Fentanyl withdrawal

Posted , 3 users are following.

I'm a British expat living in Spain for 45 years.  I hope I qualify for this forum as I feel I'm getting very little help from the Spanish National Health system.  I'm almost 77 and have quite a lot of medical problems but nothing has caused me so much discomfort and misery as trying to get off this awful drug.  15 months ago I was admitted to the Soc Sec hospital in Girona as I'd broken a small bone at the bottom of my spine through coughing during a bout of flu.  I was in agony of course and they came to me with what they called a strong painkiller.  They stuck the patch on and the pain eased very quickly and every 3 days they brought me another one. In my naivety I imagined it was a strong modern painkiller akin to paracetamol.  Not one doctor or nurse explained to me what the patch was and before I left, after an MRI scan, they thought fit to double the dose, so I then had 50 microgramos to deal with.  I was happy and the pain had eased so my GP gave me a permanent prescription for the patches.  I did go back down to the 25 mgs as I'm not a great fan of medication anyway.  That reduction didn't have any affect and I merrily continued with the patches for months, still totally unaware of what they were.  Then, reading the Mail online one day, I read the report on the death of Prince and there was a photo of a hand holding a Fentalyn packet, saying they thought he had died as a result of this drug.  I couldn't believe my eyes as that was my packet in the photo, and alarm bells started to ring....wow!  So Imthen looked up Fentanyl on Internet and discovered that I had unwittingly become addicted to a drug which is 50 times stronger than heroin!   How could it be that not one nurse, doctor or my GP had told me what it was?  I'm housebound so I phoned my local clinic to speak to a doctor about this.  She seemed to think I was making a big fuss about nothing but confirmed that I couldn't just take the patch off like that, I had to reduce the dose by cutting the patches with scissors and sticking to the 3 day periods and within a couple of weeks I'd be free!!  I did as she said but did prolong the process by leaving them on for four days, then five, until,at last I was free, but I wasn't was I?  It is now the 8th day and I can honestly say that I have never suffered from any of my illnesses as much as I am suffering now.  I had diarreah for the first few days (which is unpleasant with a colostomy bag!), am shaking most of the time and very restless.  I had 2 nights with no sleep at all and in the past 4 nights I've slept a total of only about 3 and 

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Kathleen,firstly I've been told you should never attempt to cut the patch down as the wrong amount can get in your system to fast,please take advice as if it's the fentanyl that I take this should not be done. Secondly like you I was in extreme nureophy pain and was given these patches on a low dose and eventually the high dose of 100 mc I too found out it was morphine and unlike you wasn't helping with my pain. So decided to come off them with dreadful withdrawal. It's as you say horrid. At the moment I'm down to 75. But have gone through the wars with it. I'm now being referred to a clinic to help me detox under supervision. I can't wait to be free of this terrible drug. Please Take some advice about cutting your patch down and instead get the appropriate patch instead. Regards David. 

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    • Posted

      Hi David, It's so nice and a comfort that you have replied to my problem, thanks.  I've come right off the patches now and, even though my GP offered to give me another prescription of a 12.5 dose, I have refused as I want to see this through now.  Today is my 9th day and have just got up from managing to sleep longer than I have in the past 8 days, some nights with no sleep at all.  I do hope you can get the help you need as this is indeed the worst thing I've had to deal with in my life.  I've never smoked, never been drunk and of course never taken drugs in any form so was astounded to find I was hooked on this awful thing.  I'm hoping my worst days are over but won't rest until I'm totally free.  Thank you David and good luck

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  • Posted

    As long as your patches are Mylan Fentanyl Transdermal patch you can cut them. I got off Fentanyl 75mcg in 1 month of cutting my patches, I've been fentanyl free for 17 days now.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply.  I know now that I shouldn't have cut the patches, but I did as the Doctor told me, thinking she knew best.  Anyway I think I'm getting through it and did manage to sleep better last night.  I hope the discomfort has peaked and I'm on my way out of it now.  So glad to hear you are free and hope there is no permanent damage to the system as a result of this awful withdrawal.  Good luck and regards, Kathleen

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  • Posted

    Kathleen, I was on this med for 15 years.  It took me 8 to 9 months to come off 50 mcg to none by using scotch tape and reducing just a little at a time.  Staying at that level for two to three patches and sometimes for two months.  I am not free for one month and thankful.  My doctor did tell me before he prescribed that my body would be dependent and addicted.  He explained how to reduce slowly and listen to my body.  I never had the big D and never had the shakes or rocking.  I did experience very fatigue days and some nervous feeling at the end for five days.  It was uncomfortable but not strong.  Since you are off and it sounds just too quickly you may need something for you diarrhea and anxiety. There are med available to handle those symptoms.  It should all go away within three to eight weeks.  People are affected differently .  I have no cravings for this med anymore and physical therapy to help with the pain.  Hang in there you will come thru this.  May God bless you on this negative journey and you will someday support others going thru the same.  There are two different type patches.  Wet and dry.  Dry fent
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    • Posted

      Hello Susan, thanks for taking the trouble to reply to my problem.  A trouble shared is a trouble halved, they say!  15 years is an awful long time to be taking this drug so I do hope you can get off it ok although I guess it will take a long time.  I'm thankful that I only used it for 15 months.  Looks as though your message was cut before you'd finished as did my first one but I got the main gist.  If I can get through in 3 weeks I'll be well pleased but even if it takes longer I'm sure I'll get there in the end. Thanks again and good luck, Regards Kathleen

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    • Posted

      Hello Susan again,  I've just re-read your reply to my dilemma and it seems I misunderstood that you are in fact free from this awful drug.  You've done so well after being on the drug for so many years.  Goodness, 15 years is a long time.  I wanted to tell you also that last night was the first night I was able to sleep for a good amount of time so woke up quite refreshed for a change.  It looks as though I'm on my way out of this dreadful withdrawal.  Thanks so much for replying to me and good luck with any future health problems.  Thanks and regards, Kathleen

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    • Posted

      So happy to hear you are getting some sleep.  Just wait till your energy returns to as before.  You can have a life again.  Proud of you for your decision.  Pray all goes well! .  God Bless, your friend, Susan
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    • Posted

      Thanks Susan, it's such a comfort to know I haven't suffered alone and I do feel that I'm just about out of it now.  I slept quite well again last night, not perfect but better than before.  I hope I will never get involved in anything like this again and I've sent my GP a print out of an article I read on Internet so that she is aware of the danger as I do feel that the doctors who merrily stuck the patch on me were not aware of what it was.  I hope In this way I have saved someone else the misery of withdrawal.  Thanks again Susan, I'm sure I'll be ok now and God Bless you too, Kathleen

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    • Posted

      Good idea of passing on info to your doctor.  It became common practice too fast here in America.  Scary to know how many thousands are using the patches.  I did need a lot of pain help the first three years but was so addicted that I did not realize it until I could not stay awake for a ten minute drive home from therapy.  I definately had an angel watching over me.  Keep in touch every week or so.  I would like to know how you do off the meds.  I have a road trip so will not be online for two days.  
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