Pharmacy/Pain patch

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Question
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 Trisha,
I am not surprised. Despite all the assurances given by manufacturers, I feel that transdermal patches of analgesics are no good. I have found too mch batch to batch and even within batch variation. I feel that this technology is well developed yet. I would stick to tablets, and dont worry about addiction.
People who take narcotics for pain rarely get addicted and secondly addiction even if it should occur and be easily managed.
All the best
Ravi Ghooi

Pharmacy

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Dr. Ravindra Bhaskar Ghooi

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I can provide information on drugs and medicines, their actions, uses, interactions and adverse effects. To avoid confusion, generic names of medicines may please be provided. I am a pharmacologist, having worked on animal and human pharmacology, and presently I am the Dean of Bilcare Research Academy, where we teach courses on clinical research. We dont work on saturdays and sundays, hence questions reachng me on these days will be replied on Monday, please bear with me.

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