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Fentanyl Patches
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An_223819 posted:
Please help! In January I had surgery on my lung (a portion removed due to a mass). I had numerous complications from the surgery and spent 3 weeks in the hospital. When I was released I was given fentanyl patches to help with the pain. When I returned home I began seeing a neuologist regarding the pain. I ask him numerous times if Fentanyl was addictive, since it was a HUGE issue for me never to take anything addictive and I did not know anything about the drug. Unfortunately, he was not honest with me and now I want to get off these terrible patches and hell it is! How long does the withdrawal last! I feel like I am going to lose my mind!!!! I read enough that I am attempting to do it slowly due to withdrawal issues but WOW! Any advice???? I am going thru withdrawal big time and would appreciate any input! I am just so angry at the neurologist who actually told me I would need them for over a year!
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cweinbl responded:
1. Please know that I understand what you're going through. It is a horrible feeling. Contact your doctor and ask if he/she can prescribe something for wiithdrawal. There are drugs called opiate antagonists (Naxolone, Suboxone, etc.) that were designed for this purpose.

2. Please know the difference betaeen addiction, tolerance and withdrawal. Addiction is a psychological disorder, characterized by using a drug to obtain a state of euphoria, rather than to relive pain. Such people use too much, run out too soon, purchase it illegally, steal it, etc. Does this describe you? If not, addiction is not present.

The percentage of chronic pain patients using narcotics who become addicted is between 0.7% and 3%. That means a very tiny percentage of people like you will become addicted to pain medication. Those people almost always have other addiction disorders. Do you? If not, you are not addicted.

Tolerance is a physical condition in which a larger dose of a narcotic is required to achieve the prior level of relief. Withdrawal is another physical condition in which a patient who abruptly stops a narcotic will feel ill.

Many people bandy the word addiction about without the least concern for its description, definition or characteristics. No naroctic, including Fentanyl, will make you addicted. Addiction is a personality disorder, not a psysical condition. You have the same chance of being addicted to pain medication as being addicted to alcohol, sports betting, sex or any number of other similar conditions.

Again, ask your doctor about using an opiate antagonist to ease the discomfort. Finally, withdrawal symptoms typically dissipate within a few days. Good luck.
cweinbl csw2@bex.net
 
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annette030 responded:
I don't think anyone should try and read up on this topic then withdraw their meds on their own.

Please talk to your pcp and let him know exactly why you feel coming off of this med is the best thing for you, and follow his taper instructions. If you are going through withdrawal big time now, I suspect you are not following a slow enough taper.

Take care, Annette
 
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galemarie59 replied to annette030's response:
Thank you both for your replies. I VERY much appreciate your input to my situation. After reading Cweinbl's reply, I realize I am not a drug addict or addicted... Just having a VERY large problem with the pain patch I have been on for an extended period of time. Annette thank you for your recommendation. I did make an appointment to see my doctor. He has presribed Ativan to take and slowed down the tapering of the patch. I am in hopes that the Ativan will help with the withdrawal symptoms I am having. I have been so ill with my attempting to come off the patch, I lost 9 pounds in a week from nausea and diarrhea. The weight loss would not be an issue, except my doctor has been trying to get me to gain weight since before my surgery. I just pray that the Ativan helps. I guess it is time for me to read up on this drug. I don't think I have ever in my life felt so alone and frustrated. I never dreamed something like this could happen to me.
 
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annette030 replied to galemarie59's response:
I have read in one article in a medical journal that they recommended that opiates only be tapered by 10% of the total daily dose per week. That slow a taper should really reduce withdrawal symptoms.

Be careful with the ativan as that is also habit forming. Be sure to use it as prescribed for only the length of time that it might take to get your opiates tapered. Don't take extra or save any to use later.

Take care, Annette
 
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galemarie59 replied to annette030's response:
Annette, I really appreciate your replies. I am having a terrible time! I am on Gabapentin, Lansoprazole, and Promethazine as well as the Fentanyl patch and the Ativan. I have not been taking the Ativan unless I absolutely have to have it. I take it when I am shaking so much I feel ill. This morning I am just a mess again. My doctor decided to put me on 12 m patches instead of the 25. I just this week made it to taking the 25 every 3 days... What is he thinking???? I feel so sick, like I am dying! I just hate this!!!!!!!
 
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galemarie59 replied to annette030's response:
I once again am having a bad day due to withdrawal. If I follow the tapering plan. I would put on two 12 patches on in the morning. I am so frustrated with feeling this way and putting my husband thru this. I just want this nightmare over. Do you or anyone know if there would be any big issues if I do not put on any more patches and ride out a few bad days once and for all? If I stop cold turkey at least. This would be over...I can't do this any more.
 
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galemarie59 replied to cweinbl's response:
Would Ativan classify as an opiate antagonist?
 
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galemarie59 replied to galemarie59's response:
I am suppose to put on 2 12mg patches this morning. I have made the decision that I am done with the patches. I could really use a lot of prayers the next few days, After the hell I spent yesterday with withdrawal, I decided to get this over with once and for all. I can't bear months of a slow tapering of this terrible thing!
 
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TDXSP08 replied to galemarie59's response:
No Ativan is a benzo worlds away from Opiates ,So you are quitting cold turkey that is pretty reckless and you should be prepared for the fact that withdrawl symptoms can and have lingered for as long 6 months in some people, and if you are not following a Doctor's orders for your withdrawl no Dr. will right a script for any medication to ease the symptoms should they become intolerable because you are not under a doctors care.
so this is a big step you are taking, and you risk also losing the support of the prescriber for not following directions and S/he may not feel comfortable prescribing med's for you in the future
so theres allot at stake here, think twice.

Peace
i have no small step for man, but i have 6 tires for mankind,Watch your Toes!
 
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annette030 replied to galemarie59's response:
I would not recommend you do anything different without speaking to your doctor about it. You are on multiple meds, please, please speak to your MD about all of this.

Take care, Annette
 
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annette030 replied to galemarie59's response:
No, Ativan in a benzo, it is unrelated to opiates at all. It does however treat some withdrawal effects from withdrawing from opiates.

Please speak to your MD about all of this.

Take care, Annette
 
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annette030 replied to TDXSP08's response:
I disagree that opiate withdrawal alone can last six months from the past dose. Benzos are a completely different animal than opiates though. I cannot imagine the mix of the two, and going through that withdrawal on my own.

I do agree that you need to be under a doctor's care, even if you want to go faster, most doctors will say okay, and treat you again if it is too much for you to deal with. However, it you just quit and do not stay under your doctor's care, it may be tougher to get a doctor to manage you later on.

Take care, Annette
 
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galemarie59 replied to annette030's response:
Annette, I am on day 2 with no patch. My doctor had given me 0.5 Ativan to help me with withdrawal symptoms. Last night was a nightmare for me, leg tremors big time. My husband called our physican this morning to let him know that I am going cold turkey from the patch and to get it over with. My doctor increased my Ativan to 1mg. I am in hopes this helps. I was told that it takes 72 hours to get the fentanyl out of my system. That means tomorrow I should be rid of the fentanyl Please know, that my doctor is aware of everything I am doing. He is supporting my decision to go cold turkey. He is no the physican who prescribed the patch or the one who lied to my husband and I about it NOT being addictive! I am praying a lot and I know my Lord will get me thru the next few days!
 
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peskypain replied to galemarie59's response:
It's a shame that you are trying to go cold turkey which will not only make it harder on yourself with withdrawals...but also now having to subsitute and take Ativan...

Then you will have to SLOWLY go off the Ativan...since that can be dangerous if you cold turkey off a Benzo...so then you have prolonged the entire process for yourself..

But obviously this is your choice and if your Dr. is completely aware of what you are doing...I can't imagine he was happy with this decision or advised you to do this..as this could have been an easy process by just tapering down until off the medicine without adding in another..

Hope you feel better soon!


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