Fentanyl Withdrawal

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I am in the second month of a fentanyl withdrawal initiative (my choice). It started out well and I was proud of my progress; that has faded into the reality that this battle is just beginning. At its best, fentanyl would mildly help with pain, bringing with it, intense constipation & cramps, the sweats & chills, weakness, a basic "no confidence" vote in my own abilities, though I did everything to push through physically. And God forbid I didn't have that new replacement patch with me if I was on a trip or visit, because I would have become a shaky unsure, physically & mentally miserable colleague, embarrassed and looking for a room to hide in. This drug doesn't play well with others unless it's at its peak strength. I can't deal with the pain and I'll battle these SOB withdraw symptoms with a vengeance......I just wonder if I'll ever get my smile back...

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  • Posted

    You will get your smile back, it takes time and a lot of courage. Have you come off or in the process of cutting back? I ask because only coming off shocks your body into resuming dopomine production which eventually balances the noradrenaline that is causing the withdrawal....Get your testosterone tested as this has most likey been damaged and is destroying your confidence... let me know if I can help.
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    • Posted

      Harvey,

      I am cutting down but not totally off. I have no idea about the dopamine situation. That is incredibly useful information, thanks for that. Funny you should mention but I just went on a testosterone gel; I'm hoping for good results. I've always been a happy guy, like to get back there again for the people that depend on me. Thanks again my friend, much appreciated!

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    • Posted

      John

      I tried many times over 3 years to cut down and it was just too hard for me. As it was explained to me by a detox medical doctor the bodies natural ability to produce happy hormones  and balance out the bad hormones can shutdown equally on low dose codeine as it can on tramadol or at the highest strength fentanyl. Therefor if you cut down to a lower dose of fent it will not stimulate your endochrine system to create good hormone (endorphines and dopomine) but the bad stuff (noradrenaline) will get the upper hand of the drugs (fent) ability to balance it and give you a whole lot of pain. Cutting out the drug completely is brutal for 18 hours but then the worse is over its then a very long drag for the renal fatigue to repair, part of which the testosterone replacement therapy will help with. 

      Strangely, as brutal as it is, going cold turkey off opiates is far safer than with alcohol for example and is acceptable low risk (confirm with your doctor).

      The pain of coming off Fentanyl is nothing like flu as some describe it, that maybe describes the post withdrawal fatigue. It is like the emotion of anxiety with the volume turned up until it hurts the whole body BUT it subsides after 18 to 24 hours to bearable. There is a drug available in UK called Britlofex which apparently numbs the opiate receptors a little to help with the intial discomfort. I had this but im not sure if it was just a placeboo for psychological help.

      My experience is shared by the only other person i found who managed to off fentanyl and was an inspiration and support for me. She shared how the experience would play out as I have done here and I was able to prepare myself psychologically for the experience. I hope this helps you to do the same.

      Best

      Harvey

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  • Posted

    Dear John,

    I admire your courage and persistance! Eventually, it WILL get better, but I'm surprised that your doctor didn't give you anything to help with some of these symptoms. Have you spoken with him about all of this? There are opioid replacement drugs that can help take the edge off like Suboxyn. I urge you to inquire so you dont have to suffer. There is NOTHING worse than opioid withdrawal---it's like the worse flu you've ever had! Please give yourself a break and ask your doctor about having something that will build a bridge between dependence and freedom. One question...are you going off the patch because your having surgery or just because it hasn't worked for you? I wish you well!

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  • Posted

    Boy can I relate, I cannot imagine not having a patch with me at all times in case the withdrawal becomes intense unexpectedly.  I do regret EVER starting this  drug, although the doc who started me on it had to fight for it a long time.  It is better than the up and down of pills at first, but 15 yrs later, the only good day is the first day I put a  patch on, and I usually leave the old one on at the same time. Also, I live in the SW and the heat in the summertime seems to immediately evaporate the med in the patch.  I hope someone comes up with an answer to the withdrawal from fentanyl....it sounds like there are a lot of very good people out there facing the same thing we are.  wishing you all the best John, I do hope you get your smile back.  It totally sucks that getting relief from awful  pain ends up making you worse off in the long run, or so it seems to me, right this minute.
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  • Posted

    John, You seem to be suffering from anxiety due to withdrawal, It may be a good idea to see your PCP and tell him what you are saying to us all here. An excellent drug for this withdrawal is Valium as it has a 100-200 hr 1/2 life depending on the person. That make it easier to stop taking when you no longer need to.

    Of all the people whom I know to try to stop the patch they would get offf of them but in less than 5 months they were on the 25mcg/hr aqs they could not deal with those withdrawals. it is the hardest drug to stop taking no doubt in my mind

    Hang Tough

    Bug

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  • Posted

    Keep your head up.  You can and will get through this.  Being in withdrawals is miserable and takes a huge toll not only on your body but on you mentally as well.  I would try to get something to take to ease the withdrawals some.  Putting yourself through the unnecessary torture (although I do understand as to why) takes more out of you than is healthy.  Please consider getting on at least something mild and then downgrading from there, it will not stop the withdrawals but it will aid in the severity of them.  Good luck with everything and please know, you will get your smile back, it just takes knowing your own body and how much it can take at once.  Do not try to push yourself too hard, and stopping cold turkey can be very dangerous.  Please be careful.  But I am very impressed at your strong will and stamina to handle those withdrawals.  I personally ended up in the hospital unconscious because of them so I urge you to be cautious and listen to your body.  You have our full support and will help you as much as we can.   
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    • Posted

      Brandelyn,

      I can't thank you enough for your response to me which was sincere and heartfelt beyond my expectations. In my first post I stated that I couldn't stand the pain, I meant that I could muscle through it, but the withdrawal issues were something that we're unlike anything that I had ever experienced. I am very sorry to hear that your situation got so bad that it caused you to be hospitalized. People who have never been through this have absolutely no idea! You helped me today and I want to thank you.

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    • Posted

      I'm here to help any one that I can. It's my job go help others. I understand completely what you mean. I am very impressed that you have gotten so far and continue to push forward. I personally am terrified to even think about trying to get off them again. I recently cut my oxymorphone in half and the withdrawals from that were awful, and since I was on fentanyl while cutting my oxys, I still wasnt getting the full effects of it. But that was awful. If you ever need someone to talk to, or just vent to relieve stress and/or frustration I'm here. Please be careful and I do wish you the best of luck. I admire your strength and determination.
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  • Posted

    John, I hope you know that you have friends here to bounce things off with any time.  I am impressed and thankful for all the support that is offered here.  This withdrawal from fentanyl may easily be the toughest thing any of us here will ever go through.  Please remember to take it minute by minute and day by day and do not get disappointed in yourself if you fall back a little.  The best predictor  of successful withdrawal from anything is to have tried before and failed.  I am very interested that the folks I have heard from so far are trying to get off the fentanyl just because they want to.  I fear greatly that when I hit the magic age of 65 in 9 months or so I will no longer be able to get it at all.  The darn power that groups of older folks have on the rest of us is frightening.  Because more older folks die on fentanyl they should not be prescribed it???  No, I think ini general, more older folks die period!  That is like the statistic that more people in the US and UK are on pain meds....would that be because we have more access to medical care or we are in more pain??

    John, please be good to yourself and take it easy.  You will get through this and look back and be glad you did it.  I have great faith in you.  Be sure to tell your doctor about any symptoms you are having that he/she might be able to alleviate with a prescription drug.

    Wishing you the very best, Leigh

     

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  • Posted

    I see your post was a couple of months ago. How are you doing now John? I hope you are still hanging in there!

    Melissa

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  • Posted

    I hope you're doing well. It's been a while since this discussion was started. I would love to know how you are doing. I hope to hear from you soon.

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  • Posted

    Hi John your determination is amazing. You have done so well. I would love to know how you are feeling a few months down the line. Stories like your are what inspire others to succeed or just to start the process.

     I have got off actiq. The next step is the fentanyl patch so any advice is most welcolme please.

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