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Fentanyl patch

Oct 16, 2015 2:29 PM


Yesterday my doctor switched my pain meds from 4 tabs per day of the Norco 10/325 to 25mcg fentanyl patches. He said if I needed I could use 2 patches. I started out with one and I started to get a mild headache, after a couple of hours and not feeling any relief from my pain I applied a second patch. My headache progressed to a full blown tension headache. I had the same issues with Morphine, Oxycodone, and OxyContin. I already have muscle issues in my upper back from scoliosis. Anyhow, I felt like my heart was beating in my ears. I was very thirsty with dry mouth. I was very dizzy, ankles and feet were swollen. The headache kept me up all nigh. I took my bp this morning and it was 142/93 that is higher than my doctor wants it to be. I tried taking 4 ibuprofen with a diazepam during the night to try and get the headache to go away. It wouldn't go away. Has anyone else had a similar experience? I took the patches off this morning and took 4 more ibuprofen and my headache went away. I called my doctors office to ask them what I should do. The doctor said to stop taking the medication.

Oct 16, 2015 6:57 PM

I'm sorry Anonymous. I've not used them, but I've had similar reactions to various pain meds. I hope you can get something else on Monday. 🙏🌼

Oct 16, 2015 8:02 PM

I've been on fentanyl patches for 2 years and have gotten headaches 25 is a low dose. Not sure why the headache. Could blood pressure or eye strain from the Meds weakening your vision. I do get them sometimes from the vision weakening caused by the fentanyl. Perhaps this is what's causing the headaches with pain Meds since it can weaken vision muscles causing you to strain to see clearly.

Oct 16, 2015 8:14 PM

Maybe give the 25 mcg time to work before adding the other patch. If you put it on just before you lay down it would not really kick in until 12 plus hours later. Unless the patch is damaged or if you cleaned the area with alcohol right before putting it on which they do not recommend. Also, there are food interactions. Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice with fentanyl. The only thing that helps my migraines or tension headaches are excedrin with caffeine or fioricet. Narcotics like Norco, Lortab, lorset, or percoset causes rebound headaches according to my doctor. Fentanyl is not for everyone, but I hope you get some relief.

Oct 16, 2015 8:22 PM

I have always had headaches with the fentanyl patch when beginning it. But they go away after a few days. I don't know why or how but because i have so many issues with medications i stuck it out and ended up being able to take the fentanyl for a while. It is all a matter of what you can take. Do you think you could try it again? How long in total did the medicine stay on your body?

Oct 17, 2015 12:32 AM

Hi Kitty, I'm not sure but I had the patch on for less than 24 hours

Oct 17, 2015 7:09 AM

Anonymous, I was on Fentenyl patches years ago. They had me on 150mcg patches. When I put them on the same thing happened. I could hear my heartbeat in my ears, I felt sick to my stomach and dizzy and my BP went up. I couldn't take that medication. Now, the very strange thing is that I was put on the lollipop at 1200mcg and I took up to 8 of those a day for breakthrough pain and I didn't have that reaction at all. If I were you, I wouldn't take it at all, sounds kind of like you have an allergy to it since the same happens with Oxy and other drugs. I hope the doctor can find something that helps you feel better and doesn't make you sick. I hope the swelling in your legs went down and that your headache is no longer an issue. Sending {{{|Hugs}}}} and prayers that you feel better. 💕🙏🏻🌻

Oct 17, 2015 8:12 AM

Thank you Alwayz ✌️💜 I hope so too

Oct 17, 2015 7:16 PM

Anonymous, did your doctor change your medicine? I had totally forgotten about the swelling in your legs. I'm with Alwayz.
And i understand how it is to react to medications. Please let us know how you are doing.
Take care

Oct 19, 2015 3:28 PM

My doctor is not returning my calls at the moment. I tried just using one patch yesterday, I broke down because the pain was so bad. I was extremely nauseous, it barely took the edge off my pain, it causes horrible knots in my upper back and shoulders causing bad headaches. Normally I can take either a Valium or a muscle relaxer and 4 ibuprofen and it will help the headache. Not with these patches. The same thing happened with the heavy duty pain meds like OxyContin, oxycodone, methadone. The Norco I was getting is the only one that doesn't do that to me. I know my doctor had good intentions because he knew I wasn't sleeping due to the pain. I feel defeated and very depressed. I get pretty hermitized when I feel this way. 😭 just sad, like maybe I spoke too soon about finding my doctor. I gave him a comprehensive list of issues to put in my file that as time permitted we could go over. He rolled his eyes. I forget everything i want to say when i go to the doctor. So i made a list and gave him a copy. I didn't realize that was a bad thing to do. Oh well if it doesn't work out I will have to keep looking for a doctor. Wish me luck, send me good vibrations or prayers :) they're much needed. There are days where I feel like my fight got up and fled the scene.

Oct 19, 2015 3:54 PM

I hear you say that your doctor had good intentions, do you believe that? If so, can you get into see him? In my state they won't prescribe pain medication over the phone any longer. I have to go in if I have terribly with the medicine.

My fight got up and went today. I understand. I think I'm having a reaction to a medicine that was shipped to help me sleep. Now it's causing intractable pain which makes it impossible to do anything except lie on my back and pray for a comfortable position. The cats have been steering clear of sleeping on me today. It may be obvious to their keen senses i feel like death warmed over in a broke down oven that's stuck in the middle of a snowstorm. Dang, now one of my cats is making me move. Gosh, it's like she thinks it is important to eat or something. How dare she. Lol

I hope you can find a suitable resolution. (if you answered about already trying to make an appointment please forgive me for not reading everything above)

Thinking about you. I'm sorry that this is happening to you. But i hope maybe you can find a better solution or just go back on the Norco.

I forget did he even give you anything for breakthrough pain?

Big hugs and lots of love and HOPE.

Oct 19, 2015 4:04 PM

Anonymous1971, I feel your pain. Finding a good Dr. Who knows you and understands is extremely hard but it's very important. I finally found one in my pain care specialist but not my regular Dr. It sucks. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and I send you nothing but wonderful blessings and vibes.

Oct 19, 2015 4:15 PM

Thank you Kitty,

That was why I've been trying to call him. He directed me via his assistant to discontinue the fentanyl patches. Originally he was giving me 4 Norco per day, I had told him that I would really like 6 per day. I take 2 at a time to get relief. He said no more than 4 per day and if I needed more he would send me to a pain specialist. When I went back for a follow up I explained to him that I'm not able to sleep because the pain keeps me or wakes me and with only 4 Norco per day I wouldn't dare take 2 in the middle of the night leaving me only 2 for the entire day. I asked him if he could please refer me to a pain specialist. That's when he decided he wanted to try the patch. I was excited and hoping it would help and have relief around the clock. Unfortunately that was not the case.

So I've called because here in California it's the same way, you have to go in and pick up prescription. I'm still waiting for a call back as I cannot just go to his office.

I think he had good intentions, but I'm a newer patient and I don't really have a real good feeling for how he is yet. Seems very compassionate. I read mostly great reviews about him online with only one negative. He didn't give me anything for breakthrough pain. It's frustrating to me that this type of thing has been going on for 22 years. I have a hard time feeling like I can assert myself with doctors. When I do try at times I've been punished. Or simply ignored.

Oct 19, 2015 5:32 PM

I understand what you mean about asserting yourself with doctors. But I have had to remind myself that doctors are only human and that they are my employees because I'm paying them! They are fallible and mess up. But especially here in America, they've been given all this free reign because of many parsing a God complex. And then too especially when dealing with chronic pain, we have to tread lightly because they DO hold all the power. They can easily fire us or black ball us.

Since he is a new doctor and you feel like you might be able to trust him, give him a chance. It's hard at first. I know i went through this with my pain doctor and a couple pharmacies (because my medicine needs to be special ordered, and I have one medicine that has to be filled every other day I kind of pissed off some people at the hometown place i was going to. I want to fix it but i dunno how & I don't know if i want to. But i also don't want to be seen as that girl who goes here and there. But the most important thing is my doctor knows what's going on, everyone else who judges me can kiss my lily white tush).

Anyway back to what i was saying, uh what was that again Hahaha no... Seriously, so it takes a little while to build up a rapport especially when dealing with chronic pain. I wish someone would have told me this when i started on my journey, but pain doctors are taken advantage of and so they hold back when they first meet you for the first couple times. What i mean by hold back is they don't open up and trust really easily so it's hard to get a good read on them. And with what they see on a daily basis, I can't say i blame them.

But it sounds to me like you're seeing your family doctor for pain control? I'll tell you one thing, I resisted seeing a pain specialist for a long time because I was afraid. At first it was because i had no insurance. And then it was far of coming across someone who wouldn't take my complicated case seriously. Well. I lucked out and found a doctor who listened. It wasn't a perfect match (I had to fire one of his PA's) but after seeing him a few times, I started to trust him (and for me that's a huge deal because my health is precarious).

Anyway, I just realized the reason your family doc (if that is who you are seeing) didn't prescribe breakthrough medication is because perhaps he isn't licensed to. I'm actually surprised that he was willing to prescribe the patches but not any more Norco. Well i know why no more Norco, for some reason 3 per day is the cut off. But from what i understand the DEA is really starting to come down hard on any doctors who prescribe pain medication to the same patient every month. Anyway i think i may be rambling.

But here's a suggestion, get a referral to a pain doctor. Keep trying to get into see this doctor to those you over until you see a pain doc, who can give you pain medicine and something to help you sleep. If i could go back and do it all over, I think i would have started seeing the pain specialist a long time ago.

My life isn't perfect but it is defintely improved with having my pain doc in my life. But he's meet my requirements, he can fit me in for an emergency appointment nearly every time that one was needed, and my phone calls are returned. (I am a tenacious patient when it comes to taking care of things and ensuring that everything is written correctly..... Maybe that's why the home town pharmacy is mad at me lol)

Sorry this is so long. But i hope that anything in here has helped you out.

Thinking of you. And hoping you get relief soon. (keep calling that doctor, get an appointment for Norco if you have to until you can see a pain management doctor. Another suggestion until you can get in to see a pain specialist, take the Norco and try adding melatonin or valerian root at night see if that helps. Side note:melatonin should not be taken for a long period of time or it begins to have the opposite effect. (at least in a 10 year old who was taking way larger doses than an adult would, 3mg! It's recommended that adults only take .5 mg to 1 mg until regular sleep is established).

Big hugs and lots of hope. Sending healing energy your way to help you through this maze💕💕💕

Oct 19, 2015 5:38 PM

Anonymous1971 i live in sandiego ca how close are you to there

Oct 19, 2015 5:42 PM

Hi, I am on Norco as well, they say only 4 per day due to the Tylenol content and the problems it can cause with the liver over extended use. They do make hydrocodine without tyelnol, ask your doctor when you can.

Oct 19, 2015 7:34 PM

Anonymous1971 the tylenol content is the reason they will not give you more Norco as Moselle said. This is why I now take straight oxycodone, but you should be able to get straight hydrocodone too. I agree with kitty, you definitely need a pain management physician, but you also need a family doctor who will continue to try to diagnose you.

Oct 19, 2015 8:13 PM

Yes, when my primary care doctor first said he would only give me 4 Norco per day (my step mom gets 8) he said if I needed more he could send me to a pain specialist. So when I was there last week I asked for a referral to a pain specialist. That's when he gave me the patches.

EddieRay, I'm about 3-4 hours from San Diego. I'm near Fresno

Oct 19, 2015 8:15 PM

I really appreciate the support and great advice Kitty, Moshell, Sapphire. You definetly helped me climb out of that funk I was feeling. Hugs and Blessings ✌️💜

Oct 19, 2015 9:01 PM

So happy to help. I so wished the fentanyl was going to reduce your pain. It worked wonders for me even though it made me sick the pain control was worth it, but there is no way I would have put up with that if it did not help. I hope you get your referral soon.

Oct 19, 2015 10:49 PM

I have been on Fentonyl patches 50 mg for about 6 months. I haven't had any problems. I also take Hydrocodn / Acetaminophen 325 / 7.5 2 tabs every 6 hrs as needed.

Feb 18, 2018 10:12 PM

Hi anonymous 1971. I've been on two patches of fentanyl, 25 and 12 mcg. My doctor isn't keen to increase the strength of the patches, but I have a meeting with a Consultant in Pain Management soon, maybe he or she will come up with something.
One thing to be wary of when removing patches is that you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Ideally get something from your Physician before you attempt it. It happened to me by accident ( a different brand of fentanyl), the Patch came off in the shower on a very hot day.

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