I have been on Fentanyl over the course of the last 9 years. I have M.S. and a 100mcg/h Fentanyl patch along with an average of one Oxycodone/APAP 5MG-325MG tablets two or three times a day offer the most relief I can get without feeling sick to my stomach from the Oxycodone. I cannot take more Oxycodone that that and I also am unable to tolerate Oxycontin for the same reason.
I have taken myself of the Fentanyl myself on three different occasions over the years. Yes it was difficult and I felt miserable for about 7-9 days, but I have great self control and a great attitude and happy outlook on life despite being in constant pain.
I was able to keep myself off the Fentanyl for a year this time. I feel I did a great job. But the pain is so severe now that it impedes my ability to think or function dramatically. My doctor wrote me out a prescription per my request but it was denied by my insurance company (Medicaid). They sent me a statement that said preferred alternatives included: methadone, Kadian, morphine er, and Avinza. I am unable to take morphine or morphine derivitives and I was not comfortable taking methadone as I know it is used for Heroin addicts. After some research which included talking to my visiting nurse and Walgreens Pharmacy (along with Google) I discovered that methadone was often prescribed for chronic pain.
I went back to my doctor and explained that I was willing to try the methadone. She told me it was only used for drug addicts. I found it particularly disturbing that my doctor knew less about this drug than I had come to learn.
The pain was increasingly unbearable to the point that I was forced to go the emrgency room. There I was given a 100mcg/h Fentanyl patch. The next day I was 100% better and able to function again. I began to call everywhere to find a doctor that would prescribe the methadone since I knew my appeal would be denied if I had not at least tried to see if the methadone would work. I could not find one doctor that would prescribe methadone. I also contacted my senators, my congressman and everyone else I could think of. I felt I has exhausted all my resources and returned to the ER after 5 days to see if they would let me try the methadone so I would be able to say I at least tried the reccommended drug at my appeal hearing. But the hospital would not prescribe the methadone either. They gave me another 100mcg/h Fentanyl patch and a referral to a pain management specialist. He is not available for another month and there is no guarantee he will prescribe the methadone either.
I am seriously concerned about not having anything for the pain. I no longer take the Oxycodones and did not renew my prescription this month because I have plenty of them and they do not work at all when the pain is this severe. Had I have known I would not be able to get the prescription back this time I would never have gotten off. I worry that as this practice continues that more people will stay on their prescription pain meds for fear of losing them.
Now I am in need of the Fenatanyl as it is the only thing (combined with Oxycodone that works well enough for me to be able to have any ability to function. The hospital wrote me a prescription for one patch saying they understood how expensive they were for someone like me. (nearly $500.00 a month) But one patch is nearly $50.00 and only lasts me about 40-48 hrs.
I have a doctor that will write me the prescription. I do not have a doctor and cannot find a doctor who will write me a script to try the methadone. I live on SSI which only pays $674.00 a month. I cannot afford to pay for this medication and I also fear losing my caregiver as he has to do so much more when I am down like this.
If anyone knows how I can get free or greatly reduced Fentanyl patches please let me know. I have run out of options and I cannot last long when this pain kicks back in. I have been very lucky to possess the self control to go through the withdrawal over all these years every 2nd or 3rd day. I also feel I have been more responsible than most people who just stay on these strong drugs and take more and more when they should all be taking drug holidays so their tolerance will not change.
Any help will be most appreciated. My email is ***@****
And to those of you who have trouble with the patches sticking... use rubbing alcohol with a terrycloth towel or wash cloth and scrub the area well and let dry COMPLETELY. Then apply the patch. You should have no problem with the patch coming loose after that. I know the instructions say not to use the alcohol. But that is probably because people do not let it dry before putting the patch on which could create problems. I have done this for nine years and have had more problem getting the patch off than keeping it on. I also feel it is wise to leave the patch on and wait at LEAST the 72 hours even though you feel the withdrawal pain coming back. Exert your self control and even try to go long than the 72 hours if you can. Push through the pain and try to take yourself off the patch periodically.
Also... ask for the generic patches that do not have the gel. You can trim them down with scissors little by little over time if stopping abruptly is too difficult for you.
Thanks in advance for anyone who may be finding me a resource for the patches.
I also was going to suggest you contact the manufacturer of the patch that you have - I know there are a couple of different companies that make them. When I was using the patch, mine was the Duragesic brand and they offered a patient assistance program that gave me my patches for free. It's actually quite easy to apply for these programs, or at least that one was - I simply had to have my doctor fill out a form saying what my dosage was and how many boxes she prescribed at a time. Then they sent me a little "prescription card" that I showed at the pharmacy and they processed it through just as if it were any other type of prescription coverage. Any time there was a change in dosage (strength, frequency, number of boxes prescribed, etc) - a new form had to be submitted, but that was a very small price to pay for not having this out of pocket expense - there's no way I would have been able to afford to pay for them myself. At that time I had no medical coverage at all, let alone any prescription coverage.
I'm not sure Duragesic still has this plan available, but it would be worth checking into if this is the brand of patch you use. Otherwise, contact whooever does make your patches.
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