View Full Version : Pain Patch?

Curvy Corky
07-03-2006, 08:05 PM
Has anyone here used the pain patch for pain relief?
It's called Duragesic pain patch the generic is fentanyl pain patch.

I've been having a hard time getting my pain under control with other pain meds and I wanted to see how this has helped others.

What are the side effects? Does it make you drowsy, dizzy, etc.
Right now the only pain meds that actually work knock me out or make me really loopy, so I can't take them and go to work. I'm just trying to find something that can help get my pain down enough so I can function during the day. I've heard this might be something to try.

Thanks for any input you might have!

07-04-2006, 01:12 AM
Hi Shelly...

Fentanyl is sort of the Rolls Royce of narcotics. I've never used the patches, but I've had fentanyl several times while in the hospital. The patches are expensive, so some insurance companies won't pay for them.

I'm really sorry to hear that you're having so much pain.


07-04-2006, 02:04 PM
Get your hands on that patch and your life will change! I had it and the only side affect was constipation which you have with other pain meds anyway. My Dr. had me on it for four months starting with the 50 mg then going down to the 25 mg. I had no problem weaning off it. Yes, as Linda said it is expensive. (At one point I needed it sooner then ins. thought it would be covered and a box of 5 was quoted to my husband @ $900.) Hopefully you have ins. that will cover it. Eric just got on it and he seems to be doing better. I am amazed more Drs. don't give a RX for this. I feel it it a great help in recovery and you only use your other pain meds. for breakthrough pain. I had NO problem functioning daily while on them, including driving. Call your Dr. NOW. Due to the fact Fentanyl is a narcotic your DR. can't call in the RX, you must have someone pick it up from him. (At least here in Ca.) Good luck!

07-04-2006, 04:01 PM
Rolls royce of pain meds yup...lol
This pain patch is actually one of the most stolen medications because junkies squeeze the meds out and cook it up like heroin.
It's an amazing pain reliever but there's a reason it's expensive, to keep it out of the hands of junkies.
MSNBC did a story on these a month or so ago.


ST. LOUIS - Justin Knox bit down on the bitter-tasting patch, instantly releasing three days’ worth of a drug more powerful than morphine. He was dead before he even got to the hospital.

The 22-year-old construction worker and addict was another victim in an apparent surge in U.S. overdoses blamed on abuse of the fentanyl patch, a prescription-only product that is intended for cancer patients and others with chronic pain and is designed to dispense the medicine slowly through the skin.

“I cannot tell you the amount of people I’ve seen and the creative ways they abuse this drug,” said Dr. Scott Teitelbaum, director of the Florida Recovery Center in Gainesville, Fla. “Fentanyl has been abused for years. But recently there has been an increase. I’ve seen more chewing, squeezing of the drug off the patch and shooting it up.”
Fentanyl, a synthetic narcotic, was introduced in the 1960s, but it was not until the early 1990s that it became available in patch form. Last year, the first generic versions of the patch hit the market.

At least seven deaths in Indiana and four in South Carolina since 2005 have been blamed on abuse of the fentanyl patch, along with more than 100 deaths in Florida in 2004. About a week after Knox’s death in Farmington, Mo., in March, a second man in the same county was prescribed the patch legally and died after injecting himself with the gel that he had scraped from it.

Emergency-room visits by people misusing fentanyl shot up nearly 14-fold to 8,000 nationwide between 2000 and 2004, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The figures do not indicate how many of those ER visits were because of the patch.
(In recent months, more than 100 deaths have been reported from Chicago and Detroit to Philadelphia among drug addicts who overdosed on heroin mixed with fentanyl. And federal drug agents believe fentanyl is being made in clandestine labs in Mexico and elsewhere.)

The first fentanyl patch was Duragesic, made by Johnson & Johnson. Sales more than tripled from 2000 to 2004, according to the Pacific Law Center in La Jolla, Calif. Worldwide sales were more than $2 billion in 2004, and half of that was in the U.S., according to the J&J’s Web site.

More than 5.7 million prescriptions were written in 2003 for the Duragesic patch, according to IMS Health.

Mark Wolfe, spokesman for PriCari, the J&J unit that oversees Duragesic, said the product comes with strong “black box” warnings about the dangers of abusing Duragesic.

One theory is that addicts are turning to the fentanyl patch because of a government crackdown on abuse of another powerful prescription painkiller, OxyContin, or oxycodone.

“The abuse of oxycodone and the fear of litigation is enough to scare doctors from prescribing it. Duragesic is in vogue, as we’ve seen over the last year and a half and two years,” said Dr. John Brandt, a chronic-pain specialist at the University of Florida.

In Missouri, the man accused of illegally selling the fentanyl patch to Knox has been charged with murder.

“The awareness is just not out there. I had never heard of this patch,” said Knox’s mother, Rose Marler. “There’s a new generation of drugs and people just need to be aware.”

Karen Ocker
07-04-2006, 04:04 PM
I was on this for about 2 1/2 months. Did not have constipation with it but still needed dilaudid at night using the 50 micrograms.

One must be closely monitored using this because the wrong dose can cause misery and even be dangerous. One, not so good pain doc, before I found my good one, ordered 75 micrograms and I got dizzy and almost fainted. Also, wearing it in a hot shower can cause it to be absorbed at a different rate.

I still had withdrawal even after tapering off to 25 micrograms. :eek:

I gradually switched to alternatives.

Linda G
07-04-2006, 04:07 PM
I have been on this patch for about 2 1/2 months and it's a wonderful drug. It has helped with my pain where nothing else did. I also take Norco 2-3 times per day but I have no trouble functioning. Without the patch I was having trouble just going to the grocery store. Now I can do most normal things without too much difficulty. Thank God for good insurance. I had no idea the cost. I hope it will be made available to you.

Linda G.

07-04-2006, 05:26 PM
I was on this for about 2 1/2 months. Did not have constipation with it but still needed dilaudid at night using the 50 micrograms.

One must be closely monitored using this because the wrong dose can cause misery and even be dangerous. One, not so good pain doc, before I found my good one, ordered 75 micrograms and I got dizzy and almost fainted. Also, wearing it in a hot shower can cause it to be absorbed at a different rate.

I still had withdrawal even after tapering off to 25 micrograms. :eek:

I gradually switched to alternatives.

Interesting...I don't like drugs and there is a reason, all of the ones I've tried just give me too many side effects. I wanted to maybe try this, but since I have mostly inflammation and nerve pains, I think I will ask for Neurontin first once I get that appointment at the pain clinic, if they don't have other alternatives. I hope Neurontin doesn't have many side effects.

07-04-2006, 07:48 PM
I too was on fentanyl, I think 50 mcg and then 25. I mainly had decreased appetite while on it, but was not in pain. When my dosage was cut in half, I went through 2 days of withdrawal. I was also on dilaudid. I ended up getting off of both at the same time, going cold turkey b/c the drugs were affecting my appetite. I went through withdrawal for about a week. I can see why people don't want to get off of these drugs, b/c the withdrawal was not pleasant. I also was told not to go cold turkey, but I just wanted all the drugs out of my system asap.

07-05-2006, 07:45 AM
How long are most people on pain killers???(pre-op question for my Doc..) I know everyone is different but I was hoping by 6mths I'd be off anythg but advil or something... Does it depent on age & fusion type?? I'll have a big one! I've never taken anythg more than a very occasional Tylenol PM.. I hate any drugs but know I'll need them for a while.. is anybody ever done by 3 mths with them(at my age, mid-40's)????? :eek:

07-05-2006, 11:36 AM

I've known people who had really big scoliosis revision surgeries, who were off all pain medications within a week of returning home. I've also known people who never get off narcotics. I've tried to figure out what each group has in common, but can't figure it out.

I hope you're one of those that has very little pain.


Florida Judy
07-05-2006, 01:59 PM
After surgery, I was off of pain medication at 2 months (fusion T10-sacrum). I gradually cut down and was determined to get off as quickly as possible. I felt a bit depressed for 2 weeks after quitting the Percocet, but now I'm fine, and take only an occasional Tylenol. I do have some trouble sleeping. Good Luck!
Florida Judy

07-05-2006, 02:09 PM
I think the fact of being on pain killers is also not just a pain factor, but if you get side effects that affect your life OR if you can tolerate those side effects more than your pain-and that's only a decision that can be made after trying different drugs and it's also personal.

I was in a lot of pain for a year at least post op, then the second year on and off(second op helped take care of some of it), and I didn't take anything past the first month excpet Tylenol wich didn't do much so I quit that too. In retrospect I wish the orthos would have found something to ease some of my pain that wouldn't have given me too many side effects-if that would have been possible-or at least tried to find something.

For this last surgery I was prepared for the pain(wich was intense at times, but not like the first surgery), and after taking sometimes Oxycodone, I was so nausious and dizzy, I could barely walk a straight line, so instead of helping me exercise and be moving, it did the opposite. Quit that too after a few weeks, and this time I knew how to deal with the pain and was more prepared for it. I have always dealt with pain the best way I know how-with rest periods and movement, walks and ice packs. Sometimes acupuncture, some PT.

I also can say that before surgery I never took any type of pain meds(not even over the counter ones), and I notced that some people had gotten so hooked to some narcotics that it was hard to deal with the post op pain since not much would work for them, their systems had gotten used to them. It is very hard to get pain meds for younger patients here in Canada from doctors, and that's not a bad thing as I now see.

Curvy Corky
07-05-2006, 08:24 PM
For me I'm 6 months post op and my pain is still very bad. Walking is getting much easier but for the most part sitting is torture for me. Well my job is sitting all day! We've tried to figure out something to help get me through the day, so far nothing is helping. So a friend told me about the pain patch and I thought it might be worth looking in to.

It sounds like a VERY strong drug so I can understand why some docs don't rush to prescribe it. But for me I've tried so many different pain killers and nothing seems to work. I think my tolerance to pain meds is really high. Mainly because before surgery I was on the meds for nearly 3 years off and on due to my chronic pain. Now the pain is worse than before surgery and I can't get it under control. The only time I don't hurt is when I lay down w/ my heat pad in bed all day. Can't really work like that. So I'm hoping my doc can give me something to at least take the edge off so I can make it through a day at work.

To lelc2002@yahoo:
as for your question, I've seen a lot of different people on here who have totally different experiences. I guess I'm one of the not so lucky ones. My doc told me before surgery that I'd probably be back at work by 2 months and doing great. HA!!! That did not happen. At 2 months I still felt like death. At 6 months I feel pretty close to death. I'm really trying to be positive and hope that a pain free back is just around the corner.

Good luck with your surgery and I hope yours is much less painful. We are always here for you.

07-05-2006, 09:10 PM
Dear Shelley,

So sorry to hear about the pain you are still having and that you are unable to work when you need to financially and thought that it would happen by 6 months.

It has been mentioned on here that working with a Pain Specialist can be beneficial in recovering from this surgery. Not sure if you are working with one or just your surgeon or regular dr., but might be worth looking into.

Also wondered if you had seen the new upright work stations which are being promoted as enabling people to be more active and burn more calories by being able to stand at your desk or computer instead of sitting. I have seen them on tv and in the news. Many people really like them. Maybe you could look into switching to one of those--could keep a tall stool nearby if the standing got too much and sit for just brief periods. Possibly the switching back and forth could be enough to keep you working for a few hours?

I know I'm wondering what I'll be able to do employment wise after I recover from my surgery. Had to quit office work years ago because of the sitting pain; now the hip & lower back pain is too much to do standing jobs, either. Is there something where you can switch back and forth???

Keep us posted on how you are doing.


Upcoming Posterior surgery 7/24/06

07-06-2006, 02:18 PM
Before surgery, standing was not a big problem for me-I had some lower back pain and leg/knee/heel pain, but that wasn't due to my scoliosis, it was due to flat feet and orthotics helped that. Sitting was BAD and that's when the curve and neck pain happened. Since surgery, sitting is much better and standing is harder, but I believe alternating the two and having a good chair and lumbar support can do wonders.

Curvy Corky, I think if your pain is not getting worse and you do see an improvement since surgery, that's what is most important. But trying Fentanyl sure is a good decision since too much pain can drive you nuts and I hope you can get relief. I remeber you saying you had a very stressful job, I hope it's a bit less and I hope you're not working too many long days, that must be hard.

Hope things get better for you. Sometimes it takes more time and some rest.

07-07-2006, 01:54 AM
Hi Curvy,

Don't think you are alone!!! It took me quite a while before I could even consider working. Take care!!!


02-12-2008, 04:58 PM

02-13-2008, 07:42 AM
Fentanyl is sort of the Rolls Royce of narcotics.

I always have to chuckle when I read something like this: Never forget your Rolls may be *my* Yugo, and vice versa .

While undergoing pain mgmt treatment by an anesthesiologist for 4 years (in the early 2000's - somewhere between several medial branch rhizotomies and methadone - I wore the Duragesic 50's for roughly 5 months.

Efficacy for me? Virtually nil. I know they do work well for some (just one of those try and see things).

My insurance never made a peep at the cost, BTW ...

Random views and factiods? (again, only as they applied to me) ...
Texas summers made keeping the damn thing ON for 72 hours almost impossible
ESPECIALLY playing 10 games a week in 100°+ weather
Bio-occlusive tape will *mostly* keep them in place
You aren't supposed to sweat, sunbathe, take hot baths - or generally raise your core temp lest too much be released from the patch at once
It CLEARLY says "DO NOT CHEW" on the box. The junkie in the story merely chlorinated the gene pool.

Regards to all,

03-07-2008, 09:02 AM
I was prescribed the Fentanyl patches for my pain and so far it has been the ONLY thing that totally made me pain free -- I was ecstatic. After suffering from back pain for so long and being on every other type of pill and treatments (nerve blocks, epidurals, rhizotomy) the patch was, I thought, a Godsend for me.

However, after having the patch on for a day I started to get extremely dizzy and severely sick to my stomach. I could only lie in bed or sit still because I felt like the room was spinning. NO PAIN AT ALL, but that feeling of being sick to my stomach wasn't something I wanted to replace my pain with.

It is a very potent drug which has to be CAREFULLY monitored by your pain mgmt specialist. I was eventually told to take it off after about 4 days of using it. The side effects lasted for several more days, and of course, the pain came back.

My pain mgmt doctor said it may just be a case of getting used to the patch and then the side effects would go away -- but I couldn't stand it anymore and gave up on it. I may resort to using it again because my pain is getting out of control and they keep upping my pain meds to handle it.

The patch wasn't the best for me (maybe I didn't give it enough of a chance) but I've heard of remarkable results with many people. There was no way I could drive with it on -- I was basically confined to a chair or bed. But I have heard others who are able to work and carry on a "normal" life using it.

I would ask your pain mgmt doctor what your options are and if he's willing to prescribe it for you. Hope you have better luck with it than I did!


03-08-2008, 12:10 AM
I just hit my one year mark and my doctor currently has me using Lioderm (Lidocaine Patches). They have really helped me since I am still dealing with pain.