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I am feeling the same difficult decission of getting off pain meds...
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adyson39 posted:
I've been on them for 10 years now... I'm in the process of switching from fentinayl patch to methadone... I've been talking to my doc for a couple months about doing this. It's not because of "addiction" but taking pain meds scares me, how much more am I gonna have to keep increasing too. I was glad to hear that it doesn't affect the body dangerously, but then I hear from other people that I'm going to ruin my liver, and it eventually could shorten my life... what do we believe?? I just can't stand the withdrawl... how difficult is it to get a job taking this kind of medication? I'm gonna need to start working in a year or so when I get married. I guess I'm just worried how this is affecting my whole life. Sounds like I'm not alone either!
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77grace responded:
Hi adyson,
Welcome ,I am sorry to hear that you are suffering so much and I can relate to the pain and meds!
I've never swithched from Fentinayl to Metadone but I can tell you that I have used Methadone for years successfully for my Pain I have Tumors that groe on the nerves on my spine ,scorliosos and a bubch of other stuff!
You did 'nt say what your medical problem is???I have found that if you just take it it a day at a time and try not to think so much about the Future,the meds,EffectsEtc.!!!Today is all we really have so try to take it easy on yourself!
Willpost more to you soon!I'm hurting and need to lay down !!
Bless you,77grace
 
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cweinbl responded:
Adyson, it's an axiom that empirical research is more valued than people's comments in message boards, the kindly recommendation of friends and well-meaning, but poorly informed family members. It's like believing the magazines at the store checkout counter compared to Lancet, JAMA, Nature or National Geographic. Used as directed, you can literally use opioids for a lifetime and do no harm to your body.

Opioids will not harm your liver as long you have a healthy liver when you start and you use the meds as directed by your physician. In fact, it's the Acetaminophen or the aspirin that activates the opioid that's more harmful. Again, used as directed, you are safe.

The rate of addiction among chronic pain patients using opioids is below 2% (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20091598?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=1 and http://updates.pain-topics.org/2011/01/study-finds-low-risk-of-rx-opioid-use.html . If you have no prior history of addiction disorder, you have nothing to fear.

Withdrawal is not a problem as long as it is under the guidance of a physician. The physician can administer an opiate antagonist to ease the way.

Tolerance is not a significant problem. When you reach the largest safe dosage of your medication, your physician will rotate you to a chemically different pain medication for two or three months. After that, you can return to the original medication with maximum efficacy.

Why do you think you need to switch to methadone? Is Fentanyl no longer helping? There are dosages ranging from 25 mcg to 100 mcg. Many of us here have been using powerful opioids, including Fentanyl, for more than 20 years with no problems at all. Are you prepared for the possibility that you will have a significant increase in pain? Fentanyl is about 80 times more potent than morphine. I hope this works well for you. But, realistically, there is a big difference in pain relief between the two drugs.

If your pain is lower now than it was before, perhaps you can get by with something less powerful than Fentanyl. But if your pain is the same, then switching to a less powerful medication could produce some unexpected results. I know that some of the things we hear or read can be frightening. But not all are to be believed. Best of luck to you.
cweinbl
csw2@bex.net
 
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gayleflamingo responded:
I also was on fentinayl patches for many years before the pain doctor switched me to methadone. A combination of methadone, cymbalta and lyrica have been fantastic! My pain has been controlled far better than on the patch. Also, I don't have to worry about my skin getting irritated like it was from the patches. Another thing is on fentinayl my dosage had to be increased at least once a year. I have been on the same dosages of the current meds for 5 years.

I would not worry so much about addiction as long as you are taking the prescribed dosage. Per my doctors, methadone is a cleaner drug to take than Fentinayl.

I knew everybody reacts differently, but this is how it went for me. Good luck to you Adyson39.


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