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Percocet to Fentanyl Patch

I have been taking up to 12 percocets a day (sciatica) and now I've been given Fentanyl Patch (16.5 for a nominal in vivo delivery of 100 mcg/h fentanyl for 72hrs) and don't know what to expect, I'm alittle scared to put it on. Could someone tell me how they feel, I have 9yr old twins and don't want to be too zonked out. Thanks so much for any info, I'm so happy I found this site.
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699295 tn?1295358345
you were moved from percocet to fentynal? thats a huge jump...the meds in those patches are up to 40 x stronger than morphine.  in the long termit could be a nasty addiction, in the short term fentynal is accused of lowering respirations, raising body temp, irritation at the patch site, and in some instances causing moderate to extreme mood swings. if you must take them, take them the way the package says, no more than that. i would ask why the doctor thinks the jump to fentynal is needed, did you try and fail other pain killers? how many yrs have you been on the percs? keep us posted.
                                   -mjax024
Helpful - 0
708346 tn?1230312524
I was on the Fentanyl patches, highest dose patch for some time. I didn't know how dangerouse they were until I did some research online about them. They are very dangerouse. The bad thing is the Dr.'s don't tell you these things. The best thing you could do for yourself at this point is to research it and get all the info you can so you will know what your getting yourself into. mjaxo24 left some good info for you and everything he says is absolutely right. When I started asking my Doc questions I found out that my body was running like a 90 yr. old woman, I stopped using them that week. I did however let my Dr. know what I was doing and was under medical supervision while coming off of the patches. This is a big time WARNING to question your Dr.!!! Take care.
                                 mom2676
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Avatar universal
Fentanyl is one of the strongest Opiates out there ---- Yes, they will probably relieve your pain but OMG, at what price???  Hell hath no furry like a Fentanyl Addiction.   The transdermal method of delivery does slow down the rate it goes into the body but it is still VERY strong.   When medical people get addicted the most common DOC is Fentanyl (usually the injectable).  Many Doctors, nurses, and especially pharmacists have fallen to this one --- it is very difficult to withdraw from.  Well, do your research -- Like the above poster said, I assume the doctor has tried everything else first.  All the best.
Helpful - 0
480448 tn?1426948538
I agree very strongly with all of the posters thus far!  That is QUITE a big jump.  Not only just from Percocets to the Duragesic patch....but also the dose is quite high.  Common starting doses are 25 mcg, 50 mcg.  There is always room to go UP.

Have you tried other routes?  I would really suggest getting a second opinion.  Even for the way the sciatica is being treated.  Long term opiate use is not always the best route...for very obvious reasons.....namely tolerance and dependence.  Sciatica can often be very successfully maintained on meds like Neurontin, along with massage therapy, physical therapy, etc.

PLEASE do some thinking before taking this step.  Naturally the Percocets have become less effective for your pain because you have built up a tolerance to them.  In the VERY least...if you decide to continue with opiate therapy....ask the doc about stepping up gradually....to an oxycontin regimen perhaps, even introducing an NSAID like Motrin alternating with the opiate.  Anything you can do to lessen the need for the narcotics, the better.  Oxycontin will carry the same risks as the other opiates...but this way you're not going up to something so extreme.

Bottom line.....going from 12 Percocets a day to a 100 mcg patch is a HUGE jump.  There has to be a middle ground somewhere.  PLEASE be cautious.
Helpful - 0
401095 tn?1351391770
ask him about it seriously..and your pharmacist too..often a pharmacist knows more about mesds than a doctor does...alternative pain control methods are out there...the patch is scary to me and i know if i ever resorted to that it would be for life.....be safe
Helpful - 0
401095 tn?1351391770
Sciatica can often be all but resolved by a good chirpopractor..I know many are scared on chiropractors...even tho there is not need to be if they are a reputable one..to me going on a narcotic of that strength is much much scarier
Helpful - 0
536882 tn?1225512859
conversions for fentanyl are based on a morphine dose over a 24 hour period.  Oxycodone is apx 1.5 times stronger than morphine.  If you take 12 pills a day, assuming they are 10mg/pill.....you take apx 120mg of oxycodone per 24hours.  This would equal out to about 180mg of morphine to obtain the same level of relief.  Literature suggests for a 24 hour morphine dose of 60-134mg you would need a 25mcg fentanyl patch.  So you would be right around a starting patch of 50mcg.  As you can clearly see, a 100mcg patch is at LEAST double the amount you would need.  If I were you and truly considering patch, I wouldn't start any higher than a 50mcg.  In fact, I'd start at a 25mcg and move up.  Its always easier to take an extra pill for breakthrough pain than it is to remove a long acting opiod.

There is no question if you begin the patch you will become more dependent on opiods.  Exhaust your search for alternatives before you jump in.  Many antispasmodics and even antidepressants have been shown to be helpful for nerve pain.  Neurontin is a good medication as well as baclofen.  They are both effective for 'shooting' or constant nerve pain.  If these don't help, I still wouldn't go for the fentanyl.  The next opiate step would be a long acting oral med (oxycontin or ms contin).  And suggesting these seems to be such an awful thing to do, so compare that to what a fentanyl patch would be.  
Be very careful my friend.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I would say going from 12 Percocets a day to the patch is not really that much of a "jump".     A  100mcg  (and yes, that IS Microgram, NOT Milligram) because Fentanyl is 100 times stronger that Morphine.    The patch delivers the medication slowly, over a piod of 72 hors, tho so you can do the math on what you're really getting per hour.... not that much.

I imagine that for the first few patches you will get "high", the "warm, fuxxy, floating on a cloud" high........but it would go away , obviously, when you got used to it.

Please be careful with these.  These turned into my Drug of Choice (D.O.C) and I would suck them orally to  get all the medication at once.  I did accidently O/D, go unconscious and it spiked my blood sugar ( I am NOT Diabetic) to 457!!   Doctor said I was nearly comatose.  Thats when I stopped taking them but am still addicted to other things.    
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I meant:  warm,  fuZZY  ( FUZZY)
Helpful - 0
352798 tn?1399298154
This is a huge step and a warning. Fentanyl is one of the hardest drugs to get off of. Send a PM to Jacqui805 and ask her about her experience getting off of it.
You really need to think twice about this.
     A little known fact is that the more pain killers you take, the more your body 'produces' pain to make sure you give it it's "fix".  Many of us have gone down this road. More pain, more pain killers. My advice is to stay away from the patch and seek alternative methods for pain relief. Chiropractic, specialized massage, acupuncture etc..
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303824 tn?1294871401
I was on fentanyl patches short term and I suffered withdrawals. At the time, I didn't know what was happening until I put ONE patch on, and suffered withdrawals AGAIN. I do not recommend it if at all possible.
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303824 tn?1294871401
Oh...to answer your question about how you feel on them. I didn't feel them at all, just no pain.
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401786 tn?1309152034
I would like to help in any way I can.  I will PM you to talk to you more in depth.  Right here, I will say that there are a few inaccuracies above but in general everybody seems to understand that this is a big-time drug with big-time consequences and coming off of it is pure hell.  I would not enter into this situation lightly at all....something GoingToMakeIt says is a good point....Your body really does start to produce more pain at some point, so it is one helluva cycle.  I would respectfully like to say also, that most doctors who prescribe this or other pain meds really do not have any true understanding of what it's like to go through withdrawl.  It's one scary ride sassylibra, one I'll not take again.

Jacqui
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401095 tn?1351391770
so glad jacquii responded to your post as not an awful lot of use have experienced wds from the patch...heed the warnings and weigh out the pros and cons..above all..be safe
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518031 tn?1295575374
just because you enter into a pain mangemnet deal with a pain dr, doesnt mean you will end up being an addict follow the drs orders on how to ue the meds and you should be fine, the other writers are correct it is a very serious thing to start to get into, weigh the pros and cons.. i have been going to a pain mangemnet dr for almost 4 years now and he has helped me greatly, gave me back quality of life
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667015 tn?1268595478
Hi I just feel that I need to put in my exp. with the patch. I was on pain meds for about 3yrs before my Dr put me on the patch. I was on the 50mg patch. I was on the patch for 3 months. I then got tired of not being able to get into a warm bed ( was winter ) I also have a high normal body temp about 100.1 all the time so for me I feel that due to my temp I was getting more than the normal person would get. Now I didnot tell my Dr that I was going to stop the patch and did so. Well I went through very bad withdraw I could not sleep and was going from sweating to freezing all the time. After the 3rd or 4th day I called my Dr and told him that I had stopped the patch and had these problems. He asking if I had any of my Vic's left I told him yes and he told me to take 4 (750) vic's and in 2-3 hrs take 3 then to take 2 every 4hrs till I felt better. I did this and was good after that. Now I have to say that for me the only thing that I have ever taken that made the pain go away way the patch. I wish my Dr would put me on them again so that I could have some time pain free again for a little while again. I would let you know that YES you will get addicted to the patch. There is really no question about it. But your Dr more that likely knows this and when he/she wants you to stop taking it that they know what to give you to help with the withdraw from it.
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535089 tn?1400673519
Hello Sassylibra and welcome to the pain Forum:

There is alot of mis-information here that you should simply ignore. There are membrs in the Pain Forum that can give you some great information about your treatment with the Fentanyl Patch and I am one of them.

First let me say that Fentanyl is 81x stronger than that of Morphine...I think someone had told you that it was 40x stronger which is an understatement.

I do agree with some in that a 100mcg patch for you is too high of a dose, especially converting from Oxycodone. I was using Oxycontin along with Oxycodone for breakthrough pain for a good 10 years and was given a 75mcg patch. For the first few days, I experienced nausea, night sweats, vivid dreams and dizzyness along with drowsiness during the day and sleepless nights. My system had a hard time adjusting to the Fentanyl. This is why I say that I feel your dose will be too high for you. You may be really uncomfortable for a while which will make you not want to continue the new med.

It took me a good 4-6 weeks for my body to finally adjust enough to where I felt almost normal again. It has been quite some time since I first was introduced to the Fentanyl and I think the best part of being on the patch is not having the constant euphoric feeling that the Oxy's give you. The Fentanyl goes into the blood stream slow enough that you don't have that euphoric or high dopy feeling. I actually feel "normal".

Well, make sure that you read the insert very carefully. It is full of valuable information on the do's and don't's.

Take care and good luck.
Mollyrae
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Avatar universal
I was on two patches of fentanyl before I was done with it. It made me drowsy and depressed. If you can you should go to a pain clinic and try and find something that is not as strong but still helps with your pain. You will have side effects to this drug. I now have a pain pump placed in my body. It is connected to my spinal cord. A set amount of medication goes to my spinal cord at the area of my injury. I need one dose of this to my spinal cord as opposed to 300 pills and no patches. It is much better.
  I understand your situation very well. Your sense of not knowing what to do and hopes that you can escape your pain was a common feeling for me. I have lived this way for nine years. Be cautious of what you take. You what to stay as clear minded and as active as possible with your children. Any narcotic will have a negative affect on your thinking and energy. I wish the best for you. I have a blog site that I try and write in everyday. I have it in hopes that it can help someone through their pain. The site is ****.*** I hope that it can help. If you have any questions please fell free to ask me anything. Please take care.
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547368 tn?1440541785
Hello Sassylibra,

Welcome to the Pain Management Forum of MedHelp. I agree 100% with Mollyrae. She has a lot of experience with the Fentanyl Patch. I also agree that there is misinformation here.

Yes it is a bit of a jump form Percocets to 100mcg's of Fentanyl. Fentanyl patches deliver a continuous dose of the potent narcotic painkiller fentanyl for a period of three days. The patches are prescribed for chronic pain when short-acting narcotics and other types of painkillers fail to provide relief.

It is not true that most sciatic pain can be relieved by a chiropractor. A better statement would be that some sciatic pain can be relieved or temporarily relieved by chiropractic adjustments. You cannot "fix" most medical conditions by chiropractic adjustments.

You should trust your physician to realize the severity of your pain and prescribe the correct dosage. As Mollyrae said follow the package insert. I applied mine after supper so that when I woke I would have most of the effects of the medication. It takes awhile for your body to adjust to it. I had a allergic reaction to the medication and had to remove the patch. Other's claim, such as Molly that these patches are God-sent. My 75 year old mother is on 25mcg's. I would not be afraid to try the medication. If you feel it is too strong after a period of adjustment than you can discuss dosage change with your prescribing physician.

Please let us know how you are doing and keep in touch. I am glad you found us and hopeful that you will visit us often. We are here for you when even you might need us or just to chat. Take Care and best of luck, Tuck

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178107 tn?1315947630
I have been on Fentanyl patches for about a year.  I started on the lowest dosage and am now on 50mcg.  I have not even thought about what withdraws would be like.  It controls my pain better than anything else I've tried.  I know the dosage will continue to increase to control my pain, but for now that is all I can worry about "control the pain"  I must say that 100mcg is a pretty high dose to start out on.  I have two young children also, ages 5 and 8.  Starting on 100mcg will most likely knock you out.  I would definately call my doctor and question the dosage.  Good luck.
Helpful - 0
2 Comments
I feel kinda bad admitting just how addicted to my oxycodone and that I am running out of my (7.5 X 4 per day) 7-10 early but I really need some advice, I have gotten oxy 30mg before when I ran out until I would get my own, this time, I could only get 100mcg Fentanyl, I took 1/2 the plastic peel-off cover off (so I have half of the un-cut patch on (for about 8 hrs now) my mouth is dry this last hour, but I don't "feel" overmedicaded and nerve pain in my feet/legs still somewhat there. I really didn't want to go through withdawls of my oxys again until the 1st, I am a bit ashamed that I can't be stroger about the pain,as well as withdraw. I have let my Doc know I am needing more pain relief and will be increased next visit. any advice? would be so thankful
I meant, I go through my oxycodone 7-10 (DAYS) early Plus, I should say, I take more like 6-8 sometimes a day, sorry,such bad typing
326947 tn?1252591233
My hubby has been on the patch  for 4yrs started at 25mg then up to 50mg and it workes fine for him. Maybe it depends on the person everyone is not the same.
That seems like alot of percs to me im on 4 a day of the 7.5 and im considering the patch, anything to have a better quality of life, Lots of luck.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Again, Fentanyl is  100 x as strong as Morphine... NOT 81% and NOT 40%.  Call the pharmacy if you'd like to verify this.

You can get addicted to ANY Narcotic out there, from Vicodin to Percocet to Fentanyl....doesn't matter which one.  And ALL will cause w/d if you use them to "get high" and then stop suddenly.   It's not just the "Big Dogs" everyone....

Your body will develope a "TOLERANCE" to any Narcotic also.......and a Pain Dr. knows that and can w/d you safely and with no w/d symptoms if you need to be taken off anything.

Please do some reading - I specialize in Medication and would never give out info I didn't know for a FACT - a Narcotic is a Narcotic is a Narcotic - you can abuse them all and get ADDICTED -  or you can use them AS DIRECTED for pain relief and naturally, your body builds up a tolerance - which is NOT the same as Addiction.    I would throw away half of the advice given here and talk openly to your Dr.  Heck, print this out and show it to him - he (she) will tell you my information is 100% accurate.
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303824 tn?1294871401
By the way, the Fentanyl patch is supposedly 100 times stronger than morphine! At least that is what I heard on a t.v. show where a woman killed her husband by "overdosing" him with fentanyl, and she was a toxicologist! They were talking about how it slows your breathing and respiratory system, so if you do decide to get on them, PLEASE be careful! And be sure to come up with a good taper plan once it comes time to stop using them because W/D's from Fentanyl are NOT fun!
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Avatar universal
wow, after reading all of these posts, I will stick with my oxycodone! My doctor mentioned the fentanyl patch in one of our visits and I said I would think about it and he did not bring it up again. This stuff sounds really scary!
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