Worried about opiates


I have several ongoing, undiagnosed problems currently, the main one of which is abdominal pain for which I am on tramadol, buscapan and paracetamol. The group of pain killers that includes gabapentin won't work for this type of pain according to the docs and I am already on it for my back pain anyway. I can't have NSAIDs because I was on them for too long so I'm left only with opiates until someone figures out what's wrong and hopefully can treat me. I am currently changing doctors and am going to ask my new doctors to refer me to the pain team however a doc in a&ewho told me to go to the pain team said they would put me on fentanyl. my question is, as far as I am aware that is one of the strongest, synthetic opiates that's given to people with opiate resistance. shouldn't the next step up from tramadol be oral morphine? or some thing other than fentanyl?

10 Replies

  • You do not say what strength or daily dose of Tramadol you use.

    I spent many years using Fentanyl patch. Every few years the 72hrs patch would be increased in dose. 25, 50, 75, and eventually 100s. When i could nolonger manage on that 3 day dose my GP changed me to Morphine Sulphate Tablets. 100mg every 12 hrs. I was immediately comfortable with these.

    Closer to the truth i am sure is that different people's body chemistry suits different pharmaceuticals. The condition being treated will also suggest a differing cocktail of meds to go along with the main pain relief.

  • Hi, I'm on 100mg 4 times a day so there's no more room to increase it. I'm worried about addiction, especially if moved to morphine

  • Hi Sloulou. A friend has been taking prescribed opiates for about 35 years and he is fine. Certainly not hooked. A good GP would do like his and change the type of med after useful intervals so that a tolerance does not build up and addiction does not arise.

  • I was finally referred to the pain clinic for chronic back pain and arthritis in all my joints but it took 30 years to get there, yet I've met people who get referred straight away. Didn't find it very helpful, just got referred back. To my GP for different medication. Apparently.try, I " didn't make enough noise"!! So kick up a fuss.

  • I have frequent fevers so need the paracetamol to try to control them. I'm pushing and pushing but all my doc wants is for me to magically get better without him doing any tests to find out what's wrong or any treatment, I'm changing gp because every time I ask for something he refuses unless he has a letter from the hospital. several docs have told me to ask my gp for referral to the pain team, when I asked he said he needs a letter fromthe hospital so I asked my gastrointestinal doc and they said it's my gps responsibility to send me there

  • Don't take fentanyl without really searching info, I have read that it's Hell getting off, also I have a nurse in my family that is very against it, Please Becareful

  • After using Fentanyl for over 10 years I had NO withdrawal problems when my GP changed it for 100 milligram Zomorph capsules. The GP warned me about the possible side effects of stopping the Fentanyl 100microgram patches and gave me a printed sheet abut it and what to do. I read it when I got home but never needed to refer to it again.

    As far as helping to ease my pain to a manageable level both these medications have been spot on. The Fentanyl has needed it's dose increasing over the years but this was easily done by adding 25 micrograms at a time.


  • There are differences between habituation, dependence, abuse, and addiction with pain meds.

    In the US Tramadol seems to be lower on the list and prescribed more freely. However, it did not work for me and was a miserable withdrawal.

    Many people have a pain management plan which includes narcotics such as hydrocodone. Going straight to Fentanyl seems like quite a leap.

  • Does hydrocodone contain codeine though because I'm allergic

  • I do not think so, but ask a professional.

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