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Fentanyl Addiction Due To Fibromyalgia Treatment

Written by Dr. Leah Zachar

Sufferers of Fibromyalgia will tell you that life’s not so simple when you’re taking high doses of drugs like Fentanyl which can have a serious impact on your day-to-day life

Question: I have chronic pain due to fibromyalgia. I have been on fentanyl 50mg/hr. every 48 hours since 2003. It helped me, but now I want to switch to CBD to control my pain. The reasons are obvious – opioids are highly addictive & they offer none of the health benefits of CBD. I already know that CBD is great for anxiety, sleep & a natural antioxidant – all of which I need. Please advise me so that I can discuss this with my doctor.

Fibromyalgia includes the symptoms of chronic widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and heightened pain in response to tactile pressure. It may also include tingling of the skin, muscle spasms, neuropathic pain, and intestinal disturbances. You can have all or only a few of these symptoms and the severity can range from mild to extremely debilitating.
Your body is addicted to fentanyl, which is a very long-acting opioid.

Addiction means that even if you had NO PAIN, your body would still “crave” the opioid. It is not your fault & it is not your doctor’s fault. All opioids, including fentanyl, bind to the CB1 receptor in the midbrain and stimulate the release of dopamine.

CBD reduces the symptoms of withdrawal and treats fibromyalgia.

Question: So what kind of CBD should I use, and at what dose should I start?

Everyone is unique, but I’ll give you a general suggestion:

Because fentanyl is such a long acting opioid, and you have been taking it for years, you will benefit from a delivery system that gives you day & night coverage – which is what CBD softgels offer.

How does it work? After the softgel is absorbed into the body, the CBD that is not needed right away gets stored in the fat tissue. Then it is slowly released over the course of the day so that you always have CBD “on board”.
Start CBD softgels at 25 mg/day. Remember that is takes about 5-7 days for the softgels to get to therapeutic levels. Once the softgels are “on board,” you will not go into opioid withdrawal even if you stop the fentanyl cold.

During the first month, some people can successfully decrease the fentanyl from every 48 hours, to every 72 hours. Though that might not be possible in the first month, don’t worry. Fentanyl is one of the most difficult agents to detox from because the effects of it last so long in the body.

Have the CBD tincture on-hand in case you need that extra boost. Use low doses only. It is wiser to increase the number of times you take the tincture each day rather than amount in each dose.

While following a healthy lifestyle, you can successfully switch from fentanyl to CBD in as little as 1 month or in 4-6 months. Everyone is unique – just like our fingerprints.

Please note that we are moving the weekly In-house doctor session to a more suitable time as requested – From Thursday at 3pm EST, to the earlier time of 1pm EST on Thursday.

If you want to read more from Dr Zachar, check out: ”Ask A Doctor – CBD For Kids Is Safe – THC Is Not

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About the author

Dr. Leah Zachar

Dr. Leah Zachar, M.D. is a physician who worked for nearly thirty years in Internal Medicine.
She currently is a scientific adviser to CBD Testers. Dr. Zachar believes that there is much that medical cannabis, and cannabidiol in particular can offer to traditional medicine.