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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Without knowing specifically what is causing your father's pain, it is hard for any of us to try to answer your question. Given his age and what you mention, it would appear his problems are degenerative in nature, whether it is herniated discs, stenosis, etc. Usually with these conditions, there is spinal nerve compression, which accounts for the pain. Opioids do not have a very good ability to help with nerve pain. They mostly just make people not care so much that they are in pain.

Is your dad's pain mostly in his back or is it a "sciatic" type pain that runs down his buttock or leg? Is it an on-going pain or is it worse when he is standing or sitting? Are there times when it goes away, or is it with him 24-7?

Dilaudid can be a nasty drug. It makes some people very nauseated or sick to their stomachs. It can also cause confusion and hallucinations, in severe cases making the patient seem "out of his mind." I recently went through this with my elderly aunt who was hospitalized. It was very frightening for her and for me. It also can take away the appetite.

I personally have no experience with the patches. A friend that uses them does OK except when the dosage is increased. Then she has side effects.
According to the PDR, "Fentanyl's major side effects (more than 10% of patients) include [B]diarrhea, nausea, constipation,[/B] dry mouth, somnolence, confusion, asthenia (weakness), and sweating and, less frequently (3 to 10% of patients),[B] abdominal pain[/B], headache, fatigue, anorexia and weight loss, dizziness, nervousness, hallucinations, anxiety, depression, flu-like symptoms, dyspepsia (indigestion), dyspnea (shortness of breath), hypoventilation, apnea, and urinary retention. Fentanyl use has also been associated with aphasia."

So, to me, it sounds like the patches may be just as bad as dilaudid.

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