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Duterte says health problems made him use painkillers for cancer patients


President Rodrigo Duterte had to take a painkiller more potent than morphine to ease the pain caused by his migraine attacks and spine problems.

Speaking before businessmen at a forum Monday (Dec. 12), Duterte revealed using the painkiller fentanyl in the past.

“I used to press something here, fentanyl, it’s a pain killer. It’s being used by patients with cancer. I was only given a fourth of that square thing,” he said.

Duterte, however, said there were times when he used an entire fentanyl patch to relieve his pain.

He said he could’ve remedied the pain by having surgery for his spine but his common law wife, Cielito “Honeylet” Avancena, a nurse, advised him against it because there was a chance he could become a vegetable for life.

While fentanyl relieved his pain, Duterte said he had to stop using the painkiller after his doctor told him about its unpleasant side effect.

“Of course, my doctor learned that I was using the whole patch because I felt better. When he knew it, he made me stop and he said, ‘stop it. The first thing that you would lose is your cognitive ability,’” Duterte said.

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