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Hi, I am a fibromyalgia patient who has been maintained on Lortabs for about five years. Recently, after trying Percocet, I decided I did not want to be on something so addictive, plus the "ups and downs" were tough, esp at night, so my pain mgmt specialist changed me to Butrans, a patch. I understand this is kind of like an opioid, but more effective than Percocet. I applied the patch four days ago, and was told the INITIAL patch takes 72 hours before you feel the effects. It has been 4-1/2 days and I really don't feel anything. My back and torso still hurt. I am not drowsy or any other side effects. I feel as if I've used nothing. The patch is applied correctly, and I check it several times daily. I am very cautious not to get it damp, wet or warm. Is this typical? I'm not in terrible pain, but if/when I do have a bad episode what can I do if it hasn't taken effect yet? Is it normal for Butrans to take so long to get into my system? I felt a pharmacist would be a better resource for me than the nurses at this time. They just keep saying "Wait..the initial patch takes time". I can't wait much longer. Any help you can offer will be most appreciated.

Answer
Hi Patricia,
It takes 3 days for the Butrans patch to reach steady state. You can can use acetaminophen or ibuprofen until the patch starts to become effective. You may need  a dosage increase but not sooner than 7 days after the initial patch was applied.
Thank you for using Allexperts.
Sincerely
Eric Brandt, B.Sc. Pharm

Pharmacy

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