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Changed patch brand having issues adjusting

Hello all, I m asking for help regarding switching through no fault of my own from apotex brand 50 mgs patches to alvogen 50 patches.   Both are matrix but I seem to be using up the alvogen brand faster than the apotex brand.  Right now I am in early withdrawal with upset tummy, pain at 6-7 , shakiness,  emotional,  headache, etc.  I finally broke down and put on a new patch about 12 hours early. .only cause I couldn't stand it anymore.   I do have tramadol  50 MG for breakthrough pain but allowed 3 a day.  If I did one now I would not sleep tonight.   I should add I use a heating pad on low on the patch but that did not ever cause the apotex brand to run out early.  I'm curious if anyone else has had issues with switching brands.   I just put on my 6 patch and looking back on my calendar it's the 3rd time I've had to do this...but today is my far worse early withdrawal.  Again any input would be welcome. . I don't know how important it is but I'm 64.  Been on fentynal 10+years. Was originally on oxycontin but got put on patches.  First 75 but cut to 50's and tramadol as doctor worried that after hip surgery I would need massive amounts of meds to control pain..still no hip surgery but that's another story about needing dental work......look forward to comments ..many thanks. 



  • The heating pad may have been your problem.  Any time heat is added, there is a potential for the active ingredient to release prematurely.  I would suggest that you not use the pad during this patch life cycle to see if you get the correct amount of medication coverage.

    Hot tubs, showers, or even working out can cause patches to elude medication quicker than designed.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Thank you I used the heating pad with the apotex patch also..same way..the only difference I see in the patches is the apotex ones were flesh colored while the alvogen is clear.  The other difference is the apotex did not stick as well.  So maybe as they weren't making as good as contact they lasted longer? Even today I'm finding my pain control is no where near what I got with the apotex brand.  It's a puzzle for sure ...here I am about 20 hours into alvogen patch and feeling better than last night but still not feeling well. Someone mentioned our bodies has their own chemistry so maybe the way this patch releases the fentynal is different?  I just wondered if anyone else had changing brands issues.  I will try to move the patch next time to my arm and not use heat to see if that makes a difference. 

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  • Unfortunately, not all patches or medication delivery systems are the same.  There are generic meds I've taken that haven't been anywhere near as effective as the name brand despite being the same active ingredient.

    There is a lot of science behind medication and delivery systems since the medication must be able to cross the blood/brain barrier.  Cells are pretty specific as to what chemicals they will allow to pass.  That's why most all medications have inactive ingredients that are known to cross the barrier, therefore acting as a "transport". 

    I do hope you get better pain management as the week goes on!  I would recommend that you mention to your doctor the difference you've encountered between brands.  If he/she feels it's significant they can write the script to where brand name must be dispensed.  Albeit, a heck of a lot more expensive!


    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
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