This is my first post ever in this forum!
I want to help others dealing with withdrawing from Duragesic.
I retired to a town in the RGV of Tx. but lived most of my life in Seattle.
The medical practices in Seattle are much more enlightened and reflect a level of higher trust and education on the part of the p.m. physicians.
During the last 3 years I've gone through breast cancer, subsequent lumpectomy and 6 1/2 weeks of radiation. I tried interferon/ribavirin for my Hep C.
Failed but would have passed with proper blood building of w and r blood cell shots. I also moved 4x.
In Seattle oxycodone/oxycontin were easily RX'd. I appreciated that medication as it doesn't make one sleepy nor cause an unpredictable need for sleep as does Duragesic. Still I had not had done MRI's nor x-rays of the spine. I was still allowed 35 mg. oxycodone a day for pain due to kind physicians.
In Tx. we discovered that I have bulging disks, bone overgrowths, etc. in my back according to x-rays or mri's...I can't remember which one showed the truth about my spine. My hands and arms can go numb. I cannot walk too long w/o p.m. Lower back pain in the morning and mid back pain in the afternoon spreading on the left side.
I was first put on .25mcg. of Duragesic and used the Mylan brand as it was available from both Walgreen's and Walmart.
I also received anti-inflammatory shots in my back. Same dr. rx'd me hydrocodone +APAP. APAP for someone at stage 3 liver fibrosis?
The second p.m. dr. did give an ineffective IV of versed (sp?) instead of rendering his patients unconscious
This may work for others but not on me. They tried three doses on one occasion and all I did was continue to talk.
It did not relax nor prevent the pain of the shots. I finally refused any IV drugs although they kept an IV inserted in case of trouble.
For a spell I tried 50 mcg. as the pain would not diminish, but I'd fall asleep and was unable to even do minimal self maintenance. I'd bathe less frequently and need more shopping help and ignored the state of my home.
I couldn't do common errands as I wouldn't know when I'd feel the need to crash asleep at this increased dosage.
We tried application of ea. 72 hrs. but discovered that 48 was best.
The need for 48 hr. applications may be due to the high temps in the RG Valley.
With the second p.m. dr. I returned to the 25 mcg. patch.
Walmart and Walgreens switched to the Watson (liquid Fentanyl patches) which do NOT deliver a predictable, constant dose. No!
One finds that the need to sleep can have a quick onset worse than the Mylan brand or .50 mcg. dosage.
I found another local druggist which carried Mylan as I prefer a regular, predictable dosage. I switched to that pharmacy.
My dead life on Duragesic on .25mcg. ea. 48 hrs.:
Uncontrolled morning crying
Sleeping too much and too late
No energy to get up early, shower, go shopping, etc.
Much break-through pain
Could not feel joy, etc.
Hired others to help me keep my home clean.
Quitting the patches:
I quit the drug using 20 mg. oxycontin for about 4 days and teensy amounts of oxycodone for break-through pain.
I would take teensy amounts of oxycodone, nibbling on a pill, trying to avoid large doses, during the following days when needed for pain or w/d symptoms.
I commenced a 2 a day Aleve regimen. (But I worry about the OTC NSAID'S.
I always take Aleve with a Cal/Mag supplement to prevent stomach pain, I hope.)
Using drugs to taper off is worthwhile.
I had some sweats and low back ache.
I suffered no nausea which I avoid at all costs. (Try eating an orange for such nausea.)
Oddly, Duragesic helped diminish my hot flashes. and now the frequency of my hot flashes are back. Ugh!
Withdrawal in this manner took about 6+ days
I was using the patches to avoid liver damage and because my back is a mess.
W/O the help of p.m. or things like nasty NSAID's, I will cry when I reach my car after trying to do maintenance grocery shopping due to pain.
You all probably know that concept: "I am unable to complete common, life maintenance tasks, like food shopping, cleaning my residence, driving for more than 10 mins., etc. w/o pain."
I was on Fentanyl for 1 1/2 years.
I would cry several hours on many days.
In retro, IT WAS THE DRUG!
I had assumed that I was sad due to moving
or it was Hep C related depression.
NOPE! Itís the drug and it robbed me of many awake hours, caused depression, and the second p.m. dr. didn't rx. any break-through meds.
Now, everyone thinks oxycontin/oxycodone are terrible, addictive, blah, blah,
but the oxy's don't rob one of energy, do not cause unpredictable episodes of sleep, actually deal with my type of pain in a better manner, and do not contribute to HUGE depression, etc. (at smaller doses, I suppose. I do not know about doses in the 40 mg. range.)
The oxy's have their place as, used properly, offer a life that is awake.
The last 1 1/2 years were stolen from me by Duragesic.
The shots in the back did help.
I also bought an inversion table on which to stretch and relax my spine. That helps also.
I also take Lyrica when I can afford it for hot flashes, fibro, etc.
(There is research on Neurontin for hot flashes. Lyrica is an anolog to Neurontin and I believe helps to ward off hot flashes much better than Neurontin.)
Lyrica can make one tired but I don't notice it at all.
My life is majorly back!
I am getting things done! I have more needed energy to shop rather than do fast grocery shopping.
<Edited: removed reference to doctor complaints and illegal drug acquisition.>