Comment from: Gonia 55-64 Female 6 months to less than 1 year Patient Published: March 16

At time I was prescribed this patch (10+ years ago), I had no idea how potent this medication was. I just new it really helped. For the first time in years I was able to live normally, doing all the things I loved. My depression vanished and I was absolutely thrilled to feel alive again. I also loved the fact I never got a "high" that you would suspect getting from pain medications. It was working so well I felt I could decrease it and decided to cut it in half like I did with my Flector Patches (anti-inflammatory). After which, I literally felt like I was 20 and life seriously couldn't be better. I was even able to water-ski again! Well, my next Dr visit, he explained why I felt so good...because I cut the patch in half I was getting a steady massive mega dose of the fentanyl. DO NOT CUT IN HALF. To this day I don't know why I didn't show any symptoms of overdosing those couple of weeks. All the while I thought I was decreasing my dose I could have easily been killing myself! That day, the more I learned of it's potency and dangers, I chose do stop it. Sad because of how effective it was but grateful I was still alive, I'll always have my memories of how great life was during the time I used the patch. Just be careful if this medication is still prescribed. I was lucky!

Related Reading: depression

Comment from: 65-74 Female 5 to less than 10 years Patient Published: August 23

I have had sufficient pain relief from the fetynal patch. From most of the reviews I've noticed one of the biggest problems is have the patch stay on. There are different brand names of the drug and I will only use Mylan brand. The majority of time it stays on with no problems.

Comment from: What a mess 55-64 Female 2 to less than 5 years Patient Published: August 13

My md added the patch when my oxycodone 10-325 were not keeping my pain in check. At first no problems, but after several years I could not keep the patch from falling off. Md recommended tegaderm dressings. Wow how I wish someone had told me about them earlier even though I had complained many times. For the past four months I have told my mad about the debilitating sweat attacks that I have been experiencing, hours on end. Sweating, cold chills, just unrelenting. The only thing that helps is for me to take additional oral (oxycodone) melds, approximately every hour until I can make them stop. Because of my fear of overdosing I do not put on my next patch until prescribed. Dosage 50MCG/HR patch. At present my Md has not done anything.

Comment from: Jo 65-74 Female 5 to less than 10 years Patient Published: January 10

This medication has been a great help to my chronic pain of my back. I have found however the instructions to change the patch every 3 days is too long. I have to change mine every 48 hours to keep the pain controlled in a even way. When it is every 3 days it created too many highs and lows.

Related Reading: chronic pain

Comment from: Hiryzer 45-54 Male 1 to less than 2 years Patient Published: August 21

I sweat allot in the heat, the patch stopped adhering to my skin if I was to sweaty. This also happened with a brand new patch. Another thing which surprised me was that the patch held up great in my pool, as long as I didn't sweat.

Comment from: noname23 45-54 Male 1 to 6 months Patient Published: December 17

I have tried almost every rx analgesic on the market over 20 years. I have even had a implantable drug pump for 10 years against my better judgement. The only things that worked well were the ones that were schedule 2. I dreaded taking a rx to the pharmacy and see the pharmacists demeanor change 100% as soon as they read the prescription. It's unfortunate that we all get treated as addicts (even though I use same pharmacy every time and never abused or gave away one pill. My pain got a bit more tolerable for 3-4 years after changing from manual labor to teaching. For those years, I was able to get by with hydrocodone/apap. Factors including age forced me to seek what had worked in the past, oxycontin and hydrocodone/apap for rescue pain. Since all the problems that medicine caused, it is so difficult to find. Pharmacists would tell me they didn't have it only to find that they did but didn't want to risk filling it. So I asked my Dr for the patches again. My thought process was that they should be easier to find as they can't be abused. I have been on the 50 mcg patches for about 4-5 months with 2-3 Hydrocodone/apap daily and feel so much better. The only downside is the adhesive staying on my skin. I found a product that takes care of that. I highly recommend these to anyone in need of 24 hour pain control. They beat any pill and since the medicine travels through my skin, I believe it is slightly better for my liver. Also, the digestive tract doesn't reduce the amount that makes it into the bloodstream; which means less medicine needed.

Related Reading: hydrocodone | oxycontin | liver

Comment from: Scarlett 45-54 Female 2 to less than 5 years Patient Published: November 26

I have Transverse Myelitis. A lesion in my C spine. Three yrs ago I was completely paralyzed from my chest down. I was in a wheelchair and having intolerable pain. This patch changed my life. I can walk, no pain, and I feel somewhat normal again. I'm on 50mg q3 days. I put it on my upper back, changing sides each time and have had no problems with it staying on. I have been teaching for 25 yrs. I believe I will make it to retirement now at 30 yrs! But, I have to wear the patch or I can't do anything. I have permanent nerve damage with severe neuropathy. They tried every drug possible with me. Fentanyl was the only one that worked.

Comment from: Jim 55-64 Male 1 to less than 2 years Patient Published: September 03

I'm a 61 Year Old Male whose had 2 back surgeries and a L hip replacement. I've been seeing a PM Dr. since 2005 and have been on 60 Mg of Norco 10/325 per day for years. In the past 12-18 months, I added 4 Mg Dilaudid 2-3 times per day PRN. My PM Dr. wanted to add an ER product to lower my IR drugs. I started with 25 Mcg, went up to 37.5 (12 & 25 Mcg patches) and finally wound up on 50Mcg q 3 days. My wife told me I was looking stoned so I titrated off over 2 months 50-25-12 & finally off completely for 7-10 days. My dr. wanted me back on so I went onto 25 Mcg again to no avail. Bottom line is I'm off all Fentanyl patches due to ineffectiveness but still on 60Mg Norco/day with 2-3 (4Mg Dilaudid/day) PRN. I'm wondering if my usage w/ Norco and Hydromorphone have made Duragesic ineffective? Input would be appreciated. Thanks, Jim

Related Reading: norco | dilaudid | duragesic

Comment from: roe 55-64 Female 5 to less than 10 years Patient Published: May 02

able to go through daily routines, less need to lie down,,

Comment from: aussieladee 45-54 Female 1 to 6 months Patient Published: December 16

I am trying this as a last resort to bring my pain under control. I suffer from Osteo-Arthritis & Fibromyalgia pain, I have previously tried all legal methods to take control of my pain but they are losing effectiveness as time goes on. I have a lot of trouble keeping the patches on now it is summer in Australia so I have to use additional transparent adhesive over the top at great expense to myself. I contacted Janssen & all they wanted to know was how effective the drug was instead of trying to solve the issue of the patch not staying on. My argument with them was how can it be effective if it does not stay on! So they suggested BUYING extra film to go over the top, very poor customer service in my view. So far I have not found the patches to be effective enough to stop the Oxycontin tablets or Lyrica so I imagine my GP is going to have a fit when I tell him I am still using all 3 together. On a scale of 1 to 10, my pain when I was on Oxycontin & Lyrica was 10 or worse 100% of the time(yes more than 10 & suicidal with it), now with the patch added to those it is between 6 & 8. There is no time I am without pain awake or asleep as I often wake up in pain which gives a good idea of how effective any pain relief is for me. If I have to choose between the patch & the Oxycontin with Lyrica I will drop the patches as my pain has not been reduced enuf for me to just be on the patch. If my GP agrees to allow me to use all 3 together I will give it 3 months to be fair in testing how well it works. I was told by my Pharmacist that the generic brand has better adhesive value according to customer feedback so I will try the generic once this patch is due to be changed. If Janssen was willing to supply the additional transparent adhesives free I would consider continuing with their brand but seeing that theirs costs more plus the cost of extra adhesive tape the generic works out cheaper.

Related Reading: arthritis | fibromyalgia | oxycontin

Comment from: Ibdonna 45-54 Female 10 years or more Patient Published: November 02

I have been on fentanyl since 2000, I have been on the 75 since 2003. This for me has been the BEST medication a Dr ever gave me. I finally had my life back, I was finally able to be a Mom & enjoy my kids again w/o crying or having to go lay down b/c I hurt too bad to move. I have fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease & had c5-c6 fusion in 2001. Once I got to a dosage I could tolerate & function on my life changed for the better. Then they came out w generic, within 48hrs my pain patch had worn off & I was hurting uncontrollably. My Dr increased them to change every 48hrs we are good again. Then my Dr leaves & I have to go to pain management. What a joke they immediately cut me to 10 patches & give NOTHING ELSE. Looking for a other Dr now since the group it am with seems to totally overlook & ignore everything I tell them. As for the patch I recommend it b/c it gave me life back & I wasn't constantly chasing my pain.

Related Reading: fibromyalgia | pain management

Comment from: b 45-54 Male 5 to less than 10 years Patient Published: October 18

Im a 53 yr old man who at an early age beat stage 3b cancer, but underwent year of chemo which included steroids to make me eat. Chemo worked, so did the steroids, too well,,, they destroyed my hips, ate holes in my femurs. So had to get total hip replacements. After my 8th! hip replacement, my body was shot, constant pain, Pain mang. put me on duragesic patch, went to 50mcg a day, every 72hrs. have been there for years! Dont think i could make it without this drug. Highly recomend but you have to watch your liver count, especially if you take other drugs, and use alcohol, which i do socially. The patch keeps you from going up and down, but you have to find the brand that works best for you, Ive found that Watson Labs brand was best. some others seemed not to last the whole 72hrs. Good luck!

Related Reading: cancer | duragesic | liver


Medically speaking, the term "myalgia" refers to what type of pain? See Answer
Comment from: LPhoenix98 35-44 Male 1 to less than 2 years Patient Published: October 06

This medicine has been a life saver. I take the newer matrix patch made affordable by Johnson and Johnson Patient Assistance Program. I've been on it for one year and am now taking 100mcg/hour patch changing every 48hrs. It does require 3M's Tegaderm dressing to keep in place but sometimes will still come off. But overall my pain is greatly reduced. As a word of caution DO NOT SUDDENLY Stop this medicine. My Doctor went MIA and I was left without any medicine for five days. I found a Doctor who was board certified in pain management and I had worked with in clinical trials and he was able to take me on as a patient. If you are thinking of pain management PLEASE make sure your Doctor is legitimate. They should have an on-call service and a working number they can be contacted at during and after business hours in case of emergency. I don't want anyone to go through what I just went through.

Related Reading: pain management

Comment from: EvilAunt 55-64 Female 5 to less than 10 years Patient Published: July 28

The patches are very expensive, only last about 36 hours, irritate your skin, seem to either dump too much or not enough in your system, but it's still better than not being able to function at all. Still wish there was a better, cheaper way to manage though.

Comment from: NEEDWIGSSOON 35-44 Female 5 to less than 10 years Patient Published: July 13

I was wondering if anyone that has been on these for a long time has noticed any hair loss??? I am a 44 yr old female and seem to be experiencing a large amount of hair loss. Not sure if its just a coincidence since I haven't seen anyone else complaining of it. *** Fyi-- If you have to pay cash for you're meds (any rx) the cheapest place to get them is Costco. You do not have to be a Costco member to get prescriptions filled at their pharmacy***

Related Reading: hair loss

Comment from: inidaho 55-64 Female less than 1 month Patient Published: July 02

I have been taking oxycodone 20mgs 4xday for many years. My pain dr recently put me on 50mc fentanyl patches for better pain control. I've had cancer plus had a bad outcome from back surgery. I also have had my colon & bladder removed & wear bags. I'm allergic to tape. Since using these patches (1 week) I find the itching from the adhesive for my bags almost intolerable & am only sleeping 2-3 hrs per night. I'm also down to 1 meal a day & a have minimal appetite. I sleep for about 6 hrs after changing my patch. So what's to like about these patches? I like the constant stream of medication vs the ups & downs of taking pills. I doubt I'll stay on them though - the itching is horrible!

Related Reading: cancer

Comment from: jesamick 55-64 Male 2 to less than 5 years Patient Published: June 27

There are inherent stigmas attached with pain medications. That aside fentanyl works well for me easy application/disposal although with my type pain it works best but not 100% relief thereby oxycodone supplementing daily allows me some sort of a normal life

Comment from: helpful 45-54 Male 10 years or more Patient Published: June 25

I can't believe I'm on the highest dose of anyone I've read about on all these blogs - yikes! I started at 25mcgs/72hrs and was quickly titrated to 200/2days, PLUS Tramadol 300mgs/day - which is also the maz for that med!!! I have chronic pain stemming from a car accident and several mountain bike accidents prior. I was an athlete and very healthy until 1999 when I was 33. After having some real difficult ears pain and mental-health wise, I traded the OXy and codein for this. I've now been on it for nearly 10 years and 5 for the Tramadol. I also begin to experience withdrawal symptoms (about 48 hours after the change) which usually manifest as nightmares/night tremors, trouble breathing. I'm in the medical field myself, so I think a lot about the long-term issues, being tied to the drug, dependant on my doctor and pharmacist and everything that goes along with it. It's a sad trade-off: the meds allows us to cope and be productive, but it's also a "monkey on our backs" for sure. As many have said - try to stay aways from it for sure. Take the least amount for the shortest period - depending on your condition. But, if you DO end up on it, be positive, be consistent, keep a diary for your doctor and most of all: take care of yourself and your family and don't forget why you went on it in the first place. Pain is as bad an enemy as is addiction - and hopefully, the positives outweigh the negatives for you. If you must be on it, be productive, helpful and positive to you and those around you - it makes a world of difference. If you are considering withdrawing, be flexible and make it a long-term plan with your doctor and pharmacist. Talk to a pain clinic about helper meds, stay on the next lower dose for months and be sure your pain is managed at each step. Look into yoga, stretching, heat therapy, massage and all that. Make sure you have a support network and a supportive person (spouse, friend, or professional) who understands and you can talk it out with. TAKE CARE!

Related Reading: chronic pain | nightmares | tremors


Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

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