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Avatar universal

Chronic pain from Hydrocodone to Duragesic patch

Due to chronic pain I was put on Hydrocodone (Loritab 750)  I  was prescribed 2 a day 500mg to start then 2 a day 750 up to 3 a day all in a 2 year period.  Just recently because of my drs concern for the tylenol affect to my liver I now use the Duragesic Patch 50 mg which has been such a relief...I am able to do almost anything without worrying about the pain I will feel tomorrow.  The dr was happy to give me the patch and I am happy to have it.  What is this doing to me physically...he even remarked that my dosage would be upped as my tolerance needed it. I expect to be on medically supervised narcotic pain relievers for the rest of my life.  Having no side affects now and  several people have commented 'if you are in chronic pain the medication goes to the pain and not to form an addiction' this doesn't sound possible to me...appreciate your opinion on this.  Thank you
70 Responses
260430 tn?1268805504
Be careful with the patches.  I have chronic lower back pain and have been treated by pain management doctors for 10 + years.  I was on 3 of the 100s of Duragesic for over 2 years.  It didn't relieve all the pain, but when I was tapering off I found out how much in control of my brain it had been.  Try anything else first.  It was really nice to get my head back.  The nausea was very bad and I lost 40 pounds.  
Avatar universal
I have fibromyalgia and have been on pain meds for 4 or 5 years.  I had endometriosis first and had a hysterectomy in January of this year to relieve that pain.  The fibromyalgia is awful.  My husband will hug me and I cry out from the pain or just putting on a shirt will cause pain.  Some days, I have trouble walking from the pain and other days, I just have trouble getting out of bed.

I was first on Vicodin 5/500, but ended up taking 3 to 4 tablets of that for any kind of relief.  My doctor then switched me to Vicodin ES, but again, I have to take 2 to 3 tablets to get any relief at all from the pain.  I am not looking for a high or anything like that, but I feel like the pharmacist thinks I am a drug addict because I need refills so quickly on my medication, but the Vicodin just doesn't work.  I think it is perhaps because I have developed a tolerance to it.  My doctor has talked about putting me on the Duragesic patch, but she wants to save that as a last resort because of the high capacity for addiction.  

I don't want any mental addiction, but I do want to be able to get out of bed in the morning and take care of my kids and go to work.  I have lost one job from pain and I don't want to lose another.  I am a nursing student and getting ready to apply for clinicals and I am scared that without having this pain under control, I am not going to get through the program.  Is there something other than Vicodin, but without going to the patch, that might relieve this pain?

Avatar universal
I should also add in that I am currently seeing a chiropractor, scheduling physical therapy and exercising and working on a weight loss program with my doctor to get the symptoms under control, so I am trying therapies other than just pain medication, but I have gone without the pain medication before and I just have no kind of life at all.  The pain is almost overwhelming and I usually end up in the emergency department.  

I just wanted to add that little bit.
182493 tn?1348056515
this is the addiction forum.. since you are wanna to know info about pain meds I would ask you to go to the fibromyalgia forum.. we are not the ones to tell you what meds to go on for pain.. we have abused all of them so i doubt we would be good for this question.
Thanks and good luck
Avatar universal
My doctor started me out on the smallest dose of Vicoden when I injured my shoulder at work.  I ended up having two surgeries but it didn't help.  So I was put on Norco because of the amount of the Vicoden I was taking due to the amount of tylenol that is in the Vicoden.  Along the way morphine was added but that didn't work, so I was given Methadone.  That didn't work either.  My doctor also tried injections which in both instances I ended up in the emergency room because of reactions to the injections.  They caused my blood sugar and my blood pressure to get to high.  So the doctor started me on the fentanyl patches.  They worked very well.  I lost my health insurance and I can no longer afford to get them.  They are very expensive.  I have had to go back to using only the Norco and Soma for my pain and there are days that I just can't get out of bed.  The patches work!!!!!!!!!
Avatar universal
Hello, I have had bad back pain and feet pain for over five years and have taken norco for all five.  I have finally found a good pain clinic and a dr willing to help me.  He has given me the option  of the duragisic patch, methadone, oxycontin and mscontin and kadian.  I dont know anything about any of them but i have one month to give him my answer.  Right now he has me on lortab 10mg.  Can anyone lead me in the right direction?
Avatar universal
I've been put on the Duragesic patch 2.5 after the DEA came into my office to question Percocets. I had been taking 6 - 8 percocets a day for back pain. I had back surgery in Feb. 2004 and had been taking them since, along with injections, etc. The patch is working, but I find I need more than one. I'm worried that I'm just an addict, but when I put the patch over the scarred spot on my back, I'm able to sleep through the night without problem. I'm 44 and have been taking opiates for many years. I'm trying to keep to one patch and take one percocet when my back starts to hurt. I'm a candidate for a back fusion, and I won't do it. The duragesic controls my pain. I'm hoping I'm not abusing, and I'm candid with my doctor.
222369 tn?1274478235
Just curious...why would the DEA come into your office and question what seems to be a moderate dosage of percs for chronic pain? Were you using different doctors? Different pharmacies?
233181 tn?1235186752
It seems to me that the majority of people who seek support here have varios medical conditions. And they all have the right to say or speak what ever is that has brought them to their current situation. You have been active on this site long enough to recognize an addict who may be possibly using her diagnosis as a expectation that she is entitled to the best medication for pain relief that she can gether hands on It clearly indicates that she is about to enter a time in her life that she may wish later she could take back and do differently. As she diggs herself deeper and deeper into a living hell. I happen to know of other people who visit this forum that suffer from the same condition. What kind of a nurse would one make that is seriously addicted to opiates. When she can't even follow her own Doctors orders in terms of proper dosing.  Mommy in Pain, don't leave us. Listens to the war stories and learn from them. I recommend you reserch a drug called Lyrica which treats nerve pain. It is prescribed off label by many doctors for your condition. Tbay how long have you been clean and sober? I'd love to hear about it. And do you belive in the 12 steps? Welcome all newcomers. Thats for you Mommy!
Avatar universal
I have been asked by my boss to find a non-addictive pain killer(s) sufficient for severe chronic non-malignant pain.  After reading through this forum and an older one from 2001--http://www.medhelp.org/forums/addiction/messages/30733.html--it appears that there are really no viable alternatives to to narcotics for effective long term pain control.  Ultram was discussed as the best alternative.  I am not a doctor or nurse (nor expected to be), but my boss wanted some alternatives to present to the doctor.  The background:  Her daughter has had two surgeries in the past two years, which have resulted in open wounds from the surgeries that have had a hard time healing.  So Percocet and Vicoden have been presribed in pretty high strength (I don't have those numbers to share).  The daughter is 21 years old.  She becomes mean on the Vicoden and doesn't like the Perocet, because she is also a studen at college, and cannot function too well on the Percocet.  The mother is concern that the daughter now has a physical dependence on the Vicoden (maybe Percocet too), as the daughter has been using both now for 1-1/2 years.  Other pain-management tools are being considered, as well as options to heal the open wound.  But for now, my question is strictly narrowed to:  is there any viable alternatives to narcotics for effective pain control for moderate to severe pain?  Really appreciate your responses.  Thanks!
Avatar universal
I have (had) bi-lateral cubital and carpal tunnel syndrome. I had surgeries to correct the problem but not unil I was hooked on Hydrocodone 10's. About 3 month's after my surgery, I still could not get contol of my pain, and came to the realization that I was addicted.

I voiced my concern to my dr who referred my to a pain management/ addiction specialist in Atlanta. He put me on the duragesic patches and a mixture of other meds that have pain relief as side effects (not primarily prescribed for pain) such as Neurontin, an anti-seasure med that when taken in the right dosage significantly reduced my nerve pain (the surgeries came too late my ulnar nerves are damaged and cause constant pain). More to the point, the Duragesic patches really help the pain and I found were far easier to quit than pill narcs.

At one point I was put on Ultram, but I became severily depressed- even suicidal.  I've never seen depression listed as a side effect of Ultram but have spoken with numerous people that reported similar side effects - be careful.
Avatar universal
To anyone who is making the decision to change from "pills" to the "patch", let me tell you, I have been on narcotic pain meds for nearly 6 years and have built up quite a tolerance.  I was prescribed norco 10/325 (6 times daily) and Percocet 10/325 (2 times a day)...this was a gradual dose increase, I was miserable.  My life was surrounded by when I had to take meds.  The constant worry if I had enough with me, or if they were getting stolen, etc was a royal pain in the butt.  I was addicted big time.  If you are even thinking that you are taking pills too often, you probally are.  This patch fentanyl 50mg is amazing, I wake up in the morning and feel normal for the first time in years.  IT is like an ex smoker looking for their cigs ....I still look for my pill bottles, just out of habit...then realizing that I do not need them.  It has taken me to a happier place in my life...one that I really didn't think I would have again.  I am still getting used to it so, in the next month or so, I may say different, but I really hope not!  Pills= confinment  Patch=freedom...that's all I can say.  As far as people wondering about addiction...do you think about that when you drink coffee every morning?  You do anything every day and you will become addicted to that behavior....Pain relief is far more worth than the  thought of what withdrawl is...if the pain is so severe that you need help...it is worth it!  
Avatar universal
Fentanyl is very addicting too but it is a controlled release patch so it is administered rather than taking a handful at a time. Its all pretty scary.
199177 tn?1490502134
This post is 7 years old ...if you go up to the top you will see where it say "post a question"......... if you repost there it ill start a new thread.
Avatar universal
I had to take myself off the Fentanyl Patch due to loosing may insurance. I could not pay over 3000.00 for all my percriptions a month. I have a non operational back that I was told it could be a 50% chance of walking or in a wheel chair the rest of my life if I chosen to take the operation. I ask the doctor to keep me working and I can't change jobes I own my own business (at the age of 37 make 6 figures a year and taking on a different job was not a smart more or until I had everything paid off. I used to be in the construction field in my younger years you think you are made of rubber. Picking up heavy granite slabs falling from a 2 stories building and get up and go back to work. One day I got out of bed and was looking at the floor. I was hospitalized and the Doctor had a 25 micro gram patch on me and I could get up move minor pain at first. I hate taking pills. After 10 year I went from 1 - 25 mico gram every 60 hrs.( 72 hrs was to long or if they get wet from Showering or sweating, they would stop working.  Duragisic micro gram patch stimulate the nerve endings and you can;t feel the pain. To make a long storie short, I ended up using after 10 years 2 x 100 micro gram per 60 hours - $1889.05 - 25 patches per month and also 2 x hydrocodone /apap10 mg/325mg per day as needed - $189.50 , Provigil (Great Stuff For modivation)$ 768.92 for 90 -100 mg pills per month x 3, and Lexapro X1 @ 365.00 every morning for depresion from the hydrocodone and loosing my business. I took more drugs than the averge person could handle. detox bad 7 days and still which I dur wiish I had them I back hurts mybe ill stare witch patches only no pills
Avatar universal
Please frogive the bad spelling on the past post 1:45 am

Please only use the patches Stay on the small amounts as long as possible before moving to the next level.also insurance for 2 x25 same as 1 x25 migro gram ptches

Avatar universal
I have been in chronic pain all up and down my back and neck related to bulging and herniated discs. I started at the lowest end of the spectrum, with non narcotic relievers, all sorts of therapeutic excersizes, and every possible homeopathic or alternative technique known to man, and every day there seems to be a new one coming out. Making a long story short, the only two medicines that really worked for me on any consistent level was methadone, and the Duragesic Patch, preferably Sandoz, which appeared to be a much more effective brand. I started on  50 Mgs every two days, up to 100 mgs every two days100 MGs, and now I am at 200 MG every two days. This has been a long process reaching this level, e are talking about years, however, I am finding now, that I am getting spasms regularly, which are terribly painful, so my doctor added on Valium for my spasms. So, now I am physically dependent on Both Fentynal (Duragesic),  and a benzodiazapine(Valium) which is really not a good place to be. The side affects from the two, have become more and more of an issue, and the quality of my life has been deteriorating rather quickly  from the side effects of these medicines. So I have been trying to figure out, how to seek treatment with the most minimal amount of narcotic pain relievers, and other therapeutic techniques so I can start  coming off of some of this medications. In response to the initial question posed about addition, you an call it what you like, but your body will become dependent on these medicine whether you go out on the street and buy it, or if a doctor prescribes it to you, and a tolerance will develop as well over time, so there is only one real direction to go with this, and that is feed  the body what it is asking for, over a period of time more and more meds, its a vicious cycle, which often becomes emotionally devastating which is what  has been happening for me. i feel as if I am junkie, even though these medications are prescribed and needed. Every thing I do, any plan I make, any thought of vacation, the first and foremost thing that comes to mind is the medicine, if i`ll have enough, for it is distributed to the day usually, so if you might need an extra valium 1 day for extreme pain, there will be a day later on where you will pay for it.
My point is, if there is any way you can find a non narcotic way to treat thew pain you are in, even if it leaves you in a little bit if pain, or are uncomfortable most of the time, the other rod can be much, much worse, and can ruin your life and bring problems into your worked you had never even dreamed of. Please know this, I am in absolute understanding of the benefits of narcotic pain medication, however if you choose that route, you must always be aware, that you are not getting away with anything, you are only masking what is present, and it will remain present, unless you approach it vigorously with other physical therapies and such. I don`t think you wold be happy living the life of a Prescription Drug Addict, which is what my life has turned into. The medications work incredibly well in the beginning, but over time, your body pays a price for this medicine. So proceed with extreme caution, I only wish I was more cautious and aware in the beginning, for now, its about getting through the day with my medicine, and anything I do is based around the medicine I have, and should I run short for some reason, maybe having a really bad day of spasms, i will go into a withdrawal when they run out, which they will.
All I am really saying be very, very careful

401786 tn?1309155634
Let me share something with you here.....I didn't read every post here, but read enough to want to make a statement.  I am a nurse, first of all...I was on 200 mcg of fentanyl for four years, not working at the time, for pain.  Long story short, I'm off now, and have been for a little over four months.  I'll save you the horror stories, but, w/d ing off of it is no joke.  This is a wicked powerful drug, it is often given pre-op to knock you out before other meds.  It is along the lines of Heroin powerful, just not a "street" drug.  I'm NOT saying no one should take it though..  I just got the impression that it was thought that getting off of it is somehow easy, or easier.  I was not addicted to the med., never even got a high off of it once.  I was however, extremely physically dependant, and it caused some issues with my health as well. I weaned over many months, and went through a long acute phase of w/d regardless, even while still on low doses of it.  Btw, it comes in four strengths.  I think the 75 mcg patch was left out up there on the thread.
Avatar universal
I've had chronic pain since 1999 with multiple surgeries on my knees, foot, back...herniated and ruptured disc, all due to prednisone causing my connective tissue to rip apart..  Years of pain and depression followed from trying to find a doctor who would believe the level of pain I was in and only getting a few lortab or percocet nearly took away my will to live.  Finally getting on the Duragesic Patches, first at 2x 25's then up to 75 for a year then stopped at 100, where I am now, I've been managing the pain fairly well.  When I hurt from doing too much I do have percocet 10 to fill in breakthrough pain but don't take it until I really hurt since I don't want to be "addicted" either.  I THINK I've realized a little about the addiction fear from having a little luck.  During the Spring, my good knee which had been killing me was MRI'ed and found to have 2 tears in the meniscus and I guess it was irritating the nerve that went up and down my entire leg and back as well.  I got a shot of cortizone straight into the knee which I'd had on the other one before it was replaced and LUCKILY it somehow leaked onto the nerve and STOPPED ALL PAIN.. back, butt, leg, and I had just been bumped up to 150 of Duragesic. Having the 100 patch and a 50 to take each 3 days, I decided to ONLY use the 50 since my pain was as low as I'd felt in 9 years.  One morning I forgot to put one on after a bath, went 3 days before I realized it.  I'd been gardening without pain, running errands, etc. and just wasn't thinking about pain or patches or pills.  AMAZING what the mind does with pain, knowing you SHOULD have the patch on or be taking your meds.  I'm sure I'd have gone through some worse withdrawal later, but for THAT time, I only noticed a little fatigue and runny nose. I was in such awe from being that pain free, in gave me HOPE once again that maybe if they could find the reason the nerve was in pain I'd actually get well someday.  THAT has diminished my worry of being addicted JUST because I've taken narcotics for so long. I've never taken them to feel good/high, don't feel high. But half of the withdrawal I think people feel is FEAR.. just a small theory of my experience after not noticing I didn't have a patch on.  Naturally my brain went into "put a patch on" mode when I noticed, rather than continuing the detox to see what happened, but it gave me a little more hope that someday with the right medical treatment on that nerve, maybe the mind and peace one can create themselves when pain lets up, detoxing CAN be done with less discomfort and It doesn't mean you are an addict.  I do highly support the patches for anyone with chronic pain, however.  It allows you to live your life without thinking about when you should take the next pill.  I'm looking into some methods of weaning myself off of it when I get my other knee repaired and my back "spacers" put in and recover.  Now I have that memory of a few pain free weeks to keep up my spirits over my fears, so I hope that gives anyone else reading this a little hope as well.
Like they say... the worst thing to fear is fear its self and anybody who's suffered hard core pain fears it coming back on them. It's natural.  But, we DO tend to feel what our minds tell us we will feel so I'm going to do some serious searching for help on staying positive with my thinking.
Good luck to all of you and God Bless you for hanging in!
Avatar universal
     I am a 23 year old college student. Unfortunately, I was involved in a severe head-on collision two years ago. I have had seven surgeries in all, and two were over this past summer. I have had everything from hip reconstruction to facial reconstruction (which came out beautiful, thank God!) to multiple placements of different rods in my femur. I broke almost everything I could break. This was all due to a drunk and drugged driver who hit me in a head-on car collision, so I never drive: 1) because of all the meds 2) I know the results when a person on drugs hits someone’s car, and I don’t want to be that person.
     I even sustained a traumatic brain injury; however, it was not nearly as bad as it could have been. Thankfully, I am back in college. I missed a year of school because of the accident, but I am almost a senior working towards my Psychology degree with Biology minor. Grad school, hopefully, is in the near future.
     Now, here is where the questions about my medication come into play. After my most recent surgery, I was put on 75 mcg Duragesic patches, 10mg Percocet every 6 hours, prn, plus numerous others that are non-pain related. So far, I’ve dropped down to 50 mcg patches and 7.5mg Percocet. I know my liver is being destroyed by the drugs, but I can’t function without them. As long as I am maintaining Dean’s List in school, I want to think everything is fine. Subconsciously, I know it is not. I know I am physically addicted whether I like it or not.  It’s just that I am so young, and I shouldn’t be taking such heavy duty meds daily. However, what am I suppose to do? I’m dropping down as much as possible. My goal is to stop the Percocet because it is more damaging to my liver, and reduce the patches. I need some input. Anything enlightening someone has to say? I don’t want to have drugs control my life or end it.
     It’s ironic because the local town junkie ran into my car, and now I feel like the junkie. Although, not in the exact same respect because he was a loser with no goals, standards, morals, etc. I’ve always been the straight “A” honors student and still am, but I don’t want this medical dependency to hinder my school work. Someone, please, help me and give me some useful information!
473384 tn?1210209842
the drugs you are taking will not destroy your liver. the patch has no tylenol in it (which is the drug that can affect your liver) and the percs have, what, 325 mg/pill? you can take up to 2,000-3,000 mg of tylenol/day and be safe.

you may have a legit need for the patch given your accident, but I would not advise others to use this med casually. it is one of the most addictive narcotics available and can also kill you if it misfires in it's time-release delivery (too much of the dope at once = respiratory failure = death). heat can cause it to misfire -- a lounge in a hot tub or a day in the sun....bye bye. also, if a child or other person who is opiate-naive handles it, it can kill them with one exposure. it was not worth the terrible risk, in my humble opinion.

I was on it for a couple of months and found I would fall asleep (nod off) at traffic lights, while talking with someone at work...crazy! I worried I would not wake up in the morning and my daughter would have the horror of finding me dead in bed. the straw that broke the camel's back for me was when a toddler I was holding reached over to try to pick off the patch on my shoulder -- I could have killed someone else's child! I flushed them the next day and just kept the oral meds in a lock box.

good luck. I would not use this terrifying medicine unless I was bed bound and dying. and then I would keep it in a lockbox.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the info. I definitely plan on dropping down bit by bit, then off everything completely. First, I have to get through physical therapy because it is extremely painful. I didn't know that one can take 2000-3000 mg of Tylenol daily and still be safe. Thanks for all the info.

This is the most horrible medicine, in that, it is the worst to try to quit. However, it is the only medicine that works; talk about a Catch-22 situation. I get extremely ill when I drop down every 25 mcg. I just can't wait until all this is over, and I can go back to being the "typical" college student because currently, I'm definitely not typical in any sense of the word.
Avatar universal
I would like to thank everyone for there comments for they put a perspective on wheather or not i should go on the patch like my dr planned on doing on monday. I have chronic leg knee, back and hip pain and have been on loritab 10's for 2yrears. It is no longer working as it was before due to the worsening of the pain i am enduring or simply because my body is used to them..I do not want to get addicted to these pills just as everyone else. As a matter of fact i will only take a pill until the pain is no longer tolerable, so for now i know i am not addicted to them nor will i take 2 at a time. My question then is if not loritab than what else? I have read percocet. Is that more or less effective than perodan? I really dont know if I can even tolerate that. I am also on Lyrika for shingle pain but that does not help for chronic pain it is for nerve pain. any suggestions? I am 51 and would like to get back into not being afraid to tottaly clean my house so i can sell it. My back is always reminding me not to do things threatening to completly go out on me.  Oh any insite on this ? When I lie in bed at night my legs seem to get alot worse and i cant lie on my hip either. thanks for your comments. gl to all

want to live pain free
Avatar universal
I have been on the 75mcg fro 4 yrs due to a lower back fusion of L-2-3-4-5.With cages and screws and rods.Then I had a cervical fusion oC-2-3-4.Same deal cage and screws and rods.I also get 60 temezapam 325 mg for sleep.This accident occued in 2001. I get very little releif with the duragesic and 4hrs sleep is a miracle.The workers comp ins wants to change the meds to Ultram & meletonion.I AM SCARED!!!!!!!I dearly hope the pain doc does not agree.PLEASE ANY WORDS OF WISDOM TO HELP ME tHANKS LIGHTNING1958
Avatar universal
I have been on the 75mcg fro 4 yrs due to a lower back fusion of L-2-3-4-5.With cages and screws and rods.Then I had a cervical fusion oC-2-3-4.Same deal cage and screws and rods.I also get 60 temezapam 325 mg for sleep.This accident occued in 2001. I get very little releif with the duragesic and 4hrs sleep is a miracle.The workers comp ins wants to change the meds to Ultram & meletonion.I AM SCARED!!!!!!!I dearly hope the pain doc does not agree.PLEASE ANY WORDS OF WISDOM TO HELP ME tHANKS LIGHTNING1958
Avatar universal
I have been on the 75mcg fro 4 yrs due to a lower back fusion of L-2-3-4-5.With cages and screws and rods.Then I had a cervical fusion oC-2-3-4.Same deal cage and screws and rods.I also get 60 temezapam 325 mg for sleep.This accident occued in 2001. I get very little releif with the duragesic and 4hrs sleep is a miracle.The workers comp ins wants to change the meds to Ultram & meletonion.I AM SCARED!!!!!!!I dearly hope the pain doc does not agree.PLEASE ANY WORDS OF WISDOM TO HELP ME tHANKS LIGHTNING1958
Avatar universal
Listen my husband was addicted to herion for years and the only thing that ever helphim was suboxone  it is a drug that stops your body from going through with drawls from herion you use it on a program to get clean but i feel that maybe it will help some of you it has a blocker unlike methadone that you can still get high off of while on. It blocks the high you get from pain pills and allows you tomove on with your life just a quick message look into it at your local drug rehab clinics, its  for those who are ready to quit b ut can deal with the withdfrawls
401095 tn?1351395370
nor sure about that one...i am a chronic pain patient...Did the narcotics go to my pain or did the do a left turn and go to my addiction...did a left turn on me...i dont think anything is so cut and dry...some chronic painers are addicts...some non-chronic painers are addicts...it is a fuxzz uup in the receptors of ur brain and i dont think jusr because u have an accident and have chronic pain for life or just because u develop degenerative disc disease, make that addiction marker go away...

so what we are is unfortunate..to have chronic pain and an addict....most painers treated by doctors are not addicts,,,we think almost everyone is cos we are but the turth is most take pain medication without abuse nor crave the high..some do not even like the high/altho all have the postential to become physically addicted but not as easily as we do/it is just not in their genetic make up
..if u do like the high and find urself using even when the pain is not too bad..using to feel good that day and get more done then the questions need to be asked to urself...it is not true that a chronic painer can not be an addict..cos i am one
Avatar universal
I am currently taking fentanyl patch 75mg. every 48 hours and lortab 500mg. around 6 a day. I still have awful back pain and am going to tell my Dr. I want to be taken off both of them or weaned off. I am a different person on the medications especially the patch it makes me very lethagic and tired and I still have back pain!!! I am so frustrated I want to live a normal drug free life. Does anyone have any advice for me?
870151 tn?1239681517
I was on Oxycontin and when that became not as effective my dr. put me on the Fentanyl patch. They were wonderful at first but if you are in anyway active, I have a warning for you. One patch is supposed to last 3 days. If you move around alot or sweat it will come loose. If you lose the patch from your skin, you lose 3 days of medicine. This was a problem for me. I am not warning you off of them, I am just warning you of what can happen if you are in anyway an active person. Good luck
Avatar universal
The comment of the patch coming off of the skin has happened alot to me. Because I am active and it is hard to keep on. I wish now I would have never started the patch because I feel it will be hard to get my body off of it. I am going to ask my Dr. on Friday to start lowering my dosage. The patch helped my pain at first now it doesn't. I am so scared and afraid I will have to go to rehab because I will become really sick. I know my Dr. will try to work with me. Has anyone ever had to go to a rehab center to get off this patch. I also take 6 500mg lortab usually daily. I want to get off of that too. I will take any suggestions anyone has for me. Please!!
God Bless everyone!!
Avatar universal
Long story short:

Torn rotator cuff - Botched Shoulder surgery - Norcos, Oxycodone, Soma, Xanax, etc...

I am still trying to wean off of these...

When I have a level 10/10 or higher in pain I take just 1 Toradol and the pain is gone within 30 minutes.

The amazing thing is Toradol is not a narcotic but is the most amazing pain reliever I have ever taken!

Toradol is the way to go but be carefull it is very hard on the stomach if taken daily causing ulcers in some cases.

Good luck, I know how hard it is to battle the pain every day, sometimes I just want it to end...
Avatar universal
I finally weaned off Duragesic patches after being a zombie for 6 years. Until I went from 75 to 50 to 25mcgs I didnt even realize it was this drug making me so inert that all I did was lay in bed. I have fibromyalgia and other problems. After I myself decided to wean, I stupidly assumed Id still get my 4 vicodin a day which I have taken for 8 years. dumb me, I was left with horrible withdrawals beyond belief, thinking my only relief would be death. I tried some weird drug called Savella which is just a prozac but the FDA approves it for fibro, not narcotics, which is the only thing that helps this debilitating pain. Someday if enough people kill themselves maybe the FDA will finally approve narcotics for fibro. I relented big time today and got a 10mg Kadian scrip. I hate myself. But Duragesic withdrawal is worse than words can say. Im glad its over. I feel like ME again. I just hurt, never sleep and lost 10lbs. Until narcotics are not abused by druggies those of us who need them will contemplate suicide when our doctors refuse to prescribe real relief. I live in a rural area anyway I hope in 2 years I will relocate to a normal city and get away from doctors who accuse suffering souls of being drug addicts. But I would never take Duragesic again withdrawals are still going on and I took off the last 12mcg patch 10 days ago.
Avatar universal
I just read your last post. I'm really afraid... I'm currently using 75mcg patches every 48 hours. I start to withdraw on these at around 40 hours. I hate duragesic for all of the reasons you describe. I must have a strong family as I wouldn't put up with someone as labile as I am. I've used these patches for 2 years and originally loved them.
I reluctantly started duragesic after my doctor and others told me they wouldn't be like Oxycontin. That's another story...

My doctor at that time prescribed what was considered maximum dosage Oxycontin for RSD and Body pain. He then literally disappeared. Left town……None of the other docs in that group would continue my treatment and I locked myself at home and began cold turkey. I almost died.

Now I'm seeing all of these horror stories and I don't know if I can do this again. My doc thinks I'm whining about the duragesic. I'd really like to be human again. I used to be considered a high energy, type A kind of person. Now I don't want anyone else to see me like this.

Thanks for letting me rant. I have no one to talk to that understands

Mark F

Avatar universal
Anyone ever use Humira for pain associated with back surgery with rod placement.  My hands are swollen, tingling and hurt like no body's buisness.
Avatar universal
I have been using the 100 MCG Fentanyl/Duragesic patch changing every 48 hours for 8 years now, with Dilaudid or Norco for break through pain...I was changed from the Dilaudid to the Norco when I felt my pain relief was not sufficient.  I have an L5-S1 fusion after the S1 vertebrae snapped off of my spinal column at the facets.  the vertebrae was completely broken off suspended by ligaments.  The surgery was the most horrible pain I have ever been through in my life! Prior to that I had several fusions in my cervical spine for badly herniated disks.  I have to be very careful for anything I do because the facets, the bones that link the vertebrae, have fractures throughout my spine, and believe me I don't want to break any vertebrae again.  I was pushing a parent type grocery cart, where both of my kids were sitting on it and I had several 25 packs of diet pepsi in the cart - well, I heard a loud crack and the pain was so bad I went down to the floor.  I was 36 then.  Several months after the trauma and surgery, the multiple sclerosis I was diagnosed with in 1989 came out of remission, which has made things worse for me because there is a lot of pain with having MS. I also have fibromyalgia, degenerative spine disease and osteoarthritis.  I go to a pain clinic for my pain therapy and medication for the entire time now.  I read a lot about people in this forum using the Duragesic patch and I would like to know if there is anyone out there who has been using the patch as long as I have and how they are doing on it.  It doesn't get rid of my pain completely because I have a lot of nerve damage in back as a result of broken vertebrae.  With the medication I take, I get relief at about a 4 or 5 out of 10, where 10 means the worst pain ever.  I recently found out that I have a lot of damage at the C2 level, in my cervical spine, which is causing a tremendous amount of pain, despite pain medications.  I would appreciate any one sharing their experiences who have been on pain medications long term, especially with the Fentanyl patch, and also, how people cope with severe pain that keeps them up at night (in my neck) even though I am on a strong dose of pain medication.  Bless  You All and Thank You So Much!
Avatar universal
DON'T START. If you have started, get of them by tapering of them now.
I ended up taking 200 mg every 72 hours, then every 60 hours,eventually my body needed the patch every 24 hours. I realized that there was no way I could take enough to satisfy my craving for it and checked into a rehab center.
I detoxed from fentynl, vicodin, xanax  and another med that I can't recall; it was an absolute hell to detox. I do not think I could survive another event like this one again. Please stay away from them, I implore you,    
1759334 tn?1312926263
This is my first post here and wanted to share my experience with the "Patch"! Almost 12 yrs ago I was hit by a car while walking in a parking lot to go into a bank and pay my mortgage. Basically, I was taken into the ER. My upper thighs and legs were bruised and my back hurt like hell. (lower back). The ER put me on ES Vicodin and muscle relaxers. A year goes by and I'm put on every pain med. out there. None seemed to help with the pain in my lower back. Another year goes by and the pain is unbearable! So my doctor at the time tries me on Fentanyl 25mcg. every 3 days needed to be changed. WOW!! This medicine gave me my life back! I was in disbelief! About 5-6 months go by, the patch isn't working like it used to, so I'm bumped up to the 50mcg. This continues within the next year until I'm put up to the 100mcg, plus instead of changing them every 3 days, I change them every 2 days. A few more months go by, and they put me on the brand patch named "Duragesic". YES! These brand patches worked wonderful! That was 10 years ago and as of today, 08/09/11 I'm still on the Duragesic 100 mcg patch and still change them every 2 days. Along with the patches, I'm on generic Percocet 10/325mg. The Percocet 10/325 I've been on for 5 years now, same dosage. About 7 years ago my Pain Management Doctor tried to take me off the 100mcg duraesic and put me on Opana ER 30mg. He swore to me that I would not have any withdrawal symptoms from the duragesic whatsoever! Well, I took my last patch off and it happened to be a Friday night. About 8 hours later I started to feel like somebody threw my entire body off a 5 story building, and instead of dying, lived through all that pain, if I were in fact dropped from a building and survived. The pain was excruciating! And then to top it off, my entire body felt like my skin was actually crawling. Then the restless legs started, and that was so intense I couldn't quite screaming. I remember laying upstairs in bed so I wouldn't scare my kids to death and my husband was there with me. The next thing I knew, I'm waking in an ambulance. They brought me to the ER and for 4 hours straight I was tied down to a bed, not given anything medication wise, and all I could do was scream out loud because my legs were running in place and the pain in my body was so bad. The hospital finally contacted my pain doctor. They did not tell him I had seizures or anything that I was going though, so my dr told them to keep me on opana. The ER wrote a script for some pills that kept me sleeping for 3 days straight, enough to get over the withdrawals. Finally, I woke 3 days later and my back felt like it was literally broken. I tried to take the opana er for two days to see if it would help any of my pain just a little, and nothing! So I called my dr's office, explained to them everything that went on the Friday night before. They asked my if I could go up to the office and see my pain doctor as soon as possible. My doctor was furious because the hospital didn't tell him what exactly happened. I went 6 days off the Duragesic patch and used only the Opana ER plus whatever the hospital gave me to sleep for 3 days straight. So fortunately, I had to be put back on the 100mcg Duragesic patch and Percocet 10/325. We went and got my scripts filled. I put one patch on in the bathroom at Walgreen's and took a percocet when I got in our truck. Within 30-40 minutes, all my pain, the jitters I had and the over all ****** feeling I had were gone!!! Now, that was about 7 yrs ago and as of today, I am still on the same exact medications. The Duragesic 100mcg and the Percocet 10/325 for breakthrough pain. My pain issues are still here, and getting worse. I had a 45 minute CT Scan about 5 months ago, and it shows that my condition is getting a lot worse! I now see a new pain doctor as of a month ago because my old pain doctor wouldn't up my medications. So this Friday I have an appt. with my new pain doctor and I hope and pray he'll up my meds. for me in hopes that it will help having a higher dosage. I was told my my primary care physician that with chronic pain, the highest dosage of Duragesic one can go up to is the 100mcg. unless one has cancer or another life threatening disease they claim a patient can go up to 400mcg if need be. Now, what scares the hell out of me is, if this 100 mcg if the highest does I can go up to, then why in the hell did the all these physicians bring me up to the 100mcg within a 1 yr. period?  Every since I've been on the percocet 10/325 I've been given 120 a month which is 4 a day. Why not raise the percocet to 6 a day or 8 a day? I get my liver checked every few months and my liver is in good condition. I'm only 41, and over the next 5-10 years what am I going to do for pain relief if nobody is willing to raise the Duragesic patch anymore than 100mcg that I've been on for 10 yrs now? So, the reason for my post is to let everyone out there in chronic pain know for one, what has happened to me can happen to you, and secondly, the Duragesic/Fentanyl patches are a wonderful medication for pain, but after 10 yrs of being on this medication and up to the 100mcg dosage, what is there for us next to use for pain relief? If your considering using the patches for pain, please talk to your doctor about how high a dose you can go up to. Just please be careful please!  Be safe, get all the facts and information you can get before starting and stopping the Duragesic/Fentanyl patches, and don't let any physician tell you that a pill will take the place of the patch and give you know withdrawls or side effects. Take it from me, I went through pure hell when mine tried to switch me from Duragesic 100mcg to Opana ER 30mg. Just the restless legs were enough to make me want to end my life, and this is not a joke! Again, be careful, and if you want/need to get off Fentanyl/Duragesic, taper please!

Fran from Virginia
Avatar universal
Been on Endocet for almost four years after pneumothorax and chronic nerve pain. Doctor has been very hard to deal with and more concerned about himslef and the addiction angle than the management of my pain. I would advise anyone who has a Doctor such as this take charge and find the right help early in the game. Four years in and I still live with pain and a Doctor who does not understand that it is not an addiction to drugs he istreating but rather the management of pain.When you have chronic nerve pain, addiction is the leat of your worries. Take charge of your well being and raise hell until you get your pain under control.
2045301 tn?1330068182
I Have been a SEVERE car crash in 85' broke Neck,Back & partially tore off Rt Arm @Shoulder. Then in 05',06' & 2011 is was Rearend ea time while I was stopped @ light. & took Shrapnel in Rt arm in Desert Storm so I have my share of PAIN. I was started off on Darvocet then moved quickly to Morphone 15 mg x 4day for near 8yrs,now I am tollerant to morphine as it does nothing to help. So I was put on (240) 10mg/325 Hydrocodone (L-Tab) monthly as well as (240) 10mg Oxycodone monthly for break through pain for near 8 years. I also had a ANS SPINAL STIMULATOR IMPLANT & do to it did not help & the risks of it on my spine were to great so Dctrs agreed to remove it. Im in Chronic pain that until recently my pain level was say a 5 every day but now im @  9 or 10  out of 1 to 10 Daily. Docs tried 40mg Oxycotin x 3day and felt no relief of pain so then tried a Stronger (class 2) EXALGO 16mg x3day which is designed for people thats tollerant to meds & it was total waste for it done nothing, now Doc said there is nothing else made thats any stronger other than the Fentanyl patch. I start next week @ a low dose of 12mg for 3days then increase it pending its results. Im waiting for Neuro surgeon to see about severing lower nerves @ L3,L4, L5 & S1 for temp relief of a yr or less. But I have been on everything almost for 27 years & this Girl is at her wits end. Is this Fentanyl patch im going on going to help being I been on Strong Meds 4 so long. I hope so cause I been bed ridden for 4months since accident & even 6 Vacet injections then 8 Epiderals in 1 treatment next month & felt No relief from either. Doctr said Im rare where im tollerant to everything in pill form & may have to just deal with the pain 4rest of my life. Anyone have ideas or opinion. God bless all you guys that hurt like me. Nikki  :-)
Avatar universal
I had Cervical Spine Fusion C-2-3. 3-4, 5-6 a year ago, I have very limited range of motion in my neck, severe muscular pain in my neck, lower skull and shoulders, and muscle/pain spasms.  This has also had a negitive effect on my severe degenerative disk in my lumbare spine, because I must twist my body at the waist to see to the right or left.  I also work 40+ hours a week and am on my feet most of the day.  I have had PT, use a tens unit nightly, and been on Norco 10/325 for a year.  I do not get over 4-5 hours sleep due to pain.  My Dr. now wants me to try the Fentanyl Patches, and I'm very apprehensive.  After ready these post, I'm more concerned than ever!  Should I follow my gut instict and live with the pain?
Avatar universal
Dear Canuck, I am responding to your interests in pain relief. I have pretty severe Fibromyalgia, or to those who don't know this... Muscle tension disorder, which turns into daily migraines, puking, TMJ, etc. I have been chronic for over 10 years. Before they put me on vicodin, I did the battery of drug trails with huge side affects (doubling my weigh size in 6 months, high blood pressure, etc) the best thing i did was get into a pain clinic so I could not only learn how narcs work, but try natural meds, meditation, pool therapy, bio feed back, tens unit.  Some worked some didn't. After a long 3 weeks they put me on vicodin. Since then I am doing x4 a day 750/325. It's ok. I don't get "high anymore" it just is. The break thru is the hard part. Oxy wasn't good - took too long to work and major constipation. So now I just us ice, warm baths and dermipatches (for muscle relief - they are sooo great) Anyways, you will constantly be lectured on the narc issue, but I do believe it can work but know that there is more things out there and you can only know YOU. Best of luck. Thank you for protecting our country.

Avatar universal
I have had lupus for about 30 years and it is destroying every joint, bone, and organ it can reach.  50+ surgeries and 20 pathological fractures in the last 2 yrs have left me nearly bed ridden, destroying my marriage (my husband left because he !!!! was miserable!!) and almost taking my life. Fentynal patches are my life saver.  After being on them for over 20 yrs I am at 175 mcg every 48 hrs.  My only insurance is medicare and I have hit their doughnut hole where you pay full price!!  It's been quite a delema for me.  The drugs or the death wish pain.  It is a miracle drug with some negative benefits!  I guess we all have to make that horrible decision. I worked in medical research for 20 +yr and stay involved.  If you have questions email me at ***@****
Avatar universal
Saw your post from 2010 re fentanyl, back fracture and fusion, ms--and it could hv been written by me. We were even diagnosed w/MS the same year (89). My burst fracture of L 1 and emergency fusion was may 2012.

Iam replying because you asked if others hv been on fentanyl as long. Since 2002 I've used it at various strengths for a string of injuries (klutzy and brittle bones)., currently like you I wear 2 100 mcg fen. 48 hrs like you. Oxycodone for breakthrough .  I worry the two make me hibernate too" much, not returning friends' call sd, just lazing with a book and. feeling guilty about it. I do not hv kids like you and sympathize. My pain control is fine and doc says he"d go along with me reducing or stopping the pills, but says the patches are not causing the lethargy.  
he started me on nuvigil today (actually tomorrow). Rt Maybe it will help get me back in the world. I know at least part or even most of my problem is MS fatigue. Do you hv ms fatigue rx orp know how nuvigil is? Hope you are doing better than when you posted. I joined this site just to get in touch with you so hope this will find you. luna
Avatar universal
I would love to know what everyones causes are for the pain.  Mine is forty years of fibromyalgia.  Just got my first lyrica pill yesterday and it seems to be helping some but is it addictive
5682326 tn?1372286723
Trying to research the pros and cons of Fentanyl patch.  I have read thru most of these comments and still don't know if I am ready to go on this patch thing.  I've been on Hydrocodone 10/325 @ 5 a day, for about 5 months now.  Had back surgery, rotator cuff with 4 tears, hysterectomy, thumb ligament tear repair, so...pain is with me every day.  The rotator cuff was what finalized my need for daily pain meds.  My new PC doc wants me to go on the patch.  I'm not so sure I want to do that.  He's worried about my liver, but I've not been on Hydro long enough to be doing major damage yet.  Just unsure that the patch will relieve the pain for me.  
Mail Lady...rural type
11635177 tn?1420026382
My insurance covers my fentanyl 50mcg/h transdermal system patches at the cost of only $2.50 for 2 packs of 5. If you are having a issue with coverage then try silverscript. I have medicare/medicade and that is all I pay monthly. I have been on just about every pain medication under the sun and the patches feel as if they were sent with the grace of god. They are by far the best most effective pain med I have ever used and I don't have 2 worry about the organ damage from the pain pills. I had 2 back surgeries & a neck surgery and I have been suffering with pain for almost decade until they put me on these. "thank u jesus". No more pills; Yeah! and they work way better.
Avatar universal
My doc put me on duragesic. Rapid tolerance build up and lots of breakthrough pain. Upped the patches then had me leave on old patch and put on new ones in 2 days. What a slippery slope! I weaned myself off of them. Try yoga. A gentle series to work your back and strengthen your bore. It does help the pain.
Avatar universal
I am still going through withdrawl.  Norco and Fentanyl patches. I am in my second week I find taking hot baths with epsom salts gives me some relief.  Other than that, make sure to eat and drink.   I drink a lot of gatoraide..

Hope you feel better
Avatar universal
You are so very young to be so troubled but you aren't letting stop you. I also was just in Mt late 20's when I had my first back surgery. I'm now at 3 cervical fishing and two lower back surgeries. 7 hand surgeries for osteoarthritis due to a Lyme's infection. Weaning yourself slowly is so very wise. But grad school says you have the mind to make it through. Good luck to you. I got off fentanyl and am day 6 off norco 10/325's. Still ***** but think I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
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495284 tn?1333897642
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