I just started using the Fentanyl patch and was wondering if anyone has any pointers on how to get the most effective use from it. It seems to be doing some good. I had disc replacement surgery in my neck last April and have permanent nerve damage. I have been taking Percocets for a while and they stopped working as well. My doctor has said to take them for breakthrough pain now. Thanks in advance for your time and advice.
Hi tuscaloosy... I used fentanyl for quite some time, and I'm glad it's proving effective for you, it did help me as well. But a word of warning, no matter who the maker is, every once in a while, these patches tend to LEAK. That gives you an immediate increased dose and could even be a dangerous level. I tried these twice, and the first time, that leaking, really irritated my skin enough so that I asked to doc to give me a different med. The second time however, I noticed the leaking only very occasionally, and then one day the entire contents of the patch drained out on the first day. I reported tis to my pharmacist and I stopped using them after that. I'm not suggesting you stop, only keep this in mind. The liquid in the patch has a distinct odor and is a thick solution. Generally, when it does leak, you'll only notice a bit of wetness when you go to change it, BUT, be aware of the odor.
If the patch ever completely drains on you, unless you're sleeping you'll notice and notify your pharmacist right away. If you feel any ill effects suggestive of an overdose, go to an ER, but otherwise, the pharmacist will need to replace your patch's (the whole box), by one from another maker. If he doesn't have any, he'll need to find a pharmacy that does... it's unsafe to discontiue fentanyl abrubtly, and since it's a manufacturing problem, the pharmacist is the one who needs to deal with his supplier... and to make sure you're covered as well. Best of luck, this is a very effective therapy, just the one thing to watch out for,
I answered this question, but don't see my answer anywhere, so I'm going to write it again because it's really important. There have been problems with some of the manufacturers of these patches, in that the patches may leak a little or even release the entire 3 day dose at once. I've been on them twice, and they ARE effective for pain relief, and especially good if you have trouble forgetting or possibly taking too much of your oral meds.
The liquid in the patch is viscous (thick), and has a very distinct odor to it.
If it leaks a small amount, you would notice it by feeling a small amount of 'wet' around the area of the patch. If you tape it, you may not feel this, BUT, the odor is unmistakable and you would smell it. I would advise putting these patches on in the morning, so that if there is a serious enough defect that the entire contents are released, you would have a good chance of feeling or smelling it... then remove it and call your pharmacist. He needs to deal with the manufacturer. He also needs to get you a different makers patch... you can't just stop abrubtly with these. If he hassles you be insistent, talk to his boss, whatever you need to do.
Usually, these patches are fine and effective. Just wanted you to know about that one thing,
Hi Tuscaloosy, I read what Neison wrote, and she's right about them leaking, but to my knowledge only the Brand Name Duragesic is still making them with the "pouch" of medication. If you are getting the generic, like we are because of cost, then you will be getting the new ones, they are completely flat, there is no pouch of medication any more. Somehow they figured out a way to make them flat, and believe it or not, they can be cut in half now, only why you would want to do that I don't know... They look a lot like the "hormone patches" they make. My husband and I don't think these new ones last the whole 72 hours like the old ones did, but atleast this way you don't need to worry about getting an overdose by them leaking. Good Luck
One thing to look out for is that your patch may wear off sooner than 72 hours. I am one for whom it does- so I change mine every two days. If you start to feel achy, etc. before the 72 hours, tell your doctor.
I also make sure my skin is clean, dry, and oil free. When you apply the patch, you press it against your skin with the palm of your hand for a minute or so to warm it ad make sure it is attached.
I was told never to use regular tape, that you need to use tagaderm patches or the like so that the air flows through and keeps the medication moving in to the skin properly. I use one if my patch starts to look loose on the edges as I swim five days a week and don't want to lose it in the water.
I used to wake up in awful pain, and now it is much better since the patch releases 24/7/ I myself have kept to a very low dose as I would rather control the extra meds I take above low level pain control.
I am very new to the fentanyl patch and I'm a little concerned. I was on oxycontin 30mg time released and I had been taking oxycontin 15mg for breakthrough. Today I was put on fentanyl patches 100mcg. What can I expect from this patch do they work should I be concerned about addiction? About the only thing I was told other than how they work is to guard these patches because there a highly sought after drug can anyone answer this for me. Thank you in advance
I hope someone answered your question and you are doing well on the fentanyl patch. Personally, what works for me is setting a schedule on my calendar to make sure I change my patch on time. If i am even an hour late, and not realizing it, my body notices. My doctor also prescribed a pill to take for breakthrough pain. It is important to remember that pain is like a fire, take it at the first sign of discomfort otherwise you are faced with a full on forest fire you are unable to control. I find that meds take the edge off the worst pain but my belief is the need to feel a little bit so that i don't overdo and continue re-injuring myself. Yes I am a control freak! LOL, but I have enough ruptured disc in my spine to learn my lessons the hard way. Hope this helps everyone.
Old post but a patch takes 12-18 hours to build up an effective dose in your bloodstream so when you do put a new patch on, make sure you keep the old one on for at least another day. As for keeping it on CVS and Walgreens sells an absolute waterproof tape thatll keep it on even if your are going swimming.
- Fentanyl Information for Consumers
- Fentanyl Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Fentanyl (detailed)
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