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My pain doctor wants to slowly take me off Actiq lozenges and increase my fentanyl patch. I am 65 years old, have heart problems, diabetic, and have complex sleep apnea (sleep apnea could be because of the fentanyl) and chronic pain due to failed spine surgeries.
With the CDC issues that are arising, my doctor wants to lower my Actiq usage ( I take approx. 110 lozenges/month. Dosage being 1600 mcg. I also take the fentanyl patch (100 mcg/72hr). He wants to decrease the lozenges because of the CDC proposed legislature, and it "looks" like, according to the CDC, he thinks it looks like he is prescribing too many. So he wants to decrease the amount of lozenges he prescribes, while increasing my patch from 100 mcg to 150 mcg/72 hrs. I have been on the above dosage for approximately 12 years. I have been compliant with my pain med usage, and prior to my going on the fentanyl, I had tried many other pain meds, none of which eased my pain like the fentanyl does. My real concern in all of this nonsense is with the increase in the patch, I worry that my sleep apnea will only get worse.
My doctor told me that he has prescribed the patch as high as 200 mcg/72 hr., but in all my years with pain management doctors, every one of them would not even think of increasing my patch. I was told that 100 mcg/72 hr. was the most they could prescribe. Is this true? If so, how do I tell my doctor "no, I am not going to do that" for fear of dying in my sleep because of too much fentanyl in my system. That would be like telling him he doesn't know what he is doing, and you KNOW that will not fly! Am I wrong here? Can the patch be increased higher? I really am worried. At 65 years old, why can't I be left alone. My pain is in check and has been for a very long time now, and with all my other medical issues, lets face it, I won't be around much longer anyway, so why not just leave an old lady alone! I'm sorry, but I am really scared here, and my doctor knows it, but he doesn't seem to be budging, and there are no other pain management doctors around where I live.
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