Advertisement




More DailyStrength
Health Event Calendar
See what's new on the site
Step-by-step Tutorials
How to use DailyStrength
We're on Facebook
Check out our page
Follow us on Twitter
Read our tweets
Get Cool DS Stuff!!!!!
Shirts, Hats, Baby Wear
Advice:
Does the Fentanyl Patch help headaches well?
Watch this 
View More Posts Ignore
I have a skull based tumor and it causes some pretty bad migraines so to say. The doctors call them Suicidal Headaches because so many in my shoes kill themselves because of the pain. My doctor had me on Loratab Pills but they causes such bad acid reflex problems that she had to take me off that and put me on the fentanyl patch a very small dose just enough to give me continuous pain killer for the now every day all day headaches that the tumor brings. Was just curious if anyone else was ever put on this patch and if it helped them?
Posted on 08/26/08, 10:15 pm
8 Replies Add Your Advice
Reminder: This is a support group for Migraine Headaches. We trust you will do your best to remain positive and helpful. For more information, see our rules of the road.

You may also create your own Member Groups where you can moderate the discussion.
Advice:
Email me when others reply to this topic help
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #1 - 08/27/08  6:22am
" Fentanyl is one of the strongest pain medicines known to man. Much stronger than morphine.

Migraineurs sometimes are given fentanyl, but through an IV at the ER. The patch gives you a consistent amount in your system,which is great for preventing the pain from reaching its peak, but since migraines are seen as an episodic illness it isn't generally prescribed. Even if a doctor found it a reasonable request, insurance would deny it right off.

Also, for whatever reason - sometimes being on pain medication can prevent preventatives from working as they should. So, truly - bringing on the long-acting pain meds is only for when all other options are viable (and in some doctors views - this includes getting the Medtronic implant).

In the last decade there have been two different forms of fentanyl put on the market. On is called Actiq - which is a little lollipop you stick in your mouth so the meds are absorbed through your cheek. The newest form is called Fentora, which is a tablet. Both of these are marketed toward treating cancer pain. And it actually says in the prescribing notes NOT to give for migraines. Even to prescribe it for other types of chronic pain can be an uphill battle.

And that's my new entry toward "Why the DEA is ruining the medical profession" for this week. See you next time. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!

(I'm so glad you're getting some relief!
Laura "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #2 - 08/27/08  3:37pm
" Laura, I couldn't tell if you think the patches are okay in the small doses or not? I was using another horrible medication to try and control my migraines, but got off of it and my rheumy now controls my chronic pain with a low-dose of fentanyl through the slow-release patch and I can see three results. First, I don't have the ups and downs that I had before and I am much more "with it", it seems to have knocked out the euphoria feeling that I used to get if I have to take any Lortab for breakthrough, so I feel like it has really helped. Now, I have having many fewer migraines. But I can not tell you if that is because of the swtich off the other medicine, because my lupus meds are finally working, or because my chronic pain is in so much better control...my drug fuzz is gone, which is fabulous! So, I think it is possible it is helping them somewhat, but I do still get a few bad ones here and there. But I do overall think it has helped. If it helps, those patches go up to 200 mg, and I will just bet you did not start off at that level! Diane... "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #3 - 08/27/08  5:54pm
" No I am only on 25mg to start out but I have been giving a no chance dignoise. They can't do another surgery because I will die from bleeding to death. Its not growing thanks to cyberknife but that can change fast. The problem is its not shrinking and there is to much pressure in my head. no my luck well I have to run. "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #4 - 08/28/08  2:10am
" Diane:

Here is my general advice (which tends to apply to all things)...

If you've found something that works for you - if you have relief, and are managing your day to day dealings better, then stick with it!

I wasn't coming out against Fentanyl.

Here is the thing... while we are told that pain medications can prevent medications from working, etc, etc... Pain control is there for a reason.

Fact is, migraines are triggered, indirectly and directly, by stress. And this isn't necessarily a "I can't deal with my kids today" sort of stress. We're talking about the physical stress response as well - the chemicals made in your body.

It stands to reason that pain control itself can be beneficial to controlling migraines, because by controlling pain you are reducing bodily stress.

In particular with auto-immune disorders - prostaglandins can get out of control, and prostaglandins (when they are being bad) sensitize us to pain, and are one the none causes of menstrual migraines. Once again, it stands to reason that if you are able to combat known reactions in the body which make it more susceptible to migraine, you would have less.

So, either way.

Tumorofclivus:

I am sorry to hear that there is no chance of remission. I lost my mother-in-law to a brain tumor. I can't ever know, and I won't pretend to know what it is like to be in your shoes. I hope that your doctor doesn't ever hold back in giving you relief. If you do need breakthrough meds on top of the low dose, the Actiq or Fentora would be good things to have around. For the very reasons you spoke of though - feeling more alert, etc...long-acting pain meds are many times better choices for people that short-acting - which can give too much or not enough pain control in a very short space of time. "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #5 - 08/29/08  1:27pm
" FENTANYL IS VERY STRONG. I TOOK THE BUCAL TAB FORM OF IT FOR 3 MONTHS. IT WORKS, ALMOST TOO WELL. IT CAN BE COMPARED TO HEROINE. ONCE, I LIT A CIGARETTE AND ONLY TOOK A COUPLE OF DRAGS OFF OF IT BEFORE I PASSED OUT IN A SITTING POSITION. THE BURN MARK IS IN A RUG IN THE BASEMENT. WHEN YOU START IT, I HIGHLY RECOMEND THAT YOU NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT DRIVE A CAR FOR A FEW DAYS. IT IS EXTREMELY POWERFULL. I AM CURRENTLY ON 6 - 30 MG OXCYCODONES PER DAY, AS NEEDED. JUST BE CAREFUL. "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #6 - 08/29/08  2:04pm
" For three days now I have had a headache and vomitting that always goes hand in hand with it. I have gotten to the point today that I am so tired from throwing up that I just cry. I can't drink a sip of anything bc it makes me vomit in a sec. after taking it. This is what we are trying to get under control. I don't really like this patch thing at all but I have to have constent pain relief or I am worse than this. I often say this isn't fair but that is just me on a pitty party again. The tumors not in my brain but it is sitting underneath and is so big that it puts way to much pressure in my head. I fall easy bc Im always off balance and everything. They put me also on dilaudid if I need it inbetween the patches if I still get headaches. They are just trying to make me comfortable now. "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #7 - 08/30/08  7:24am
" I BUILT A TOLERANCE FOR DILAUDID ALSO. SOON I WILL BE WITH YOU ON FENTANYL. "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #8 - 02/27/11  12:42pm
" I know this conversaton happened a couple years ago, but I figured people were still reading it. I have been put on the Fentanyl patch at the low dose of 25. It is helping so much! I understand the risk of rebound headache and realize I will have to go through withdrawl when I am ready to get pregnant with my first baby, but it is worth the risk when your life is miserable (at least in my opinion). I have had chronic headaches since I was 13, and for the past 4 years I have had a migraine almost daiy, making my social and work life very difficult. This sort of pain also has effected me emotionally and mentally! I have been to the Diamond Headache Clinic (which i do not recommend unless money is no issue to you and you can travel back there every 4-6 weeks for follow-up) and some of the greatest migraine specialists in the world. Therefore, I have tried dozens of preventative treatments and combination including anti-depressants, anti-seizures, beta-blockers, high blood pressure meds, botox, acupunture, chiropractic care, meditation, butterbur, feverfew, B-2, magnesium, elimination diets (including dairy and gluton), deep tissue massage, counceling, biofeedback, and the list goes on. Finally, my local headache specialist referred me to a pain clinic. My new doctor specializes in both migraine and pain management. He put me on a low dose (25m) fentanyl patch, 30 up to 60 mg's cymbalta and a preventative. I have not felt this good in 4 years!!! I don't feel high or loopy at all and my moods are not up and down (like they were with quick-acting narcotics). I am sleepy, but who cares. The doc also prescribed a "drug cocktail" of migrainal/phernergan/naproxin to abort a break through migraine (works well) and a new "short-acting" narcotic for a rescue med (from the ER). I finally feel like a doctor knows what he is doing! Yes, I understand 24/7 narcotics are not the best treatment for chronic migraine, but if you have tried A LOT of things and find yourself having no life outside of headaches, it is worth it! Of course, I know it is just a bandaid, but so are all migraine preventatives. When you are at your breaking point, this is the next thing to try!

Of course, consult your migraine specialist. He or she should be open minded if they have walked out the struggle with you and have found little relief in other avenues. My migraine specialist had to refer me to a pain clinic because he did not have the knowledge of long-term pain medication. This is a very agressive treatment that must be done under the care of a very qualified doctor! :) "

Add Your Advice
Advertisement


More From Around the Web