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Currently on 12 mcg duragesic/fentanyl patch
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Currently on 12 mcg duragesic/fentanyl patch

I have been trending down for six months. I was on the 50mcg patches...then the 25...now on the 12. I used vicodine and sometimes the stronger norco for the withdrawels. Now I want to get off completely. My doctor says I should just stretch out the intervals that I put the patch on. He says I should be able to go off the 12 mcgs without narcotics... and he will not give me any more vicodine or norco to help with the withdrawels.

I have SEVERE withdrawels when I try to go more than three days on one patch. I convulse pretty badly and hallucinate. I am getting more and more nervous and anxious and the suicidal thoughts are always with me now...where as before they only came when I was trending down. Considering how hard I fought to get well and survive it is really odd to me to constantly be thinking about death.I really want off this patch. I was wondering if it would be possible to take the patch off without additional narcotics but with something else to ease the withdrawels. My doctor did give me ativan to help with the anxiety, but it doesn't seem to help much and I just can't take more of these symptons.

Is it possible to just rip the patch off at home and just go through the convulsions? I keep chickening out because the symptons get so bad. In other words...has anybody gone off 12mcg patches on this forum without the use of other narcotics and if so would you mind sharing how you did it?

Thank you.
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28 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
I really hope you read this before they try to remove my post because I'm telling you its NOT good for you to go through convulsions...you need to find another doctor if the one you have won't help you. Its pretty bad that your doctor knows you have seizures and convulsions and doesn't seem to care. That's very dangerous and you could get hurt very bad, or even die.
Like someone said before..ahem...maybe you could cut that patch into halves or fourths and wean that way.
Otherwise, I really think you need to go to some treatment center where they can give you something to get off that patch.
Convulsions are NOT good and you need to do something before you end up hurt really bad.
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Avatar_m_tn
I tapered from around 4800 mcgs' of Fentanyl taken orally via actiq. I have been on 25mcg patches for 8 days now. 1st 4-5 days really bad, but I'm getting better every day. How many months have u been on 12
's? Maybe I missed it, but why are you on them? Has whatever made u on them gotten better now? Ladysundown has some insights on tapering, as does manof faith, superglyde and bowhunter. Others here also have good ideas. Those listed above are the "patchers" I've met here. Take all of the advice you get, and use what you like, throw out the rest. Fentanyl withdrawls or w/d's for short, are some of the nastiest there are. I went c/t off 100mcg patches a couple years ago, and it took about a month until I felt somewhat human again. I lost about 45lbs, and should have had some help. You are in the right place for help. Ignore all of the tug-of-wars going on here, and focus on getting better. I don't post much anymore, but I do read most. let me know if u need me.
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Avatar_m_tn
ps, you can't cut the patch. If you do, all the fentanyl can run out at one time causing you to stop breathing. DO NOT CUT THE PATCH!
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Avatar_n_tn
i agree with jenny, get another doctor, yours sounds heartless. what kind of patches are you on? are they the duragesic, fentenyal? cause they have liquid/gel in them and it's impossible to cut them in 1/2. are you seeing a pain specialist? if not you may want to consider that option, they are usually more understanding, especially when your asking for hydrocodne which is alot weaker then the morpine patches (no matter ehat name brand your using) please keep us posted.

be patient, there are others here who have come off the patches, and when they read your post you will get a response from one of them, i'm sure. although I am not one of them, I have used them in the past. and told my Dr, to give my pain pills back. i couldnt function, and passed out  twice cold, once while driving. they are time released, so you have no control over when you get your dose. and sometimes you may not need a dose, but get it anyways.

tink
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Avatar_n_tn
OOOOPS! I didn't know that cutting that patch is a no-no! Good thing you saw that and set her straight.
I was only trying to think of a way she could slowly wean off of it.
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Avatar_m_tn
not bad, i too have seen the drama. woulda weighed in if it was a week ago. not now. u can cut from those 12's easy! keep the faith. u can do it! no devil's lolipops for me in 8 days, and doing pretty good. considering. glad i havent angered u. i was a real pr*ck with ears for a while, but feel more like my old self everyday. glad i hadnt offended u, cuz i need you!
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Avatar_n_tn
i was on the patch for about one month.i started with the 50 mcg,it worked good for about week and a half.then worked for 2 days.so i changed in 2 days twice then my doc but me on 75mcg,said i could o/d switching every 2 days.i put that 75 on and i got stoned for a day and a half.so icalled my doc on week 3 and he said start with the 50 for 3 days then put 75 on.so for those three days i went through w/ds,then itook off patch and threw all in my wood burner. fentanyl scared me straight.in total i went through hard w/ds for 6 days.day before i seen doc,all three days on the 50,and 2 days after i took patch off.fentanyl takes 17 hours for half of it to leave your system so you got atleast 36 hours for it to leave your system.im 18 days c/t    the bowhunter                   p.s. good luck and the genarics are flat you could proply cut in half i had both
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177003_tn?1266273955
I didn't take the time to read what the other's posted. As soon as I read yours I replied, although, I'm sure they all gave good advice. You can't cut the patches. I started on 100mcg (that's how man micrograms of fentanly is being released into the system per hour.)I went from 100 to 75 and stayed there for three months. Then down to 50 and stayed two months, now wearing a 25 plus a 12 and when I see my Dr. this month I will go to just the 25.
My dr. works with me and is very supportive. She didn't put me on them. DON'T REMOVE THE PATCH. Why are you wearing them more than three days?? They're only good for 72 hours and some people have to change them every 48, with dr. permission.
You should be on something for w/d. I was surprised how helpful my local ER was one time when my dr. was out of town and I ran out of patches. Have you ever abused the patches?? If not they will help. They may give you a mild benzo like xanax or valium, but only for two weeks. Don't want to trade addictions.
I feel very bad for you and no one should have to go through what you are now. I check the forum a lot so keep posting and I will answer. Fentanyl is a force to be dealt with. It's 100 times as strong as morphine and deadly.
I'm here for you and will be waiting for you to post an update. Take care please....LS
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Avatar_m_tn
Are you still talking to me? haven't heard from u in a long time. How's the taper? on 25's yet? No more thoughts of actiq, I HOPE! You said something in a post far away...fentanyl has never got u high so u wern't too worried about actiq. Please realize that the delivery via lolipops is immediate and will ABSOLUTELY get you high! Avoid them like grim death! I can't tell u how much better I feel with those motherf*ckers out of my life! They are the devil on a stick. Still craving them today, even though I have a 25 stuck on. Man i would love to have about 4 of them. I'd stick them all in my mouth at once. I really would. NOW how safe do they sound? keep up with patches, then get them generic fu*ckers you can cut up I guess. Can't cut my duragesic. I think about u all the time, and I hope you are still speaking with me. I think 1911 and I have a truce now. Keep me up to date! Please!
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177003_tn?1266273955
Hi,

Of course I'm still speaking to you. I have never been upset with anything you have done. I owe you a lot for warning me about the lollipops of death. I didn't understand them until you explained them. I will be wearing the 25 patch by the end of this week. The next cut in about two months and I will be wearing just a 12. After than I'm very afraid. See, I thought the actiq suckers were just innocent little things that didn't have enough fentanyl in them to hurt anything. I thought maybe way less than the 12 patch. I will forever be in your debt for warning me. I am afraid though. What will happen to me when I'm done with the last 12 patch?? Will it just be realy bad w/d until my body gets used to not having fentanyl?? Is there something else I can take?? I don't have any pain but I'm sure my Dr. will give me something. She's the not the one that put me on this damn fentanyl and she's willing to work with me. She's only been a Dr. for about a year so I'm her first fentanyl patient. I had no problem coming off vicodin so maybe that would work. I already take xanax and have taken it for so many years my body is used to it.

How have you been?? Please let me know. I am having trouble accepting some of the stuff going on here on the forum but you know how that goes. It's a soap opera sometimes. lol

Post soon.....LS
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Avatar_f_tn
If you use the generic patch that does not have gel in its but is more flat.  THe brand start with an "m" and I can't think of it.  Anyway, when using these, you can cut them and therefore wean off much slower.  Because we went through a time with no insurance, the doctor I was seeing for pain management advised that I get the 100mc patch and cut it in 1/2.  I took 50mc every two days.  This obviously was much cheaper and I never experienced any problems.  This can not be done with the brand name patches.  The get would ooze out and you would get all of the meds at once.  THis is not the case with these.  ANyway, best of luck.  I am now on Oxycontin and starting the wean down process. It sucks bad!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have Crohn's disease and nerve damage done to me after surgery in 2000 and have been in pain ever since.  In 2000 i was put on oxycontin and was on it for 2 years. i got tired of the up and down w/d and decided to go off of it cold turkey.  did it but took 2 months to feel human again.

Now I'm having worse problems with the Crohn's and the nerve damage. went to a pain specialist who put me on 12s but felt absolutely NO PAIN RELIEF!  She put me on 25s then 50s. Again, no pain relief.  I've felt absolutely nothing from the patch and the doctor doesn't believe me. Tells me it's impossible not to get pain relief from the patch. Well, I'm sitting here now in excruciating pain with a 50 on and no relief.  Am going to new pain doctor next month is the earliest. Has anyone EVER had this problem of not getting any relief from the patch?
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Avatar_f_tn
My son has MS and has been on Fentanyl patches first 25mcg, then 50mcg the 75mcg.  he was changing them every 3 days then every 2 days and now even though it is ordered every 2 days he is changing them every day   will be out of patches 2 weeks before he can get new prescription.  He believe he can use Vicodin until he gets more patches .  I've tried to keep his patches but only resent me, think I'm trying to control him.  He has addition bad, only cares for his self  and his Fentanyl  what will happen to him after sudden withdrawal?
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401786_tn?1309155634
First off, just wanted to let you know that you hooked onto a thread that was started in '07, so it's best if you go to the top of the page and click on the green bar to post your question/situation.  Now, I have some personal experience with this medication, as I was on 200 mcg for 4 years.  I am also a nurse, and can say that this med should not be stopped abruptly.  I don't wanna get into every specific, but seizures are tops on the list.  One opiate/opioid can be switched for another, BUT only if the doses are equianalgesic, and in your son's case, it would be pretty hard to accomplish with what he's got, and so he may hit some speed bumps after his patches are done.  I'd call the doctor who's prescribing them, if your son's under 18.  Otherwise, the doc and his/her ofc. will not speak to you about it at all.  If he runs out, and hits trouble, an E.R. visit will most likely be quick to follow....partly because of how he'll feel, and partly, perhaps (not definitely!) of problems from sudden w/d of the med.  Nothing is definite, just keep an eye on him.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I was prescribed percocet for cronic (chronic) back pain, and as I moved to a different state, started going to a Pain Mgt Center, well long story short, I went from 40 percocet 5/325 to over 240 percocet 7.5/325 and then on top of that I was given the "patch" at first it was like 50mcg then 75mcg
then 100 mcgs.  This was the past year, well I was taking the percocets more frequently than I should, and when I went for my monthly refills they decided to drop me as I violated the terms of the agreement.  Let me tell you DO NOT ever do that!!!  You are then left in a no man's land with no help at all!!  I was forced to withdrawl (withdrawal) COLD TURKEY!!  Not pleasent at all.  I am on day 5 of my cold turkey run and it still *****.  I feel like I just want to crawl away from myself.  Show this to your SON and I would be more than happy to tell him how miserable it is to quit!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I was just given the Fentanyl patch 50 mcg a week ago and on one every 3 days. It is time to put another one (the third one) on and I am scared because I feel so drowsy and not quite like myself.  I can hardly keep my eyes open one minute and then the next I am okay. It is strange. I have been on vicodin for about a year and may be having back surgery by the first of next year. It appears they are helping with the pain but from the posts I have read I am wondering if I should just not take them at all and tolerate the pain until surgery if they are worse than w/d from vicodin. Any recommendations?
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey curious, you tapped into a very old thread.  If you feel drowsy on the patches they are too strong for you.  You can read mine and other threads on here but fentanyl is one of the nastiest drugs to get off of.  If you can avoid using the patches Iwould suggest that you do so.  W/D's on the patches are horrible and can take forever to feel normal.  If you have the mylan patches you can cut them in half or quarters, if they are the gell filled ones you can't cut them.
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Avatar_n_tn
50 mcg fentanyl every 48 hrs several months. dr. said leave patch on 5 days then just stop. can't get past 3 days. just in er then hosp for 2 days for chest pain - anxiety an dpanic and drug interaction turned out. loaded up w/ new patch, voltaren, ativan and many heart attack drugs. orig injury c spine. artificial disc repl 4/07. excruciating pain arms, hands fingers worsening almost dail since 8 mos ago. can't find why. agony to type. need off fentanyl also have percoset 10/325 - told to take 4x day. also have xanax as needed and lunesta for sleep. wany to taper patch - how? how to find dr to help? i am so sorry for us all. God please help us, hands on fire.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been on opiates for eight years and now my docter does not want to help me. He said if I go for bone scan and nothing looks loose then I have to go to methadone clinic. I work two jobs
and without my Medication I can't do it but he said I'll just have to tuff it out. I dint know what to do. It's like it's all been a lie to him or somthing. He also miss diagnosed me and I ended up having hip surgery as result. Now I have degenerative arthritis in joints where pins where placed,that's where pain comes from. He ha put me on a roller coaster of drugs over the eight years and now he decides it's time to come off. I have no problem with this if it's done properly. I was on 200mch of fentanyl and 100mg of oxycontin per day,he then dropped me to 40mg of oxycontin and 100mcg of fentanyl. I was in agony so with pleeding he put me to 60mg of oxycontin and 150mcg of fentanyl. Now he has dropped me to 80mg of oxycontin period and says not to call him and he does not care about withdrawls thinks I should not be having any. I still have pain and I can't be at my jobs going through withdrawls. Any advice would be awsome at this point. Thankyou
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Avatar_n_tn
Jacqui-
My wife is on a 200mcg/hr dose for her chronic back pain from a broken back and failed fusion. She has been moved up and down in dosage, and currently has been prescribed 2-100mcg/hr fentanyl patches every 2 days, rather than every 3 days.
Were you on a 2 day or 3 day schedule, or is there a 200mcg/hr patch out on the market?  So far, all I have found over the 100mcg/hr patch is in oral form for cancer treatment.
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271792_tn?1334983257
Hi Kevin,

I assume you came here from a google search. You have posted in a thread that started a little over 3 years ago. Many of these members are no longer active here. If no one sees this post it will go back to archives and you won't get any answers.

So, go to the top of this page, hit the green "Post A Question" button and follow the instructions to start your own post. You can copy and paste exactly what you have here.

Additionally, there is a PM community here at MH that you may find more help from. I have provided the link below for you:

http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Pain-Management/show/53

Either way, I hope to see you post and get as much information you need from the site.
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1542945_tn?1293359909
just came across this thread.  I started the patch journey about 6 month ago.  Started on Butrans and transtec......didn't hit the spot (severe pelvic and abdominal adhesions cause my pain).  Moved onto Fentanly.  50mg  I have turned into Satan!  Anger, moods, hatred - got im an absolute b*tch!  Decided I needed to get off this crap.....pain clinic doc said 50mg for 3 patches worth (changing as per instructions on box), next comes a 12mg+25mg patch (both at same time) for 3 patches worth, then comes 25mg (3 patches worth), then finally 12mg.  First 2 w/ds weren't too bad.....I know what a full one feels like- I ripped a 50mg off and went cold turkey for 27 hours ----- thought I was dying! NOT RECOMMENDED!.  Bad 6 day w/d when I started the 12mg patches.  Doc now said I've to start on the 20mg Buprenorphine patches until I see him at end of Jan.  Perhaps if you follow these instructions, maybe even stringing out the patches a bit longer in between drops, you will have some success?  Starting to feel more human now that the evil Fentanyl is almost out, just hope the Butrans tapering will go smoothly.  
Good luck to anyone = this aint an easy road.......it's worth it though :-)
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Avatar_m_tn
I've been on fentanyl patches now for over 7 years, because of chronic pain from Post Polio Syndrome.  I never went over the 75s.  Around 5 years ago, I had a car wreak.  Because I was already on fentanyl, there was little they could do to relieve my pain, which was really bad, because of two broken bones.  To let you know how bad the breaks were, it took almost a year for the bones to heal.  I asked my doctor to take me off the patches after that happened.  For some unknown reason, he didn't want to take me off of the patches.  About two months ago, I finally was very firm in telling him I wanted off of the patches (I didn't want to go through that kind of pain ever again that I had recovering from the broken bones).  I had already gotten down to the 25s without any problem.  He put me on the 12s, which are the kind that you can cut.  Going from the 25s to the 12s was pretty hard for the first week, then things got better.  I used the 12s for about 2 weeks, then cut them in half.  A week later, I cut it into 4th, making it 3s.  However, I was having so much pain, I went back up to 6.  I'm not sure if the pain is from withdrawal or just pain from not having enough medicine to control the constant pain I was in when I started the patch.  He gave me Oxycodone to help, but I don't take them unless the pain gets unbearable.  I've used less than 30 in a two month period.  It's very cold here right now, and that increases my pain a lot.
So, for right now, I'm on 6 (half of the 12s).  I'm wondering if I should stay on the 6 (even though I'm having a lot of breakthrough pain) until it gets warmer.
Please, do not start using fentanyl.  If a doctor suggests it, ask him to consider something else.  I've taken hydrocodone, and oxycodone and never had a problem with addiction.  But the fentanyl is really terrible.  Everything everyone has said regarding how hard it is to get off of it is so very true.  
I'm desparate to get off the fentanyl.  I would rather have the pain, than go through months of awful pain like I had when I broke my leg.  My plan is to stay on the 6s for maybe a month.  Then got back down to 3, then cut the 3 in half making it 1 1/2 and so on.  Hopefully, that will work without having too much pain from withdrawals.
Warning:  just as the others said, never, never cut the patches that are filled with gel in half.  Anything over 12s have the gel (as least the ones I used), and I used generic.  I was very glad to see that the 12s were flat and could be cut.
Take care.
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82861_tn?1333457511
I'm tapering fentanyl the same way - cutting the patches.  You just have to be very patient and allow your body time to stabilize at each lowered dose.  Like you, my pain noticeably increases with each drop.  It takes about a month for it to chill out to the usual dull roar.  

I've often wondered if the pain meds were making my pain worse, and now I'm a believer.  I think that when used long-term, they mess our brain chemistry so much our perception of pain is much worse.  The highest dose I was on was the 75 mcg patch and I feel about the same now at 12.5 than I did at 75.  I also have better coping skills in place now thanks to psychotherapy with a pain psychologist.  If you can find one who specializes in pain, it's worth the time, money and effort.
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Avatar_f_tn
doctors don't know everything especially with pain patients find another doctor
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Avatar_m_tn
GOOD LORD to whoever posted about CUTTING a fentanyl/durgesic patch  NOOOOOO...the patch reservoir holds 72 hours worth of opiates/narcotics that would be instantly released into your body resulting in nothing other than DEATH...noone has EVER gotten high or survived this.  The liquid would go trasdermally through your skin and your heart would stop.  There is no cutting this to feel more of the narcotic or get more buzzed.  There have been only fatalities from this reported.  Not ONE has survived this...NOT A SINGLE one living to tell the tale.  Jesus people, please don't speak of things you know nothing about.  Your irresponsible advice is a sure death sentence.  DO NOT EVER CUT THESE
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Avatar_m_tn
The patches with gell are easily indentifiable the falt Mylan patches are and can be cut. If you look at the patch when you take it off you can see the medicine is spread over a wide patch area. The gell patches should never be cut . If you are unsure side on the not instead of the should. I was on the gell type and the regular type the gell type is clearly easy to see it has a membrane on top and their is fluid in it but please error on the side of caution. Please get help I thought of suicide also on the patch it messes with your brain. I know alot of people will disagree with me but I can only speak from someone who has tried many ways to get off the patch. I started with 30 mg of methadone and went to 10 mg in one week do not try to go cold turkey Please. God bless you your are loved and think about those you would leave behind  because they will blame themselves.
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Avatar_m_tn
The only doctor that is worth anything as far as pain is concerned is one who has suffered himself.
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