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Fentanyl (Duragesic) - i need your help, sisters! Fentanyl (Duragesic) - i need your help, sisters!

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Unread 12-02-2005, 08:25 AM
Fentanyl (Duragesic) - i need your help, sisters!

Hey girls,
O.k. I want to apologize in advance because I'm so overwhelmed right now and I hope this post makes sense. I went to my pain mgmt. doc today, and he said he wanted to try something called Fentanyl (Duragesic) patches. I already got the prescription filled, they're sitting in front of me. I have the print out from the pharmacy, and I looked it up on WebMD so I understand what it is, and side effects, etc. but I want to hear from you all that have used it or know someone who has, what is this stuff? How will it affect me? Does it work? Do you take it forever? I'm just so surprised that my doc mentioned this, and I know very little about it.
The only time I've heard of it is a couple weeks ago when I had my wisdom teeth out, after they put the IV in me, the nurse said, "I'm going to put some Fentanyl in your IV and then we'll put you under." Is it the same thing? I mean, is it that strong? I'm just at a loss. I'm taking something that they put in your IV for surgery?
What does this mean for me? My doc said its not really a stronger drug than Lorcet, which I've been on for a while, it's just different medicine and it works the same way. See, I can't take Percocet cause I'm allergic. He said he doesn't like me taking so many pills, cause he prescribed it to me 1 every four hours, so for me that's about 4 sometimes 5 pills a day. So that's why he prescribed it. I never said that the lorcet wasn't working anymore-he's just concerned about my liver and stuff, I guess. Someone please help me understand this new drug. I talked to my pharmacist, but he can only give me medical and scientific facts, not a true perspective from someone who has taken it. Please respond!
Thank you girls so much! I'm just scared and confused about what this means.
Love ya,
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Unread 12-02-2005, 02:35 PM
Fentanyl (Duragesic) - i need your help, sisters!

I've been on the Fentanyl patches for over two years now. They have worked well for me and I have not had any ill side effects. I have a very sensitive tummy so I was very leary to try stronger oral pain meds. The patch was a life saver.

My doctor has tested my liver function several times since starting the patch. While it is true that the patch bypasses the liver, she said that it can still affect the liver. So far everything has checked out okay. She has put me on Silymarin (milk thistle) to be on the safe side as I have been on the patch for a long time.

I was very happy when they recently came out with a generic patch as instead of them costing me $40 a month, it now only costs me $8. I actually like the generic better. The generic is a matrix type patch, while the Duragesic is a reservoir patch.

Good luck with the patch. I hope it works as well for you as it does for me.

Unread 12-02-2005, 08:48 PM
Fentanyl (Duragesic) - i need your help, sisters!

All 8 members of my pain group wear the Duragesic at differing strengths and I've used it since March with great success. Yes, it is the same fentanyl used for general anesthetic but at such a small dose that you don't even feel it. The only caution I would offer is the profound opiate withdrawal I experienced when titrating from 50 mcg. to 25 mcg. It was awful for a few rough weeks yet not everyone goes through it and now they make a 12.5 mcg. patch to help in titrating more slowly. Good luck! Shelley
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Unread 12-02-2005, 08:51 PM
Fentanyl (Duragesic) - i need your help, sisters!

Some do experience skin irritation and spraying Vancenase or any anti-allergic nasal spray on the skin and letting it dry completely before applying the patch helps prevent irritation.
Unread 12-02-2005, 10:28 PM
Fentanyl (Duragesic) - i need your help, sisters!

KIM can you explain the difference between the matrix and reservoir delivery systems? I've only used the name brand and am curious about the generic. Is it the same size? Thanks.
Unread 12-03-2005, 09:12 AM
I've been on Duragesic patch since June of 2003 and it's wonderful.

Hello there,
I've been on Duragesic patches now since June of 2003. I started out with 25 mcg and at first I noticed some dizziness for the first week and I was sleepy. I noticed that it did help a lot with my pain. It is a big life saver. I highly recommend it. I did increase it up to 50 mcg later on and by Dec of 2003 I was up to 75 mcg and then I had surgery to remove the herniated disc in my neck. The disc was worse than the dr. expected it to be as it was leaking gel like substance in my spinal canal and I had a terrible neurologist who wasn't honest with me. The neuro told me that my EMG was normal but when I got my records it said that I had radiculopathy which means nerve root irritation or nerve damage. I've just recently just started down to 50 mcg since last week Friday and am feeling so much better due to my primary care dr. putting me on something called Lyrica. He said it would help with chronic pain and neuropathic pain. I was seeing him because of pain in my feet that has been going on since the beginning of this summer. I'm so happy that I'm feeling so much better. Anyways I was able to not have to take as many pills and I didn't have to worry about my liver because I was put on something called roxicodone or generic form called oxycodone (not oxycontin). It doesn't have any Tylenol in it. Hope this helps.

As for fentanyl in the I.V. it's only temporary and I was told that it's used to help with sedation if you were sedated for anything. I don't know if it helps with pain or anything. If I'm correct, I was given some fentanyl when I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy done. I think they used the same stuff when I had some epidural injections as well to help with sedation. It is the same medication but wears off very quickly and I'm not sure about pain relief.

Good luck to you and I'm here for you if you want to ask me anymore questions. I don't regularly come to this site but do check posts and my inbox. God Bless and take care. Happy.

Healthmaven I wasn't aware that they made the patches at 12.5 mcg dose. Thanks for the information as this may make my tapering down a lot easier for me. I really appreciate the info.
Unread 12-03-2005, 10:27 AM
Fentanyl (Duragesic) - i need your help, sisters!

Originally Posted by healthmaven
KIM can you explain the difference between the matrix and reservoir delivery systems? I've only used the name brand and am curious about the generic. Is it the same size? Thanks.
The generic is MUCH smaller than the brand name. A matrix patch has the medicine in the adhesive, therefore it is flatter than the reservoir type patch. I suppose you could probably cut it if you were trying to gradually reduce your doseage. I'm not recommending that, but I think it would be doable.

I did forget to mention about the withdrawl effects. I have already spoken with my doctor and accupuncturist about this and both agree that when I eventually come off the patch we are going to have to do so gradually and I will probably need other meds to help.

I had to do a drug test for a new job and I was freaking out badly about it. I've not had to do one since I've been on all these meds, I was afraid that I would be turned down for the job so I took off my patch for a few days. Oh my, that was not a good thing. While I didn't vomit or shake, I felt absolutely miserable. I finally gave in and just put a new patch on and decided to let whatever was going to happen with the drug test to happen.

Interestingly, the fentanyl didn't show up on the drug test, but the darvocet I take for breakthru pain did. And I hadn't taken any for 2 days before.

I would still not change starting the fentanyl (which is morpheine) as it has given me my life back.

P.S. I did get the job!

Unread 12-03-2005, 12:01 PM
Thank you so much!

Thank you all so much!

It has now been 24 hours since I put on my first patch, and I can now feel the effects. It helps tremendouly with my pain! As a matter of fact, I'm in no pain at all! I haven't had to take any Lorcet AT ALL (which is unheard of for me) since I started the patch (my doc gave it to me in the event of breakthrough pain). I am a little sleepy, but that's why I decided to try it first on the weekend, and I'm sure that will get better with time.
I feel so much better with the knowledge you all have given me. Thanks so much for being there, and I will keep you posted to let you know how it goes.
The only things I've noticed is really weird (but not disturbing) dreams, and a slight itchiness on my legs. Other than that, I'm tolerating it great!
I was also surprised to hear that some of you have been on it long-term. I was worried we'd have to keep switching, but it's good to know that maybe I can stay on it for a while, granted I still need it. It's such a relief to hear I'm not the only one going through this. It's scary, as my pain mgmt is going to another level, but I feel better knowing I'm not alone.
Thank you ladies--I love ya!
Unread 12-03-2005, 06:11 PM
Fentanyl (Duragesic) - i need your help, sisters!

I used the duragesic patches for about a year and a half. They work great, but I had to change them every two days instead of every three because my body metabolized the drug too fast. I guess that this is fairly common with the patches. The only warning I have is that if you ever have to stop using the patches come off of them very slowly. I am glad to read that they come in 12.5 mcg strength. My surgeon pulled me cold turkey off of the 50 mcg patch and I thought I was going to die for about a week! I use Kadian now which is a 24 hour time release morphine and it works pretty well also. good luck to you.
Unread 12-04-2005, 11:27 AM
Fentanyl (Duragesic) - i need your help, sisters!

Thanks for adding this willow about the need to change them every two days. I also do this as well because my patches don't last more than 48 hours. My pain mgt dr. writes for me to change them every 48 hours so I get 15 patches a month rather than 10 per month.

I'm shocked that your surgeon took you off the 50 mcg patch cold turkey without tapering you off the patch. Shame on that surgeon. I'm glad to know that you are on something better and glad to know that you know that there is also a lower dose strength in the patches. I will definitely have to bring this up with my pain mgt dr. when I see him in a few months after I'm ready to wean off the 25 mcg patch. I guess it would be much better to wean down to 12.5 mcg then to try to wean off cold turkey. I'll have to look up the 12.5 patches to see if they exist or just call Jansen and see if they make the patches. Thanks again for the info Healthmaven.

As for the dreams, Yes I get those too. I get some really weird ones and wonder how they ever even came up. It seems like I'm dreaming more than I ever have in my entire life now. I guess narcotics can do that to a person and the higher dose you are on can make a difference. I also remember that my mom said as she was in ICU recovering from major surgery to try and cure her cancer (she ended up dying 18 months later but it was well worth it because it gave her time with us), she said she had terrible nightmares. I wonder if it had something to do with the drugs that they gave her at the hospital in the ICU. When she was in a regular room she didn't have those terrible nightmares anymore. Anyways I hope that you feel better knowing this and hang in there. I too was really impressed when I started on the patch three years ago and I'm just now starting to wean off of it because I found a miracle drug to relieve me of my chronic pain. I'm so happy and never thought I'd get to this point. I have nerve damage and the dr. said it takes years for nerve damage to get better. I was almost certain that I would just be in pain like this for the rest of my life and never be able to wean off the patches and even "gave up" in my mind and said I'll never wean off and a week later I started to.

(Edited for update)I did look up the Duragesic on the Internet and it did list the 12.5 mcg patch. This is something that I haven't seen ever before and it was listed on several websites. It was never lsited on the main website that Jansenn has at the main one where they had the patients go to. I think that website was taken down or maybe I had the wrong address. I don't have the original card with the web address to check that the patients are given by their dr's with a practice patch. I was hoping to go back to that website but couldn't find it but did find other links.

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