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Need advice on Fentanyl Patch please

JEMJJEM Posts: 32
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Pain Medications
My doctor has agreed to let me try the Fentanyl patch. My concern is that it won't be effective, as I am on a high dose of medication now. I take Oxycontin, 40mg, 3x daily, and four 10mg of Oxycododone.

I have what one doctor described as the second worst case of Fibromyalgia he's even seen. I also have cervical problems, such as DDD, disc issues, etc. Yet, I'm not a candidate for surgery. I'm told that the Fibro amplifies other pain. The neck and upper back spasm pain goes through the roof. I can barely walk most days.

The medication barely touches all my pain now. Would I be a candidate for the patch, and what would be my starting dosage? Would I still need breakthough meds?

I'm very scared of the patch, and would appreciate any advice. Thank you.


  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    Hi jem,
    I was on the patch for over a year. But the pm. doc. Decides where to start you out at and then makes adjustments according to your input.
    It is a very potent drug, "synthetic morphine" I believe.
    I had some side effects that were unusual so I asked to use something else.
    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!
  • JEM,

    No Worries with the Fentanyl Patch even though this is a stronger medication than the Oxy's. The most difficult things are remembering when to change it, I mark it on the calender. I have not had any adverse side affects like I do with the other meds I take. It is hard getting use to wearing because a lot of people have problem with them sticking. So what I do is when you first put the patch on leave your hand over it and apply pressure for about 30 seconds to a minute. The heat from your hand will give you good adherence around the edges. Now when I take a shower I do use the white medical tape around the edges to seal it from water.

    As far as dosage your doctor will decide. I get great relief from 50 mcg patch and it has been the most effective time released medication for me. My PM doctor did tell me that it takes up to 6 hours before the new patch starts to work. This a time released medication and you will probably change your patch every 2 or 3 days. If you or your doctor decide not to use the patch anymore they will lower the dosage to ease the medication out of your body for light to no withdraw symptoms. That is true with most medications anyway.

    Please don't be afraid to use medications as prescribed. We all need to find what our pain will respond to. As with any other drug addiction is not an issue unless abused. I hope this works for you as we all need to find a comfortable level of pain to live with.

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  • i am on the patch right now. i started out at 12mg's went to 25mg, then to 37mg's and now on 50mg's with percocet 10's as break thru. i changed them every 72hrs and yes the dr does all the dosages and when to change, and so on. right now its only taking the edge off of my pain but the dr says that we will try the 50's and if that dont help we will go up one more time and if that's no good then we will do something else because she feels that i am still at a low enough dosage that i can safely do it without a lot of side effects. the things i dont like about it is that they are hard to keep on especially if you sweat and i was allergic to the silk like medical tape that would actually keep them on and the other plastic and paper like tapes were just no good. my dr has started me using something called tagaderm with them to hold them on better. its that clear thin bandage like they put over iv's in the hospital sometimes to keep them on well. so far no prob's with those. i hope this will help you some at least. i do know that the max dosage per mg that they have is like 200 or 250 mgs or i think its mcg's whatever that means.

    have a great weekend!

  • I came home post surgery on the 50 mg. They worked ok but after a day and 1/2 I needed a new one. They also gave me irritation (I guess there is something they can give you for the irritation).

    Good Luck,

  • I am on the Fentanyl patch, and it hasnt helped with my pain - I am on 150mcg so a very high dose. I cannot get it to stick, tried the hand over it for a min for the heat to help adhere the patch to the skin, I have tried plaster (band aid), surgical tapes, mepore, a couple of other types of tape, masking tape - hey I was desparate.

    Today my doc says if it wont stick take it off and someone else will prescribe something else in tablet form for you to take. Well I wait for the fone call - nothing - I fone the office number - closed til monday. So I asked NHS Direct (Im in the uk) take Ibroprofen, Gabapentin, and Diclofenac for the pain....now on the sofa in tears, having low thoughts, I want the pain to be over...sorry a depressed post, its how Im feeling tonight.

    Love and good wishes to you all
    Danni x hugs x
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  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    I'm going to pm you, I'm in California, usa
    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 tried it for 8 hrs and I didn't notice anything...By the end of the day I was having hot flashes and was super sleepy, felt like throwing up, and just felt weird, so I stopped taking it. My body can't really take strong pain killers. For example I tried a half of vicodin when I had dental surgery and when it was working I had hot flashes , I felt like I was going to throw up , and I felt like I was going to faint.

    So if you are sensitive to meds, I wouldn't recommend it.

  • I haven't been on it long enough to tell. I am on 25 mcg. I am desperate and willing to try it if it will help get me out of some pain.

    I have been on hydroco,diazepam,soma,darvocet,hydromorphine, etc. I hate feeling loopy on these types of meds. I want to be out of pain but I want to function as normal as possible.

    I hate that my kids are watching me go through all this...I just want the patch to work and not loop me out!!

    Goodluck & God Bless!!
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    I tried to pm you 3 times every time I hit send my computer would go off line and I don't think they went to you. They're supposed to fix it tues. I hope you made out all right. If not, use ace bandage. wrap it around your upper arm. and if that dont work go to ER.
    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!
  • Thank you to all for your replies. I appreciate them all. The thing is, the more I read about the Fentanyl patch, the more scared I become. It seems very risky. I read so many news stories of people dying, and these were people who took it as prescribed. My husband is beside himself with worry over this. I think I'd be a bad candidate because I'd be too nervous.

    I would follow directions to the letter, but I have no control over a defective patch. I just don't know what to do.
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