Changing Pain Medication: Hi everyone I am... - Arthritis Action

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Changing Pain Medication

4 Replies

Hi everyone

I am currently taking 30mg Zomorph twice a day which appears to have lost effect as my pain has increased (I have 3 old fractures of the spine, osteoporosis of the spine and hips, osteoarthritis in 3 vertebrae, a slight bulging disc and rheumatoid arthritis). My GP has suggested swapping over to Buprenorphine 7 day patches. I am a bit scared of trying something new in case it doesn't work and I'm in even more pain. Has anyone used this medication and did it work? I have seen some user reviews that say they don't last the seven days. If they do work and only last 5 days, do I change the patch every 5 days or keep it on for 7 days and have 2 days of pain?

I look forward to your comments

4 Replies

My wife was on tramadol 50mg × 2. Three times a day. She changed to the patches about a year ago. The patches work very well for her most weeks but at times she still takes the odd tramadol for breakthrough pain. The doctor also gave her the option of wearing two patches during this time.

When my wife first wore the patch it took a few days for it to work so do not expect instant results. She was advised not to drive for the first couple of weeks as the affect can be different from person to person. Happily my wife did have any side affects and can function very well with it on.

My wife as found two problems with the patch. One. In bright sunlight it can give a higher dose and secondly she found that if she did not change the patch position on renewal it could give her a rash.

Overall she likes the patch as it gives her a more constant level of pain relief without the ups and downs of tablets. Obviously there are different strengths of dose but your GP should be able to work out the correct one based on your present medications.

Overall my wife found the patch really helped her.


I staring using the buprenorphine patches in 2012. They were life changing. It does take a day or so for the medicine to get into your bloodstream at a stable, continual level where it’s effective. Only rarely did I have to take something for breakthrough pain. After a couple of years I developed an allergy to the adhesive despite constantly changing the location of the patches. My doctor switched me to the oral form of the medication which I have been on since then. I haven’t made any changes in my pain management ever since. It’s been that effective. I would say my average pain level is between 3 and 5 which to me is acceptable.


Hi lara

I was on these pathces. They were realy good at first but my skin had a reaction. Also pain levels rised due to too much medicine releasing which caused me to up my tolerance then was adviced to wear 2 patches. I tried so hard to stick to these patches but in the end my doc decided to change me to something else. Ive had such a rollercoaster with dif pain meds and still in the ride. Its horrible. All i can say is everyone reacts different and you should decide whats best for you.

in reply to Shalll

Hi Shalll

I decided to try the patches and it was the worst decision of my life. The side effects were horrendous I think I had all of them that were on the list. I had really bad diarrhoea, nausea, insomnia, restless legs whereby I was getting out of bed every hour to walk around, complete loss of appetite, feeling depressed. It didn't actually do much for the pain either. I am now back on the slow release morphine and starting to feel normal again.

I know what you mean about being on a rollercoaster, it's no fun is it. Hope you can find a pain killer that actually works.


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