The doctors are giving me a choice of switching to 150 micrograms of fentanyl in patches next month from 300 milligrams of oral time released morphine a day.And I don't know what I should do.I have been taking the morphine for 9 years,and it's not hardly helping.Of course,I have a very high opiate tolerance.I have never injected the drug.I don't even know where I could get needles at.But what I want to know is,if the patches don't work,is there any way that I could get them to,and are the fentanyl patches better than morphine pills?
1 Jan 2012
I suggest you go to google or your favorite search engine and search for Narcotic Equivalency Charts, Fentanyl Patches. Do this to make sure 150 mcg of Fentanyl is the equivalent of 300 mg of oral Morphine.
I want you to know that with the Fentanyl patches you don't feel the opiate as an opiate. They just make the pain go away. Some people love this, and others like to feel the narcotic effect of the pain killer. You won't feel it with the patch. Nevertheless, Fentanyl is a very potent pain killer and may kill the pain better.
There are a variety of issues that come with the patch. Some ppl luck out ad do great with the 1st brand the doc recommends or the pharmacy gives you. However, other ppl don't do so well with the first brand. Unlike pills, the different brands of the patch work differently on many ppl. Some people say the original Name Brand of the patch is best. Others like the Mylan best. I don't know all the brands there are, but I have read quite a few posts from ppl on the patch, that say they had to try several brands before they found the best one for them. Once they did, they say Fentanyl is the best pain killer they ever had. IMO if you are a person who sweats profusely, and very easily, the patch may not be so good for you. There is also problems when showering for some ppl, but there are covers you can get for when you shower or bathe. I personally only tried the Mylan patch, so its the only one I am familiar with. It worked fine for a couple of months and then didn't. But in my case I think the problem was sweating, so rather than trying other brands, I went back to pills.
There is another thing you should know about patches. Usually you can't cut them to change the dose because the drug will leak out and it can cause you to get an OD. There is 1 brand and 1 only that can be cut, and that's the Mylan patch. Mylan found a way to infuse the drug with the glue at the molecular level and that's why you can cut them. This can be useful if you need a dose that cannot be obtained with the strengths the patches come in. Bare in mind your doc will probably not want to cut them. I'm just telling you all I know about the patches.
I hope this helps you make a decision.
4 Jan 2012
Hi J - I am sorry to hi-jack your question. I thought Thor gave you a really good answer. The only thing I would add is that for me after several years on one pain med it had stopped working for me too. You have probably built up a tolerance to the Morphine. You may want to try the patches or if not that then another of the long acting pain meds. Hopefully if they don't work for you your doctor would be willing to change you back. I would ask this question ahead of time just to make sure. Best wishes to you.
Your friend -Terri-
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