Anyone go through withdrawl from Fentanynl patches? Advice Please

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hopelessgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 5/10/2008 10:36 AM (GMT -7)   
I do a lot of reading here, but don't post often. I've been on 75 mg fentynal patches for about 5 mths or so, I'm in the process of moving and had a death in the family and my life is pretty much a mess. So now somehow I lost a package of patches 5 of them OR someone took them, but I would hate to think that. Many people have been in and out of my house and I've opened every single box I've packed and they are no where to be found.

Ok problem is I was afraid to tell my doctor thinking she wouldn't be able to give me more or maybe even think I was lying. I thought I would just be ok and deal with the pain and possible withdrawl. I'm not sure I can.... I have vicoden 10/325 and I've been taking that with neurontin and valum and muscle relaxers. I've slept for the past two days pretty must straight and now the third night I think I was paranoid or seeing things. I thought my husband was in bed and then he was gone and he actually was in the living room watching TV the whole time. I yelled and said I needed meds, he gave me some valum. I was shaking, I keep sweating then freezing, I feel sick like horrible flu, I'm in so much pain It's hard to even move. I am wondering if anyone has just stopped taking the patch like this and how long it took to go through the withdrawl and is it going to get worse? I'm scared, I don't even want to go back on this stuff but I know I need it, its been the only thing that has taken some of my pain away. Can anyway give me some advice? PLEASE!!! ???? Thanks so much
2002 Carpal Tunnel Surgery, Plantar fasciitis, Migraines / Daily Headaches, 2005 Gastric Bypass surgery (200 lb weight loss), 2006 Hernia repair (due to wls), one week later complications and an emergency surgery Bowel obstruction, March 2008 another Hernia repair, chronic back and leg pain all over muscle pain (doctors say it's related to fast weight loss and loss of laxity in muscles etc, Nerve damage / pain in back legs and arms / hands, herniated discs and spinal stenosis in lower back, high blood pressure, anemia, constant throbbing/rushing/heartbeat sound in right ear(doctors have no idea what this is), anxiety and depression most likely related to chronic pain.

Have been on so many different medications! Currently 75mg Fentaynal patch, 600mgs Neurontin 3xday, Immitrex as needed, Avapro, Prozac 80 mgs, percocet for break through pain as needed, Skelaxin as needed, Zanaflex (at night to sleep and muscle Relaxer)


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/10/2008 12:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Hopeless,
It's good you posted and reached out for some help. I've not been on the patches, so I don't know how it feels to withdraw from them but your symptms certainly sound like withdrawal. If you have a good relationship with your doctor, you might try calling and being honest with him/her. Especially because you're moving, that might lend support to the patches having been 'lost' or misplaced, and he/she might be willing to give you something to at least help through the transition. The only other option I can think of would be the ER, and if your withdrawal symptoms get worse that might be where you end up.

I hope some others here may have additional advice, but it sounds like you need to try to talk with your doc.

Take care,
PaLady

Toritoo
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 184
   Posted 5/10/2008 4:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Hopeless So sorry you're feeling so bad and I hope that right now you have either called your dr. or are on your way to the hospital. As I totally agree with PALady (hey PALady hope your well) I've been on Fentnyl for well over 6 years and was taking 200 mc. every 48 hours for quite a long time till recently I began to come down from that for obvious reasons + I got a pain pump put in about 2 years ago. Rambling, sorry, my point is that it has taken all of the last 2 years to come down off the patches it was a very slow process and should'nt be rushed in to accidently or if someone ripped you off (so sick) I just came down finally to 25 mc. every 48 hours. I felt it every time which to be honest surprised me I did'nt think it would make me feel so bad they had worked well for my pain and more than I thought.
 
So in closing I really hope you don't try and just stop using the patches because it really would be dangerous. Your dr. should believe you after all there are to many possibilities  of this happening, the move... poor girl I really feel for you right now so go to the ER or Urgent Care near you and let them know what's going on and ask for help please.
 
Hope you have a much better night than you've had recently, right? 
 
Toritoo
  sad

Freya
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 5/10/2008 9:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Hopeless

I just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you and hoping your either sleeping because your doc sent you to the ER earlier or your there right now.
I'm so sorry something happened to the rest of your patches, but I'm sure if you talk to your doc and you've known him/her for a while they will understand. At the very least they wouldnt want you to go through something like that all alone without any medical help.
So if your still trying to do it all by yourself, please dont. Your doctor may be more upset if you try to do it yourself instead of just telling them straight out what has happned.
I hope your doing well right now

Freya
  In suffering, we are given the key to a door which most rarely 
      get to open.  Behind it lies the ultimate gift which is only visible
                             in our darkest hour.
                                True strength.


Gremma
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 5/11/2008 3:00 AM (GMT -7)   
eyes  Dear Hopeless, it may not be as bad as you think. I was going through menopause and night sweats and sweat a new patch off three times!! It really depends on your track record with your Rx's. If you have needed Rx's sooner than they should be in the past then you won't be able to get by this time. But if you manage to get past this one, it will only be excused once, no excuse whatever will work again. Even if your car was broken into and you have a police report, it won't work a second time. The doctors are constantly monitored for irregularities. Your triplicate prescriptions in paper form have to be treated like signed checks to your savings account. When you get your boxes homes they must be stored away from heat and water, and from sight. You would not be the first person to have a "friend" steal your patches, they have a great street value.
 
I was on a 50 strength patch and miscalculated once and went an extra day. My back ached and I thought I would come out of my skin. I was only able to use the patches a short while, they're side effects began to make my life worse. I couldn't sleep, I had no appetite, I was nauseous all the time, and I had constant headaches. I thought it was menopause, I thought it was my eyes, I thought it was my jaw, I went through a year of testing for everything else in the world only to find it was the patches.
 
Pain is hell to live with, there's no doubt. But my long experience has shown me that many meds are poisonous after a while. I found a great physical therapist who does an unusual technique that worked for me because most of my pain resulted from scar tissue over nerves. I was overusing one set of muscles to the point of fatigue, weakness, and pain; and another set of muscles I was not using at all and they had become atrophyed. The only way to come back is to become as strong as you can. Learn to use what you still have the best you can. Learn how to strengthen injured muscles so they can gain back strength and keep keyloids from permanently fusing you. Muscles can not get stronger when you take tranquilizers and muscle relaxers. You need neurontin, pain meds, and anti-inflammatories and exercise.
 
Like I said before, chronic pain can be unbearable, but once the pain is addressed you are far better off to work at strengthening what you can, and stretching what you can or your life will robbed by constant medication. Whatever pain meds you are taking, after a while they will not be as effective and you will need to take more, finally it will rob you of the ability to think clearly, your memory will be affected, you'll become depressed, and you will begin to miss out on all the things that make life worth living.
 
I was on the 50, I enjoyed just not being miserable for a bit, then I found out what shape my muscles were in, I began slowly to work the different groups and using them more efficiently. After 5 months I cut my patch strength in half to 25. I didn't sleep well at first, my back ached more at first, but after a few weeks I started to feel great. I had more energy, I slept better, my appetite started to come back, and I started doing things again. But I still had the headache, not as bad, but still there all the time.
 
End of last year I cut the patch in half again to 12, sleeping much better, enjoying food, going on outings with the family again, headache almost gone, my head is so much clearer, I take care of household bills and insurance again and my husband is no longer afraid I'll flake out and not pay the bills on time. It wasn't easy, but I saw a lady who just medicated. Now she has liquid morphine, a huge bottle of valium, and percocet. They put a ramp in front of her house, but she doesn't leave the house now. Her daughters graduated and their mother was not there. When the family goes to relatives for the holidays, she stays home alone, she doesn't want to go anymore. One of her daughters cries because she misses their mother, the other one resents her mother and never even goes into her room with the hospital bed and Rx bottles everywhere. It smells in her room because she's too stoned sometimes to make it to the bathroom.
 
nono  I don't want to be preachy. I've had constant, chronic pain and I would have taken anything to make it go away. But then you, not your doctors, have to decide where to go from there. Your doctor can make decisions, but you and your family have to live with them. Be involved in those decisions. See physical therapists, they examine your strengths and weakenesses and they can help you become the best you can be. It is bullcrap that you can't do something if it hurts. Once you've stopped doing stuff, your joints and muscles can form keyloids that lock your joint or muscle in a certain position, to break those keyloids it takes pain, but then you can get stronger.
 
Your mind has a big role in how you feel, some pain meds depress you and help you give up.
I don't know how old you are, but for some people, medication only is a road to hell.
Before people start to attack me, I know there are conditions that require pain meds, I know there are conditions that will never be made better, I know these conditions exist and what I'm saying does not apply, but sometimes taking someone's hope away can be damaging too.
 
Contact your doc, tell 'em a box disappeared, you suspect someone at your luncheon might have taken them, going cold turkey off a 75 might even be dangerous. Good luck with your situation, I hope it won't be a permanent part of yur life. Worrying about prescriptions all the time is as bad as smoking cigarettes. You have to check to make sure you have enough when you go out of town, or over holiday weekends, and you have to carry them with you so they don't get lost in luggage, it's a a drag. Best of luck. Sorry if I offended, I've seen too much, the best and the worst side of this issue, it's a touchy path. I wish no one ever had to experience it at all.

Stmll
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 106
   Posted 5/11/2008 6:01 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi hopeless,

I am so sorry tohear about the hell that you are going through, I would agree that you should go to the er immediately, it is not safe to quit taking the fentanyl patces like that, I am on them and have been on them for about 1.5 yrs, I have gone through  withdrawl on them before and it is horrible, aches,  sweats, the worse feeling that you could imagine,I would tell your Dr exctly what you told us that you were scared to tell him for fear that you would be accused of something bad, obivously you need them and should be on them, you are probably taking more of your bt pain which is going to leave you short, I really really hope that you call your Dr or go to the ER, and just be honest :)   Gremma I am glad that you quit taking your meds when they were really not required, you are 100% right the meds would take over your life you would sleep all the time and become withdrawn and everything you have said, if they were not really required, and could manage with other ways of dealing with it...

Tracey  


DX; Loin Pain Hematuria Syndrome, A Very Rare Painful Kidney Disease,No Cure for this disease at this time, only thing is to Control Pain,
RX, Fentanyl Patch,Amitriplyne, Morphine 


hopelessgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 5/11/2008 12:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much everyone for your help. I'm unsure sometimes what to do and I thank everyone for their opinions. I do think the patches are making my life difficult in a way. They make me so tired and all I want to do is sleep, but sometimes I'm not sure if that's the depression or maybe the medication causing depression OR the pain. So I'm going to try to go off the patches for a while and see what happens, If I do the physical therapy and get more exercise maybe that will help, if not I'll have no choice but to go back on them. I have the worst time at night and my poor husband has to wake up to take care of me :( He's the best though!!! I'm very lucky to have someone like him....... Again thanks so much for all your help and advice.
2002 Carpal Tunnel Surgery, Plantar fasciitis, Migraines / Daily Headaches, 2005 Gastric Bypass surgery (200 lb weight loss), 2006 Hernia repair (due to wls), one week later complications and an emergency surgery Bowel obstruction, March 2008 another Hernia repair, chronic back and leg pain all over muscle pain (doctors say it's related to fast weight loss and loss of laxity in muscles etc, Nerve damage / pain in back legs and arms / hands, herniated discs and spinal stenosis in lower back, high blood pressure, anemia, constant throbbing/rushing/heartbeat sound in right ear(doctors have no idea what this is), anxiety and depression most likely related to chronic pain.

Have been on so many different medications! Currently 75mg Fentaynal patch, 600mgs Neurontin 3xday, Immitrex as needed, Avapro, Prozac 80 mgs, percocet for break through pain as needed, Skelaxin as needed, Zanaflex (at night to sleep and muscle Relaxer)


Gremma
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 5/13/2008 10:00 AM (GMT -7)   
eyes  I am so glad to hear that you guys do understand that I have been where you have been, I was in so much pain if they had said, this will help you, but you'll you deaf in one ear, I would have said that's fine, give it to me. I did read the huge paper that comes with the meds when I first started using the patches but I didn't know what all the stuff meant. Relief was my main goal. Since then I have found out that people on pain management drugs can not get Long-term health care, that most drugs have the side effect that will actually GIVE you cavaities and quickly (much like meth addicts) the constant constipation puts your intestines at risk, and that overall pain med patients will take Ten Years off their life! But the thing that bothered the most was that after some time, and it is different with every person, it will turn on you, and what used to help you want to get through the day, will actually make your pain worse, plus give you Rebound Headaches, depression, and mental cloudiness that leaves you unable to even balance your own check book!
 
I do not blame anyone for this, when we get there we are desparate for help, pain is like a strangle-hold on around your neck, you need relief. I may very well be a lucky one. After seening six doctors over three years, lugging my MRI's, xrays, CT scans, and surgery reports I almost gave up, but a therapist I was seeing for depression asked me to see just one more doctor with a good track record, and that's how I found my physical therapist who uses a system that breaks up scar tissue and gives you a chance to get mobility back again.
 
yeah  I thank God everyday for this "One More Try" at talking with one-more doc. These patches are a God send to get relief from unbearable pain, but I believe they are a much needed step. They relieve the pain enough for us to think a little more clearly, to really look at what's going on, is it skeletal, is it muscular, it is nerve pain, knowing what it is helps so much. I can get by with neurontin and anti-inflammatories now. I feel so much better!
 
Gos Bless you all it your journey, I hope you can find a small path that works for you. If not, I hope you have people who love and support you. Laugh when can, love everyone, icluding yourself, and find a reason to see the beauty of nature. Best to all, Gremma

Morgoth
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 177
   Posted 5/14/2008 6:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Hopelessgirl, sorry for writing this hopelessly late but I'm familiar with the product. I've been taking the 50 microgram/hour patches (called Durogesic in Belgium) for three years now. You should never quit this kind of pain medication at once but slowly lower the dose, especially after 5 months. Halting the treatment does cause depression (although I've never experienced any kind of depression, which is extremely odd according to my doctors), mood swings, etc. Can even cause epileptic seizures.

From what you write, I can only say you are seriously over-medicated (I know, all the various doctors subscribing different pain medication for different problems and not taking into account the cumulative effect of the lot, usually because they don't want to interfere in the treatment their collegues presribed). A lot of your problems can actually be caused by over medication. As it is now, you're doped up 24 a day and you simply can't keep up this kind of medication for the remainder of your days (unless you want to end up as a vegetable as we call them here in Belgium). I can only advice you to consult a trusted doctor are start decreasing your medication slowly. Should you ever lose medication again, don't be affraid to tell your doctor immediately. Considering the amount you take, and talking from personal experience, I'm surprised it doesn't happen way more often. I've been slowly detoxing for he past 3 years now. I went through a rapid detox in 2003 and do not recommend the procedure. I ended up with epileptic seizures due to rapid detox. I knew I in advance I had to go to a detox before they started doping me up (I need opium derivatives in great amounts to stop intestinal bleedings. Unfortunately, I had a serious accident in 2000 and needed lots of surgery. To compensate for the blood loss, my methabolism was slowed down by massive amounts of pain medication. Detox in 2003 and in 2005 I broke my spine ... doped-up again to prevent paralysis due to extreme pain. That's when I started to decrease all the non-vital medication.). I suppose no one ever told you what the side effects of such enormous amounts of medication are. My detox procedures, and I'm still at it, is co-ordinated by my GP and supervised by my neurologists. Several of my problems are subsiding slowly (this really takes time, we're talking months and years now) but steadily. It has now been determined they were indeed caused by over-medication.

Consult a doctor you trust, then, together, look for a good specialist to guide you through detox. Life will be much better afterwards. It is of course possible the pain will increase in some area's. Bite the bullet and give it a while. If the pain lingers on, your doctors will change your medication to the one best suited for your specific pain problems (now you're just dumping everything into the trashcan hat has become your central nervous system). Talk this over with friends and family. Peopled hooked on medication are often affraid to relinguish some of their pain medication. That's normal behaviour for addicts, I know, I was there as well. Even slow detox will initially cause fair, panic, depression, mood swings, etc. But since you're already experiencing those, it can't really get any worse now can it? Let conversation with people whom you trust take away some of your fears, don't take additional medication for it unless specifically prescribed by your doctors. Once you start rationalizing the problem and start looking at it from a cold logical point of view, your fears will subside as well. You will slowly regain control of your live as your central nervous system is purged from the pain medication. Mind you, you don't have to give up all medication. Your doctors will still provide you with the necessary means to combat the pain and force it into an acceptable position. You'll just have your life back, not completely without pain, but at least with a clear view.

Take care and drop me line will you.
 


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/14/2008 11:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Morgoth,
I realize you're being hit kind of hard in a lot of responses to your posts - mine included, but some suggestions you make I find a little disturbing. One thing is,as I've mentioned, confusing dependence and addiction. But also, particularly in this thread, I'm concerned about telling anyone that they are seriously overmedicated. That has to be decided between that person and his/her doctors. I know we all sometimes make suggestions about medications, but some of your views are the same ones we have to deal with here in the states on a consistent basis. Our doctors here do not so readily "provide us with the necessary means to combat the pain". That's what many of us are struggling with. And it's a rare person on this forum that I've seen who ever wanted to be on narcotics or strong pain meds; quite the opposite. Most of us fight it, and lose significant pieces of our lives and health in the process. There may be differences between our countries, and I'm open to learning how it is in Belgium, but I think you're hearing from many of us how it is in the U.S.

PaLady

p.s. I'm a little confused, also. I thought I read in one of your posts that you're still on opium. If so, how can you judge others for being on narcotics? It's also none of my business, but could you have possibly struggled with addiction issues, and be assuming that anyone on pain meds is automatically an addict? I hope I'm not being too intrusive; if so, I do apologize. You certainly don't have to share these things here if you don't want to. There also may be cultural differences that can afffect communication; please let me know if this is the case, as I'd like to learn so as not to offend!

Post Edited (PAlady) : 5/14/2008 1:49:28 PM (GMT-6)

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