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Tired, increased pain after ACDF surgery, irritable and diarrhea. Due to stopping Norspan patch?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 983 Questions

I had three level ACDF surgery - C4-5 , C5-6 and C6-7 in Nov, 2011. Was on codeine for Pain till Feb, 2012 , then was put on Norspan 5mg patches. My GP stopped these patches last Friday at the advice of my Neurosurgeon. Still on Lyrica , paracetamol , Lexapro. Have been having codeine again for pain, but I feel that the Norspan was more effective actually.

I feel terrible, very tired , pain has increased , agitated , irritable, not sleeping , diahreaoa etc ... are these symptoms related to stopping the Norspan patch late last week ( 4 days ago ) ? Thanks .. I am 51 , female , ACDF was neccessary after a fall / trauma.
Posted Mon, 10 Sep 2012 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 2 hours later
Thanks for writing in.
The symptoms that you are experiencing could very well be due to stopping the Norspan patch. Norspan contains buprenorphine which is actually an opioid. Since you took this drug for almost 10 months, This can lead to a condition called physical dependence where the body becomes used to the drug. However, since this is a shorter acting drug, the symptoms should get better a lot faster. They would usually peak in the 1st 2-5 days and get a lot better on their own. Only some symptoms would last more than a week.
If the symptoms get worse over the next few days, please see your GP. We may need to taper off the drug more slowly. Else you can be rest assured that it will get better on its own.
Hope that helps
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