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What are the Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms?

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Posted on Fri, 4 Dec 2015
Question: Hi, I have just begun to get weaned off oF the pain pump with hydromorphone onto the fentanyl patch, in two weeks they will be taking the pump away and I have to up the dosage from 100ml to 125ml. I have read many nightmare accounts of fentanyl withdrawal and it is terrifying me. Does everyone get this kind of withdrawal and how long usually would it take to wean I off of the fentanyl patches?
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Answered by Dr. Matt Wachsman (39 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
most don't

Detailed Answer:
and it depends entirely on quite a lot of other situations. In the context of terminal cancer, typical treatment would be both a long acting agent such as fentanyl and ultra short acting narcotics such as liquid morphine. What would not be typical at all would be to decrease narcotics in the context of severe cancer pain.
Often, other medications to reduce anxiety and/or decrease side effects of narcotics would be used in combination such as benzodiazepines and/or phenothiazines. These are frankly dangerous to use with narcotics; in a terminal illness/hospice context this would not be the priority as much as "comfort measures".

In an addiction setting the context would be totally opposite.

In a chronic pain context, the main thing would be to increase ability to move. This would involve narcotics, physical therapy, and quite a lot of other modalities.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Matt Wachsman

Addiction Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1985

Answered : 4182 Questions

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What are the Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms?

Brief Answer: most don't Detailed Answer: and it depends entirely on quite a lot of other situations. In the context of terminal cancer, typical treatment would be both a long acting agent such as fentanyl and ultra short acting narcotics such as liquid morphine. What would not be typical at all would be to decrease narcotics in the context of severe cancer pain. Often, other medications to reduce anxiety and/or decrease side effects of narcotics would be used in combination such as benzodiazepines and/or phenothiazines. These are frankly dangerous to use with narcotics; in a terminal illness/hospice context this would not be the priority as much as "comfort measures". In an addiction setting the context would be totally opposite. In a chronic pain context, the main thing would be to increase ability to move. This would involve narcotics, physical therapy, and quite a lot of other modalities.