"I started taking fentanyl by way of the Duragesic patch in 2002 and my doctor had me changing the patches every two days rather than every 3 days," says Roger. "I was also taking prescription opiates and never had a problem. But a few years later I had stopped taking all pain medications—I knew I couldn't live with them anymore. As you can imagine, I had a really hard time trying to withdraw, I suffered a lot." There is no doubt that the Duragesic patch is addictive, but that isn't Roger's complaint...
A few years later he needed some temporary relief to help manage his pain—Roger has a major spinal injury—and his doctor prescribed the Duragesic patch again, 25 mg. "After wearing one of these patches for 12 hours, I felt extremely tired and dizzy," he says, "and by the 18th hour I realized I was having an overdose so I took it off. I knew I was overdosing because of my history—I had never felt this way before. Wearing one patch for 12 hours made me sleep for two days and I was groggy after that for an additional two days. So I decided to wear it only for 8 hours or so.
The trouble with this fentanyl started in December 2007. I found out that I had the same batch with the same expiration date as the recall: I kept 4 of the patches, still in their package. As soon as I heard about the recall, I stopped wearing it. With my experience in taking massive doses of pain meds, I have no doubt that something was wrong—either it leaked or the material was defective or cut. Back in 2002 I had taken upwards of 3 times that dosage; now I took the lowest dose and this happened.
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When a person wears a patch that has a multi-day supply of medication there is an unspoken trust that this medication won't kill you. It is possible that you can have a reaction but I wasn't expecting anything to happen because I had taken it before.
I believe I have a strong case, especially with these four defective patches in front of me, from the recalled lot. However, I probably waited past the statute of limitations but I want to get my story out there, so that others are warned about fentanyl."