Help! I have a question re: pain meds

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Nikki, Jul 22, 2003.

  1. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    Before I was dx'd in 3/03 w/FMS, I was already on 7.5 mg Lorcet (1/2 tablet @ night)for pain. On vacation I would take 1/2 tablet 3x day. After dx, my dr. told me I was undermedicating myself; I was waiting too long to take something for pain, and it was therefore more difficult to control. So he advised I could take 1 whole tablet 3x day w/o any worry about becoming addicted . . . always my fear.

    Maybe, I'm in a flare . . . but the last week or so, taking a whole 7.5mg Lorcet doesn't seem to help much. For the 1st time ever, I took 1 1/2 tablets b/c my pain was so bad. Not much help. Have I just built up a tolerance? So, where do I go from here?

    What exactly is Oxycontin? Is it for pain? Is it stornger than Lorcet? Is it something I should be asking my dr. about? Can you function mentally while on this med? (I did a Search, but couldn't find answers to my questions.)

    Part of my problem is I am my mom's only caregiver, and I have to drive quite a bit . . . and I don't take my pain pills when I'm driving . . . @ least not more than 1/2 tablet ever.

    Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated..............sharon
  2. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    I'll give his office a call today. My pain is all over right now................from the top of my head to my toes and everywhere in between. Seems you're less likely to get addicted if you really need the drug............and are not searching for a high. I just want something to stop the pain.

  3. JP

    JP New Member

    Hello Sharon,

    Pain management issues are or can be a bit of a challenge. I use the same type and strength pain medication as you. I have used Oxycontin and Dilauded as well. The Oxy took the edge off and it helped smooth out the ups and downs. However, it caused a great deal of constipation. I couldn't tolerate the constipation. You may find that it works great without side effects.

    I understand your concern about driving. I am very safe and I can barely feel a double dose of pain medicine. I guess you really need to know how it affects you before you consider driving.

    As for pain control, well, I still have 24/7 pain. I use several types of medication for different types of pain. It's probably important to understand the pain for treatment purposes. For example; I have nerve pain, arthritis pain, muscle spasms pain and more. Different medicines help different types of pain.

    I hope this is useful in some way. Pain management is an issue. I live in 24/7 pain no matter what I take. For me, it's about smoothing out the edges a bit. Last night I really suffered with pain. I doubled up on meds, had my partner rub in some heat and I iced my back a few times. I finally got it under control after a few hours of using all the tricks in my bag. Still in pain and under control...

    PAIN Sucks!! I hope you find what works best for you. I don't know much about tolerance and I do know that it is a theory for sure.

    Take care,
  4. Dogtired

    Dogtired New Member

    Hi Jan,
    Perhaps you already have this going, but wondered if you ever tried the Fentanyl patch? Seems to help in extreme pain like yours. Best of luck to you.
  5. JP

    JP New Member

    Hi Sharon,

    I forgot to address your addiction concerns.

    For those who suffer with chronic pain, addiction is the least of our concerns. Statistics support that a very small percentage of people with chronic pain become addicted. I think it is less that one percent. The studies are easy to find to support my claim. Anyway, there is a big difference between addiction and dependence. Maybe you can think of it more like a diabetic needing insulin. It's much the same. Pain is a disease and it needs treatment. I learned this the hard way. Without treatment, other problems begin to surface. I know this by experience. I hope you can find peace with your need to treat your pain.

    Take care,
  6. JP

    JP New Member

    I haven't tried the patch and my doc will support whatever I need or want to try. I am shy to try new things cuz I can't handle the constipation. What I use helps some and doesn’t cause constipation.

    Thanks so much for your suggestion. I am CLOSE to trying one...Jan
  7. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    I more or less have the pain 24/7, too. It's always there on some level. The best I can do is try to distract myself with something else . . . a project, cooking, etc. But, lately it's been so much worse. How do you tell the difference between nerve and muscle pain? I have OA so I know about arthritis pain. I suffer with muscle spasms in my lower back. I'm already having constipation from the Lorcet . . . wonder if it can get any worse?

    I put in a call to my dr's office. I'll see what he has to offer..................sharon
  8. mamafurr

    mamafurr New Member

    your description of your pain is exactly like mine and put perfectly...from the top of your head to toes and everything inbetween! oxycontin will most likely be my next step. i take methadone 1 every 12 hrs and 10mg lortab like candy..every 2-3 hrs. or i would not function at all without them. and this just takes the edge off. it's possible to build up a tolerance, but maybe your pain is just getting worse. you sound like you have a great doctor (lucky you), as not all are so pro-active when it comes to pain mgmt.

    i suggest to my doc what i think we should do next. he is always open. after all, you are the one in pain. oxycontin is stronger than lorcet. its a type of or is morphine or a derivitive of.

    don't let "fear" get in your way of treatment. addiction is for people who take the pills to get high and they get physically dependant on that "high". so usually if one has a say broken foot, the pain is temporary for them. and after they have healed, they keep wanting the "high" from the pills. i don't get high from my pills.

    then there is dependancy. so? i am dependant on my meds to get through life. i have stopped taking the lortabs for 2 days to see what would happen. nothing. no w/drawals. just more pain. however, when we had to decrease my methadone, i had some w/drawal symptoms. restless leg, no sleep, etc. so as w/any drug, follow your docs instructions.

    i am not going to tell you to drive if you are feeling impaired, but i was a property inspector (driving 5 hrs/day) for 2 yrs and taking my pills regularly. but that was me. they don't affect my ability to drive. but now the fibro fog....that's another story LOL

    you sound like you are on the right track and doing your research
    write often

  9. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    I really don't feel that impaired with my pain meds; however, I always wonder what would happen if I had an accident (my fault or not) and the police knew I was on pain medication.................sharon
  10. JP

    JP New Member

    Different conditions cause assorted experiences of pain symptoms.

    For example: if you have a herniated disc with nerve root involvement, the pain could be radicular pain. In my case, I have nerve root involvement and several herniated discs. The condition causes numbness, sharp breath taking electric shock type pain, radicular pain (pain traveling down my leg) burning, sudden loss of muscle strength in my leg, and other nerve type pain qualities.

    My arthritis pain tends to be a dull relentless ache in my joints. It is so bad in the morning that I can hardly stand it. I help myself by moving around for the first few hours of the day. It kind of lubricates my joints. I also experience swelling in the joints. I also take 50mgs of Vioxx daily...It makes a world of difference with my arthritis pain. If I skip a day, I am in big trouble. I have a positive sed rate, even with the high dose of Vioxx. Anyway, I hope this helps a bit.

    The more you learn about your pain, the easier it is to treat it, theoretically speaking. You might want to do some searching on the net regarding the specific conditions that you have. Sometimes it helps you to describe your pain and to identify the type of pain. It may also help your doctor to treat you.

    I take 5 Norco a day (same as Lorcet), 50 mg of Vioxx, 300 mg of Efferox XR, all in an effort to manage my pain. Effexor is an antidepressant and is commonly used for pain related depression and seems to be one that is used for FM. My pain is undertreated. I take 2 of the 7.5/325 Norco when I wake up and then one every 4 hours throughout the day. At some point I will try something new.

    All this at 42! Keep posting...

    Take care,
  11. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    You said you had a problem doing a search on the web on Oxycontin.

    Here is a Patient Handout from Medscape. If you want more detailed information on this med, let me know, I will cut and paste it for you.

    Hope this helps you decide.................

    Shalom, Shirl

    Patient Handout


    The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

    Common Brand Name(s):

    Oxycodone is a narcotic pain reliever similar to morphine. It can be abused just as morphine can be abused. Sharing or misusing this drug is against the law. Oxycodone is indicated for the treatment of moderate or severe chronic pain. It is used on a regular basis, not just "as needed". The 80 and 160 mg tablets are reserved for those who are now taking moderate-to-large amounts of a potent narcotic (e.g., morphine). Use of these high strength tablets by someone who is not regularly taking narcotic medication can cause shallow, very slow breathing, which can be fatal. Swallow tablets whole. Tablets which are crushed or chewed can release dangerous amounts of oxycontin into your bloodstream.

    This drug is used to relieve moderate-to-severe chronic pain. It is very beneficial for pain relief (e.g., cancer pain). Oxycontin is not used "as needed" for acute pain, nor is it indicated for acute pain after surgery.

    How to Take this Medication
    Take by mouth exactly as directed by your doctor. Take with food or milk to minimize or prevent stomach upset. Swallow tablet(s) whole. Do not crush or chew them. This drug is usually taken every 12 hours (2 times daily). Do not increase your dose, take it more frequently or use it for a longer period of time than prescribed because this drug can be habit-forming. Also, if used for an extended period of time, do not suddenly stop using this drug without your doctor's approval. Over time, this drug may not work as well as it did at the beginning. Consult your doctor if this medication isn't relieving the pain sufficiently.

    Side Effects
    May cause constipation, lightheadedness, stomach upset, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, and flushing. If these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor. Notify your doctor if you develop: irregular heartbeat, anxiety, tremors, seizures. In the unlikely event you have an allergic reaction to this drug, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

    Before using this drug, tell your doctor your medical history, especially: severe diarrhea, stomach or intestinal disorders, breathing problems, kidney or liver disease, history of alcohol use, drug dependence, any allergies. Alcoholic beverages may increase the effects of this drug causing dizziness or lightheadedness. Limit alcohol intake. Use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug. The medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Oxycodone is excreted into breast milk. Though, to date, problems have not been reported in nursing infants, consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

    Before using this drug, tell your doctor of all the medications you may use, both prescription and nonprescription, especially: cimetidine, alcohol use. Tell your doctor if you take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: medicine for sleep, sedatives, tranquilizers, anti-anxiety drugs (e.g., diazepam), other narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., phenothiazines or tricyclics), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine), muscle relaxants, antihistamines that cause drowsiness (e.g., diphenhydramine). Many cough-and-cold preparations contain ingredients that may add to the drowsiness effects of oxycodone. Consult your doctor or pharmacist before using any such medications. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

    If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include cold and clammy skin, low body temperature, slowed breathing, slowed heartbeat, drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, deep sleep, and loss of consciousness.

    Do not share this medication with others. It is against the law.

    Missed Dose
    If you should miss a dose, take it as soon as remembered unless it is almost time for the next dose. If it is nearly time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose.

    Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (between 15 and 30 degrees C) away from moisture and sunlight. Do not store in the bathroom.

    [This Message was Edited on 07/22/2003]
  12. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    My Rhuemy's office finally called me back yesterday. They said the dr. couldn't give me anything else for pain. That was a surprise since he was wanting me to increase the Lorcet when I had my 1st visit w/him. He wants me to stay off the Lorcet for 2 days then start taking it again. Sounds like he's trying to reboot my internal computer. Guess it's worth a try since the meds aren't really helping much right now anyway.

    I also purchased "Hypnosis for chronic Pain Reduction" by Robbie Greenfield. It just came in yesterday and haven't had a chance to listen to it. Yesterday I had pressure point release therapy, and Thurs I'm doing aquatics in warm water.

    But, today I can hardly move and I must take my mom and aunt to beauty parlor and then do their grocery shopping. Loading groceries at the store, unloading at the car, unloading & loading at the retirement home. Then put them away . . . all I really want to do today is stay in bed and sleep. Guess I'll go jump on the treadmill for about 10 minutes and then do some stretching . . . drink my water and take tylenol.

    Two days won't kill me . . . will it?!? First, I'm scared it will, then I'm scared it won't. LOL...........sharon
  13. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    I do have some left over Ultracet . . . is that for pain or inflammation? Nothing for inflammation helps @ all. Also, I'm allergic to codene, so maybe that limits what he can give me.

    I'll try the drug holiday . . . then call him back if it doesn't work. Baton Rouge doesn't have many drs. willing to take Fibro patients. My dr. seems pretty knowledgeable about this disease so maybe he's just trying to get me back on tract w/o resorting to stronger drugs. I suppose I'll be finding out really soon...................sharon
  14. stickley4u

    stickley4u New Member

    oxycontin or ms contin. Do not crush, cut in half either of these meds. I had read that on the warnings, but never knew why until one of our pharmacists explained. These meds contain a high dosage of either morphine or percocet and are time-released. I had been on a 60 mg 3x's a day,and then they moved me to 90 mgs and I figured I could just cut one in half and all would be good. Good thing I didn't. Because it is possible that I could get all of the mgs of the med and kill me. The pharmacist said that in the hospital when they give you a morphine shot it usually 2-3 mgs and the highest dosage would be 5 mgs. I would not want all 60 mgs going thru me. He scaredthe heck out of me!!! stickley4u