Three years ago after a spinal fusion, because of chronic pain, my doctor put me on the fentanyl patch. It didn't last three days as advertised and I kept going into withdrawal so my doctor kept upping the dose.--25 to 50 to 75 mcg, which only made me swing wildly from feeling good to being in withdrawal every other day. I told her, but she had no idea why I was feeling that way. I finally realized I needed to take a lower dose more often--every 48 hours instead of every 72. I came down from 75 mcg to 50 mcg. Two years ago and began putting on a new patch every other day. This made it possible for rme to work for the first time. Two weeks ago, I reduced from 50 mcg to 25 mcg and this weekend I'm going to go to zero, I hope. But since I came down, I feel exhausted a lot and keep having chills and cramps. How long is this going to go on? A month? Longer? (I still have pain, but I want to try functioning without the fentanyl, which I think is more trouble than it's worth.)

I am also on a low dose of methadone, also for pain, 2.5 mg per day, but if I miss the dose, I feel awful. I would really like to get off both drugs, but am wondering how long the withdrawal is going to last. I have work I need to get done and it's really hard to work when I feel so tired. I have never behaved like an addict in the sense of getting high or looking forward to the drugs--in fact, I forget to take them sometimes. But I've been on so long, I am wondering how dependent my body is. I haven't found anything on the internet about how long withdrawal lasts, except from people who have abused the drug, which I didn't, to my knowledge. Most people seem to have used them only for a few months, not three years! Will that make a difference? Also I am 53...