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Best Placement for Butrans Patch? Whats your overall experience with the medication?

AMFreeAAMFree North MSPosts: 23
edited 01/24/2016 - 1:10 PM in Pain Medications
I was prescribed the Butrans patch (15mcg) last Monday from my PM doctor. I am allowed 2 Norco 10/325s for breakthrough pain a day. I'm feeling like I have more pain now than I did before. Do I just need to give it time?

Or maybe a better placement? (Its on the upper back part of my arm) I am in PT, I see a massage therapist and an acupuncturist, so the placement has been a tough thing for me. Also, I love to go to the tanning bed every once in a while- the heat does wonders for my body. I also do warm detox baths, which the info says I am not supposed to do either. I have read that you aren't able to let the patches get warm. How are we supposed to do this? I am going to the beach for a week in April. How in the world is that going to work?

Any advice is welcomed. Thanks in advance! :)
•ACDF C6-7 (5/12/15) resulted in a non-union of the 2 vertebrae. I am using a BSG & Forteo injections every night, PT for e-stim, US, MFR, dry needling, acupuncture & another private MT for MFR. My tone is improving, however the bone pain continues.


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    I'm not really sure that one is necessarily safe by keeping patch out of the hot water...
    Or keeping patch out of direct exposure to the sun.
    It has to do with the body heating up, body temp......
    ...maybe if you were to read up on it a little more, it would help you be better informed.

    But probably best to get your information from your doctor.

    I was also thinking, if your lifestyle is difficult to change, re tanning beds and the warm baths.....
    I think you would need to inform your doctor.

    He may decide on another medication that is more compatible with your lifestyle choices.
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • The box specifically states to not have the patch exposed to sun but I can't recall any mention of avoiding hot weather altogether. If hot weather in general was a huge issue, it would seem that the patches would be impractical to prescribe virtually anywhere during dry season.

    I only once had an issue with med spiking in a warm shower, otherwise I never had issues with it and CA has been in a drought with record high temps the past 3 years.. I also went to Italy, Greece during summers and England when they were having a heat wave, never had a problem at any of those places but I was also very mindful to keep the patch area cool. Obviously everyone should consult their Dr. about their concerns with their meds, these are just my personal experiences.
  • I was on Butrans for 4 years and I thought it was great. I loved that I didn't have to hassle with pills and worry about clock watching cuz the oral ER meds always wore off early, at least in my experience. Also, the drug doesn't cause tolerance issues like most painkillers, so you don't have to keep upping the dosage ever year or so. I also liked that it has a minimal sedated feeling compared to most opioids.

    The med info that comes in the box can pretty much answer any question you have about the patch, I'd recommend looking it over. The info there shows that it takes 3-7 days for the patch to reach full effectiveness. This is because the half life of the drug is 3 days, so it takes at least 3 days of constant micro doses to reach a therapeutic dose. However, the level of med in even the strongest Butrans patch is fairly weak when compared to some other opioids so some people don't get relief from it. Also, a lot of people don't like patches and/or don't react well to them. I had barely any issues with them and never wanted to go back to oral ER after being on them.

    It's true, if you get them hotter than body temp, they will release extra medication and it could OD you. So avoid this at all costs, no hottubs, no baths, no direct shower contact, no heating pads and no direct sunlight etc. to them.

    I live in CA and went to the beach many times with them on. Typically I'd put them on my waist when I would go so they would be under my shorts and out of the sun. Or, if they were on my shoulder, I'd wear a shirt and make sure to not have that side of my body pointed at the sun as much as possible. It's possible to go to the beach and be in hot weathe with them but you need to be mindful.
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