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Withdrawal from fentanyl patch
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Withdrawal from fentanyl patch

Hello, I am new to this. I have been on 25 mcg of fentanyl for a year. Three years ago I was up to as much as 125 mcg and we taped me down to 25 mcg and then tried the 12 mcg. I went into withdrawal so back up to 25 mcg but my doctor is insisting I come off this.  So on Monday I am going down to 12 mcg, 8 Norco and 10 mg of valium for 3 days and then 5 mg of valium for 3 days. I already have a high tolerance for valium as I was once addicted to 10 mg of xanax a day due to a poor physician. I went through that withdrawal and it was horrible for 1 week- a week of sheer hell. I think this will be worse. I am asking advice as to what to expect, how long it lasts and will I be ready to go back to school in August. I am getting certified as a medical technologist, already have college degree, worked 18 years in microbiology. I am thinking that if I am more miserable than the xanax withdrawal, I will have my husband bring me in to the doctor and ask him if he will put me on Oxycontin for a week or two. Don't want to get addicted to that. Would really appreciate anyone's experience but please don't make it scary, just factual, because I have panic disorder and I am already very anxious about this. Also my kids are home from college, 22 and 21 and I don't want them to know what is going on so I guess I will just have the "flu"- after all, it is the junkie flu. I am very grateful this site is here and hope I can get some answers for what helped you get through it. Thank you and good luck to those of you who are already doing this. Patti1123
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1315836_tn?1289003242
Fentanyl withdrawal is VERY intense but doesn't last as long as other opiates since it has a short duration of action.  I'm not going to walk the fence with you; it's hard to kick fentanyl.  I became very suicidal after the first day and by the third day I had to find Vicodin on the street to help me cope while the fentanyl was still leaving my system.  Not only did I feel suicidal, the restless limbs, anxiety, depression, and body aches drove me insane.  Please make sure you're being taken care of and if you can - find another narcotic to keep you levelheaded while the fentanyl leaves your system.  I give props to those who have kicked fentanyl without any other narcotic to ween down with.  It was very difficult even with low doses of Vicodin for a good five days or so.

Good luck and remember that you aren't alone.  Many of us have successfully detoxed from fentanyl and you can, too.
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1301089_tn?1290670171
Hi Patti:  I'm so sorry you find yourself in this position.  

I came off Fentanyl by myself.  (my pmp just wanted to up dosages after telling him I was a zombie and couldn't remember anything.)  I DO NOT recommend that anyone do this alone.  Frankly, it was horrible.  And I had nothing else to take.

With the other meds you have, you may be OK.  It will take at least a week before you start to come around.   Please do yourself a favor.  Ask your doctor for something to get through this.  You will need something for pain and possibly for your panic disorder.

Do not do this without other medications on hand to handle your pain.



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547368_tn?1332173665
Hi Patty,

My hat goes off to you for being so brave. I assume you no longer have significant chronic pain. I a happy to hear that.

Many of us at the PM Forum do not have the kind of experience in withdrawals as the members on the Substance Abuse Forum. Please don't think that I beleive you have a Substance Abuse problem. That is not the case. It is just that I think you will get better answers on that forum.

You are always welcome here and as you can see you already have some good information. Most of us still take opiates to control out chronic pain. If you suffer from it also how will you control it once you are off opiates?

I agree that you will need medical support and possibly medications as you some off from the patch. Can you share with us what your plans are once you are off the patch? Hopefully your chronic pain has resolved.

Are you being treated by a PMP or is this your PCP? I hope it is a physician that has a lot of knowledge in this area.

I wish you the best and hope that you will keep in touch with us. I will look forward to your updates.

Take Care,
~Tuck
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82861_tn?1333457511
Actually, I've decreased fentanyl by 25 mcg using almost exactly the same plan your doctor proposes.  The norco dose was slightly less, but the valium was higher.  No problem beyond feeling a little "weird", but none of the RLS or hot flashes or other craziness.

I certainly understand your fear after the last attempt, but I really believe you'll do fine with what your doc wants to try.  That's about as humane of a taper plan as I've ever heard to tell the truth.  The valium dose your doc is talking about is very low, and since it's for such a short time you won't have trouble with it. Trust me, you'll appreciate it for sleeping.   Xanax on the other hand - OUCH!  Trying to compare valium and xanax is apples to watermelons.  I'll never touch that stuff again.  A one month scrip after my father's death and I was puking my guts out when I ran out.

Seriously, you've got a really good doc who came up with a great plan.  I personally think you'll do just fine.  :-)
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725248_tn?1316165845
My pain doc is notorious for just taking me off meds and not tapering me down, he has done it to me 3 times and it usually takes me a week to get back to normal.  Its not fun by any means.  There is a lot of good advice on this board.  Take care and keep us informed as to your progress.
Chuck
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1386676_tn?1280250905
Ive not done it with the patches yet  so i dunno how diff it would be to my previus situation in 2005 but yea it will be hard im affraid i went throu a forced withdrawal (in custody) when i was on valium 40mg daily temazepam 20mg at night morphine 100-200 a day and codiene upto 240mg a day . it was replaced with just 12 hourly dihydrocodeine (dhc continus) 150 twice daily .and diazepam 40mg twice a day and librium 40mg twice a day too!!!(which was stupid doubleing my benzo dose just for 4 days then halfing it again and putting it back to what i was used to!!!) i had a massive blackout and seizure 24 hours after i had my benzo's reduced to half dose 20mg of valium and 20 of librium 2x daily. basically my point being is i had more pain and discomfort coming of benzo's than opiates so increasing your dose of benzo's when going through opiate withdrawals is ok if you are staying on them till at least you are withdrawal free from opiates and stable but i woudnt recommend it ! opiate withdrawal is very unplesent but it can be controlled using weaker opiates easier than with benzodiazipine withdrawals ! regarding suboxone i wouldnt try that as the naloxone in the tablet will make you withdrawals even worse. Subutex (buprenorphine on its own) would maybe ok for you after u come of the 12mcg an hour patches and the Intant releif pain killers as it does not contain naloxone and has potential of providing pain releif (in some patients it does and some it dosent due to its partial antagonist properties) as well as stopping withdrawals. also one more point fentanyl patches are a very long acting preperation of fentanyl (the fentanyl  continues releasing the drug into your bloodstream for a while after last patch is removed )  so its withdrawals are a lot longer than if you was on the fentanyl buccal talets , pain sticks or lozenges and are more compareable to methadone withdrawals although probably not as intense. hope thers somthing there thats helpfull to you ! I personally have found the cbd contained in cannabis as the best pain releif avalible :)  peace madmart
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82861_tn?1333457511
Forget the subutex or suboxone.  Detox is worse than fentanyl and withdrawal lasts even longer.  You'll just be putting off the inevitable.  There is no way to completely avoid some minor withdrawal symptoms.  Seriously, the norco should easily cover a 12.5 mcg drop in fentanyl.  If you've not taken xanax or other benzos for even a few months, the valium will still help you sleep.  Hope you're doing OK!
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1395767_tn?1280347720
I was on 100mcg for 6 years and am on day 5 without the patch. I did have to check myself into a hospital, I knew what bad thing could happen and I needed medical care 24 hours for the first 10 days. Upon going in the replace the 100 patch with 50, I wasnt so happy I just wanted it gone. So after the 50 they droped me to 25, not even a half a day past and I told them to take it off, i was ready to go into full detox. All the doctors feared for me but I felt I had to get this done and over with to get out and get back to my family. The doctors gave me 3mgs of Adivan evry 3 hours IM, and yes my *** looks like a pin cushion. I am now at home taking adivan, valuim, and clonidine and hanging in there. 11 days after checking myself in I am with my family and I give all the glory to God for what I was able to do in a short time. I was hell the 1st 72 hours but I prayed and had support from family and friends to get me past the real hard times. The Detox after 6 years is not over yet, I am starting my 6th day without the patch and I am getting stronger, I still have tremors, my jaw and teeth lock up and my body feels like crap, it gets stiff alot and hard to relax. I would rather deal with my pain without the patch, then the Fentanyl running my life. I feel a sence of freedome and pushing on. Hope the helps someone.. it helped me
Dee
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Playmate,

I want to welcome you to the Pain Management Forum and let you know that we are glad that yo have found this Forum. You need to understand that there are NO Doctors on this Forum!! We are ALL CP (Chronic Pain) Patients that help each other thru our own experiences and expertise that we have accumulated from our own Pain issues!!

Would you please give us some more information as to WHY you were on the Patch to begin with?  Also, why the DRASTIC cuts in getting you off the Patch instead of Titrating you down by 12 mcg's at a time so that it wouldn't be so SEVERE for you Physically.  Do you have a PM (Pain Management) Doctor that's doing this for you?

I'm glad that you feel better about your life.  I'm sorry that you had problems with your Patches.  I hope that you find some other way of controlling your pain!!

I hope that you will share some of your background with us. :).........Sherry
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Avatar_f_tn
I just came off Fentanyl- It completely changed my personality and I started to isolate- and it was hard.  I was also taking oxycodone and for the first 11 days I went CT off everything hoping that my pain would settle and I would be able to get by using OTC medication.  I ended up getting back on percs after 11 days and those 11 days were the hardest and most grueling experience I ever had.  It was torture.  My Mom helped with the kids for the first 5 days.  I literally could not move, going to the bathroom was a feat of strength.  So, my advice, make sure to have help.  If I can do it so can you.  We are all here for you.  Let us know how it goes.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am on day 6 of being off the 50 mcg/hr patch "Cold Turkey" The third day I was really kind of freaking out. Since then I have been pretty much sick on my stomach, nausea and headache. Of course it feels like I have the worst case of the flu ever from these body aches.

Finally last night I had some relief from, what I call them the Jimmy Legs. OMG. I had a total of 10 hours sleep the first 3 days combined. Jimmy legs are torture.

Please wish me luck. Not sure what is next. Just for now major nausea and it feels like rushes or spikes of adrenelin (sp) but zero energy. Hard to even finish a shower without resting.

Happy Holidays Everyone,
melmaniam
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Avatar_m_tn
I woke up again severly depressed. Same thing everyday. I didn't know a man could feel this bad and cry this much.

I am alone in this world. My blood relations are all dead or in other states(I don't know them). My 2 brothers and my mother (who raised me) have died within the last few years. The first brothers death was on 9/11. He was dying while the towers were falling.

With no hope for relief from this pain, my wife and step daughter (who I raised from age 6 to 22) abandoning me 5 days after I gave my wife the bad news from my Orth. surgeon.

I am seriously considering putting my stuff on the curb and only keeping what I  need to live for now. I can no longer keep this up. My aunt (by marriage) came over yesterday for about 15 - 30 minutes. The first words out of her mouth were  how dirty my house is. It is not dirty!!!!! Just cluttered because I have bacome unable to finish a couple projects I started and the rest is my boxed up life. My house is vacuumed, my kitchen is clean, my clothes are clean and my bathroom is clean.

Her energy would have gone to much better use if she would have offered to help me straighten up.

I am number one on my psychiatrist suicide watch list and during my emergency therepy session yesterday the therapest (sp) fell asleep half way thru my session. That really helped my feeling of worth or importance to this world.

I hope everyone feels better for the holidays.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi there...

I'm truly sorry to hear of your issues right now. PLEASE contact a suicide hotline number or go straight to the nearest ER if you feel that you are in danger.

This particular thread is a few years old so your posts are unfortunately going to get lost..

We have a great Addiction/Substance abuse forum that could be very helpful in your withdrawaling from this medication. You don't mention the reason why you went cold turkey....but even if it's not due to addiction issues, they will be of help to you with all the symptoms you are feeling.

I would have walked out on any Dr. who wasn't trying to help me in the best way possible. So I would immediately find another Dr. to make sure you are getting the best care for your depression. I am sorry for all the pain in your life....Hopefully you can find a Dr. who will get you on a better path to work through all these dark emotions.

So, please feel free to start a new thread of your own over on the other board or here to get more responses.

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Avatar_f_tn
Please don't think you are alone in this world!!!! I have to have surgery on my back soon. I don't have anyone to help me after surgery but myself. I believe that the God of my  understanding will help me get through it somehow. I don't believe that He will let me do this by myself' and I pray that, that won't  happen like that. I have FAITH that somehow I won't be alone. I know you are not alone because there are lots of people in this  world that are in the same / similar situation that you are in. Their are people that have it way worse situation than you!!!! If I didn't larn anything else while I was in school, I did learn "THAT I AM SOMEBODY!!!!" I believe that everyone has a PURPOSE in life , because your helping someone weather you know it or not and if your not helping someone then they are helping you!!!! That's just the way life is. I also believe that everything happens for a reason. And you should reemember that YOU ARE SOMEBODY!!!! No one should feel like they are a nobody because you are. Also try to remember that someone out there has it way worse than you. I am on the Fentanyl 75mcg Pain patch every 48 hrs. I other medications along with the patch. I have Fibromialgia (fibromyalgia) and neropathy in both my legs, Tendonitis in my feet, Autheritis and Bersitis in my hips, I have Migraine headaches about 3 to 4 a week, I have to get shots in my BACK, HIPS, NECK , SHOULDERS, HEAD, AND MY FEET. I also have back problems , insomnia, anxiety,digestive problems,and mental problems that I am working on with  my psyc.doc. I do have alot wrong but I seem to manage everyday. I have not had to come off of the Patch yet but expect to after I heal from surgery on my back. Yet somehow I have to manage to take care of myself afterwards. Please Remember that you are not alone in this world.
Thank You.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hon, you are not alone. I FEEL THE SAME WAY. Just remember you are not ALONE. There are others in the same exact situation you are...Such as myself.....
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3112530_tn?1342559764
One thing that scared me was when I looked in the mirror and saw that I looked like a real zombie with all the weight I lost. It scared the hell out of me!
It takes a strong mind and the determination to get off this stuff. Remember, this fentanyl is messing with your mind so you have to be stronger than the drug. You have to WANT and determine that you will succeed. That is the first step.
Do not let the fear overtake you. YOU have control and once you are clean from this drug, you will see a difference in your thinking.
Next step., drink plenty of fluids vitamins and work through the determination to do this.
No it will not be easy, BUT this is a very powerful drug. Understand that and take control.
I went through the withdrawal of 50mcg. it has been almost two years for me so I don't remember too many details. I took Melatonin for sleeping and eventually asked my doctor for anxiety medication. He gave me a weeks supply and taken ONLY as needed.
Vitamins is the next step. Build your system up for the fight.
Eventually, I got off the other opoid's in the months time but one thing at a time.
I developed pancreatic problems with all the drugs I was taking. Don't let this happen to you because of the drugs.
In about two weeks clean, you should see a difference in your thinking and this will give you the determination to continue. JUST DO IT! Don't let any fear overtake you. You have to take back control of what this drug does to your body. You will have no idea until you are clean and you can think like a 'normal' person.
Fentanyl is a serious drug and I am very much against anyone using it UNLESS they have the proper medical supervision and the need for this drug. There are other pain medications out there that can help, but understand what is causing the pain and work on understanding the pain and it causes.
I still have pain and always will but I can handle the pain now that I can think clearly and understand what is causing my pain. I would rather that, then being doped up so much and finding out that the world around me is not the drugs, but the mind. Lean to be strong and get the right support. It can be done and I wish you all the best of luck in you new life.
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