i have post surgical lower back pain. was in 50 mcg patch and had side effects and so decided to wean off. i finished with the 12 mcg patch a week ago and am still suffering from periodic nausea, irritability, daily joint and muscle pain, but the worst is the consistent restless legs. it is driving me crazy. my doctor says that is not withdrawal. is he right? i don't think so. if it is withdrawal, what can i do about it and how long will it last? i am going crazy.
Of course it can be from the withdrawal, your doctor might be surprised if he talked to some former addicts and learned the various things they suffered, when withdrawing from their drug of choice and you don't have to be abusing a medication for such things to happen.
Fentanyl is a very strong opiate, so it isn't unusual to experience odd withdrawal effects, even with a careful taper.
When I stopped Morphine and Oxycodone cold turkey, it took about a month for all of the withdrawal effects to finally wear off. However, the good news is that it did get a little better each day and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to stick it out and be a little stubborn.
I found that sleeping on the couch, or a recliner, where I could prop my arms and legs up in different positions really helped, as did taking some nice hot soaks in the tub.
How are you doing? Is it still driving you crazy?
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Elizabeth Briggs Says:
Mirapex is the best for restless legs. I take .75 mg, but you can start much lower.
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Father Desperate for a normal life Says:
I know its been a few months since you put up this question, but I only found this site tonight while searching the net to be sure the way I was weaning myself off Fentanyl patches wasn't going to kill me, lol...
First, I hope and pray that you have either safely gotten off the drug, or if your still getting off it, that you are having an easier time now than when you posted your question. Second, Yes both the nausea and the "Restless Legs" can and most likely are W/D symptoms. They will get easier and eventually go away, but that can take up to a few months. All I can say is that I wish you the best of luck and if theres anything I can help answer for you, I'll be happy to, b/c I'm going thru that again myself for the second time because of Cancer and other illness.
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Jules getting off the opiates Says:
Re: wd from fentanyl... father desperate for normal life.... I'm so sorry to hear about your health issues on top of wd. I'm tapering down from 50mg to 25mg ((started last Tuesday... one heck of a nasty thanksgiving)) I was hoping because I've only been on them for 3 months that I wouldn't experience a lot.. wrong!! I also cold turkied myself off oxycodone 30mg (9/day at one time) and 3x15 mg/day when starting the patch. I am just sick of all the crap and feeling like a crack head. So it took a rough 2 wks til the wds were over and felt great at 3 wks. Then I went to a recovery/ out patient center the next week and started the taper down. I'm experiencing reAlly weird symptoms ((which compared to you I feel horrible even complaing)) I go in tomorrow for IV therapy to detox my body, I've heard great thingsso I remain hopeful :) my biggest complaint is the anxiety/nervousness/restless feeling. Did you have that?? How long did it take to taper off the first time?? Prayers to you and for an easy recovery.
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Yes, restless legs, chills, hot flashes, yawning, vomitting, terrible anxiety, muscle pain, stomach cramps, headache are all part of withdrawl from fentanyl. Make sure someone knows whats going on, someone you can call for help and support and possibly a ride to ER if necessary. You need some Pediolyte to replace your electrolytes if you vomit alot. Low electrolytes can cause cardiac distress. This is very very serious stuff. You really need benzo's, another opiod in your system or suboxone to help you through this or you may end up putting patch back on if things get really bad. Lots of luck. Meg
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What is the best way to taper off of Fentanyl patches? They work really well, but keep falling off of me. And they make me sweat and flush, terribly.
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I am going through the EXACT same thing. Been weaned down from 75 to 50 and now on the 25 and my restless legs are driving me nuts! Can't sleep, can't get off my butt to do anything and am even suffering from depression. The pain is easier to deal with than the withdrawals, don't wish it on my worse enemy. HELP!!
I've decided to ask my doctor about Methadone, any suggestions with respect to the methadone use?
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Beverley W. Says:
I've been on fentanyl over 3 years now due to a serve motorbike accident and wrecking my knee. On waiting list for full knee replacement. I'm on 50 mcg an hour and is having these symptoms. The night sweats, the restless legs, my whole body feels like a tightly coiled spring. The shakes and cramps. Headaches no energy. If I'd of known this I'd of never of started the bloody thing. Hot baths do ease the restless leg but for only a short period of time. The lack of sleep is doing my nut in. Doc prescribed me amitriptyline 10mg x2 daily. They not doing s*** in helping me sleep. Agree wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. I'm constantly having this craving feeling too and it's getting worse :-(. Thought drugs where to make us happy, not end up wanting to chop legs off and smack my head with a hammer to knock myself out.
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Re: Beverly. You do not say whether you have gone off the fentanyl patch and are having these symptoms from withdrawal, but I am assuming you are.
Amitriptyline is an antidepressant. Your doctor probably prescribed it because 1) depression is a common side effect of opiod withdrawal 2) antidepressants relieve pain in about 10% of chronic pain patients and 3) a side effect is drowsiness which may help you get to sleep (as will the pain relief it gives, if any). Like you, amitriptyline failed to help me sleep or relieve my chronic pain. The prescription sleep aid zolpiderm (Ambien) helped me sleep the first two weeks I went off the fentanyl patch. After that I use it occasionally as needed. I am still ripped out of sleep by pain each time I wake, but at least I sleep... the complete lack of which is extremely dangerous.
Re: restless leg syndrome during withdrawal. Valium (a skeletal muscle relaxant) dramatically reduced restless leg for me. I used it each night for the first two weeks of withdrawal, but haven't needed it since.
Re: withdrawal strategy. The only benefit I have as a decades-long chronic pain patient on opiod therapy is that I have been through withdrawal several times and know my major symptoms are 1) zero sleep and 2) restless legs... so I get Ambien and Valium to relieve them. Hot baths of at least one hour also help relieve restless leg and chills/hot flashes. There's nothing I can do to relieve the flu-like symptoms--I simply endure them. Like the flu, they tend to last about two weeks.
Depression has never been a withdrawal issue for me. If it is for you, get your doc to try different antidepressants until you find one that works best.
Best wishes on your knee replacement and a return to normal life.
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amanda in pain Says:
I'm 32 and have been on fentanyl patches for 5 yrs. for chronic pancreatitis. I was on 100 mcg/72 hrs. I am a married, stay at home mom of 2 boys. Recently my insurance provider dropped me (long story, but not my fault). I can not afford to buy my meds now. I currently cant even afford to pay for a office visit! I am now out of my meds and am going through hell!!! The withdrawls are too much for me! I tried going to the hospital for help, not for any pain meds, just help going through this. They would only tell me to get suboxone. Not so easy! Its extremely expensive! Not an option for me unfortunately. Ive tried clonidine and ativan but it doesn't help. I cant eat, sleep, get comfortable, stop moving and cramping..... I dont know what to do anymore! I feel currently like a horrible mom and wife because I cant move from my bed. I have zero energy. I dont think I can stand going through this anymore. I feel like the system wants me to fail and thats where I feel I'm heading. I hate what this is doing to me physically and emotionally.
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Restless legs where they go up and down g or no reason is definately a sign of severe fentynal withdrawl. I went through it. The I asked my pain management doctor for methadone. I took 5 pills a day each time I went down a level. It was a breeze no withdrawl symptoms. I had to wait 2 weeks total before going to the next lower amt. But I only took the methadone for five days each time. Another time I used ativan, 10 pills a day for five days. It worked OK but the methadone was great. Ask your dr for 25 pills for each level you have to go down. Good Luck.
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I feel for you. I am also a mother, and went through severe withdrawl. I couldnt have done it at home though. I was blessed enough to have my daughter be able to stay with her father while I checked in to the local detox centre for 2 weeks. My severe wd only lasted a couple days, but.I was just exhausted. I stayed until I could eat, and gained my strength and energy back, so my daughter didn't have to see me looking like crap lol
I pray that all of you who are trying to wean yourselves off of the Fentanyl patch will have the courage, and that is what it takes, to follow through. I just went from 50 to 25 to 12 over the course of two months. I experienced ALL of the withdrawal symptoms that you have described. Be of good heart and courage and prayer, especially during those times of depression when it is the most difficult. YOU WILL MAKE IT AND YOU WILL BE BETTER. THE MORE MEDS WE CAN DO WITHOUT THE BETTER. I know, I know, easy to say, hard to do. I've taken them all for acute fibromyalgia pain. Bless you. A retired university professor of 73yrs.......
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I am so sorry for u. I am longterm on fentanyl patches 50. , but unwell last day and a half. I remember seeing a used patch on the bathroom floor and said to myself to b more careful changing.i realised it was like wd, as a few years ago was vomiting and got wd then too. It is frightening.
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slow one Says:
I've been reading all of your withdrawls and thank god didn't have to go through wd for some unknown reason I was on 100mcg fentynal and when I had to move out of state my doc gave me 2 month supply but found it difficult at first to find a new pain doctor so I feared the worst wd but believe it or not my wd were hardly as bad as a minor cold didn't understand but it took me 5 months to find a new doc and got repriscribed so i ask the doc about why I had no we he said it was because fentyal has a long half life so it gradually weened me off itself I kid you not sorry for all of you going through wd I know what its like I had to go through wd when I came off of oxy's 80 mg 4 a day good luck
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You need to come down slower. It takes like six months to wean. Get Mylan brand. This brand does not have the gel inside. By the way the restless legs are withdrawals. Get another doctor.
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Dang, I've been on Fentanyl for a few years now because of intractable neuropathy. I may be on it for the rest of my life. I vary from 100 mcg/hr down to 50 and even 25 depending on how badly the burning is. Neuropathy in the feet is exactly like walking on white hot shards of broken glass even though the feet are numb. Yeah. Numb and PAIN. It does zilch for skeletal/muscle pain; I take White Willow Bark for that. If things get too painful, I take prescription strength naproxen. I try not to take it, however, because I'm also on gabapentin.
I'm trying to replace Fentanyl with the gabapentin, but I'm a very colorful woman...I'm yellow, the color of my religion...I'm a devout COWARD! Orthodox, of course. The reason for my angst is that I have withdrawn from Morphine cold turkey. NEVER AGAIN!
One of the things that I have used with some success; however the pain always takes over and I've got to get back into a trance state. Tonight, however, I broke a 56 year record and had my first car accident. I backed up into another vehicle because I didn't see his headlights. My '98 Ford van had NO damage. The brand new 2014 Ford F-150's front bumper was dented in. I tell you this only because even though I was going very slow, I still had a whiplash...just what I did NOT need.
Take care y'all, hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.
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hi Guy's, Im 54 had a broken rotator cuff for the past four years and have been a habitual user of Fentynal 50s 25s and 12s, along with Oxcycontin 20s 30s. The pain went away however I was a bad boy and lied to my Doctor telling him the pain was still there to get these drugs. I was hooked and he became my drug dealer. Of course after being on opiates for so long it started to take its toll , short term memory loss , forgetfulness , generally living in a fairy dairy land and not having much recollection of the past four years which is sad. I new it had to stop so I fessed up to my doctor and he put me on CLONDINE which is a high blood pressure reduction drug however it helped mask some of the terrible withdrawals I was experiencing (Hell) . For the kicking of the feet and that awful head feeling in bed I found using a hypnoticsleeping pill got rid of it 100% ( Not Stynox ). Its been my 5th day of cold turkey, Diarrhoea is reducing, so is the sneezing . The withdraws are hell however by using what I have from my Doctor has made things a lot easier, especially the sleeping tablets for the kick feet.
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I just turned 60 and have a lot of back pain and hip pain which is referred pain from back they say. Also arthritis in knees,etc. Over the past 10 years I've worked up to a 240+ mg dependency on Oxycodone. Was taking at least 8 30 mgs oxy per day. So, my doctor got called on the carpet for over prescribing to his patients and decided it was time to retire. He started taking me down fast. Every week I went down 30 mg until I reached 3 per day. I had an appointment for a pain clinic or he would have kept going and it was too fast for me and I was struggling and did have some bad days for sure. Been at the pain clinic for a couple of months now and they put me on 3 per day of the time release Morphine pills. They wanted me off any instant release meds I guess. I was struggling to keep within the prescribed amount and running low when time for my next prescription so he switched me about 3 weeks ago to Fentanyl 50 mcg patches. It's a big switch not feeling like you have any control of when you take something for pain and you certainly don't get any of the feelings you get from the pills, but I thought fine they seem to help the pain and it will stop me from taking an extra pill when I am in pain or my brain just tells me to from past habits maybe. Problem is sometimes they seem fine and then the next time I feel like I have withdrawal feelings by the 3rd day. I think that problem is getting worse each patch I use. I get hot flashes where I just break out in a sweat and I wondered if that might make it worse. Also, when I take the patch off it is usually wet underneath. Is it me and my system most likely or are these patches at once every 3 days just not going to work for me. I have read where others have said there doctor lets them change every 48 hrs because of this problem. Also everything I am reading on here makes me wonder if these patches will be harder to get off of than pills if that is the end goal the doctor has in mind for me, which I think it is.