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not comfortable with fentanyl for hubby
Posted: Saturday, January 28, 2023 10:12 PM
Joined: 8/4/2014
Posts: 177

Hospice started him on it two days ago , a patch.   He has not even been on morphine daily, just occasionally as needed.

I am supposed to remove the patch tomorrow and put a new one on. From what I read even getting a small amount on someone who has never had an opiod can lead to death.

Anyone freaked out by this med?    Would it hurt to leave it on him one more day until nurse comes over? 



Posted: Saturday, January 28, 2023 10:56 PM
Joined: 10/21/2016
Posts: 2882

Fentanyl is sometimes prescribed instead of morphine because if causes less constipation.  Our hospice didn't prescribe morphine until the last few days of my DH's life when his breathing was becoming labored and he seemed to be in pain.  They were careful not to shorten his life, just enough to remove the agitation. If you don't think that your husband needs this medication call the hospice nurse and discuss it with her and ask about alternatives.  Blessings.
Posted: Sunday, January 29, 2023 5:00 AM
Joined: 8/22/2020
Posts: 3335

Numb, you'll be fine to change the patch and it should be changed at 72 hours, for sure. It won't hurt you. Can you tell if it's helping him?
Posted: Sunday, January 29, 2023 5:38 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 4145


Discuss this with the prescriber if you have concerns.

My late MIL had fentanyl while on hospice. She didn't have dementia, she had osteoporosis and vasculitis and needed pain relief when bones broke. My BIL was an ER doc and agreed to it as preferable to morphine for her because of the continuous coverage and because he felt it was less constipating which was already an issue for her.

Posted: Sunday, January 29, 2023 5:53 AM
Joined: 8/1/2020
Posts: 240

Perhaps you're thinking of carfentanil. The fentanyl patch is safe to handle.

You can use gloves if you're still concerned.

Posted: Sunday, January 29, 2023 8:35 AM
Joined: 12/21/2018
Posts: 1442

Greetings Numb.

I understand your feelings. I was freaked out by the narcotics, including Fentanyl. I discussed my concerns with the health care professionals and decided that the pain meds were a good choice for DH.

When my husband was on Hospice he was in severe pain. The nurse started him on a narcotic pill. DH needed more pain relief so he was also prescribed morphine that I gave him orally with a syringe. DH's pain was intense, the narcotic pill was stopped and DH was put on the 72 hour Fentanyl patch. 

The narcotics made me very nervous at first. I was afraid that I would overdose DH. I was afraid that DH would become a drug addict. I was worried about DH's discomfort due to constipation. I was worried just having such serious narcotics in my home.

Talking to the healthcare professionals about the benefits and the risks of the meds helped me to understand why they were prescribed and what the expected benefits would be. My husband needed pain management. The nurse trained me on proper dosing and administration. I kept a log of the narcotics I gave DH and when. I also closely followed the protocols to reduce constipation. 

In reflection, the fentanyl was scary for me, but an important part of DH's comfort care.

I am grateful DH's hospice team was diligent about ensuring DH was as comfortable as possible.

Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2023 8:17 PM
Joined: 8/4/2014
Posts: 177

Thank you all,   I did take the patch off Sunday like i was supposed to but did not put a new one on. Hubby has been sleeping pretty much 22 hrs a day or hallucinating most of the time. He's been on Hospice for a year and just got recertified.  He is hardly eating and drinking less. Totally incontinent now. Starting to forget family members.  

I will talk to the nurse if they can put the patches on when they are here.

 I give him liquid tylenol every day.


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