PAWS after fentanyl

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Hello friends,

I posted long ago, in a panic because I lived alone in Asia, namely Seoul, Korea. I was put on 'fentanyl, not understanding what it was, only to be told that my doctor felt getting off it was not his problem and believed it to be "safe". I have since traveled to Thailand and am on a medical visa, staying with my husband (who took a leave to care for me), and I now feel my doctors are good. I made a choice to go off fentanyl cold turkey (50mcg) against their advice for personal persons. After 2.5 weeks of suffering I don't need to explain, I am now simply a neuropathy patient awaiting surgery to prevent a major nerve from being pinched in my face. I am cycling through moods: morning is good, and energy is lost fast...some improvement over 3 days, and the last fraction of a patch came off 2 days ago to no withdrawal symptoms. 

I am now suffering from PAWS, and really struggling. My specialist was surprised but overall pleased as my vitals are good despite 2 seizures, and I was prescribed tramadol (max 400mg a day) and I refused narcotics. \she asked me to return in 10 days for assessment. Additionally: ritalin 20mg x 3, Cymbalta (I am dropping from 60 to 30 as I feel it no longer helps much), and clonazepam 0,5-1mg, 2-3 times daily for significant panic.

I have tried many, if not all nerve related medicines. I wonder if anyone can share insight on the duration of PAWS? Also, I forgot to request 5 days of ambien, or a comparable option as I am going days with no sleep. Thank you, bless you all.

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  • Posted


    I’m really sorry you’re going through this difficult time.   

    I was on Fentanyl 75mcg for 15 years for aggressive JRA. 

    The withdrawal symptoms are brutal. 

    I was given 3 different drugs (similar to what your taking). I did stay on Dilaudid, for pain Mgmt.

    After 6 months or so  the strong leg shaking, muscle pulling, headaches, not sleeping, etc were improving, but the fatigue took much longer for me to overcome. At 2 years your pain receptors will be healed to your normal. It’s a long process unfortunately and it just takes time. 

    One day at a time was the only way I got through it. 

    I have been off Fentanyl for 26 months and I feel so much better!!!  

    You will too! 

    You got this!!! 😊

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  • Posted

    What you’re going through is a shame! There is a full blown war on innocent individuals who have been prescribed  opioids for good reasons and WHO they work for. But now, the administrators and stockholders of medical institutions are hiding under chairs. The ones who are suffering get no attention in the media and have been thrown under the bus by government officials. The people who are responsible & secure with their medicines,  bear no responsibility for the unfortunate consequences of overdoses in this or any other country.

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  • Posted

    Thank you, all of you, for your support and insight. I have recently tried out tianeptine in lieu of cymbalta as my brain lacks everything it ought to have that makes me bearablesad does anyone have experience in this, by chance? I read it is used for fibro and is a mood brightener, enhancing serotonin absorption? the real hel is after. No one tells you that it kills pain, but it also kills beauty, your character, and eventually - your body. sad I am happy to be free but facing the fact that thailand has no mid level pain killers (i get the choice of tramadol, which my doctors feel is not likely enough, or straight to morphine or methadone and I don't want to go there - ever). Wishing you all peace and healing. I should probably make a new thread for the topic change and you've helped me so much - i read this forum often, and cannot express my gratitude. - Kelly 

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