anyone else need hydrocodone and the fentanyl patch?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by loto, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. loto

    loto Member

    Hi all
    Been wanting to get back on here more often, but just haven't had time.
    My doctor prescribed me a fentanyl patch now for my FM pain.
    He had me try the 50 mcg first, but the morning after I stuck it on I found it to be TOO STRONG! So, I'm on the 25 mcg, and have been for about a week and a half.
    Anyway, I was just relying on 7.5 mg/325 hydrocodone, but it hasn't been working as long as it used to. The ups and downs of it day to day were worse.
    Anyway, the first few days after starting the patch I didn't need to take any hydrocodone, but then gradually have had to take it also.
    I don't know if I'm going through a flare right now or what, but I'm wondering if anyone else has to take both of these pain meds at the same time?
    My doctor assured me it's ok if I do, but I'm still concerned and feel "guilty" or something every time I pop a pill in my mouth. Then I'm like, I shouldn't feel guilty! I have chronic pain and have to take meds so that I can function day to day..
    Anyone else take both meds???
    Please let me know.

  2. Debra49659

    Debra49659 New Member

    Hi Lori...yes, I use Fentanyl patches 50mcg. plus Hydrocodone up to 2 tablets 4 times daily. Some days I need them some days I don't.

    Don't feel took me 4 years to get to the point where I had medications that atually help. I ask my doctor if I should go back to a lower dose pacth as I wasn't feeling as much pain.

    He chuckled and said, you must be the only patient that wants to feel MORE pain.

    The reason I asked was because I was starting to overdue in my activities and then I'd have a flair. He told me how to make sure that wouldn't happen, or at least help.

    Anyway after all this disgressing what I am trying to say is don't feel guilty if you need the extra help take them:)

  3. loto

    loto Member

    Thanks so much, Debra for making me feel better about it all.
    Don't we all wish we didn't have this FM so we wouldn't have to take all the meds we have to!

    I did discover one other thing that I'm sure has something to do with the patch sometimes not working.
    The crazy thing doesn't stay stuck on all the time! This morning I was in the shower and noticed 1 corner of it was coming off. So, I guess I need to tape the edges of it every time I put a new one on so I don't lose any of the med in it.

    Thanks again!
  4. heapsreal

    heapsreal New Member

    What is the law on using something like oxycontin and driving or for that matter working while taking these drugs, i have chronic lower back problems and maybe looking at this type of treatment.

  5. loto

    loto Member

    warnings on the med labels tell us to not drive or operate heavy machinery until we know how the drug will affect us.
    Any time I try a different drug I start out on weekends or when i know I won't have to drive or go anywhere.
    I don't think there are currently any laws about it, since I've never been given anything or told anything to that effect. I hope I'm not wrong about that!

    At my place of work there are no questions asked people when they are hired. But, they don't do drug testing here before hiring people. I know a lot of places do now days, but I'm not sure if it includes prescription drugs or just illegal street drugs? Or, if you test positive, if you show them proof of prescription if they hire you?? GOOD QUESTION! I'd like to hear the answers on this one![This Message was Edited on 10/27/2010]
  6. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    My understanding is that in the US of A, you can be charged with a DUI if you are caught driving irratically and/or cause an accident and you test positive for a prescription drug that is known to cause drowsiness or impair your judgement. This can include anxiety meds, antidepressants, blood pressure meds, pain meds, allergy meds, etc. I bet that there are a lot of people out there that don't know this. Most people think of drugs as being "street" drugs.
  7. loto

    loto Member

    That makes sense, and now that I just read your post, I realize I did know that...

    I'm always a careful driver and would never drive if my meds affect me in a way that would cause bad driving.

    Only one of my meds makes me drowsy and I only take it before bedtime, so I'll never get behind the wheel right after taking it!
  8. heapsreal

    heapsreal New Member

    I have been using tramal for my back and im starting to get a tolerence to it. I also took a dose last night before i went to bed so i would wake up without the pain and muscle spasms, well tramal doesnt let me sleep, i just got 2hours sleep with 2 zopiclone and a phenergan which would normally put me out for a good 8 hours. My tramal dosages have slowly been climbing to control pain, im now taking 300mg slow release in the morning and it lasts 12 hours which is enough to get me through work, but it makes me sweat alot, then i dont normally take any at night, but if i have had a busy day the next day im usually quite stiff and not far off the muscle spasms or i just get the spasms. The tramal has been working for me but of late is starting to lose its effects and starting to notice side effects. Anti-inflammatories dont work very well for me and have a history of gut problems with them so only take them for 1-2 days. I am booked in for a facet joint nerve ablation but that could be a few weeks away yet, so im thinking of asking my doc for some oxycontin as its suppose to work over 12 hours, im thinking of using this alternating it with tramal so i dont get addicted to it and to reduce tolerance to both meds, maybe use oxy when on days off and tramal when at work if oxycontin makes me drowsy etc. Im also hoping abit of a break from tramal will help me lose the tolerance to it and it will start working for me again.Would oxycontin affect me negatively at work and driving etc.

    any thoughts welcome,

    [This Message was Edited on 10/27/2010]
  9. loto

    loto Member

    Wow, sounds a lot like what I go through.

    I've never been prescribed oxy, but, I will admit I tried it for 3 days.
    It helped me tremendously, and only had to take 1 whole tablet (half in morning, half in evening) a day. I don't know the mg it was, but it didn't make me drowsy at all. In fact, it made me very alert and was able to stay up past 10:00! (which is a big thing for me!)

    That's all I know about oxy, though. I seriously thought my doctor would put me on that when I told him the vicodin alone wasn't helping anymore, but he chose to have me try the patch.

    Hope you get answers and something that will help you out!
  10. heapsreal

    heapsreal New Member

    thanks lotto
  11. Debra49659

    Debra49659 New Member

    I was using the Mylan brand Fentanyl patch first and I had a problem with them not sticking well. I tried all different places, and different tape. I know that you have to use a special medical tape if you need to cover the whole patch. And if you have the Mylan patches thats dang hard to! I used a breathable medical tape and only tape the edges of the patch.

    I am now using Watson brand patch which for me sticks better, but I still tape the patches on because I don't want to have a problem with getting them filled if I had to use a new patch or two and the pharmacy will only fill the rx so early.

    But I am so glad I was able to help. The Fentanyl patches sometimes get a bad wrap because some of the reservoir type release the medicine too quickly. But for me they have been a God send and I thank Him and my doctor all the time:)

    About the driving....I guess I've never thought of it as I don't drive very often because of the fatigue. But I appreciate the info, now I know I should most likely never I'm not looking to get any DUI or risk the chance of hurting someone else or my family.

  12. Rockismom

    Rockismom New Member

    Loto, thanks for this post! I've been wondering the very same thing!

    I also rely on 7.5 mg/325 hydrocodone, and had been precscribed the fentanyl patch but was afraid to use it as I had to drive 45 minutes to work and back and wasn't sure how it would make me feel. Trying it only on the wekends wasn't an option for me.

    Now that I am home and no longer working I want to ask my rheumy if he will give me another script for the patch so I can try it when having "break through pain" on days that the hydrocodone just doean't do the job. These days usually consist of house work or family functions and I do not have to worry about driving. On that note, let me say indeed one has to be very careful when taking prescribed medications and driving because if heaven forbid you do have an accident while "under the influence" you can be arrested - so please be careful!

    Blessings to All!
  13. loto

    loto Member

    I hope you can get the patch to try again.
    Make sure when you do try it, that it's not too strong!
    My doctor initially prescribed me the 50mcg patch. The initial day I put it on, it took about 4 hours before I could tell it was helping with my pain. Before I went to bed I was feeling really good. But, the next morning I woke up with a terrible headache, and my mouth and face felt numb. I was also sooooooo drowsy I could barely stand up. I was also itching all over. It scared me enough that I ripped the patch off and went back to sleep for a couple of hours. I felt "back to normal" when I got back up, took a shower, and went straight to my doctor's office to get a prescription for a lower dose patch. The 25 mcg patch is the one I'm on now.

    So, just wanted to tell you to be careful when initally using it. It can take 10 hours or more till you feel the total effects of it.

  14. loto

    loto Member

    Thanks for the info about the type of tape to use.
    I've tried sticking it other places too, and it just won't stay!!! LOL, right now I have the whole thing taped (and the directions say not to tape the whole thing), but that's the only thing keeping it on. I started out just taping the edges and it kept coming off. So, I'll ask my pharmacist what's the best kind of tape they have that i can use.

  15. heapsreal

    heapsreal New Member

    i saw my gp today for my back pain and explained to him that i think im getting a tolerance to tramal and im on a total of 300mg slow release and im having side effects of urinary retention, insomnia and still having back pain and spam attacks twice a week and asked him for something else i can take and still work and drive etc, i know the next step was narcotic type stuff and explained im weary of addiction and withdrawal problems so if on something like this i would use for a short period of a few days while then alternate with tramal and hopefully the tolerance to tramal has reduced and i will get good pain relief again. I do like to be in control of my medications and descion making in my own health.

    My gp was very good and understanding and is a high profile sports med doctor with a few professioinal sports teams. he said to trial kapanol which is like ms-contin(slow release morphine) for which he said to try on days when not working to see how it effects you and he also knows of my possible facet joint nerve ablastion in the future which could be months away yet.Kapanol gives 12 hours pain relief which will be good for getting through work and the mounting chores i have at home. I must admitt i was abit scared to think i could be on narcotics with all there potential of addiction and such but its at a point where my lively hood depends on my back being pain free. The night before i had no sleep as i took a night time tramal and i got a total of 2 hrs sleep, i do find tramal energizing and cant understand people able to fall asleep on the stuff. so after seeing the doc and getting my prescription filled i took my first dose, i was asleep in 1 hour and stayed there for a good 2 hours sleep but i think this is from last nights insomnia, when i woke i felt ok, just a little spacey but not drunk falling all over the place or anything like that, just quite relaxed and with no pain at all, the same level im at after local anaesthetic is injected into my facet joints. I dont have any europhia at all, a touch spacey but pain free atlast, same thing when first on tramal, just pain relief and abit more energy at first. I don t think addiction will be a probably as i am weary of it and plan to alternate the tramal with it and avoid tolerance to both drugs and hopefull in a few months time be pain free and no meds needed, i think the horror stories are there to put the wind up us, just have to mange regular breaks etc. I not as worried if my back procedure fails as i have an alternative to cope with and keep me working and earning the dough.


    so now with the back sorted for awhile i can get into some exercise and other prohealth activities and work abit more, put some extra cash away to go towards my valcyte treatment, i can see some light at the end of the tunnel.

  16. ValB626

    ValB626 New Member

    There is also a 12.5 mcg fentanyl patch, if anyone is worried about starting out at 25 mcg.

    The pharmacist recommended Hypafix "dressing retention sheet," made by BSNmedical, to my daughter for keeping her patches stuck on or re-sticking them, if they've come off in the shower. It seems to work very well and comes off easily when it's time to change her patch.
  17. rosemarie

    rosemarie Member

    About 10 Yrs ago I was not getting any relief with Lortab 10's and perocet. The pain doctor I went to precirbed Oxycontin and Lortab and for once in my life I had no pain, I was thrilled I could work and not be in pain. My mom was hospitalized for 2 weeks and the oxy still worked and my pain was reduced greatly the added stress was the reason I was not pain free. But then my gp checked my cholestorel{sP} and it was high so he put me on meds for it. I don't remember then name of the med. But with in a day of starting it I was back to wher I had been before ever taking the oxy , as time went on I could not walk because of how intense the pain was in my feet and legs. AFter 3 weeks my body hurt so badly that I stopped the Liptor and called my gp and informed him that I would not take any of the statin drugs becasue they all say the same thing about getting muscle pain to stop it. I kept taking the Oxycontin but I could never get the pain under control again. I am now on Mscontin ER 100 mgs x2 daily. I don't get sleepy.
    I also treid the fentynal patch it eased the pain very well but caused another problem all it's own. I put the first patch and I thought all was ok but after changeing it 2 x . IO noticed that around tha adheshive part of the patch I had a rash that iched , burned and took weeks to heal. I tried for months to get used to it but in the end when I went in to my pain doctor he stopped it and started me on the Mscontin. I can't use it because of the adhesieve that goes all around the patch. I was sad as it had helped alot and made me feel better because I hate taking pills and having comments on how much I take. My family is really think that because some one takes pain meds that they are addicted, not dependant. I am not addicted to it as I have reduced my own dosage , I shattered my left wrist and had to have major surgery to put it back together again. I now have a titaium plate adn 6 screws to hold it in place but one of the screws has losened a bit. to ease that new severe pain I was put on mscontin 100 mgs 5 x a day. after a few months went by I Noticed that I had lots left over and over about 8-12 months I had enough left over to concern me. So I went to my pain doctor who disposed of the exess amount of pills. 3-4 months worth of it. and I had since asked my pain doctor to reduce it to the amount I am on now. When you find that you are not taking all your pain meds and have over a months worth left over it is time to reduce it big time.
    Both meds work well and have good and bad points about them, but for me they helped and that was what mattered the most to me. I have had to add MSIR to the mix which is a fast acting version of the MScontin ER, when I was on teh fentynal and Oxy I was always on a break thru pain pill. Don't feel guilty, it your hurting take what helps you. Have faith that you know what works for your body, I know that when I take my soma at night that I am not going to be driving as they make me out of it. Some times worse than others, so take any new meds on the weekend when you know you have some one else that can drive you places.

    Good luck
  18. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    I was scared to death - but the Fentanyl patch has been so helpful. I've found that it doesn't last the whole 72 hrs. It only lasts AT the most 48, so the last 24 are pretty rough for me.

    I feel relatively "normal" on some days. It's really weird for a change. There are stretches of time that I have no pain. I do take my break through meds when necessary. My Dr. didn't change that script at all. The purpose of the patch is to give you a constant stream of pain relief and not feel the horrible ups and downs of the short acting meds. It doesn't necessarily replace the short acting meds. It's pretty normal to needs your break through meds.

    I've worked on my 'schedule' - when I put it on etc. It doesn't kick in for me for about 6 hours, so I started putting it on in the evening so that the following day I had the most pain relief, but sometimes it keeps me up at night.
    I never ever feel weird or anything - something I truly expected to feel. nothin' nada'.

    I can only put it in two places (within a few inches of each other) which is on my sides. I've tried others but it crinkles or doesn't stick as well. I put it almost where my bra goes. If I put it where my body bends, it won't stick as well. I also obviously try to hide it, so I don't like it on the sides of my arms etc.

    I wish I didn't need pain relief.
    I wish I didn't have pain.
  19. Debra49659

    Debra49659 New Member

    Hi all....can remember who posted about the adhesive you can put over the patches, sorry. Iwas wondering if I would need a rx for them, or where I would find them. JAnalynn, I wanted to add I also only get relief for about 48 hours. Talk with your doctor as mine was able to prescribe my patches for 48 hour use instead of 72 hours. I was also advised to put my new patch on about 4 hours before I remove the old one. Maybe you could check with you doctor on that as well. Great info on this thread.....thanks!

  20. loto

    loto Member

    I'm so glad you mentioned that your patch only works 48 hours for you. That's what mine is doing now. I thought I was doing something wrong. I may speak with my doctor about this, also....