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Fentanyl and weight gain? Anyone?
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Fentanyl and weight gain? Anyone?

I have been on the patches for about three months now.  In that short time I have gone from 105lbs to 130lbs.  I am NOT happy about it.  It is causing me to become depressed and not eat.  
Has anyone gained weight on Fentanyl patches?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, I have been on everything over the years. I have sever neuropathy with crush injuries and compartment syndrome. They started me on 25 mcg of fentanyl every 3 days with morphine for breakthrough, I spent 3 weeks in the hospital and in that time they worked me up to 50 mcg's of the fentanyl and breakthrough meds.(don't remember which ones) I was about 120 lbs when I went into the hospital and lost about 20 lbs. The fentanyl turned my beautiful silver hair dull yellow, which started falling out imensly, my nails started getting long white ridges and I couldn't eat. My PM doc switched me to oxy 20mg 3 x day. My nails came back my hair is pretty again and I do occasionally eat.  Thank god for chocolate Ensure. I would have probably died of starvation. The silver lining of your depression is not eating, you will probably loose the weight.
Every med is different to your body, finding the meds that work the best is the hardest part. What dosage are you on? Is your doctor and pain specialist or a pain doctor. Tell him about not being happy with the weight gain, he might have a solution. The doctor needs to address your depression. Fentanyl is a great pain med, but you have to be comfortable with your meds. The problem with the patches is the smaller you are the harder it is to find a "spot" where they are comfortable on your body. Keep us advised.
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Avatar_f_tn
Have u ever been on butrans patch? My pain doc recommend that for me. I'm on narco now and says I'm to young to be on that for ever.
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1264863_tn?1391121793
Well got on the scale today and I am up to 135lbs.  I swear I am gaining weight DAILY.  This is craziness.  I will not and can not live like this.  I did start Cembalta about a month after the fentanyl.  Could that be the reason for the weight gain?  I would be sad if it was because I am finally happy again and I was so depressed I wasen't even getting out of bed.  So those are the only two medications that are new over the past 6 months.  Any ideas?  HELP!  There is no ammount of antidepressant that can help me if I don't stop gaining weight.  I have issues in this department that go back to childhood and I have to loose it.  Problem is with my pain issues I can bearly walk through a grocery store.  How am I going to excersize to loose what I have gained even if I do figure out why I'm gaining at this wierd rate? I only eat one meal a day as it is.  
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Avatar_f_tn
That's tough. I'd say it's the anti D's. They are know for that. These meds are rough. It seems we r always stuck just trying to feel normal. I had a friend that would not go on them because she was worried about weight gain. What does your doc say?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, No I haven't been on the butrans patch because it is contraindicated for trazadone which is an anti-depressant but I use it for sleep. My phamacist recommended the butrans to me once. What can you tell me about it. I know it stays on for 7 days. Is it flat or does it have a well. How do you make it stay on for 7 days? Will it stay on for 7 days. Is it a large patch? Does it work?
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Avatar_f_tn
I have not got it yet. I'm to scared. Lol
I don't like the idea of something in me 24-7. I got see my doc Tuesday to talk more about it. I know it's new and less crazy than what your on now. No way would my doc put me on that. I guess those really make u feel good lol. I'm think long acting morp? Does that really work? I guess 12 hours at a time? Iv read that butrans only really last for about 4-5 days Begore it starts running out on you.
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1855076_tn?1337118903
I found when I was on Fentanyl that I gained a lot of weight.  For me, Fentanyl seemed to change my tastes.  I had not ever been a sugar user (in many, many years.)  In the past few years, I had been working out hard at a gym and also being very careful about what I ate.  I got out of the habit of getting to the gym when I started having a lot of surgeries, but I still was careful with what I ate.

I have been on many different medications, and Fentanyl was the only one that actually changed my tastes for things.  I started using sugar in tea and coffee and craving very sugary candy that I never normally liked.  As a result, I put on weight.  It wasn't the drug in the sense that I was on it and gained weight without changing my diet.  It was my whole taste for things that changed.  I'm still working on trying to get the weight off even though I've been on the Fentanyl for a while.

Antidepressants can also cause weight gain, as can other medications as well.  I was on Cymbalta and found  no changes in my weight due to that.  But Lyrica did cause me to gain weight rapidly and without changing my diet.  Once I stopped taking the Lyrica, though, that weight just dropped right off.

It can be really hard to exercise when you have chronic pain.  I found swimming helped as it was gentle on my joints.  I also found, through trial and error, that I was able to use an elliptical machine, even with bad joint pain.  (Though walking on a treadmill winds up increasing some of my pain.)  If you can find some way to exercise, it would be great.  It not only helps some types of pain, it can also help with depression.
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547368_tn?1332173665
I think we all respond to stress and/or pain differently. When I am in a lot of pain I tend not to eat very well.... in fact little to nothing. However when my pain is better controlled I eat more!! I then gain weight! Other ppl do just the opposite. So it may be now that your pain is more controlled on the Fentanyl you are less stressed and eating better. Stress can alone can cause weight loss, for varying reasons.  

Additionally certain medications seem to change our metabolism. As we say so often on this site we all react differently .... and what may cause me to gain weight may not cause the same in you... and vise versa.

I'd take a look at your Caloric intake. and your activity levels. Do they differ since you have been on Fentanyl? If not it may be the medication make up of Fentanyl and your systems reaction.

If you find your pain is well controlled on Fentanyl you may want to change your calories and activity levels rather then return to poorly managed pain. It's a difficult choice. I do not feel as well mentally or physically  when I gain weight.  .... it's a difficult journey through Chronic Pain. The choices are never easy.

As always discuss this with your  Physicians, both PMP and PCP.

Wishing You the Best,
~Tuck
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1264863_tn?1391121793
Thanks everyone for all the advice.  I am currently still using the patches and taking half my Cybalta dose.  I did take Lyrica for a very short time like one month for a dry socket wisdom tooth mess up.  I am now thinking it is a mixture of the Lyrica and the Cymbalta.  I am trying to take some safer vit to help raise my matabolism and just stay active.  I have lost a few pounds or at least maintained.  I can deal with that cause my pain is controled and I am pretty happy.  I will keep trying but I bearly take in any calories and haven't changed my intake at all.  If I have it is for the better since summer by far.  I thank you all for your help.

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Avatar_m_tn
For me...I have no doubt that fentanyl affects different bodies different ways. In most of the pharm literature, weight loss is a side effect that is rather common    when using patches.
However, as I said...every BODY is different. Sadly, I have been on fentanyl patches for nearly SEVEN yrs...I just turned 48 this month.
I wont go into my health hx, obviously I've got big pain issues and have for way longer than I dreamed, but I will say that as the mcg dosage increases, so do the affects of the med.
Over the last 3 yrs my dose went from 50mcg to now 100mcg and I GAINED NEARLY 40 FLIPPIN LBS. ( I dont know exactly how many lbs, cuz I refuse to weigh myself, and at doc offices, i ask that they please not say my weight aloud) I just kow that NONE of my clothes fit and its getting worse.
My entire life, I have not had any issues with weight. I used to be a runner, ate when I was hungry, end of story. My weight remained the same +/- 5 lbs. I literally go thru each day with my stomach burning from hunger, and still blowing up. This is the end of the line for me. My depression is so out of control...not because I am not able to keep my nursing job, or because I cant run, dance, walk much, or even because pain has robbed me of life...I'm depressed because I feel huge. I do not even recognize my body.
I have no doubt, its due to the longevity of using patches or incrsd dose.
I hear your cries of sadness and depression due to changes in body image that you have no control over.
Btw, I consulted dietitian, am aware that not eating reportedly affects ,metabolism, etc. Hog wash....i had metabolic labs come back normal, eat small healthy portions, not a binge eater, or closet eater...I've never been big into food and still feel the same. Exercise not an option d/t my condition.....But, if you eat min Kcals of healthy food and keep gaining wt...forget about it!
If it doesnt pass over the lips, it wont go on the hips.
SO it is SO not you causing wt gain.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have been on the Butrans patch (5mc) for about a year and it his been a lifesaver.  I began my long journey with pain starting at age 38.  I am now 60 and only began drug therapy starting 5 years ago.  I suffer from psoriatic arthritis, osteo, DJD, spinal stenosis, bulging discs, 1 herniated disc, possible RA and all of the pain associated with these conditions.  I can't say the Butrans has caused me to gain weight as it has affected my tastebuds and I actually eat less sugary stuff than I used to.  Cymbalta had no effect on me at all (other than my pocketbook).  I have found that being on the elliptical is a God-send.  It puts less stress on the joints and allows me to ramp up my exercise in spite of the pain.  And you are right - even though it hurts to exercise, it hurts more to stop.  And the pool really is our friend.  I hope those of us who need these meds through no fault of our own are able to continue to get them.  My life without pain relief was miserable.  I do recommend you talk to your doctor about the Butrans patch.  It is fairly new but works very well.  The only side effect I suffer from is irritation at the patch site.  I am allergic to Tramadol and Butrans has something similiar to it in the mix.  I've found putting the batches on my thighs works better because the skin is thicker and less sensative.  Or, if I do have to put it on my ab, I just have to move it after a few days.  It really does last a full 7 days, and I've actually gone 8-9 days before changing, although I don't recommend doing that unless there is a real good reason.  Blessings to you all.    
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