I used to be on Fentanyl patches too ... 4 patches at 100mg each and I still had loose stools!!! Was on them for about
1 1/2 years and went off them as I was so allergic to the glue that bound them ... and b/c I slept all the time. I did get a lot of pain releif, however. It was a trade off. Going off the patches was hard, the dt's were terrible, but I was determined.
By the time I want off them, my nauseau was under control and I could tolerate oral pain meds. I take very little of them now. I've gotten LOTS of relief with low doses of anti-depressents such as amitriptyline ... they don't have as much as the constiapating affects and you are not always chasing the pain. You can always use other pain meds (vicodin, ultram, percocet, etc) for break through pain if needed.
But, yes, it is a balance and a trade off ...
Diagnosed with Crohn's 2004 via pill camera Imuran (6MP) kicked into remission (along with modified diet) so went off in 2006.
2009/2010 acute flare and hospitalization - put back on Imuran. Currently taking 55 mg prednisone.
Current problem - protruding thrombosis hemorrhoid.