Fentanyl Withdrawal Alternatives Open Debate

Posted , 3 users are following.

Hi I just wanted to start a debate and make people question current Fentanyl withdrawal methods.

I took sublingual fentanyl up to 10x a day tapered to 4x a day and cold turkeyed. 11 days after this did a quick patch taper from 50mcg dropping by 12.5mcg at each patch change then stopped- cold turkey again.

I got symptom releif medication, loperamide throughout , diazepam and gabapentin short term. It was a protracted withdrawal over 2.5 months with one blip and cold turkey twice. Not pleasant.

With hindsight i would have prefered a 5-7 day stay in hospital with an IVI as I had periods of severe dehydration and anorexia and vomiting. I would have prefered to cold turkey undermedical supervision rather than taper. I know we are all different and individuals with different needs.

This is not on offer and I question why not. We are put on Fentanyl for our health issues due to pain often withour being informed of it being addictive. Withdrawal is worst by day 3 and does improve thereafter.

It's the best thing I've done but feel medical staff have little or no experience of Fentanyl withdrawal. Everyone if requested to withdraw from Fentanyl should see someone who deals with addiction withdrawal and knows how to treat the withdrawal symptoms. They should be given inpatient treatment if requested. They should be given the choice of a taper programme or cold turkey or a combination of both whatever their personal choice is it should be an informed choice and alternatives offered.

I do not include the issue of pain management.

I am only debating the withdrawal from Fentanyl as more people are facing the horrors of this highly addictive drug.

Why did I want a quick solution? Simply I could not put up with the protracted withdrawal symptoms with the taper and wanted it over and done with. How do I feel now ? Great.

We are all different

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Proud of you! I'm at approx 33% and tapering. I'll be so glad to be done! Hope you aren't having too much pain...


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    • Posted

      Hi Melissa you are getting there what are your withdrawal sympoms ?

      Bad news is that my arthritic joints on wrist and thumbs that were relatively painfree when on fentanyl are now back, I had almost forgotten they bothered me after 3.5 years on Fentanyl, peripheral neuropathy in fingers is back, but apart from that the pain in my stomach that I was on Fentanyl for is only slighly worse. So realy the fentanyl wasn't really dealing with the issue it was prescribed for and I've now been told that there isn't anything that will deal with that pain, so just have to live with it. I feel mch better off Fentanyl but am still feeling I'm missing something !!! But got plenty to occupy myself with.

      Wishing you well with your taper and do no be afraid to ask Dr for meds to help with witdrawals in the short term. The only thing I've still got are sleep issues and I've been stoped completely more than 3 weeks now.

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    • Posted

      Wow! I'm so proud of you! I'm down to right at 33mcg. My w/d symptoms are mostly restless leg ( I have Requip but it isn't working), some anxiety, stomach issues and sleep is hit & miss. Problem is increased pain - Sunday was incredibly hard. I have Ltab but when it's gone it's gone, so I'm trying to use it sparingly to say the least.

      I'm so glad you're doing fairly well! Take care and thanks for checking on me.

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  • Posted


    Thats great that you were able to have success with the way that you, however

    It isnt for everyone as its unique for each of us but congrats on what you have achieved.

    I have been on 50mcg for ten year droping to 25mcg two weeks ago and yet to have any withdrawal symptoms, mind you

    Istill take 2 x 10mg oxynorm a day so that could be masking any w/d symptoms and the

    Pain is under control, I go to 12,5 in a couple of weeks and that will be the telling dose I think.

    My PMD told me to read books on pain managment, lol, like that will be the answer. I am a veteran and have PTSD as well and he

    Believes that my army training of 30 years will be a barrier to me getting off fentanyl but he doesnt understand the powerful mindset of the Australian Digger.

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    • Posted

      Hi Captainzero,

      You sound in control. If you have halved the pathc from 50 to 25mcg with no side effects thats fantastic, long may it coninue. If you were going to get withdrawals you would haethem by now . Good luck with the dropto 12.5mg and keep in touch to sy how you getting on. I have no doubt the oxynom is helping.

      Can I ask the reason for stoppng the Fentanyl?

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    • Posted


      My PMD wants me off it as he is of the opinion that it isnt effective for me.. I have kyphoscolisis, kyphosis,lumbar scoliosis with bulging discs

      All over the spine. He has said that I will need some for of opiods afternI am off it and

      The fentayal is out of my system.

      In Australia its a controlled drug and you can only

      Get a month at time, my wife and I want to caravan around the country and it would be

      Impossible to be on this medication ie to get a doctor who is not my regular GP but

      Who is in another state to prescribe it, so it is a decision I support.

      Before the fent, i was only on pandene forte four times a day, my then GP had a brain explosion

      Put me on the fentanyl to replace the P/forte..go figure.

      My aplogies re the writing here, I cant seem to get the sentances and paragraphs to work right.

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    • Posted

      Hi Captainzero, That is madness going from pandene forte to fentanyl patch. Did you have withdrawals at all and how long were you on the patch. What are you on now for pain?

      I have morphine syrup which doesnt work as I can't absorb it so don't use it.

      You certainly have big spinal issues so hope you have something for pain releif. I have now been told just have to learn to live with the pain as nothing is going to touch it. My pain is from pelvic radiation disease, and 3 compressed fractures of my spine from radiotherapy, peripheral neuropathy. So I'm going to go to pain management classess???

      I understand all the issues re prescribing. I use to get my oral fentanyl weekly which was very restrictive, then got it monthly and that made me only use more because I had it when my pain got worse due to my crumbling spine and the delay they took to diagnose it. Madness

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    • Posted

      Hi Actiiquser,

      My problems seem insignifigant to what you are dealing with, I hope

      things improve.

      I may well just have to live with the pain once I am opiod free, perhaps

      I may have to reunite with an old friend called Maryjane from the sixties,

      she has great pain relief qualities as well as other positive attributes lol, but

      hey what you have to do what you have to do, peace to you in your journey.

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    • Posted

      Yes I am going to request cannabinoids from the pain management Dr but don't hold out much hope. I shall request to go on some trials if anyone is doing them in the UK.

      I still would like to know if you had any withdrawal symptoms from Fentanyl and if so what you had?

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    • Posted

      In regards to withdrawal symptoms, I can honestly say there

      has not been anything apart from waking up in the middle of the

      night only twice feelng like I had the "DTs". Now that has been

      over a 5 week period and settled down with 1x 10mg oxynorm.

      I reduced from 50mcg to 37.5mcg and there was no difference, ie

      The pain was still been managed the same for both dose, I also use

      2 x 10mg oxynorm each day for breakthrough and I have not had to

      Increase with that adjstment.

      Two weeks later I reduced to 25mcg and have been on that for 10 days

      with the same results as above, surprising that the pain is still under


      My GP told me today that it is up to me when I drop to 12.5 and suggested

      Taking one 10mg oxynorm 3 times a day if I get any withdrawal symptoms,

      However that dose does not relieve breakthrough pain and I am unsure how many

      Oxynorm 2 x 10mg dosé I can take in one day for breakthrough pain once I am down

      To the 12.5 patch ( forgot to ask GP) Anyway would prefer to be taking breakthrough dose

      which would do both pain as well as any W/D, if any.

      Interesting times ahead.

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