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Avatar universal


    Hi, I have been taking fentanyl for aprox. 8 yrs and have been on 150mcg every 48 hrs. I started weaning off at 25 mcg at a time. After getting below 100mcgs all hell started. Then I was so miserable and when I was cut to 50mcg I couldnt stand it anymore so decided to do cold turkey just to get it over with. I was like I wanted to die from all the withdrawal symptons. It now has been 30 days and still feel like ****. It took 3 weeks to finally tell that I started getting better ever so slightly. Still miserable and  but can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I expect it may last for moths.If anyone has been there where I was please let me know how long it took to feel good again. Thanks,
29 Responses
3112530 tn?1434035633
I realize this may be a tough drug to kick but that is how powerful the drug is. You don't realize it until it is too late. I am not here to lecture, just give my support so here it is:
I was taking both Fentanyl and Morphine for pain issues. What a double whammy!!! After I looked in the mirror and scared myself to death, I stopped the Fentanyl that night. The FEAR is what made me do it!
Yes, it was rough but worth it!!! Yes, I went through the withdrawal and yes, it was hard on me also. Looking at death in the mirror was enough to get me started.
After a few days I called my family doctor to advise him what I was doing. He gave me zanex for the anxiety but told me he is only giving me an emergency short supply and to use it only as needed. That same day, I stopped the morphine (about a week apart from one another)
It took me about three days to feel the full effects of the fentanyl withdrawal and the morphine. Stomach cramps, sleep deprivation etc. I took the zanex only at night until it finally kicked in. Eventually I got a couple of hours sleep and that is the start of the medications looking control over your body and mind. Plenty of water, to clean out my system, vitamins, food and only muscle relaxers for pain issues. I had to sweat it out but withing a few weeks I was feeling better. I could think a little better. That also was an improvement. Since I saw improvement in my thinking, I felt confident that I could do this and stick with it and have for over 5 years now.
I will never go back to fentanyl again. That drug took too much away from me and the deception is that I did not even know it. When I began to think clearer, I noticed an overall feeling of better sleep, wanting to eat and clearly thinking now.
It is a rough road as I mentioned but worth every second invested so PLEASE STICK WITH IT!!!! You will see positive results shortly and understand HOW MUCH CONTROL THIS DRUG HAD ON YOU AND WILL NEVER HAVE AGAIN, RIGHT????!!!!
So stick with it and you will see daylight in a whole different view and I promise you, fear will never take you again...unless you let it, so take back the control and do it!!!
Good luck!!!
Avatar universal
I was on Fentanyl patch for many yrs also. Dr weaned me off after back surgery. The withdrawals were hell I agree! I have been on Percocet ever since. Took about 3 mths to feel better. Absolutely the best thing I did. I didn't realize how crappy Fentanyl was making me feel til off of it. You will feel so much better. It is nasty stuff. Hope your feeling better soon!
7567066 tn?1392072586
I am in the same situation as you, and about to go cold turkey, as well, after tapering down off of Oxycontin and Oxycodone for the treatment of chronic pain (Interstitial Cystitis, Fibromyalgia, and severe undiagnosed GI issues).  I have tapered down to 1/12th of the dose that I was at the height of my illness, and have found the end to be just awful anxiety-wise, as well.  I, too, have decided not to prolong the process.
My doctor has told me that it will take about a year for the Post Acute Withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) to abate, and I think that is what you're experiencing.  This is true for about 90% of cases.  You should google PAWS to see what you can do to try and get through it.  From what I've read, there are vitamins and supplements you can take to help your brain repair and re-set itself.  Also, exercise is supposed to help, as well, as it produces dopamine which is the happy chemical.  I think that you can also take a supplement called L-Dopa which is supposed to help, as well.  Another supplement is L-Tyrosine.  Some people find that they need an anti-depressant during this period to help with serotonin levels.
Basically, when we were taking the pain meds, our brains stopped producing the chemicals they need to function properly and there is a recovery period.
Like you said, reminding yourself that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel is extremely important.  You should be extremely proud of yourself for what you have accomplished.  Stay in touch, if you'd like.  It would be great to have someone to walk this experience with and to trade information on what works.
Love and light.
7567066 tn?1392072586
Just one other idea...
The addictions forums have a lot of excellent information on these issues.  I know that, like me, you're a chronic pain sufferer not an addict.  However, our brains all go through similar processes in the presence and absence of opiates.  The addiction forums honestly have the best info that I have found anywhere, and really address the brain chemistry recovery issues.
Hope that some of this helps:)
Avatar universal
Thanks so much to everyone that has responded. Just knowing people really care and are willing to offer advice helps a lot. It seems like every day I feel better I get set back for a couple days. I will try the L-DOPA and learn more about PAWS. You people are great cause I feel nobody I know even has the slightest idea what I am experiencing. I spent 2 weeks that I could barely walk or even leave the house. Still have extreme anxiety,cant sleep more than a 2 or 3 hrs.at night. My whole body still hurts and the crying and mental pain is still very bad as is the diahrrea. But I know in my heart everything will be fine with time. My Dr. said to expect 7 to 10 days of feeling bad but he is so wrong. Thanks again to all and hope I can help someone in the future.This forum is great for people to understand the seriousness of addiction.  
7567066 tn?1392072586
You are SO strong, and SUCH an inspiration to me as I prepare to go cold turkey.  "Normal" people don't have a thing on us!

A few tips/pieces of advice that I have learnt through my own research on how to survive this........
- If you're still experiencing diarrhea, you should pick-up some Immodium.  It's not safe to get dehydrated, and it could further complicate things.

- Have you been taking extra electrolytes in the form of Gatorade sports drinks?  Epsom Salts baths (even just a foot bath if you don't have a tub) also help.

- The diarrhea means that you're not absorbing enough nutrients which are crucial for you to start healing, both body and mind.  Ensure is good for this, as are smoothies with high-quality protein powder (Vega brand is great), though I think that for this acute phase that you're in, Ensure would be the way to go.

- You also need to sleep -- three weeks is way too long to go without much of it.  There is a non-addictive medication called Clonidine that helps with anxiety caused by withdrawals.  You should make an appt with your doctor to discuss the insomnia and anxiety issues.  Getting proper sleep should help this process.

- You can google "The Thomas Recipe" which lists all this info, as well as the vitamins and supplements that are recommended both long and short-term.

These things are really important, and I can't believe that your doctor didn't prepare you for what you need to take to keep yourself healthy.  Remember that you have to be extra good to yourself right now, and that every seemingly small victory is a major accomplishment.

All the best, and keep me posted.
Avatar universal
  Thanks so much for your info. I really appreciate it. You are right about the sleep as I cant even think straight and wont drive in this condition. I really your withdrawal goes well. God bless and thanks
Avatar universal
  Hi, I finally got some sleep like 7 hrs. I took a xanax Niquil, and a Costco sleep aid. I cant belive what a difference in how I feel. It the best I have felt since this withdrawal has started. Your advice about nutrition and diarrhea make perfect since. I will follow your advice. I know in my heart I will not fail. I really feel lucky to be alive and look forward to get my life back in order free from addiction. Your response meens a lot to me. Thanks    
3112530 tn?1434035633
I read about this and remember when I quit Fentanyl. Fentanyl did me so much damage, it almost killed me. I went cold turkey which is difficult but worth the result.
Keeping you mind strong that you need to get control of you mind and body and not the drugs is the most important focus. You will feel much better once the drug is out of you system and you will be able to think clearer.
Keep the advise mentioned here and stay on top of vitamins. Your body need to build itself up again and keeping hydrated is also important. DO NOT DEPEND on the pills to much. Just take them for anxiety and sleeping and then stop them slowly.
Your body is going through a big change so be patient and you will see result very soon, so hang in there and the best to you for your strength in not letting these drugs take control of your mind and body. You have control and make sure you keep telling yourself that! Stay strong!!!
7567066 tn?1392072586
I am so happy that you got some sleep, and are feeling better!  That is wonderful.
Is your doctor is medically supporting you through this process?  I agree with what MadMan said about not depending too much on pills, but there are non-addictive meds you can take to help you sleep, and I don't see why your doctor wouldn't prescribe them in the short-term...  Seroquel, Trazadone, and Clonidine are all non-addictive and they do work.  I just worry about you taking a bunch of OTC meds, plus the Xanax, when you are super desperate to fall asleep and may take too much of something.
Anyways, I am SO inspired by your strength as I prepare to go cold turkey at the end of my taper.  It honestly makes a world of difference to hear that it IS possible, and that I'll eventually start feeling better.
MadMan is right -- you do have control, and are doing SO well.
Love and light to you.
Avatar universal
Hi sprich3,    Thanks for your support it means more than I can express. I am a 60 yr. old man with a long story but cant type. At this time I have lost my pain mgmt. Dr. due to the fact he is a 1/12 hr. drive to see him and when I needed him most he wouldnt return my many calls to him so I called and expressed my opinion of him to his office and dont remember what I said but I was VERY upset with him and havent heard from him for over a mo. I told my GP I wouldnt involve him in my withdrawal and will keep my word to him. He did prescribe some BP meds since my BP was 189/112. I feel so alone but am feeling better each day now. I am getting my xanax from a friend who doesnt need them. I slept another 6 hrs. sleep last night and been drinking Ensure and some supplements I learned from this forum which seems to have made a huge difference. I made great strides in the last few days. My intense feelings are much less but still come and go. Your encouragement helps me  more than you know and wish we could talk.    What is your situation? What opiates  are you on. It sounds like your attitude is the same as mine. I never knew how much strength I had until while my family even offered pain meds.I was able to say no more and please dont offer. I am worried about the xanax but need the sleep and take 1/2 mg. 3 to 4 times daily . !/2 mgs. will allow me to sleep about 3 hrs. at night then take another 1/2 for another 3 hrs. sleep the last few nights. My wife of 39 yrs. is trying to offer support but just doesnt understand my moodyness and I dont know how she has stuck by me for the last few years. I feel I am not worthy of her as she is a beautiful person and is not the way I feel about myself. But I will do my best for her as I possibly can.I have so much to express but like I said I dont type. Thanks you so much and if I can make it anyone with a true desire to quit CAN. Please let me know your situation.  Thanks!!      
Avatar universal
TheMadMan, Thanks for your responses.

Thanks for your responses. I know exact what you mean by just looking into a mirror as I also see it. I have lost my zest for life from this drug and dont enjoy the things I used to. It has been aprox. 4 wks. since I went off and am starting to feel a little better. The restless legs and arms are almost over with and the sleep is getting better taking xanax but feel soo guilty about them cause I was just weeks off  from them before going cold turkey from fentanyl. But right now i an more concerned about getting clean from fentanyl. You are a insperiation to me. Thanks so much!!

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