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Old 10-07-2007, 08:50 AM   #1
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Managing pain with patches

I abused pain meds for a lot of years and stopped using them 3 years ago due to the addiction I had. No one has ever tried to sit down with me and just lay out a plan that would help with my pain. Therefore I started taking pain pills

I would have to take two instead of one, and after a while 3 instead of two and so forth. I became a doctor shopper and my family was ready to disown me if I didn't stop. I finally stopped after many tries and my husband took me back after leaving me because of this and many other things. I have almost ruined my relationship with my son and daughter over it.

Now I am in an awful lot of pain. I have arthritis up and down my spine, in my neck, shoulders and hands ache constantly. Since I stopped taking them I had cancer surgery on my mouth. I only took tylenol or aleve and I got through it. Only because my family was there telling me I could not take anything stronger. Then I had to have a lobectomy: VATS and they had me on a morphine drip that made me deathly ill. They sent me home with percocets and said 1-2 pills every four hours. I only took one once in a while when I really needed it. My husband has locked the pills up. I understand that my family is very concerned that I will start taking them on a regular basis. I had a bone scan and I have arthritis all over my body and days where I just don't want to get up. I was told by my GP that I needed something because my quality of life was poor. She wanted me to go to a pain clinic. This doctor was one of the doctors that helped me through my withdrawal from pain meds. Of course my family told me not to go.

I got my first little ray of hope when I was reading this forum and there was a patch that would help with the pain. I'm thinking that would be a way to control the pain without abusing them again. My husband could give me one a day and lock up the rest. Has anyone ever done this before? I really don't have a lot of years to live as I have numerous illnesses and I don't want to spend the remaining time I have in pain. I know I did this to myself and have no one else to blame.

I would appreciate any help I can get. If anyone has started on the patch that has had an addiction to pain meds I would like to know how they did it.

Thanks,
Linda

 
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:04 AM   #2
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whitfield HB User
Re: Managing pain with patches

Hi Linda--Are you talking about the Duragesic Patches? I think you may be--They last for 3 days (72 hours)--or are supposed to--Some get them prescribed for change every 2 days, but I do not--I also get percocet for breakthrough pain. I have never had an addiction problem so can't really relate--But, I have heard that some doc's prefer the patch because it is difficult to abuse--I would not know how to anyway except use too many maybe? If husband kept all the rest that would not be an issue--Good Luck--Roger

 
Old 10-07-2007, 09:19 AM   #3
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Re: Managing pain with patches

Thank you very much for getting back to me so soon. I appreciate your advice! Maybe there is hope out there for a pain free life! Thanks,

 
Old 10-07-2007, 10:25 AM   #4
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Re: Managing pain with patches

Linda my story is very much like yours.The patches do work BUT there is also the potential for ABUSE.

I know this 1st hand because i did ABUSE them and as you can guess NOTHING good came from that.

Just be carefull and honest w/evryone, also if u do use them have some one
hold them an dispense to you as per the DOCS orders.


GOOD LUCK ! Acaptainn

 
Old 10-07-2007, 12:50 PM   #5
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Re: Managing pain with patches

Quote:
Originally Posted by acaptainn View Post
Linda my story is very much like yours.The patches do work BUT there is also the potential for ABUSE.

I know this 1st hand because i did ABUSE them and as you can guess NOTHING good came from that.

Just be carefull and honest w/evryone, also if u do use them have some one
hold them an dispense to you as per the DOCS orders.


GOOD LUCK ! Acaptainn
My husband has a lock box. I don't think he will let me anyways. Sometimes it makes me so mad to think they would rather see me in pain than get some help somewheres. I do believe it will all work out in the end. Thanks for the heads up with the abuse issue.

Linda

 
Old 10-07-2007, 02:19 PM   #6
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Re: Managing pain with patches

I think that sounds like a good idea. You deserve pain control. I am hearing desperation in your voice...you did not say it, but it sounds like you may be having thoughts of "ending it." I hope I am wrong about that.

It sounds like you have found a good doctor. I hope that he will be an advocate for you when talking to your family.

Many years ago, I was a heroin addict -- a really bad case. Now, over 10 years later, I am very responsible at handling my pain meds. Part of that is because my dose is adequate. When I was being seriously UNDER-medicated, well then I would take more than prescribed. This is called pseudo-addiction, and stems from un/under-treated pain, not from addiction.

I have been on several long-acting meds, but the side effects would develop and then I would try something else. Right now I am on methadone prescribed by my pain doctor. Methadone can be an excellent med for someone that has chronic pain with co-occuring addiction problems or a history of addiction. I think the patch (Duragesic) can also work well in this situation.

I have an online friend who used to abuse pain pills. Then she got on methadone for addiction. She successfully tapered off methadone over a 10 year period. But then she found out she had fibromyalgia and she needed something for pain. Her doctor prescribed the Duragesic patch. She goes to the pharmacy every other day and they change the patch for her. This is in Canada where pharmacies are more willing to do that.

I think if your doctor will work with you, you can get the pain relief you need. A lot of the non-narcotic pain meds have serious side effects and can cause long-term organ damage. In that way, opioids are very harmless and non-toxic to the body. Opioids are very safely taken long-term, as long as the dose is titrated properly and the patient does not take more than prescribed.

There is more and more being written by experts about how addicts and former addicts are deserving of pain control. Maybe your doctor will talk to your family on your behalf. Maybe they would listen to an expert. It is too bad, but it sounds like they won't listen to you because they think you are an addict who is just lying to get drugs. They would be more likely to listen to a professional, to someone they think is being objective.

The patch and methadone have a slow method of action in the body. They maintain even levels, so there is no "high" and "low" like with short-acting drugs. Since they don't produce a reward (a high) they are safer for addicts to take...as long as they are taken as prescribed and not abused. In this way, the patch can be abused and released all at once, but this is very dangerous. Methadone is naturally long-acting, so it cannot really be abused in this way. But one can take a higher dose of methadone in order to "feel something" but this is also VERY dangerous and this is what leads to the methadone deaths that we hear about...that and combining methadone with other substance, such as benzos, which should be avoided except under the supervision of a knowledgeable doctor.

-Wren

 
Old 10-08-2007, 04:28 PM   #7
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Re: Managing pain with patches

Quote:
Originally Posted by linda71 View Post
I would appreciate any help I can get. If anyone has started on the patch that has had an addiction to pain meds I would like to know how they did it.

Thanks,
Linda

Linda,
I believe that I responded to one of your other posts. I am a recovering addict and just recently started on the fentanyl patch. I do realize that I need to be careful even though they are hard to abuse. I have my girlfriend keep an eye on me. I write down the date (when I put a patch on)on the back of the box. She has a pretty good idea of when I change my patches (every 3 days) and she can look at the date that I write down as well. I also take the remaining patches in to my doctor's appt in case he want to see how many I have left. I am grateful that a doctor was finally willing to help me try to get my pain levels down. If you do get on the patch have your husband help you change them, write the date down, and then have him lock up the remaining patches. I hope you get the relief that you deserve.

Brian

 
Old 10-09-2007, 03:30 PM   #8
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Re: Managing pain with patches

Brian, yes you did respond to me, and I appreciate what you told me. That is what led me to posting my thread Managing pain with patches. Both you and Wren have very good ideas. I believe if they talked with my doctor they might see that this could work. If my husband put the patch on himself and took them with him to work or lock them in the box and take key, they might have peace of mind. Yes, there are so many days I feel it's just not worth it. I have even heard my daughter say that she can't imagine having the arthritis through out the body. She has knee problems. But she is the one that freaks out the most if I even mention it. I think what I am going to do, and tell me if you think this is wrong, but I am going to print what you both said and maybe that will have an impact. I know pain medication can be dangerous and so can too much tylenol and/or moltrin. The methadone I have absolutely no experience with at all. Does that relieve pain too?

Brian you said you have your girlfriend put the patch on every three days? Do they last that long? Why do you bring the remaining patches you have to the doctor with you? These probably seem like stupid questions but I really have no experience, and I thought I had experienced everything, with the patch. Do they come in different strengths? Do they come off when showering? Do you put the patch where you are having the most pain? Anything you can tell me about them I would appreciate.

Thank you so much for getting back to me. It helps knowing there is someone that actually has gone through what I am going through and cares.



Linda

 
Old 10-09-2007, 05:42 PM   #9
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Re: Managing pain with patches

Brian you said you have your girlfriend put the patch on every three days? Do they last that long? Why do you bring the remaining patches you have to the doctor with you? These probably seem like stupid questions but I really have no experience, and I thought I had experienced everything, with the patch. Do they come in different strengths? Do they come off when showering? Do you put the patch where you are having the most pain? Anything you can tell me about them I would appreciate.

Linda,
I will try to answer all of your questions. First of all, yes you can print out the messages on this board and take them with you to the doctor. At least that will give your doc additional information and that it is possible to treat pain effectively even for a recovering addict if careful

The patch is supposed to last 72 hours although some people change them every 48 hours because they lose their effectiveness on the the 3rd day. I bring the remaining patches to my doctors appt so he can see how many I have left and that I am not using too many (abusing). The patch does come in different strengths and it has to be increased slowly until the pain is controlled. It comes in 12.5mcg, 25mcg, 50mcg, 75mcg, and 100mcg. Most docs start it out at 25mcg but if that is too strong then the 12.5mcg patch can be used. I had a problem with them coming off until I bought something called a Tegaderm dressing which is like a clear band-aid that goes over the patch (keeps water off and helps it to stay on). You apply them usually to the upper arm, chest, or back. The medicine is absorbed through your skin and into your body. You don't put the patch on over where you have the pain. It is similar to a nicotine patch where the nicotine is absorbed into your body except this has a strong pain medicine called fentanyl which is absorbed slowly (therefore a constant dose of fentanyl is in your body which controls pain better and does not have the up and down effect like other pain medications like vicodin or percocet.) If used properly the patch should NOT give you a "high" feeling or set off your addiction. Hope this helps and if you have any more questions feel free to ask.

Brian

 
Old 10-09-2007, 07:31 PM   #10
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whosit HB User
Re: Managing pain with patches

From what I gather the patch (duragesic) is supposed to last for 3 days but alot of ppl here will tell you that they only last for 2 and the the 3rd days they are using BT meds to control the pain. As far as abuse goes every pain med can be abused and from what I have seen rfom friends and family members where there is a will there is a way. meaning if you want to abuse a med you will find a way to do it wether it is a patch or not. my only suggestion is to have someone put them in a lock box that only they have the key(and WILL NOT lose it or you will be in trouble) and that you trust well like a spouse or so and have them give them to you as per the docs orders. they may not like the idea but usually after a long talk with them they will find that you are only trying to help them and give in. Also make sure that the person you select is trustworthy and has not abused meds in the past or is even tempted to try them. I have not ever abused my meds or never intend to do so so i dont have any personal experience with this but it seems like a good idea to try out. i cant say it will work or not though and it may not be the right thing for you to do but it is my only suggestion at the moment. I all else fails then you need to see your doctor and have him refer you to a addiction specialist if warranted(not saying your an addict but if it does get that bad then seek help). i hope i didnt offend you and I helped you...keep us updated on what happens though!


whosit

 
Old 10-09-2007, 10:56 PM   #11
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conductor HB User
Re: Managing pain with patches

Dear Whosit,

I have Systemic Lupus and the Lupus Anticoagulant--so I know what it's like having pain throughout my body.

Furthermore, I have used the Duragesic patch (the Sandoz generic, not--by any means--the Mylan generic) for over 10 years. I've been on the same dosage (75 mcg) since 1998 (or so). I also use Actiq 800 mcg, which contains the same active ingredient (fentanyl) as Duragesic. This is a "lozenge" (translated as "lollipop") used for breakthrough pain. Both of these medications have treated me very well. I should warn you, however. These meds can be very expensive. Both the Duragesic and Actiq are available generically! Fentanyl is the most potent opiate available, from what I understand. So, be careful concerning its usage--that lockbox sounds like a good idea!

I change my patch every 48 hours (2 days) and receive excellent relief. Don't get me wrong...I will always be aware of the pain I have, but this combination seems to do the trick for me. There are other meds I use for different pain-related problems--like Dilaudid and Fioricet. By the way, I use Tegretol 200 mg 3 times a day and Elavil 50 mg at bed time. These medications help the whole pain syndrome significantly, and perhaps you should discuss this with your physician. Also, be completely candid about your past history of "abuse". Being honest with a doctor is the BEST way to go!!!

I would be glad to discuss anything else concerning this difficulty you are forced to endure!

BY THE WAY...THERE HAVE BEEN SOME EXCELLENT SUGGESTIONS in this post!! Linda71, Wren9, and Brianpain33 have all offered excellent/superior ideas and suggestions.

Take care,
Jon (Conductor)

P.S. Many of you may remember me because I used to post a great deal on this board. However, on June 1, 2007 I fell and cracked my skull. I was in the hospital for 13 days. This is the first post I have been able to complete since that accident. BLUNTLY...I'M OUTRIGHT AFRAID TO CHECK THE ACCUMULATION OF MY E-MAIL!! For some reason, I have retained my pickiness concerning writing/grammar!! Since I just said that, I assume that this post will be filled with errors. Please know that I'm kidding. I AM THRILLED TO BE BACK, AND I HOPE THAT HELPING ON THIS PAIN BOARD WILL BE PART OF MY HEALING PROCESS!!!!! Again, I'm glad to be back, my friends!

 
Old 10-10-2007, 04:46 AM   #12
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whosit HB User
Re: Managing pain with patches

Quote:
Originally Posted by conductor View Post
Dear Whosit,

I have Systemic Lupus and the Lupus Anticoagulant--so I know what it's like having pain throughout my body.

Furthermore, I have used the Duragesic patch (the Sandoz generic, not--by any means--the Mylan generic) for over 10 years. I've been on the same dosage (75 mcg) since 1998 (or so). I also use Actiq 800 mcg, which contains the same active ingredient (fentanyl) as Duragesic. This is a "lozenge" (translated as "lollipop") used for breakthrough pain. Both of these medications have treated me very well. I should warn you, however. These meds can be very expensive. Both the Duragesic and Actiq are available generically! Fentanyl is the most potent opiate available, from what I understand. So, be careful concerning its usage--that lockbox sounds like a good idea!

I change my patch every 48 hours (2 days) and receive excellent relief. Don't get me wrong...I will always be aware of the pain I have, but this combination seems to do the trick for me. There are other meds I use for different pain-related problems--like Dilaudid and Fioricet. By the way, I use Tegretol 200 mg 3 times a day and Elavil 50 mg at bed time. These medications help the whole pain syndrome significantly, and perhaps you should discuss this with your physician. Also, be completely candid about your past history of "abuse". Being honest with a doctor is the BEST way to go!!!

I would be glad to discuss anything else concerning this difficulty you are forced to endure!

BY THE WAY...THERE HAVE BEEN SOME EXCELLENT SUGGESTIONS in this post!! Linda71, Wren9, and Brianpain33 have all offered excellent/superior ideas and suggestions.

Take care,
Jon (Conductor)

P.S. Many of you may remember me because I used to post a great deal on this board. However, on June 1, 2007 I fell and cracked my skull. I was in the hospital for 13 days. This is the first post I have been able to complete since that accident. BLUNTLY...I'M OUTRIGHT AFRAID TO CHECK THE ACCUMULATION OF MY E-MAIL!! For some reason, I have retained my pickiness concerning writing/grammar!! Since I just said that, I assume that this post will be filled with errors. Please know that I'm kidding. I AM THRILLED TO BE BACK, AND I HOPE THAT HELPING ON THIS PAIN BOARD WILL BE PART OF MY HEALING PROCESS!!!!! Again, I'm glad to be back, my friends!



I just wanted to let you know conductor that i was a responder to this post and not the person having the abuse problems. you started your post out as dear whosit so I was under the impression you were talking to me. i am not the one who started this thread or having problems abusing my medications....was only trying to help the person who was. I have never ever abused my meds or ever will. i just wanted to clear that up for everyone reading this thread. No harm done though...your post has alot of useful info in it!

whosit

 
Old 10-10-2007, 02:23 PM   #13
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Re: Managing pain with patches

Conductor(Jon)--Wow, I did wonder where you have been--You did used to post quite often--I should start a new thread to welcome you back, but I did not post much then and that has not changed--Sure hope you are feeling better, but am curious about your fall--what happened? You should start a thread! I posted on this thread earlier as I do use the patch--Sandoz is the only generic I use and suggest to others considering the patch.--Roger

 
Old 10-10-2007, 03:12 PM   #14
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Re: Managing pain with patches

Linda71:
Please keep us posted on what happens when you visit the doctor. You may also try to see an addictionologist (like recommended previously)if you can find one in your area. I went to see one and she recommended the fentanyl patch if all the other meds she suggested failed or did not help enough. Since you did have a problem with opiates in the past, you might also want to check out the medication suboxone. It can be used for opiate addicts, which the addictionologist was going to start me on until she realized it wasn't opiates that I was addicted to. However, there are not a whole lot of doctors that can prescribe/know about the suboxone. Please let us know what happens. I really hope you get some relief. I really understand the difficulty you are going through.

Brian

 
Old 10-11-2007, 06:31 AM   #15
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Re: Managing pain with patches

Thank you all for your responses. Yes, I had/have an addiction to opiates. That is why I am being so careful about what I use for the pain I am in. My doctors know about my addiction. She suggested I either go to pain management or see a rheumatologist.

Conductor I hope you are ok. Whoisit and Brian have been extremely helpful with there support and ideas. Thank you all. I'll let you know how I make out.

Linda

 
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