Quick summary of my experience(s) with the Fentanyl Patch: 1st experience
: duration of 3 weeks 12mcg fentanyl patch
to be replaced every 72 hours. pros
- it was the first time in years i had ever experienced such a comprehensive sense of pain relief, i thought it was too good to be true. it was.
- prior to using the fentanyl patch, i tried out the butrans patch (20mcg), which turned out to be a joke. the size of the butrans patch resembled the size of a plain index card, it was huge. i am very petite, so trying to find areas of my body to put new butrans patches got old quickly. i had to use 4 large tegaderm strips to cover the whole thing. anyway, the fentanyl patches (or the 12mcg patch at least) is no bigger than the upper portion of your pinky finger. it's clear, the directions don't freak you out if you put a patch on a recently used site, and it's less bothersome.
- fentanyl patches are cheaper than butrans patches (and did i mention smaller?) cons
- the first day i put the patch on, it felt like i had been shot with an elephant tranquilizer! i literally fell asleep while studying sitting in an upright position. i have never experienced such drowsiness on this medication than i have on many others. perhaps it's my body mass, but within the first 5-6 hours, i can feel it. i know it doesn't reach plasma level for 12-18 hours, but i know my body well and it's not a psychosomatic/placebo effect type deal. due to this, i make sure to put in on a few hours before bed.
- in addition to drowsiness, i experience a significant decrease in motivation to work. i'm in school and if i'm not eating, sleeping, or showering, chances are..i have my head in my book or laptop. it makes me feel dumb and less sharp, which was the reason why i stopped using them the first time. 2nd experience
(2 weeks after first experience) duration:
a little over 1 week 6mcg fentanyl patch
to be replaced every other day pros
- size of patch; clear surface (relatively unnoticeable, even with tegaderm)
- my skin is less irritated from the fentanyl patch opposed to the butrans patch, which turned my skin bright red and left marks for days at a time. cons
- even at 6mcg, i still get drowsy!
- barely any pain relief
- patch DOES NOT stay on - you must use a tegaderm (sp?) cover/protectant before engaging in *any* activity! otherwise, it won't stay on.
hope this helps! please keep us updated!