Due to constant back pain,I have taken hydrocodone for 2 yrs. It stopped working.I had back surgery in August 2013. 2 mos. prior to surgery and now at 1 month post surgery, I have been using fentanyl pain patch (12 mcg). How do I discontinue the patch with minimum withdrawal? The surgery has corrected the problem and post op pain is diminished. I have used hydrocodone for occasional pain very infrequently and want to quit that as well. I had a bad respiratory response post op while still in hospital because all drugs were discontinued except oxycodone. I complained that I couldn't breathe and lips turned blue. Quitting Fentanyl and hydrocodone scares me because of withdrawal effects.
12mcg/hr patch is the smallest patch and you can't cut them so what you need to do is to try to go longer between changes. If you are changing every two days, change every three etc. You can still use hydrocodone for breakthrough then once you can drop off on the patches, you can start decreasing the hydrocodone by tapering down.
Wello although they say you are not supposed do. I was on fentanyl from 2003 to 2007 and came off everything in record time, with no withdrawal effects except for a little nausea. But It takes patience and some knowledge to do. This is how I do it, but only work with gel patches, I think Watson is the company. Im going thru the same thing now but my pharmacist did not order me the gel filled patches and the companies have switched. You can actually see the fentanyl in the patch. You will need scissors and a box of bandaids to do this. What you do is take the fentanyl patch lets say 25mg. They are the best to work with.
Put up to the light and you will see the medication ,Take your fingers of course keeping the backing on the patch and move the medication as much as you can to one side of the patch in other words you will see the medication all over inside the patch, You want to move as much as you can so that lets say it fills up the patch but evenly like a glass of water, Then take your finger and move a small amount to the other end of it. Lets say a size of a dime drop. The you cut the part of the patch that has that little bit . You would cut theat part off of the patch .You then cut the tape off of an open bandaid, You then will tape closed the fentanyl patch that you cut making sure its securely taped so that the remaining 75% of the gel is still in there, then secure to your arm with a bandaid to hold it on just in case it loosens. Its not an exact dose but then every 3 days I push a little more fentanyl down to the other side of the patch and cut that. This way you are gradually cutting down the patch lets say 3-5 mg. This is just using your eye. However gel patches are more dangerous to cut if you don't know what your doing or don't do it right as long as the patch you cut is securely closed with the bandaid tape so nothing can leak when you wear the rest of the patch. It is in no way an exact method but it words wonderfully for me, and the withdrawal is literally nothing as compared to dropping down fromm 75 to 50 to 25 which is 25mg. less rather then slowly cutting out only a dime size amount which is about 3-5 mg. It can be done if you take your time doing it. You may ruin a patch or 2 . I don't know about the matrix fentanyl patches as you really cant tell how much of the fentanyl you are cutting away if you simply snip a small amount off evenly each time you use it.
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