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fentanyl v. morphine and "fatal dose"


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Has anyone's loved one been on a fentanyl patch? My mom is going to start on these since she is starting to hurt all over now. In general, I'm concerned because my understanding is that whether fentanyl or morphine, there's respiratory depression. How is that going to work with her severe COPD?

I guess the alternative, being in pain, is definitely no good either though. But I have also heard a couple of friends refer to the "fatal" dose of morphine administered to their loved one - - necessary as part of pain management. God, that would just be awful to be a part of that! I suppose I should try to talk to one of the hospice nurses. It's kind of hard not being on site when those folks are around to keep updated on things . . .

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Personally i can not say anyhting but I can send prayers. Try these links for some info that may help from,a medical point

1) http://www.palliative.org/PC/ClinicalIn ... phine.html

2) http://www.nyrdtc.nhs.uk/docs/dud/DU_34_fentanyl.pdf

I hope something in her ehelps some and you will get more responses coming in soon. Sending prayers tonite!

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Mom was on fentanyl for quite sometime way before hospice was called in. They monitored it very closely to be sure she was getting enough to hit the pain, but not cause any problems. Respiratory depression should NOT happen if a person is monitored closely. It is my understanding that as long as the dosage is appropriate for the pain--not over or under--the medicine is metabolized by the body in such a way that it treats the pain, but does not cause other effects.

Keep in close contact with docs and hopefully all will be fine.

And respiritory depression and fatal doses do not always happen with folks on morphine, and I haven't heard about it with fentanyl. It's all about finding the individual's 'magic number' to keep pain at bay.

Prayers for you all.

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