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I have been prescribed buprenorphine for chronic lower back pain and also pain for my nerves and muscle spasms from pressure of a large hepatic cyst causing secondary problems. I do not feel any better despite a dose of 30mg 24/7 administered by patches. I would like to stop using the treatment but do not know if it okay to just stop. I asked my g.p but she would not explain anything to me and just prescribed more patches! I feel nauseaus and frequently vomit as I am on many other medications including thyroxine for underactive thyroid. I feel so unwell and developed a rash using the patches but my g.p is so unconcerned or interested and I cannot get any sense out of her! How long should I use the patches for? For starters!!!!! I have been using them 3 weeks now. Can anyone help me? Saxonchic

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    OMG i'd change doctors....QUICKLY. I have just been prescribed the same medication..only 5mcg to begin with so i cant comment on my experience at the moment but, getting back to you i really would change docs.. :!:
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  • Posted

    Could you let me know if you stopped the patches and did the nausea and vomiting stop? My mother is on 5mg patches for months and on an ongoing basis suffers from nausea and vomiting. Most of her other medication has been stopped but for some reason not the patches. thanks for your reply
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  • Posted

    Must start with 5 and then go up every 3-4 days at least and also take anti sickness for at least a month

    you have had to much to quick what a doctor go back to another

    i am not qualified to give any medical advice but i have been on patches for last 2-3 years very good

    woth trying for a month or so

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  • Posted

    Please could anyone explain why the fact that Butrans are a controlled drug is not on either the box, the wrapper or the patient literature.

    I had some 5 & 10 patches on repeat. I had been on 20 but wanted to drop back to 15. When I went to collect the patches I was told that they were a controlled drug and therefore the prescription was only valid for a month. I then had to contact the surgery for a new prescription. I know I'm getting old but in my day if was a controlled drug it was marked CD!

    Or don't they do that now?

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  • Posted

    That's a good idea - it would have to be prominently written in the leaflet however (and explained in lay terms - not sure many people would know what CD means). The GP should make a patient aware of what they are prescribing and what to expect when they collect their prescription from the pharmacy.

    Tarun (hospital pharmacist)

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  • Posted


    Is this policy now then not to have CD marked on the packet? Do you know when it changed? As an ex nurse I would be interested to know. According to the Napp website its legal category is POM.

    You are right though not everyone would know what a CD is but then how many people know what a POM is? As we enter the holiday season, patients should be made aware what they require to take such items abroad. I understand that a GPs letter is needed. Even with ordinary drugs proof of prescription is needed.


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  • Posted

    Of the 3 categories for licensing medicines (General Sales List GSL, Pharmacy only P and Prescription only POM) technically it is a POM. However in terms of its license as a controlled drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act it is a schedule 3 controlled drug which is why it has all the prescription requirements. To be honest I've never paid a lot of attention as to whether it states CD on the PIL (sounds a bit bad seeing as how I'm a pharmacist !). I assume it's printed on the tablet boxes or containers for patches but again not something I naturally look for, as I'm already aware from a professional point of view what category each drug fits into. But the point you raise is a valid one, and if it is not clear on the box or leaflet then perhaps it should be ?
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  • Posted


    I have been on MXL Morphine Sulphate 90mg twice a day for years for chronic severe arthritis of the spine

    and knees,

    and my pain was getting more difficult to manage, i was advised by the pain management clinic to try

    Trastec 53.5 micro gram patch as this is stronger. Up to now i feel the same but what i am trying to point out being on this typ of medication does cause other problems as does Morphine so, what i suggest is if your

    pain is now controlled take anti sickness pills along with Movelat for your toilet needs and you will soon get used to tohe side effects as i did, i would rather have these small side effects than the pain. Give it time.

    Like most medication they all have side effects for most people but you will get used to it

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  • Posted

    Dear Guest,

    Today is my first day on this forum. 

    My post is in reference to your mention of cataloging experiences with Bupe. I am particularly interested in any information you have accrued on escaping the clutches of Bupe.

    I am desperate to find a way off Buprenorphine. My body is without doubt addicted to this drug after long term use (5 + years).

    It is very clear to me that over time my body became tolerant to Bupe. The medication no longer lasts full term. I medicate every 5 days now. I really need it to be 4 days. The alternative apparently is to increase the dosage.

    Knowing the hideous affects of withdrawal from this product I am scared senseless at attempting to stop taking it despite the current side effects.

    Over the years I have seen many GP's and if I were to be honest I do not feel that this is their area of expertise; couple this with the limited consultation time and you can see why I am apprehensive about attempting to kick this drug.

    I would truely appreciate it if you able to point me in the direction of the information you gathered on the use of this drug ?

    A cautionary note to anyone considering this drug.

    Based upon my own experience

    Yes it dulls chronic pain

    Yes you do need to find the right level of mediaction to dull to pain.

    Yes there are side effects while taking the drug

    Yes there is a very high risk your body will become addicted to this product.

    The addiction is severe, the withdrawal is worse.


    Regards 2BPain3

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  • Posted

    Hi 2bepain3,

    I suffer from chronic pain and have been on various meds over the years. I was lucky and saw a Pain Specialist quickly. Yes you are right chronic pain management is outside a GP's area, they have no training in this area at all. It is only very recently that colleges are offering Dr's post grad education in this area and only a few countries actually recognise Chronic Pain as a Medical Speciality.

    But things are improving. I don't know where you live but many countries have Chronic Pain support groups, those I know of are excellent in providing support, information and education both via quarterly magazines and websites. Might be worth looking into.

    I was on Oxycontin for years and like you was scared at the prospect of coming off it. But I did, very slowly, which I think is the key, and with minimal bother. I now take Palexia which has much less side effects, none in my case, and also means I can manage the pain much better.

    Best wishes,


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    • Posted

      Helen thank you for your reply, 

      I have been extremely unwell recently which is why I have been away from the forum.

      I felt withdrawal symptoms from the medication 24 hours before my new patches were to be applied. This was quite normal. I applied the new patches only to find there was no change in my withdrawal symptoms.

       Gradully I slipped into poor health. All symptoms felt like prolonged withdrawal. I had a constant headache, I was bitterly cold despite a high ambient temperature, I felt nausious, my limbs ached and I slept 16 to 18 hours a day for 2 weeks straight, my breathing was very shallow and I felt there was inadequate oxegen getting into my body. I was convinced the problem was my patches failing.

      I called the GP who suggested I attend the surgery within the hour. I walked the short distance only to collapse enroute. GP sent me to hospital after noting high blood pressure, a high temperature and shallow breathing.

      Despite my medication I am a fit man who eats very cleanly, I do not drink alcohol, I dont smoke and I exrecise regulary I have a lean muscular physique so blood pressure and moderaltely high Cholesterol were a shock to me.

      The GP suggested upping the medication dose or trying to come off Bupe. I said its time to come off it. It has been suggested I could use Gabapentin, Duloxetine or Prezabalin? to ease myself off Bupe?

      ​The application of my patches three weeks later saw a normal response and the end to my symptoms with the exception of the blood pressure and Cholesterol which I am convinced can only be down to long term use of Bupe.

      The decision has not been made yet how I should detox. Im very anxious indeed.

      Helen I live in the UK. I note your comments re Pain support groups, providing support, information and education both via quarterly magazines and websites. Are you able to share the detail of any of these groups or the websites?

      Lastly what does Palexia do for you?

      Kind regards


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  • Posted

    Hi 2Bpain3,

    so sorry you have been having such a rough time of it.

    I would not worry too much about the bloodpresssure and cholesterol issues. Could well be as a result of the stress of it all. Palexia is an opiod pain killer but with little or no side effects.

    I know there is an excellent chronic support group in Scotland, just google, it should be easy to find. Sorry they dont allow links to be posted.

    Take care, Helen.

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  • Posted

    I have come to your message searching for some information about this medication as I, too, have chronic lower back pain and was put on 200 mg of this.  I feel as sick as a dog and am just about to make an appointment with my Doctor.  I was previously on Tramadol but did not like the "spaced out" feeling it gave me and am devastated as I thought this new medication would be the magic bullet. It is not. So,  it's onwards with the never-ending quest for something without hideous side-effects. p.s. I have tried all other conventional and non-conventional therapies to no avail.  Good luck to anyone reading this post in pain. My heart goes out to you all.
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  • Posted


    I could not access my account for some time but now back in. I am not a Doctor but, I have however had a lot of dealings with pain and medication that goes with the issues. I have severe spinal arthritis which has basically left me in a possition that only drugs can help with the pain. That is where Buprenorphine came in, I was on 180 mgs a day of morphine but because of being on it so long my body was used to it so, the Dr's and the pain management Dr's had to come up with another drug. Yes it does cause sickness and other problems like not going to the toilet and itching. I get all but I would rather have them than the pain, I have to take anti histamines for the sickness and itching and powders to make me go to the toilet. To be honest over time the body will get used to it and will eventually ease. I hope you find this an answer to your problem. Give it time NO PAIN OR SICK????

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  • Posted

    I am amazed to hear they have prescribed you Suboxone for back pain as it's used for the treatment of heroin addiction, I guess it is similar to morphine. If I were you I would change doctors and ask to be taken off the Bupe. Wish u all the very best 
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