a little better today. I don't think I can tolerate much more of this patch.

    I do have a week's worth of Morphine left. I was thinking of switching back the week before I see the new pain doctor but I don't know if that would be legitimate? I am not getting anywhere with the current pain dr and am really lost. I really don't know what the new doctor will do or what he is like either. I never had any of these problems before?

    Thanks so much for any suggestions and take care,
    Mary Anne
    . .
    Take care and God Bless,
    Mary Anne
  • Taking old medications while you are under contract with another doctor is not allowed. It does not matter that they were prescribed to you previously. If they are not part of your current pain management program then do NOT take them.
    You may be in withdrawal since it takes at least 18 hours or more for the fentanyl to build up to a steady blood plasma level before you get steady pain relief, which is most likely why you are experiencing the issues that you are having.
    Usually doctors tell a patient when transitioning them from oral meds to a patch to use their breakthrough meds for the first 24 hours until the blood plasma levels build up......however, the reason that the use of breakthrough meds isn't working to stave off the withdrawal is you are already taking them 4 times per day, so there is nothing available to help ease the withdrawal from one medication to another.
    Breakthrough meds are only meant to be used when all other modalities to ease a flare up of pain have been exhausted and you still can't manage to deal with the pain levels.....otherwise, using them with any regularity only drives up the amount of opiates your body is accustomed to having......
    If you decide to see another pain management doctor, you can not accept any prescriptions until you terminate your relationship with your current one, in writing........
    Read the links below , they will explain things more clearly.....

  • MaryAnne59MMaryAnne59 Posts: 57
    edited 04/26/2014 - 4:34 PM
    Hi Sandi,
    Thanks so much for your links, especially what to bring when you see a new pain management doctor. Actually, I never signed a contract with my current doctor or had a urine test, not even once.

    I was put on Oxycontin and the Oxycodone by my Neurosurgeon, He is the director of spinal neurosurgery of the hospital, and referred me to pain management for injections and pain management. The Oxycontin became too expensive, so I asked for something else. I was on the same dose of Morphine for over 2 years.The past year , I could not go to Mass and a grocery store without coming home in tears with pain. So, I did use the breakthrough medicine.Unfortunately, I am truly allergic to any NSADS, even one aspirin will break my mouth out with erosions. So, my activity has been limited by pain. I do use Tylenol and Lidoderm Patches. .At our last visit, the doctor and I really felt the Morphine had become completely ineffective as a pain reliever.Thus, the switch to the Fentanyl Patch.

    When I called again, one resident did say, he was not opposed to my taking the patch off for 12 hours and going back on the Morphine. But, I am really at a loss.Why go back on something that does not work? As your info states, I may not receive medication at the first visit from the new pain doctor. It also says to give a new medication one month, although, I do not think I can tolerate these side effects much longer. I am really in Limbo. I think I will call my primary doctor Monday and schedule an appointment to get her insight. My husband is begging me to go to the ER, but I can't see the point in that. I will notify the current doctor in writing when I switch and also why.. I have never accepted any pain medication from any other doctor ( I have had painful conditions where it has been offered.), while I was seeing a pain doctor.
    Thanks again for your links,
    Take care,
    Mary Anne .
    Take care and God Bless,
    Mary Anne
  • I'm so sorry you're going through this. I hate changing meds & often have a very hard time when I do. You may be pleasantly surprised if you go back on morphine. I occasionally change my meds instead of going up in dose when I become tolerant. Even stopping taking some meds for a few weeks helps. I always had terrible problems with fentanyl. There are plenty of different medications it's about keeping the right balance for you.

    My doctor is great but he isn't a good manager & his staff can be a little inefficient. I dont want to change doctors so I'm always as nice as possible & they generally get their wiggle on for me now. I'm not very medically minded but it sounds like withdrawal to me. See your doc as soon as possible. I hope things are getting a bit better now. ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • I read your other post, and it appears to me that whoever did your conversion from Morphine to fentanyl does not know how to convert from one drug to another.....that coupled with the regular use of your breakthrough med should have led to a higher dose of fentanyl than what you are given, which explains why you feel like you are in withdrawal.
    What is the actual dose of morphine that you were on after you reduced the dosage? What other opiates and how much of them were you taking per day?
    That is the information that should have been used to calculate what dose of fentanyl patch to put you on.....it seems to me, from reading your other post that they badly miscalculated the correct dose of the patch to give you.
    Can you make an appointment to see the head /supervising physician at the clinic?
  • I am so so sorry you are battling what I call the monkey on your back, the mis-use of drugs.
    English Girl and Sandi are giving you the best advice you will ever get in this fight you have
    before you, I can only say please please listen and do whatever you can to beat this.
    I don't know how old you are or what family you have but life is hard enough without that
    hell. That is what you are sitting yourself up for believe me I have seen the pain and destruction
    drug and alcohol abuse can do to people and their loved ones. My family history has been
    full of pain and I mean pain from loosing loved ones one after another and the effort put
    into trying to help each one of them. Yes there were successes but I know for a fact if the
    person does not make the right choice then there is zero anyone can do. You need to make
    that choice and get away from those you know who use or you will fail.
    It is and has been so bad in my life that I won't allow anyone in my home or have anything to do
    if they abuse. Sounds mean huh but you get to the point that enough is enough. If you have
    loved ones and don't get off this track you will loose out on so much.
    I am 66 years old and going through withdrawals due to built up tolerance and now the meds I
    take give me little relief. What will you do when you need them in the future and getting them off the
    streets will effect the care you get from the medical community. I could get anything I wanted but I won't
    so I suffer. I have never went outside the
    guidelines for the very reason I won't end up like the ones I loved did and hurt my family that way.
    Sound harsh I know and I have been labeled for my attitude about this subject but you deserve better.
    It is true that I have never mis-used them but believe me I have wanted to many times due to this CP
    day in and out. My heart goes out to you fighting both will be hard on you but you can do it.
    I am not very good at words but I care with all my heart please I am here if you need to talk and
    there are so many great people on here to help you.
    Take care of yourself
  • I was on 30 mg of the Morphine ER tid, plus 15 mg Oxycodone 4 times a day. I also had Valium for spasms, but I may have taken 5 or even 1/2 a pill a day. I have been on Topomax 100 mg twice a day for years. I could switch back to the Oxycontin now. We had an older dog, the love of our lives, and I went off the Oxycontin, so I could save money for his pain medicine. He was on medicine that was 150 dollars a month.He passed away last March. I am wondering if the Fentanyl interfere's with my Adrenal Insufficiency. I woke up covered with sweat. Last evening, I was under 3 blankets with the heater on me. This morning, I could not even go outside on the deck, I was shivering so much. My husband's friend was over last evening and they wanted to take me to the ER. I said no, but I think I am going to call the pain doctor and ask to be seen this week. My husband does not want to go back there, but I think you are right.

    I would like to say one thing to you, BIG and PLEASE LISTEN TO ME. After my 360 fusion in 2012, they had told me, I would be doing cartwheels. lol, I wanted to go off pain meds. I had been on a 75 mic Fentanyl Patch every 48 hours. I was truly motivated and thought it was my chance to be like everyone else. I was not chewing the patches like you are, which makes you more physically addicted. I had been on the patch for a few years. I went down to 50 mic for a week and then when I got to 25 mic, I hit the worst withdrawal you can possibly imagine. I was in touch with my pain management doctor at the time. I just took the 25 mic patch off, because I was already in withdrawal. I was ordered clonidine. valium and told to take Percocet when the withdrawal was intolerable. When I saw my pain management doc a couple weeks later, he told me that almost no one can withdrawal from Fentanyl without impatient treatment. It was a horrible.I did it because I wanted to be cured. I am telling you, you cannot do this yourself!!! Please listen to me and tell your doctor. You are not the only one who has problems and done this. They are trained to help you. If you keep chewing Fentanyl, it can kill you.The fact that you wrote to us, means that you are reaching out for help. You can't do this alone. Also, some people have died from withdrawal. Please tell your doctor and let him help you.
    God Bless you and I will be praying for you.
    Mary Anne
    Take care and God Bless,
    Mary Anne
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