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Please help--trying to slow taper off fentanyl
  1. #1
    Julie_fentanyl is offline New Member
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    Default Please help--trying to slow taper off fentanyl

    Has anyone successfully tapered off fentanyl? I started at 12.5 in April 2010, went up to 25 the next week and 50 quickly after that.. now I am trying to come down from 50. i am at 37 now and it has been going ok, but lately I am a wreck of anxiety and severe depression and some withdrawal symptoms. Should I stop the taper? Should I push on? Has anyone done this?????

    I am using norco to try to deal with the symptoms, and some xanax for anxiety. is there anything else I can do to ease this? I have fibromyalgia and autoimmune thyroid disease, in addition to the original injury, a childbirth injury which broke my sacrum and pubic bone in addition to other trauma..

    I switched doctors since i have no trust or respect for the one who started me on fentanyl. the one i am at now proposes switching to opana when i get to 25. Maybe I could use the opana to get off the fentanyl for a few weeks, then stop opana before i get addicted???

    Please, so grateful for any insight.

    Julie

  2. #2
    Anonymous Guest

    Default I have done this

    Quote Originally Posted by Julie_fentanyl View Post
    Has anyone successfully tapered off fentanyl? I started at 12.5 in April 2010, went up to 25 the next week and 50 quickly after that.. now I am trying to come down from 50. i am at 37 now and it has been going ok, but lately I am a wreck of anxiety and severe depression and some withdrawal symptoms. Should I stop the taper? Should I push on? Has anyone done this?????

    I am using norco to try to deal with the symptoms, and some xanax for anxiety. is there anything else I can do to ease this? I have fibromyalgia and autoimmune thyroid disease, in addition to the original injury, a childbirth injury which broke my sacrum and pubic bone in addition to other trauma..

    I switched doctors since i have no trust or respect for the one who started me on fentanyl. the one i am at now proposes switching to opana when i get to 25. Maybe I could use the opana to get off the fentanyl for a few weeks, then stop opana before i get addicted???

    Please, so grateful for any insight.

    Julie
    Hey Julie,

    I was so hoping I would never see a post like this! But you're not in a bad place really. So, slow down, calm down, you have a couple of options here.

    First let me tell you what I did, then you'll see what you have already done better and smarter than me.
    I have MS so no big story here, ended up on 200mcg's of fentanyl patches every 72 hours, I wore 2 100 patches at a time.
    I was put on them by a MS specialist, last time I will ever, well you should never say never, go to anyone but my family doc. He knows what I DON'T want, and respects that choice.
    So I jumped at the 200, not so wonderful. If I had recognized what was happening as quickly as you have I would have known that I was in w/d 2 days out of 3. Couldn't figure out why I was sneezing all the time, I wasn't depressed, I was despondent for two days out of three. Pretty obvious huh? Duh, took me several months to figure out.
    If I had recognized what was happening earlier, I would have gone to my doctor who knows I'm a recovering alcoholic and had no desire to trade one addiction for another, and he would have helped me down b4 it was so bad I jumped, he was out of town for the week, and i couldn't take it another week.

    So already you are waaaaay ahead of me, good job! What I can tell you is that you obviously with your conditons need some help with this. I'm assuming, well I know fibro is painful, your other conditions I know nothing about. I also can tell you that when you get off the patch, and it's all out of your system you will probably be in less pain than now. The patch, once you become tolerant, it just magnifies the pain, as well as causing the hot flashes, sweating etc. but hopefully you haven't gotten that far.

    If you were going to my doctor, I would say follow his recommendations, but he and I have been dealing with my condition for years, the way I want to, w/o all the drugs that are recommended. That's merely a personal choice of mine.

    Do you know this doctor well? Does he know your goals?

    I'm really hoping Robert jumps in here to advise you also, b/c I don't know anything about opana.

    What I would do at that level is not necessarily what you should do. Going cold turkey did cause a pretty major flare up of my MS but got lucky and am fine.

    Can you hang around for a day or two and get some opinions from Robert, Henry, some of the more experienced? I know they told me fentanyl is a bummer, so I'd really like some of those to chime in......but swear, I'll check on you all the time. Been there, sorry. Glad you are so proactive!

    Let's wait a while, til other's get home from work, eat supper, check in......i have noticed that the word fentanyl will bring you help. I jumped off the first part of January and am doing fine now.
    My doctor and I have a plan for pain now in place. But I do not have your condiitons so, I'll keep checking to see what you hear, ok?

    Hang in there, Julie
    it'll be ok!

  3. #3
    Anonymous Guest

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    Julie,
    Another quick note, I would stop the taper for a while until you hear some more information. Tapering didn't help me, I tried. So why not just wait a coupla days for info? Just my opinion.

    Watching your thread!

  4. #4
    grip is offline Member
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    Default

    Unfortunately you're already physically dependent or addicted. All opiates affect the body in a similar fashion and norco, fentanyl and opana are all in that class. Fentanyl is just so potent that it's a horrible detox, almost killed me. I finally switched to a milder pill. If you're trying to get off all pain meds I wouldn't use opana because it's also fairly strong and usually prescribed in the extended release version. The best thing might be to remove the patch go as long as you can before taking a few norco. Then taper day by day from those.

    Someone here might tell you about the suboxone route.
    good luck

  5. #5
    Anonymous Guest

    Default autoimmune thyroid disease

    Julie,

    This is the condition that makes me caution you to wait for a while. Some get on at night, Some get on in the morning. I don't know if this condition makes you susceptible to a "thyroid storm"?

    If so, it is imperative that you have more info from more people. Fibro is awful, I'm sure, but that's not my concern. The thyroid is.

    If you are online, why don't you tell us if this condition is a problem if going through w/d?
    Actually I'm going to look it up now.

    Hang in there.

  6. #6
    Anonymous Guest

    Default ok

    Julie this is what i found;

    I don't know which of these you have, but it seems to me that you should communicate with your doctor your goals and where you want to be. Off pain medication or whatever your goal is.

    Autoimmune thyroid disease: Disease of the thyroid gland due to autoimmunity in which the patient's immune system attacks and damages their thyroid. Graves disease and Hashimoto thyroiditis are forms of autoimmune thyroid disease. In these diseases, thyroid-reactive T cells are formed that infiltrate the thyroid gland. Both disorders are common with a prevalence of about 1% in the US. See also: Graves' disease; Hashimoto's thyroiditis

    I myself take thyroid medicine, but that's nothing like what you have. When I see 1% of people have this.......I'm thinking you need to talk to your doctor you have switched to and ask him what all your options are without causing any damage to yourself.
    If your goal is to get off everything, such as the opiates, re-evaluate your pain and then make a plan that takes the edge off, but lets you function, which is what I have planned with my doctor, then I doubt he will suggest the opana. Unless he is afraid of flaring up something along the line.

    That's the best advice I can give you, but more will come.
    Watching your thread.
    Sure wish it was the same for everyone, but it's just not.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 02-10-2011 at 11:16 PM.

  7. #7
    Robert_325 is offline Retired
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    Julie ...... I moderated and posted regularly on an autoimmune disease forum for almost ten years before coming here. I have four autoimmune illnesses myself with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Raynaud's Phenomenon, Fibromyalgia and APS(antiphospholipid syndrome) which causes my body to create blood clots. I have had several clots. I know autoimmune diseases well so I know what you're going through. I promise that I can help you if you're really ready to change your life. I've had five knee operations, degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, the list goes on so I understand BAD chronic pain issues.

    I HATE FENTANYL!!!! I believe that fentanyl should only be prescribed for terminally ill patients. It totally sucks the life from you and it's the worst drug to taper off I've ever dealt with and I've done this for a long time. Plus I used every drug there is for 35 years so I'm speaking from experience.

    I would never tell someone not to try and taper followed with a cold turkey as a first option, but in your situation I would bet that you would have a much easier time with usuing subutex. It comes in a generic, it's inexpensive, even though most sub drs try to give you suboxone which has no generic equivelant and it's very expensive. The generic to subutex is buprenorphine and I would insist on getting it from your dr.

    Here is a link to how I got off 1000mg of Roxicodone IR a day plus about 30 10/650 lorcets, tons of benzos and 20-25 soma a day and other assorted garbage. I was taking a good 100 pills a day for a long time and almost died a couple times. I journaled my sub experience and have shared it here for years. It took me about 6-8 weeks to get clean and I've stayed clean from all narcotics for over 8 years now after using 35 years.

    I dare say a thousand people have successfully become clean using this sub therapy method even after decades of opiate abuse including fentanyl. Read the link carefully, especially paying close attention to the INDUCTION section which is SOOO important. If you want my help I won't abandon you and will stick this out with you until you're clean as long as you do as I ask of you. Let me know how I can help you after you read the link. I know what I'm doing and I can help you if you are truly ready to do this. God bless.

    http://www.drugs.com/forum/featured-...apy-50887.html
    Last edited by Robert_325; 02-10-2011 at 11:49 PM.
    I am not a dr. My statements are based on years of experience and related education. Consult with the professional of your choice regarding matters of concern.

  8. #8
    Anonymous Guest

    Default Thanks Robert!

    Julie,

    That's what I was waiting for.

    I would do this in a minute under his guidance.

    Best of luck to you, I'll follow your journey and be wishing the best!

    Robert knows what he's doing, and your safe in his hands.

    I cannot express how glad I am to be off the patches.

    Wish I had come here before I was halfway through the detox!

  9. #9
    steellchick is offline New Member
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    I am going through wd also. Do you have any percocets oxycodone to help? I am on clonadine and it is not helping at all. It is the worst time of my life. I need help too. I am watching this post to see what else can be done. I will call the doctor tomorrow. I will let you know.

  10. #10
    Julie_fentanyl is offline New Member
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    I want to thank you all for posting back to me so quickly,I am very touched at your concern for someone you haven't met. Also I am so sorry it has taken me so long to come back and post about this. My daughter got sick that night that I first posted and I lost momentum I suppose, and just have been through so much sadness and despair, sometimes it's hard to just sit down and write. And I used to be a writer. Having 2 kids doesn't help either.

    So, the update. I have gotten down to 25 but continue to struggle. But, if I have gotten to 25, do you still think I should do the subutex? I still am considering the opana. i was in a severe car accident about 10 years ago and took oxycontin and oxycodone for over a year and had no problems getting off of them--honestly, that experience gave me a false sense of security about the fentanyl. I also have heard of people cutting the mylan brand patches which are the ones i use--the medicine is mixed with the adhesive so no gel. but perhaps I could take the opana for a week or so right when i jump off the patch. ugh so much dread.. I just have been fighting for so long!

    Mirian, Hashimoto's is the thyroid autoimmune that i have. it is tough not knowing if my heart pounds due to the thyroid or the fentanyl..

  11. #11
    Julie_fentanyl is offline New Member
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    Sorry for spelling your name wrong Marian!!

  12. #12
    Damianna69 is offline Banned
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    why cant you try suboxone or methadone for about a month?
    Last edited by ddcmod; 04-30-2011 at 04:53 PM.

  13. #13
    Jim1957 is offline New Member
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    Don't switch to anything. Go back to the dose u were comfortable on, stop taking Xanax and any other type of narcotic. If u are serious about coming off, most doctors don't have a clue how to help u.. They put u on suboxone which has even more withdraw problems. U need to either slowly and I would like to emphasize the slowly, taper your patch when it gets to the point the withdraw returns, which by the way includes anxiety,depression, stretching, yawning, hyperventilating,nausea,vomiting , flu like symptoms, etc. then it's time to switch to 5mg oxycodone up to 4 a day as needed for the withdraw symptoms. Now slowly decrease the oxycodone until your off everything. Some tips, no caffeine, use Imodium for diarrhea if needed, eat healthy, take a multi vitamin, Motrin for pain and if your body aches, hot showers will help... I wish u the best, remember your on your own, no one can do this but u. If u can't do it on your own, I recommend a brief inpatient detox, it sounds drastic but it may save your life.
    Last edited by Jim1957; 02-13-2014 at 07:27 PM.

  14. #14
    Jim1957 is offline New Member
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    U shouldn't recommend methadone or suboxone to a person who doesn't have a true addiction. These are powerful drugs and carry their own withdraw problems. They are used for people who are addicts not pain management patients

  15. #15
    MAmom is offline New Member
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    I know this is an old thread, but wanted to say that I was on a Fentanyl 100mcg patch q 3d for 4 years ( pain management after a hard core surgery, then fusion, cadaver bone, plates screws, etc..) and tapered off almost 3 years ago. I got down to 6.125 mcg ( the patch piece was tiny ) before I ran out. Even on that tiny dose, the withdrawals were horrific. I chose no Suboxone and was 53 at the time. I also quit smoking at the same time.
    Just so you know, coming off of Fentanyl CAN be done without Suboxone, you just have to deal with the misery of a hard withdrawal. I gave birth to 5 babies, but that was a walk in the park compared to this. You CAN do it without meds. I promise you!!

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