Re: Morphine Sulfate ER to Fentanyl Patch?Should I?
Hello and welcome! I don't have any experience with the Morphine Sulfate ER, but do with the patch. I also have experience with Oxycontin, which is also 12 hour. However, many OC patients will agree that for the most part, the pill doesn't last 12 hours. Some say, it only goes for about 8. I suspect the same goes for the Morphine pill, but can't say for sure.
The patch is labeled for every 72 hours, but most patients change it every 48, especially if you are active. It was originally developed for cancer patients at end of life and those who were pretty much bed ridden. So, they didn't metabolize very fast. The medicine's paper insert even says that some patients may need every 48 hours. Those on every 72 report than each day three isn't a very good one.
I like the patch because it gives constant, even distribution of medicine around the clock 24/7. Also, it is fentanyl which seems to work well for those in chronic pain. The downsides are: it's a patch and therefore can itch a little, and you've got to wear it somewhere on your body which others may or may not see. It's best to rotate it around and sometimes the old glue can be a little hard to get off. Both are not big deals, but more of an annoyance.
When on the patch, you are not to take hot baths, use electric blankets (on the patch), hot tubs, & etc. Excess heat can cause the patch to release more med than normal. You probably won't OD, but instead, run out of med early. A high fever also causes the same effect, so you've got to keep all of that in mind. It's very impt to call your Doc if you develop a high fever. I find the patch much tougher in the warmer months, especially summer because I like to walk outside, play with my kids and I'll sweat quite a bit and a patch in general gets annoying then. The final downside of any patch is that it's a one and done thing...you can't move it around or re-apply it. You may want to ask the Doc for 1-2 (not every month, but total) extra just in case something funky happens. For example, if you get one that doesn't have good glue, happens to fall off, or whatever, you've lost 2-3 days of medicine. I don't want to scare you, but instead give you a heads up so you'll know to be very careful applying them. They generally stick very, very well so falling off isn't an issue, but you never know, especially if you shower alot or sweat.
I rotate back and forth between OC and the patch. OC during the late spring to early fall and patch from late fall to early spring.
Hope this helps.