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Afraid & need support I'm being switched from Morphine to Fentanyl patch, input needed

Hello Everyone, 
  Im glad to meet you guys & gals,sad to have to meet you all in pain though.
 Im also a chronic pain patient & have been on a variety of medications and tried quiet a few sets of injections,along with multiple surgeries. 

I have a new medicine question & Ive read all i can online & different google searches, but this forum has the most 1st hand experience, and i really need you guys thought,opinions & experience. 

For the past 5 years after my last surgery C2-C7 with hardware. 
  I now await brain surgery for Chiari 1 malformation. 

My doctor of 17 years kept saying he was going to reffer me to a colleague of his,because  my doctor was relocating  & this never took place, so in a emergency i went to a walk in clinic clise by,explained my situation and the doctor there saw me & prescribed emergency  meds at a reduced dosage until i could get into a pain management clinic. 

To the point here,

Ive taken these pain medicines for 5 years with no adjustments to dosage from the doctor.
Ms Contin 60mg every 12 hours
Hydrocodone 10mg up to 4 daily
Neurotin 800 4xs daily

 I've just gone to one of the few pain managment clinics in my area, its very scary when your suddenly  dealing with a whole new staff in a clinic, after 17 years,of the same doctor. 

They prescribed 
Fentenal 50 mic/hr every 72 hours
Neurotin 800 3 times daily
(Ive read horrible stories of death and horror stories from fentenal )

Im  scared to death of switching medicine( & fentenal) , but they didn't offer me any options & because  i have no "long term doctor ", i feel like i have no one to 'back me up' with my concerns with a medication  change.

 Im not comfortable with  this clinic and the nurse practitioner  i saw there was, very cut and dry.
    I was told to place the patch on my upper body,never the same place twice & proper disposal, also she told me there would be some transition id have to get used to and " to not call up there in 2 days saying  it doesn't work"

Could anyone offer any personal experience with this medicine ?please? 
  Im scared this won't cover my pain and ill have no break through medication & heck i kinda feel the nurse doesn't want me to call.

  Problem is that ill have absolutely  nothing to take once i fill this prescription, because  I've  depleted any extra meds i had stored for emergency, because of a,6 week wait for a apointment. 

Please if any if of you all, have experience with this medication or any knowledge, please help settle my nerves, Im  scared and alone in this,i really  need support & experienced  opinions.

 Kinda stuck with having to make this,sudden transition in a week & i have no options, no one to talk to about this & absolutely i am terrified of this medication switch over and i feel like i have no where to turn & noone to help settle my mind with this.
    Im a,timid person and I fear this medication, i told the nurse tgat im very afraid to switch,she was nonchalant about it & said : 
  What if the medicine change helped you tremendously? I told her,I'd do alot to regain some function in life,that im stuck in my bed the mass majority of the time. .etc 
  So looks like im going to be stuck with this change over.

Please  any experience, of similar meds, & stories  would be a,God send to my nerves and keep me from extreme panic ,ive read for 2 days anything i could read about Fentenal  and chronic pain, and joined this,forum to give,and recieve support.
   Thanks for  you guys helo in advance ~ broken


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745
    hello broken1

    please use this link for helpful information

    welcome to spine-health


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I was on the fentanyl patches (1x every 72hrs).  I did not have much success with them, to be quite honest, so I asked to be taken off of them.  In my situation, I pretty much asked myself why I would continue to put a medication in my body that had the possibility of serious side effects when it wasn't working anyway?
    It's your decision to make with your doctor as to the next steps with medications.  There are plenty of horror stories out there about bad experiences with medications, but who knows?  You might have tremendous success with the patches!! 
    Pain management is most often a exercise in trial and error.  Some of us respond to certain meds, and some of us don't.  We're all as unique as our DNA that way.  The idea that I had to keep in mind for myself was to make decisions regarding medications from an educated, rather than fear-based perspective. 
    Please keep us posted about your progress! 
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
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  • Kimmy72,
     Thank you for your input , I've read a few people that have success & some that have no success.
        The medicine I took Ms Contin didn't help like u thought it would when I started taking it, honestly I kinda thought it mainly kept my Tylenol intake lower,vecause it seemed breakthrough meds helped me more.
        I having to build trust all over again & it seems I'm stuck with this for now.
      From my reading it seems to be "close" in equivalence to the medicine I take, I'm just in fear & hope a few others share experiences with me .
       Thanks again
  • I was put on fentanyl patches (1x every 72hrs)  3 weeks ago and so far so good. No side effects at all and I am taking much less Percocet, down from 5 a day to 2.


    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.

  • I was put on fentanyl patches (1x every 72hrs)  3 weeks ago and so far so good. No side effects at all and I am taking much less Percocet, down from 5 a day to 2.


      Man o man, thanks for weighing in here,ive been honestly scared to switch,b it after accepting I have no options I'm trying to be hopeful .
       dbarbeau48, What did you have to take prior to the patch compared to now? 
        I honestly think it would be a easier transition if i was given even a few breakthrough meds, I guess if needed that'll happen once I'm a trusted patient. Thanks again 
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  • I was on fentanyl patches on and off, and found them extremely helpful in relieving most of my all day every day pain, and reduced the frequency of breakthrough pain.
    Maybe if I explain how it works, it might ease some of your fears.
    The fentanyl patches are applied to your skin, and they deliver a steady stream of fentanyl into your bloodstream, over 72 hours. At the 72 hour mark, you remove the used patch and replace it with another in a different location.
    Because it delivers around the clock, constant levels of medications, you may not "feel"it start to work, like many do when they use short acting meds. The constant blood levels don't let the rise and fall of the medication in your blood stream, like what happens with other meds.
    There are a few things you should be aware of, the first, is to avoid things like extended extremely hot showers or baths, saunas etc., while wearing the patch. Don't expose the patch to prolonged sunlight (sunbathing). This doesn't mean you can't do those things, just cover the patch with clothing so the patch doesn't become superheated or heated for extended periods of time.
    When applying the patch, upper arms, lower calfs, upper chest or other areas where skin movement is minimal are best. Don't use lotions or moisturizers or powders in the area you are going to put the patch. If you have 3-4 areas in your body , you can rotate the location of the patch each time you change it.
    Place the patch in the area, remove the backing, and hold your hand over the patch, smoothing the edges to make sure it is stuck.
    There are water proof covers that can be worn over the patch If you find it is not sticking well, but usually, if you just hold the patch in place for a full minute when you apply it, it sticks .

  • There are a few things you should be aware of, the first, is to avoid things like extended extremely hot showers or baths, saunas etc., while wearing the patch. Don't expose the patch to prolonged sunlight (sunbathing). This doesn't mean you can't do those things, just cover the patch with clothing so the patch doesn't become superheated or heated for extended periods of time.

    I was just going to add this to the thread, Sandi!!!  Thank you for mentioning this!!!  Yep--heat can cause a surge of medication to be released into your body from the patch which could be dangerous, as the medication is meant to be slowly released into your system.  This is another reason why people are told to avoid alcohol, as it raises your core body temperature (which can also affect the rate at which the medicine is released from the patch--not to mention the interaction between alcohol and fentanyl, anyways).

    Again, Sandi, AWESOME that you brought this to Broken1's attention!
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
  • Thank you all..
       I'm just in a bad place currently, I'm already .
    Thus is new to me and I'm suffering currently,uo until now I've had my meds decreased (hospital protical) , because my doctor left the state.
       So I'm taking 30m
     (30% decrease per 24 hr less Norco) suddenly until the 9th which is a pain management clinic oversite and as the "NURSE" said,dont be calling complaining...so I'm suffering withdrawal now and feel I can't call.
      Thank you all again,i don't want to change meds but it's obvious the clinic is (covering their butt) with all the new policies of this year,so like many I am suffering the consequences.
        Um bed bound 95% if the time,so the heat/sunlight will be no issue.
       Lord willing I can ride this out til the 9th and that the patch will be sufficient,because I can't take this any longer .
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Hi broken......
     My primary must have written a thorough referral, because at my first visit with pain management doctor, I was told I will be treated as a cancer patient and I left the office with script for fentynl parches.

    One of my experiences was that my patches did become loose too soon ...before ready for change.
    Although you can buy the tegaderm or other type covering as instructed, I called the company making the patches and they sent me huge box of the tegaderms, so patch stays put.

    And it was free! And they also told me to let them know when I needed more and they would ship more out...free again!
    They may not cost much, but every little bit helps. :)

    Also, I think it's a good idea to read the instructions as it does indicate what coverings are not to be used.

    Then my PM doctor explained that we will be changing my main med, my daily med for pain about every year, year and a half.
    He explained that he didn't want me to continue on med until it was no longer effective. 
    So, presently I'm on the patch, then will change to OxyContin, back to patch...
    He also talked about other alternatives as we may have couple of decades left to keep pain under control..and I sure don't want to be left with meds being ineffective.

    Both meds have been effective for me. The best thing about the patch, for me, is it helps me sleep better during the night.
    I am not waking up in middle of night with pain.
    Sometimes towards the end of the year with the oxy...I will wake, in pain,  a few hours before I can take next dose.

    I wish you best with your meds.
    Keep good communication with doctor, so he will know how to best treat you!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Savage,
       It's my hope that the patch (50 MC/hr) will be adequate.
       I'm look into getting in touch with the company,fir the covers once I know the brand,tfanks for the information.

      As if now after 5 years taking constant mscontin I wake up often in pain & sick from the overall decrease in meds in my system so each day starts in terrible pain.
        I'm trying to stay positive about this change, as you all know being positive is the only way to make it..
       Thank you guys so much, I feel some better about this switch.
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