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Methadone For Pain Management?...Advice.

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Pain Medications
Hi, below is my original post under 'Fighting Fentanyl' I have become very dependent/addicted to Fentanyl patches and suffer terrible withdrawels at around the 24 hour mark with my 50 mcgs patch. I have been on the patches for nine months now, originally given to me for back pain. I have now been referred to my local drug re-abilitation centre to get help with my addiction, they are talking about putting me on Methadone to wean me down slowly.....I know there is stigma attatched to this drug and I, myself, have only ever heard of it being given to heroin users. Because of this I am terrified of being put on methadone but at the same time I desperatly need the help to get off of fentanyl! Does anyone here have any experience of methadone for pain, and, for helping with withdrawels?....please advise as I am worrying terribly and I am so scared. Thank you for reading, Lorraine x

My Original Post as follows:...

Hi all, my name is Lorraine, I am 44 and have been suffering with unexplained back pain for a few years. In January of this year after a short stay in hospital my back pain became so severe that I was unable to even clean myself after the toilet. Having tried a few tablets my Dr prescribed Fentantyl Patches. That was some nine months ago now, yes they have helped with the pain, they are great as far as that is concered, but now my friends I find myself in a situation that I would never of dreamed of, I have become dependant on the patches, completly! Me, I've never smoked or drunk and nver dabbled in anything that I was not supposed to put in my body, yet, now I have been reffered to my local drug re-abilitation centre and may now be treated with Methadone to free me from Fentatnyl. This medicne has ruined my life!! I feel suicidal at times because I feel so low with it all. I am now on 50mcgs per hour and change the patch every 30-36 hours depending on how bad the withdrawels become. Sometimes I have felt as if I am dying. I wish I could just rip the patch off and go cold turkey but I know I would not be able to withstand the withdrewels. The thing is, even, now, they do not have a proper diagnosis of my back problem!?! I was just sent away with the patch, reffered to a pain clinic which it took 7 months before I was seen which by this time I was already dependant on the patches. I feel I have been neglected and just left to get on with thigs by myself, I have spent the best part of 90% of my time laying down because I feel so unwell all of the time. I just hope to god the drug people can help me but I am so scared to go onto Methadone....I am in tears here, I just can't think straight, 27 hours since last changed the patch and already I feel nauseus and sweating....any advice please? Has anyone here managed to come free of Fentatnyl?....Please help? Love Lorraine x


  • Hi
    Of course we cannot offer you any medical advice here on spine health. Just personal opinions.
    I am very unfamilar with what it does for withdrawal symptoms.
    Especially if you still feel the need and your dr does to that you need something for pain still??
    Do you know what is causing your pain issues??
    Have you had MRI's , xrays, CT scans etc??

    Being dependent and addicted are two totally different things. Dependent means that you need the drug to function because of pain.

    Addicted means you just like using it to get that "high" ANYONE PLEASE CORRECT me if I am wrong.

    I was on it for pain for 3 months till we found the issue with my back and i had surgery.
    I was wheened off it within 2 weeks. With no issues.
    So pretty much I would ask your dr about something like this.
    I found it to work better for my pain then the patches.
    So I wish I had more for you. ;)
    But the rehab place or the dr is the only one that can explain this situation to ya.
    Im not sure if there is any other memebers on here that have used it for withdrawal symptoms.
    Don't get me wrong there might be someone coming along soon.

    I wish you the very best of luck!! O:) >:D<
  • I am in agreement with TerriJV that there is a difference between dependence and addiction. Addiction is a psychological need/desire for the medication and you are seeking a high. Dependence is the physical need for the medication due to pain.

    I am curious why you think that you are withdrawing from the medication. Did you have a recent decrease in your dose? I am also on the Fentanyl patch, but at a much higher dose and I change my patches every 48 hrs instead of every 72. When we tried a dose reduction, we found that I was extremely sensitive to withdrawal symptoms-nausea, anxiety, crawling skin, abdominal cramps, etc. and they went down in slow increments and added Ativan and a clonodine patch (a cardiac med that decreases withdrawal sypmtoms)

    There are several factors that can affect the absorbtion of the patches which could explain why you are getting a rapid release of the med instead of the continuous supply of the medication. It is interesting that they are jumping to "addiction" when you still have pain and they haven't looked for a reason for the fentanyl not working.

    Do you use anything for breakthrough medications?

    Methadone is being used much more frequently for chronic pain medication than it was in the past.

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  • I have been on methadone for almost 1 year and have had great results for pain relief. I have heard that even if you are using other opiates for pain relief the methadone will lessen the withdrawal symptoms. Good luck and please keep us posted.
  • I've been offered Methadone many times by my pain managment doctors. When used for pain there is no stigma involved. So if you do decide to use this, remember that there are many people out there who indeed use this as a form of pain control. Don't worry about any stigma, there no longer is any. Just do what you and your doctor feel is best for you. As to the Fentanyl Patch, I just watched an episode of Dr. G. the other night and a 42 year old man OD'd from his patch because it was defective. Dr. G. said that there have been many deaths due to this and that they are still being recalled into the year of 2008. That scared the heck out of me. I'm not saying anything bad about the patch, just passing the info that I learned from that program. Good luck!
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    Hi, My pain regiment for failed back surgery was fentanyl 75 mcg. and hydrocodone special made 20/100 apap. 4 a day. The patch was changed every other day. It became ineffective with too many side effects so I requested to change to something else. My pm doc. changed me to methadone 60 mg. a day. With 1 hydrocodone for break trough pain, just added. I'll admit I was a little fluish for about a week and a half, but the pain control is adequate with a few side effects. but it was not a big deal to switch. 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!
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  • Thank you everyone for your kind posts. I am unsure of what really has happened to me, the past 9 months now seem like a blur! All I know is that I have never felt 'right' since starting the Patches and I had repeatedly told my Dr this! The patch works fine for pain but at around 22-24 hrs I start to feel aggitated, my tummy quivers, I get uncontrollable goose bumps and start to cold sweat! I go througfh this everyday and have to cionstantly struggle, I feel so nauseus at times that I spend the best part of the day laying down. I wish I could just take the patch off and have the strengh to go cold turky and get it over with in a matter of weeks, but, I am not a strong person, I have a phobia of being sick, so the nausea is distressing for me, nad because of this situataion I have become a more anxious person! This is it you see, all that I am now is not 'me' I have never smoked or drank or ever had the desire to dabble, I do not have an addictive personalty! If someone had of told me that I would be dependent on a drug this time last year I would of laughed in their face, but, here I am, my day, my life governed by a patch. I sometimes feel like ending it all now as I feel which ever way I turn I am just going round in circles. I can't even function properly from day to day, I don't go out, I find it difficult to wash, because I just end up in a sweat, after a shower I'm putting clean clothes on a wet body of sweat! So, I am then left with Methadone, another addictive drug! Seems like this will never end, I want my life and body back, I don't know why these patches have affected me so much and I don't know why I absorb them or whatever so quickly, I am just me....and I'm so lost, right now I would welcome back the pain and swap it for this so called life, my Dr should never of put me on this patch without trying everything else first!
  • Did I read that right? You had hydrocodone specially made for you of 20/100??

  • Should have tried something else first. The dosage you are presently on IS NOT carrying you through to your next patch change. I am a former user of the patch and by no means an advocate, especially in the first line of defense of pain management. I am as far from a Dr. or medical professional as could possibly be, so take my advise/opinion for what it's worth.

    You change the patch every 30 to 36 hours depending on how bad the withdrawals become? Under who's instructions? To the best of my knowledge they are made for rotations of 48 to 72 hours then titration. I went through the exact same thing as you are going through only it lasted a week. I went through what you are going through because I quit the patch and all other medications cold turkey, under no supervision, my own stupidity. If you've been doing this for nine months and your doctor knows of this, find another doctor!

    Yes if it means methadone clinic, whatever, you seem to worried about being an addict rather than gaining some control. I am not trying to upset you, and again its only my opinion, but you need to find a different doctor and with the psychological frustration also going on, do it immediately. Go to the Emergency Room (If you have to) anywhere and don't you have bigger problems than any stigma that MAY become attached? Whatever Dr. is watching you go through this, well....
  • Am I an addict?...I don't know so I can't answer anyones question as to wheather I am addicted or dependent!! All I know is that at around 20 hrs plus my body begind to experience soem horrible effects, nausea, bone cold sweats, shaking, aggitated, uncontrollable goosbumps, no energy!! So, what can I say more than that?....All I know is that I never should of been given this Fentanyl in the first place and that I have been left to my own devices with no follow up or care, apart from 6 months on when I FINALLY got my pain clinic appintmnet! I am a victim here of neglect, but really, Dr's and how powerful they are and how they stick togther on issues' like this! I am ONE on my own. For the record, I have never been a smoker, drinker or ever dabbled in any drugs!! I have not got an addictive nature, like I said, this is not me, this is the person I have become through Fentanyl and NO fault of my own! I idi not self subscribe, I tole the Dr I was feeling sick for a long time and all she said was 'At least it is controlling the pain' And yes, great, I do not have any pain at any time, not apart from the extreme pain of losing ALL the my quality of life....great a? I would welcome back my back pain right now!! I cam here for help and I am thankful for all your replys, but please, this is my life I am talking about here, not a quiz on if I am addicted or not....I DO NOT KNOW if I am addicted, like I said, I only know the terrible way I am feeling!

    I am cutting down to the two patches again tonight, I tried it some 2 weeks ago via the Dr and it was'nt so successful but I am so desperate to be free of this drug I am going to try again with just the 37mcgs per hour (Via 2 Patches 12mcg and 25 mcg) Please Wish me luck, Lorraine xXx
  • Just to say I'm so sorry to double post in two forums!!

    My head is so foggy, confused. Just wish I could get someone influential on my side. My partner is fuming about this situation and we do intend to make a seroius official complaint about my currant GP. I do not wish to hurt anyone's career but my GP should never of let this situation get to this point. My life has been ruined but I just pray to god that I can overcome this and get my life back, pain or no pain....I just want rid of this medication.

    I've sought medical advise, to cover my back so no one can say I am self medicationg, and, I am back on the 37 mcgs per hour patch. I hope to make it to the 36 hr Drs time without too many withdrawels. I have my appointment with the drug centre this Wednesday, the Dr there is a specialist on Fentanyl patches so hopefully they can help me.
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