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Fentanyl Sticks Dependent

Hi, I am new to the group. I was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer in 2009 and went through chemo and radiation. My doctor put me on Actiq and they worked well. Here I am 4 years later and am still taking 4 or 5 200 strength and 2 400 strength a day. Of course I have become more tolerant over time and it takes more to feel better. I just had to have all my teeth pulled due to radiation affects over time. Now I really don't have that much pain. I would like to either get off this stuff totally or at least lower the amount I take. They have been a crutch now and my doctor is threatening to stop prescribing the drugs. I have felt the beginning of the withdrawal and had a panic attack. This was in no way fun. At the suggestion of my  Oncologist I have went to a pain doctor twice and he just says if this stuff works then keep taking it. I wish I could detox in the hospital but I have used up all my vacation time. Any help you can provide would be great. I've read a lot on this and most of the people on Fentanyl take it more for recreational use but I do have issues from the cancer treatment. Oddly enough, I've been on Fentynal so long I'm not sure what I would feel like clean.
Thanks Gary
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6064084 tn?1421357084
Hi Gary, and Welcome to the forum it's kinda slow right now being a friday night but if you keep checking in someone with experince with fentanyl will come along and answer your questions...there is awesome people in here that can offer great support and help you through please hang in there and keep checking in......lizzy
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hey there, i just do not know what to say !!
Im so sorry for all you have been through, so i want to offer you my support.
I just cannot comment on your situation as i have nil experience.
Take care, help will come very soon : )
Helpful - 0
1855076 tn?1337115303
First off, congratulations on beayting throat cancer.  My uncle and aunt both did and it's not easy.  Fentanyl was probably a good med for you while going through that.  Around here you don't hear anything about the Actiq.  You also don't hear much about Fentanyl being used recreationally, though it happens rarely.

I was given the Fentanyl patch after about 6/7 surgeries on my hand and winding up with rsd, nerve pain and more.  They also had me on a boatload of other things, high doses of oxycodone, gabapsntin, Cymbalta, Ativan, Ambien, and more.  Evsn though I had a good baxckground with medical issues, I was very naive about pain meds.  I eventually came to belisvs I was overmedicated and asked to be weaned off everything but was told by pain managemsnt that I couldn't come off as the pain would be too bad.
As I said, I wS a bit naive when it came to pain meds.

I tried to stop everything cold turkey.  That didn't work for me.  I have some other health issues and going CT found me in the hospital on IV fluids.
Fentanyl is very strong and it seems to take longer to get out of your system than other pain meds.  It isn't as bad as methadone or subs to come off but the pharmacist told me it stores in fat and possibly bone.

I had to taper and that wasn't easy either,.though not nearly as bad as CT.  (Keep in mind that most, though not all, addicts find tapering difficult.  I was dependent dather than addictex, so I didn't havs mental cravings.  It seems that those that are addicted tend to be more successfull in tapering when they enlist the help of.family or friends to hold the meds and give them.according to fhe taper schedule.)

We can't give taper schedules here.  But whether you', you'll finx this  was able to use my oxycodone breakthrough med fo help me taper:? down.  And I had my guardian angel from here.


Helpful - 0
1855076 tn?1337115303
First off, congratulations on beayting throat cancer.  My uncle and aunt both did and it's not easy.  Fentanyl was probably a good med for you while going through that.  Around here you don't hear anything about the Actiq.  You also don't hear much about Fentanyl being used recreationally, though it happens rarely.

I was given the Fentanyl patch after about 6/7 surgeries on my hand and winding up with rsd, nerve pain and more.  They also had me on a boatload of other things, high doses of oxycodone, gabapsntin, Cymbalta, Ativan, Ambien, and more.  Evsn though I had a good baxckground with medical issues, I was very naive about pain meds.  I eventually came to belisvs I was overmedicated and asked to be weaned off everything but was told by pain managemsnt that I couldn't come off as the pain would be too bad.
As I said, I wS a bit naive when it came to pain meds.

I tried to stop everything cold turkey.  That didn't work for me.  I have some other health issues and going CT found me in the hospital on IV fluids.
Fentanyl is very strong and it seems to take longer to get out of your system than other pain meds.  It isn't as bad as methadone or subs to come off but the pharmacist told me it stores in fat and possibly bone.

I had to taper and that wasn't easy either,.though not nearly as bad as CT.  (Keep in mind that most, though not all, addicts find tapering difficult.  I was dependent dather than addictex, so I didn't havs mental cravings.  It seems that those that are addicted tend to be more successfull in tapering when they enlist the help of.family or friends to hold the meds and give them.according to fhe taper schedule.)

We can't give taper schedules here.  I never took as much as I was prescribed so I was able to use  my oxycodone breakthrough med fo help me taper down.  And I had my guardian angel from here.  It was ztill hard.

If you get your doctor on board, he can help you manage your taper and give you things fo hdlp, like.Clonidine, which is an old blood pressure med that also helps with withdrawal symptoms,.nerve pain, etc.

Whethedd you go CT or taper, sith your doctor's help or not,.staying hydrated is most important.  You can also check out the Thomasrecipe here which has supplemsnts and tips to help ease some discomfort.  Best of luck and keep posting.  You will find great support from the members here.
Helpful - 0
655875 tn?1295695107
It took me two weeks to fully withdrawal from the fentanyl patch.  I went from 75mcg to 25 mcg before ripping it off for good.  After 2 weeks(not a fun 2 weeks), I fully recovered from the withdrawal.

Right now I'm withdrawaling from Percocet, which is just as difficult.lol I hope it only takes 2 weeks as the fentanyl did.

Good luck.  I was expecting a longer withdrawal period, but it wasn't like that.  Thank goodness.
Helpful - 0
1855076 tn?1337115303
Sorry for the double postt.  Not sure how that happened.  RunningMom, you are very fortunate the Fentanyl withdrawals were over in two weeks.  I had a tough time with it.  Fentanyl didn't agree with me when I was on it, but my doctor at the time encouraged me to stay on it.  It never really worked well.for most of my pain and I had a lot of bad side effects.  coming off my magnesium and potassium levels were dangerously low and I was hospitalized twice.  I didn't know much about it and the more I learned I came to believe that it really isn't a medication that should be used for chronic pain.  I believe it should only be used for cancer pain and end of life pain.  I know there are some people that Fentanyl works well but it seems I've read more stories where it turned out to be a nightmare.

Gacjlm, I hope you're doing okay.  It's definitely worth any discomfort to get off the Fentanyl.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I was on fentanyl 50mg patches for 3-4 years for knne pain from a botched replacement.  I was still in intense pain and patches no longer worked.  Went to pain dr.  She took me off 50mg-gave me a scpit for 25mg for 1 month.  I go back in a week.  I guess whe'll just keep cutting back till I'm down to the lowest dose and then quit them.  I've noticed the pain is no different really as the patches no longer worked.  A pain dr can help you, especially if you truly want the help--good luck
Helpful - 0
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