Do You Take Pain Meds Before Pain Starts or After

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by NyroFan, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    Hello all:

    I was having a discussion with my sister and the subject came up about when to take pain medication.

    I take mine every four hours whether in bad pain or not.
    The doctor told me to take the meds before I feel the pain coming on strong.

    A few years prior before I found this rheumy, the other doc said to only take the pain meds AFTER the pain starts.

    What do you do?

  2. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

    and sometimes can use something else to stop the pain from getting bad, like arnica gel, deep breathing, some stretching. I sometimes go a couple days w/out any pain meds. I love being med free for a bit. I know its good for my body, and even better for my morale. I'm all for taking them only as needed, but understand some don't have that option.

  3. meowee

    meowee New Member

    My doc says take them before the pain starts. They won't do their job as well if you take them after you are in pain.

    I take my pain meds 1st thing in A.M. before my feet hit the floor, if , on that day, I can stand up. lol

    god bless
  4. Leaknits

    Leaknits New Member

    Your rheumy is right. If you wait to take pain medication until you are in baaaad pain, you will be playing "catch up" and not get enough relief.

    But: I notice when first waking that I hurt a LOT. I think that might be because of being in one position or another for a long time, because if I get up and move around a bit, the pain slacks off or nearly goes away altogether. So I don't generally take pain meds first thing in the morning unless the hurt doesn't ease.

    It's a trial and error thing and it's also too bad we have to be our own diagnosticians!!

  5. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    I'm of course no doc, but I think it depends on the intensity of the pain. If the pain is severe, then medicate ahead of time (being very careful to take the pain meds according to their instructions and not too close together).

    If pain is not as severe, then I would try to take warm baths or stretch first before taking a pain med. I personally just hate overmedicating, but indeed, if the pain is severe you have to take something. My personal experience is that taking the medication as soon as you know bad pain is coming (for me I only do this for menstrual cramps per my gyno's advice), is helpful.

    You might think about stopping a regulary scheduled dose of meds every week or so to see if your body is not in as much pain so that you aren't taking meds for no reason or too many meds. At any rate, I really hope your pain lessens and that you feel better!!

    Warm hugs, Erika
  6. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    I only take as needed as I am med sensitive. Love Anne

    LOSTSPIRIT New Member

    I was always told by my Drs and at the pain managment to take them on a schedule or they won't work as well if you wait till you are really hurting. I think it also depends on the pain meds you take. Some are as needed but I take methadone for severe fibro, cfs and bad back with lots of pain in my legs. They are very bad first thing in the morning so take a pill then, I found if I move around when I get up in the morning instead of just sit it loosens up the muscle some, I go outside with my cats and feed the squirrels( cats don't bother them) and it helps to take my mind off the pain till the pill works. Also use heating pads. With methadone it builds up in your system so to stay at an even level you have to take it on time. Hope this helps. Trish
  8. Ranigar

    Ranigar Member

    I take mine before the pain starts and if I forget to keep track it's really hard to get it under control.I get mad at myself for causing unnessary suffering.I take Ultracet and that's all I can get so every 4hrs. on the dot the pain gets really bad and most times at least tolerable if I stay on schedule.
  9. bluestanglady

    bluestanglady New Member

    My rheumatologist said to take pain meds BEFORE the pain so the pain won't be as bad when it does come. He said to continue taking even when I'm not having pain.


  10. TKE

    TKE New Member

    I only take pain meds when the pain gets bad, as I have a sensative stomach.

    Same with allergy meds or any other meds. I only take them when I get real bad, as I don't feel I need them the rest of the time. I'm allergic to humidy changes of all things, LOL. It's mostly a seasonal change thing, so why take meds when you don't need too.

    I don't want my body becoming used to a med & then need stronger & stronger as time goes on. I also hate putting all those synthetic chemicals into my body.
  11. llama

    llama New Member

    Hi Nyrofan and all:

    In nursing school, we were always taught to give pain meds as soon as the person said, looked or acted like they were in pain. So I follow that rule myself, sometimes I'll be feeling extra irritable or restless and I'll realize it's because I have a headache or whatever coming on.

    I immediately take a "weaker" med like Ibuprofen etc. I give that about an hour or 2 and if no relief take a small dose of Tylenol or something similar. Finally, I bring out the big guns, Vicodin when all else fails. Again, I'm not suggesting anyone else approach their pain this way, but that's how we usually managed mild to moderate chronic pain in the healthcare setting.

    It usually works for me.....good luck to all in your pain management...........Jill...............
  12. homesheba

    homesheba New Member

    always was told to keep a level supply in my body so i wouldnt go thru ups and downs and catch ups. if i wait
    till the pain is starting bad
    then i will stay in pain cause the
    vicodin didnt catch it in time...
    needless to say that the vicodin
    barely wks now... sigh...
  13. rosemarie

    rosemarie Member

    I am the worlds biggest baby when it comes to PAIN.

    And I had to learn the hard way that you take your pain medications be it asprin, tyelonel , advil , or Oxycontin, lortabs all of them before your pain gets beyond the I think I hurt stage. That is just when you feel a slight twinge you take the meds before it can ever get beyond that feeling a a twinge of pain.

    I was gracefull and fell and shattered my left wrist and I was in so much pain that I just laid there and bawled.

    The doctor who saw me had the nurse start a IV and started giving me fentynal and every few minutes he would tell her to give me another 25 mics of fentynal.
    This went on till he was about to set my wrist and yes I still was bawling like a baby.

    HE added versed to the mix and another 25 mics of fentynal.And they held me down as I begged then not to touch me anymore and they set it and I had tears running down my face and was so sick to my stomcahe from the pain the never ended.

    I didn't think about how much fentynal I was given till the next night when the splint was to tight and I had to go back to the ER and the nurse saw me comming and said in front of every one


    But I didn't get the same doctor that night and he would not give me any thing as he ripped of the sticky warpping that was the splint and I screamed for some thing for this pain and I beggged for some thing for the pain and he finally said to give me some morhpine and I was given 60 mg's of morphine and just after the x-ray I got another 60 mgs.

    He had pulled so hard that he had pulled it out of alingment and I hated him for being such a jerk as his last remark was .

    Your pain is not that bad I would have given one of my patients a Lortab 7.5 and that would have worked just find. But since your on so much MScontin I had to give you more. But I don't think you really needed it.

    Thankfully I had surgery just a few days later and that was when I asked the surgeon to make sure that I didn't have to suffer in pain after my surgery , I had him sign a paper and had the staff noterized it that he would make sure that I had the nessary amount of pain medcations to control my pain. AS I was not going to have to go through that ever again.

    He told me after my sursgery that he had numbed every thing up before he closed up the wound and then before I ever woke up I was given pain meds then so that by the time I was in my room with a morphine pain pump I would not be in pain.

    And my nurse was in there with me pushing the button till I awoke and could do it my self and they make sure that I had the pain control that I needed. I thanked this doctor with all my heart for doing this for me.

    And for treating me with respect and kindness as apposed to the doctor and nurse who would not help me and told the entire staff , patients all the meds I was given.

    AS for the doctor who terated me and denined me pain control I did report him. And from what I heard he had been told to treat the patients with the correct pain medications when they ask for it and he was suspened for a couple of days. And the nurse who blabbed that I had been given 500 mic's oif fentynal she too was told to keep her mouth shut.

    " What you see here , and what you hear ,while your here, let it stay here when you leave here." This was taught to me as a candy striper so I learned not to talk about the patients I saw or the things that I saw while I was there.

    And this nurse broke that rule. She too was talked to about what had happened and was told to not talk about it agian.

    So I now know that when you are on pain meds to contol chronic pain you always take your pain meds on your schedule and before you start to hurt.

    Don't ever let your pain get beyond the "I think that I hurt stage."

    HUGS <
  14. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    Hello all:

    I am so relieved reading these posts. I am one of those who take the meds before the pain starts, as the doc said.

    I thought it was so interesting how others approached their way to the pain meds, like starting with something OTC and then waiting to see what would happen. Or stretching and being in a jacuzzi to see if it would give relief.

    I have sympathy for all of us who have to go through this.
    And yet, we make it through. We are a brave lot.

    RoseMarie: So sorry about the hospital experiences. I hope all clears up for you soon. You surely do need the pain meds.

  15. rosemarie

    rosemarie Member

    The part I didn't tell you about was when I was tripping over the side walk and causing my self some intense pain.It was just 5 days before my youngest daughters wedding. What a thing to do. But at least the sling I had to wear matched the navy blue dress I had to wear. So I fit in with the rest of the line.

    I still have not forgiven the doctor for being a jerk aobut givng me pain meds and I have a strong dislike for the nurse who brodcast to the whole ER inside and in the waiting room she was that LOUD.
  16. caffey

    caffey New Member

    Are you taking the meds every 4 hrs. or 4hrs. as needed? If you are taking them reg. every 4 hrs. I wonder if you might need a long acting pain reliever that you take reg. every 12 hrs. and then take something for breakthrough when the pain gets bad. Just curious. I take my pain meds when the pain gets really bad except at bedtime if I am achey I take one and it helps me to go to sleep. I am on long acting oxycontin which keeps the pain at a manageable level most days.

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