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Thread: question about the fentanyl patches

  1. #1

    question about the fentanyl patches

    On Friday I found my son unresponsive...completely out...last January this happened and I waited too long to call 911 and by the time help arrived hard CPR for 20 minutes...I came very close to losing him...

    So I did not wait this time...I knew something was wrong; however, all his tests came back normal...of course I felt they were pointing a finger and saying I must have overdosed him...they did the shot to pull the narcs out of his system and every test under the sun and although he was still sleeping very hard and not waking up they could not find anything "wrong"...and a nurse comes in with discharge papers...DISCHARGE....

    I kindly said...well, maybe not kindly...I said we were NOT leaving until he was awake and alert and bring me another doctor...after finding doc #3, who actually listened to what I was saying, decided to do a quick research and found that the "Actavis" brand patch had some problems in the past...I am just starting to do some research and would like some feedback if you have time...This was the first time he had used this brand and it had been on him less than 24 hours when he went out...(deep sleep)...he used the mylar brand for 11 months without any problem...then Sandavol for 30 days and then the one patch of Actavis...50 mic's

    The good news was once I knew the problem I wanted to get home...waked his ass up (it was difficult) and said you need to be awake and alert so I raided the junk food vending machine and filled him with zingers and mountain dew...needless to say he was on a sugar high, lol...and we were outa there! 12 hours of hell, just not knowing what was happening...

    I guess I want to know what brand you use, how it works, use any additional breakthru meds and how often is it changed, my son's is changed at 48-62 hours...thanks for any help you can give me, I appreciate the help, I just haven't had a lot of time to check ccc's search yet, if ya have a link that would be great!

    Hope those of you experiencing this pain crap get better soon and you find a ray of sunshine...friggin' sci sucks! hugs to you all! judy

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    There is some stuff on here, but I did a quick search and didn;t find it. Check your pms for a note from me.
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

  3. #3
    Hi Judy

    I've been on the fentanyl patch now for about a month and a half and it just does'nt work. I thought it might be helping the first month, and I also took hydrocodone 10-325mg every four to six hours. I told the doctor I thought I noticed a difference the first two days. She proceeded to rx them every two days instead of three and then cut the hydrocodone to twice daily. Frankly, the b%&$ch is killing me. I can't remember when my pain levels were so high so much.

    And, I gotta tell you I'm not sure I even want the dosage raised and patch kept after reading about Joel's problems. Oh yeah, my brand is the mylan. After reading what happened to Joel, cheese pm'd the info, I'd like to change to something else, again. By the way, what dosage did Joel get? She only gave me the 25mg, worthless.

  4. #4
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    I have been using fentanyl for nine years. once overdosed due to a scratch in my skin I did not notice. also heat from shower, or what ever can release meds from the patch. I found the ones with the gel in them made blisters all around the edges of the patch. also where you place it can affect how it is absorbed. I use the arms as less fat, and sweating in those areas, and there is enough arm to switch placement to prevent skin probs, and I sometimes use the top band on a cotton sock to hold it on until it sticks. especially in the summer. tape is bad. you sweat under it, and the tape pull can the patch off. The mylan has been recalled at times, but I too like it best, as the absorbing the medicine seems to be more even. I also change 48-65 hours, and have two on for about two or three hours on change day as I get heavy withdrawal symptomes with spasms, and sometimes Ad. I use a calender and write change times down every time. also use the sticky label, that goes on the patch. there is a certain way I feel that warrents when I change it. pain, withdrawal, chills, sweating and leg spasms are usually beginning when I need to change. I have not been able to go more that 65 hours befor I get those symptoms. I find I matabolise it faster in the summer, and when I am more active.

  5. #5
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    smokey the difference from 25- fifty is grand. at fifty I use only 2-3 hydrocodone a month for breakthrough. I still have pain, but can deal with it. at 25 I was still using vicodin every four to six hours, and was very depressed about the pain. I get break through pain only when I am needing to change it. I have been on the fifty for six years. I went to 75 once, but it was not worth the withdrawal and I actually felt a high from it which I did not like so went back down. that was hell, but glad I did.

  6. #6
    I agree with you, I don't want so much I feel a high, just enough to control the pain. I'm beginning to feel like a lab rat at times the way these doctors change medications. Good to know someone has been on them long term with no problems.

  7. #7
    Hey judy my name is michelle. I read your post about your sons unresponsive episodes and his use of a fentanyl patch. I don't know if your aware of this but as a hospice nurse I never request fentanyl patches for my patients. It is very hard to tell how much medicaton is actually being absorbed and I know there have been recalls on some of the patches due to a rapid release of the medication, there was a defect created during the manufactring process. I always request ms contin for my patients if other medications such as vicodin, percocet have not been effective. this is a time released morpine you take every 12 hours. you know exactly what your getting and there is no ceiling dose for ms contin. I will warn you though I take care of terminally ill patients so we do not worry about increasing and increasing these meds if this needs to be done. Al lot of physicians need education when it comes to pain control and unfortunatly a lot of patients who have true pain are labled as "drug seekers" and turned away. I hope this helps. I am not a doctor and I don't know your sons situation but maybe you could talk to your sons doctor about this. and if your on Ms contin lortab or percocet probably would not be affective for break through we use fast acting morphine sulfate IR for break through pain.

  8. #8
    hey I read your post about placing patch on your arm due to less fat. I just wanted to let you know if you do not have adequate fat deposits here the medication will not be absorbed very well. If you have trouble with absorbing med to quickly that is a good place for it.

  9. #9
    hey smokymtn memories. I was wondering if your doctor tried anything else or did they go from vicodin to fentanyl? Maybe percocet would work? its stronger then vicodin. I am a hospice nurse we do not like fentanyl patches. They work for some but not many. If percocet doesn't help you could ask your doctor about Ms contin. We use this a lot its a lot easier to monitor and adjust compared to fentanyl patch. You know exactly how much of the medication your patient is absorbing and I dont see withdrawl symptoms unless a patient misses a dose. I am not a doctor but I am a hospice nurse just want to help you guys. good luck.

  10. #10
    I hated fentanly. I was a fricking zombie, couldn't work and to top it off it gave me explosive diarrhea. I switched back to methadone and have more pain but can live my life.

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