I recently dropped from using a 25 mcg Fentanyl patch to using a 12 mcg patch. It seemed to me that prior to dropping to the lower dosage, that I was experiencing some withdrawal symptoms, like anxiety, being very emotional, tingling in the feet. On the day that I dropped to the 12 mcg patch I started to have diarrhea and felt queasy and had no appetite. I thought that was possibly due to anxiety about dropping to a lower dosage that evening. (I have Crohn's disease,so it is difficult to know if the GI symptoms are from the Crohn's or from the Fentanyl withdrawal). For the first 48 hours, the only withdrawal symptoms that I had were the GI issues. Then last night (48 hours after dropping to the 12 mcg dosage) I started to get almost constant tingling in the feet and could not sleep. (I do feel fortunate that I was able to sleep for a little while every 2 to 4 hours). I have not read other posts from people that have experienced this type of situation. I am wondering if anyone else has the withdrawal symptoms start several days after dropping the dosage? Any advice for getting through the withdrawal symptoms will be greatly appreciated. Thank you
28 Dec 2012
First of all NOBODY should ever wean off Fentanyl by themselves-without a Doctor- let alone be TOLD to do so.
I understand you are probably better by now- hopefully- but I felt it was important to answer this anyhow. If a doctor is helping you wean off, withdrawal symptoms shud be relatively minor as apposed to not hvin help. Although the sleep issues and even the GI issues, could be some withdrawal.
I hope you are okay now and tht you are being continualy blessed by God.
9 Oct 2015
I've been trying to wean myself off Fentanyl: for a few years now. I easily weaned from 150 mcg to 25 mcg, It was getting from 25 mcg to 0 that became a problem. The gel packs absolutely CANNOT be cut. But the mylar ones can, although it says you are not supposed to cut them. 25 mcg easily becomes 12/6/3. Then I stretched out the days between each decrease.
I WISH I'd had help from my GP but neither my GP nor my oncologist seemed interested in helping me get off this drug! It didn't seem to be helping, so why should I take it? Plus it was masking other pain (ie: infected tooth).
WARNING: SERIOUS BRAIN CHEMICAL CHANGES WILL OCCUR. After ending the weaning by slowly cutting the mylar patch down, and balancing any discomfort with small amounts of vicodin and clonazepam, I celebrated being off the Fentanyl. I felt quite proud of myself. But, suddenly, after over a week, I was hit by a severe, crippling depression. I thought I was over the physical dependency, but NO! My brain chemistry was apparently going to take some time, quite a long time, to recover. So I iformed my doctor that I'd weaned off the patches. He suggested the antidepressant Wellbutrin,. Within 24 hours I (thankfully) felt considerably better.
It's now been almost six months, and I'm down to one Wellbutrin a day. Still fighting some mood swings if I forget to take it, or take it late in the day, but things are slowly getting better. My brain is recovering on its own schedule, so I'll just have to be patient.
MY SUGGESTION: To all the people trying to free themselves from a physical dependence on Fentanyl (which really helped during the first few years of cancer treatment), I urge you to try to find a KNOWLEDGEABLE doctor who will SUPPORT you in your desire to wean off this medication. And be kind to yourself... I dIscovered that sheer will power can't make up for a lack of the essential neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, GABA, and acetylcholine.
Good luck and BE SENSIBLE.
18 Nov 2012
Recently I was taken off the patch. I was on 100 mcg for two yrs the told to taper off by myself. The withdrawals can be mild as you are stating to severe as; loose stools, vomiting, cold sweats, anxiety, tremor, upset stomach. What I'm trying to say it will be like a major flu and you can have symptoms a couple weeks to a month after taking the patch off. Be careful if you have certain health conditions. You may have to be in the hospital, but not always. GOOD LUCK!!
11 Jun 2015
I recently changed from the 25 mg to the 12.5 mg. The withdrawal symptoms began within hours of starting the lower dose. They included severe stomach pains, tingling of fingers and toes, insomnia, anxiety, no appetite and body aches.
After three days of withdrawals, I decided to stop using them.
11 Feb 2015
Would like to sound positive, but am afraid no-can-do. I started on 12mcgms and after 9 months leading up to a hip-replacement had graduated to 125. Had the op in December and have gradually weaned off until now, two months later, I am "clean". Unfortunately, being "clean" does nothing for the W/Ds. Sleeplessness, tingling feet that drive me to distraction, anxiety, restlessness, difficulty in concentrating, anger - you name it and I've got it. Can't be of any help I'm afraid, but rest assured that there are countless others of us going through the same s**t - you are NOT alone. All I can say is "hang in there".
I doubt very much that a "magic cure" exists - if it did, wouldn't we have heard about it by now? Final comment - I am lucky enough to have family/friends who try to understand (even though they don't), and are remarkably patient (with the possible exception of my wife whose patience is definitely wearing thin, but who has to put up with me and my moods day in day out). My heart goes out to you - I KNOW what you're going through - just (like me) - hang in there. It WILL end one day. Best wishes.
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