Increasing Norco lately, so sad

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by hermitlady, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    Hi guys, I haven't posted much lately cuz I've been feeling so terrible. So here I am, back for some advice and comraderie. I've missed you all.

    Over the last month or two, the hydrocodone has been losing it's effectiveness and I've been taking anywhere between 8 and 12 a day (they're 7.5/325). I had about a 10 day stretch where I took 12 which is the max on my rx.

    Now I'm trying to cut back and it's torture. I'm down to 8 or 9 now. I've talked to my psychiatrist and psychologist about my worries about the tolerance/dependence issues and have an appt w my primary doc in a week. I think I need to go to a pain mgmt doc.

    Yesterday when I went to pick up my prescriptions, my pharmacist (who is the nicest guy) expressed his concern over my increased intake of the Norco. He didn't want to fill it so soon cuz he noticed I'm using it up faster than before. He was just looking out for me and I realize I've been taking the max. He's going to give it to me today when I go back to pick it up since I told him I'm well aware of the potential abuse potential and I"m seeing my dr in a week.

    What am I supposed to do? My pain is worse than ever and I can't stand cutting back on the meds much more right now. I figure I'll try and keep it under 10 until my dr appt, then see what he says to do. I felt so humiliated and ashamed yesterday even tho I know my pharmacist well and he was so kind. There's just such a stigma about being addicted to pain meds and now I'm just another statistic. I am so messed up! HELP ME!!!
  2. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    Hi there!
    I've been there. There is nothing to be ashamed or humiliated about! You have to remember that. We live with pain. I remember telling my doctor, "try being in horrific pain (I described it), having some relief available, but not taking it". He totally understood and that made me feel better. He also said, that staying on top of the pain is very important. I used to wait until I couldn't take it anymore and then I never could catch up with it. BIG mistake. I've since switched docs but found another very supportive one.

    It sounds like you need a change in medication. You might ask to try the 10/325. I was on that for a while, but then switched to Percocet 10/325, because it is actually stronger than Norco. The 'dangerous' part of the med is the Tylenol - believe me, I've asked every single doctor I've seen about that, including pain management.
    Do you have any extended release meds to take, then use the Norco for breakthrough?
    Remember- what you are experiencing is NORMAL. You're not doing anything bad. It's a normal body reaction. You develop a tolerance. Your body may become dependant, that does NOT mean you are a drug addict. Are you taking your Norco to get high? No.

    I've had some really bad days when I've woken up at 3:30 am for the day, by 1pm., I've taken my 3 doses. Then what?
    I've suffered. There have also been days that I've only needed one dose! Hallelujiah!

    There is a chance, that many of us will need pain medication for a long time. It's one of the sad facts of this dd. Once you accept that, you may not feel so badly about it. I used to feel SO guilty, but my doctor told me just what I typed and realized it's nothing I've done, it's the way it is. Since she told me that, I don't feel weird when I call her office for my refill - (mine I have to pick up from her office)where before I used to get a sick feeling before I called.

    BTW- are you refilling early? If you rx allows you 12/day and you are taking 12/day, the pharmacy should fill.

    I think I posted this before. But before I started reading forums/msg boards, I really never felt the stigma. I needed my meds, I got them filled, I took as directed. Maybe that's why I never had a problem asking my doctor for them. I was always very matter of fact. Only since I started reading about the negative stuff did I realize the stigma attached.

    I'm here to support you. This is stressful and stress is the last thing you take a deep breath and put it in perspective, okay? Don't be mad at your body for it reacting perfectly normal.

  3. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    Thanks for your kind reply. I posted this on Sat and then forgot all about it, I'm in zombieland, I swear!

    I've been sticking to 8 or 9 a day and still pretty miserable. I haven't ever gone over the 12 per day max, but the pharmacist said the max recommended is 6-8 even tho the rx is written 2 every 4 hrs=12! He just said at higher doses it's bad for our bodies and I'm fully aware of that. I had asked to be switched to Norco a few months ago since it has less acetominophen.

    The only long acting pain med I've tried is MScontin (12 hr morphine). Morphine is actually the same chemically as hydrocodone, but it is easier on the liver cuz it's already broken down in it's chemical make up so the liver doesn't have to do the work. Anyway, I've tried it and it makes me sleepy and nauseated. I've taken it for nighttime pain and tried it during the day to cut back on the Norco, but I pretty much have to nap all day.

    I'm not afraid to discuss the matter w my primary doc. I reallly don't want to keep having to take higher doses of narcotics, but I know that's how they often end up working. Maybe there's another one I can switch to for awhile. Does anyone have any recommendations? I've noticed a lot of people here take oxycontin (?). I need to do a little research and find out about some of the different meds besides hydrocodone.

    My psychologist (PhD) is very knowledgeable about pharmacology and she recommended Suboxone. I've read of others here taking it, but not very many drs in my area are certified to prescribe it. We'll see if my dr will refer me to another type of dr on my insurance list.

    Lately I wonder if I'm feeling so incredibly achy and tired from med reactions or something. Is my body more susceptible to the pain because the narcotics have my brain messed up? It's all so confusing. I just know I want a break and can't imagine living the rest of my life like this, it's no's torture day in and day out. All I look forward to is sleeping cuz it's my only escape. I know there are a lot of people here who can relate unfortunately.

    I have been feeling sooo awful since about October, CONSTANTLY. It's been just one big long flare with the worst fatigue I've ever had. I am so sick of it all and am very very discouraged. Thanks for your support everyone, I need all the help I can get.

    Love you guys......Hermit
  4. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    I know EXACTLY how you feel. I have felt that exact same way. You hate the situation - you just want to sleep - the constant ache. I am SO with you!
    You can have 4000 mgs of Tylenol per day by the way - so that would be 12. Of course, you wouldn't want that every day, but that's the max. Believe me, I've had this discussion many times.
    I take Oxycontin. Yes it helps! I take that along with Oxycodone (no tylenol version). It really does help with the peaks and valleys.
    I also just took away some of the Oxycodone and went to a lower dose of Percocet (added some Tylenol back in) as meds with Tylenol seem to be more effective for me at least. It really is trial and error.
    The thing you have to do is control the pain! That is why you feel so desperate and well plain old yucky! Once you get that under control you'll feel a little better. I get scared and hopeless when I'm always hurting and can't get relief. That's when I start thinking 'what med will ever help me? I'm already taking so many etc." I have a feeling that what we're feeling is probably normal.
    When in pain, that's all your mind can think of. It sounds like you have the kind of pain I do. Sometimes I cannot believe that I can be hurting STILL, AGAIN...I am so SICK of it. If you don't feel it, you can't imagine it.

    Do ask your doctor about the Oxycontin. I have found that they also don't mind upping that dose more often. I think it has less potential for abuse - or it is perceived that way.
    I'm here for ya!
  5. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member


    Thanks again. I thought I'd get some more replies from others about their pain med experiences, but I guess it's a little slow around here lately.

    What kind of pain do you have? Mine is an all over ACHE with stabbing pain in my hips and shoulders (bursitis and tendonitis). Honestly the throbbing, burning aching is the worst cuz it comes back w such a vengeance. I just always tell people to imagine having the flu w a high fever...that's how I feel everyday, no fun.

    The Norco only lasts about 3.5 hrs now. I remember when I started taking it over a yr ago that I took 1 in the morn and 1 in the afternoon. Now it's 2.5 every 4 hrs during the day. I would like to find something that's longer acting, I find I really crash as soon as Norco wears off. Feel like I just dread those times and it's hard to enjoy the painfree time cuz I know it's going to come right back.

    This morn I waited for 2 hrs after I woke up to take the first dose...couldn't stand the aching any longer, but I'm still waiting for the med to kick in. I even break the pills up into quarters when I take them so they'll dissolve faster in my stomache. I'm not sure where in our system this stuff starts being absorbed etc...

    I'm going to try to drag myself down to get xrays of my shoulders this am. I've been putting it off for a month and really need to go. I had arthroscopic surgery on my rt shoulder 18 yrs ago and I'll probably need it now on my left one. It hurts so bad at night I can hardly sleep. I don't really take anything that helps thru the night for pain either.

    Well, great to hear from you...I'll check back later. xxxooo Hermit
  6. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    Hi, good to hear from you!

    5 miles a day, huh? What planet was that dr from??? I cannot believe how ignorant some people are.

    I'm going to my Primary dr on Monday, so we'll see if I get a referral from him to see a pain mgmt dr. I'm so frustrated right now, I'm sure you can relate.

    Take care, xxxooo Hermit
  7. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    What kind of pain do I have? Well, mine is mostly in my legs. My hips, thighs, knees, shins, ankles. When it's a really bad days, my arms ache as well. It is an intense ache - to the bone. Sometimes it feels like I've been beaten with a steel rod. Sometimes I almost feel sick because of it? Very hard to explain. It's like I'm carsick in my legs, then have a migraine in them as well.

    My bones ache, my muscles feel like someone is giving me an Indian burn from the inside (do you remember those?)and they are SO tired, sheer exhaustion in my legs. Sometimes my hips can't support me either.

    I feel the same way as you - a terrible flu without the fever. I feel that way most of the time. As a matter of fact I never knew what the "flare" was that people here were talking about. I flare most of the time. Yes some days are better than others.

    I too remember when 1-2 vicodin used to help a little. Truthfully nothing has ever really taken away my pain. But sometimes I can't even tell I've taken anything. I have to write down when I've taken my medication. It maybe lasts a few hours at the most. Maybe. That's why the longer acting meds help so much. It will carry you through those tougher times. I can get some relief for 4-5 hours (supposed to be 8 I think HA!) So I stagger them to get relief for as long as I can. See..that in itself - S T R E S S

    I went to pain mgmt once. Some people have a great experience. If you go that route, I hope you do as well. My doc was weird. Never went back. My PCP agreed to treat me. Thank goodness.

    I have had some days where I've been able to take my morning dose then make it all the way til evening - a few days where I only needed it once. What a great day(s)!!
    Wish I knew what precipitated them.
  8. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Welcome back but sorry to hear that you have not been feeling well.

    My pain is all over mostly in legs, arms, upper chest and back. It is a deep throbbing aching pain clear down to the bones. The pain makes me exhausted. I also have CFS/ME. While my joints do not hurt the muscles around them do.

    I have also had a bout with the most extreme pain I have ever had. It seems to be settling down a bit but if it continues I have been thinking about a pain specialist. When I was in the flair, it became so extreme, I could actually feel my tender points throbbing. I am not usually aware of them unless someone touches me there.

    As for the doctor who recommended running five miles and working full time, what is he, a mortician?

    If it were only that simple.

    Pain can actually harm your body. I will see if I can find the article that talks about this.

    Good luck and keep us posted.


  9. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I found the article and posted it under. "Chronic Pain Damages Brain"

    Hope this helps.

  10. texangal81

    texangal81 New Member

    I am posting a little late but I can so relate too. I can't find any doctors who are willing to give me narcotic pain meds. I have to beg and plead and then they give me 10. One doctor looked at me and said "usually when a patient asks for it, they are addicted". Needless to say I never went back to her. Right now I'm doing ok on Ultram but I worry about when that isn't enough. My doc already said she doesn't like narcotics for fibro so if I get to the point, I'll find another doc. I bought codeine online from France once before and if I'm desperate I'll do it again! BTW, I've had an insurance company and pharmacy flag me over narcotics. I feel like a crook just to get a little pain relief.
  11. cinnveet

    cinnveet New Member

    I know what you are going thru. My primary Dr. sent me to a pain specialist and realized I was suffering from FM/CFS, Spinal disorders, horrible legs cramps, Lupus, and many other problems. I was beat up with pain every day.

    I also started with Norco 10mg. When my body became immune to the Norco, it was then Roxycodone 30, once immune to that Roxycodone 30 and Fentenal patches another instant narcotic that melts under your tongue for when the pain was too much.

    My prescription never seemed to last the 30 days it was suppose to because I liked how when I took it, it would give me a burst of energy and I felt like my old self. But it always quickly wore off.

    I then became isolated from the world and family. Would not leave my bedroom. The anxiety took over and I went to detox for a week. Then str8 to NA group every day. Prescribed Suboxone and felt normal. Only stayed on Suboxone for 3 months, later to find out that was not long enough. Stayed clean from narcotics for 9 months faithfully going to NA. Then I fell and fractured my knee and messed up my neck and lower back. So back to narcotics again.

    I changed my pain management Dr. because of how much narcotics he would give me and of course I accepted it because I was in pain. Got into car accident, Roxycodone was upped from 20mg to 30mg.

    Back to isolation and depression I went, until I found out about an organization that will find you a Dr. who will prescribe Suboxone. Very informative web site. It is Found a great Dr., back on Suboxone now for 6 wks, was given non narcotic medicine for the pain and had to sign an agreement that I would attend a private small meeting in his office with about 8 to 10 other patients every Wednesday night for 6 wk's and pay $33.00, then I don’t have to pay anything, but will still get my script for Suboxone.

    I still hurt, and have some very bad days. But thankful that I recognized my dependency and addiction. Not everyone is like me and they can take their med's a prescribed. I wish I was one of them, but I am not.

    I truly wish you the best because I like all of us here know pain is a terrible way to live. And I am thankful for other options now available.

    God bless,
  12. kellyamos

    kellyamos New Member

    Sorry this is a bit late in responding, but I just now read your post. I am so sorry to hear the meds you are taking are no longer helping. I have RA and FM and have been seeing a great pain doc for about 3 years now.

    I started with Oxycodone 7.5 mgs way back in 1999 when first dx with the RA. Then, I was dx with the FM in 2005. The FM Pain was so bad and my stupid rheumy would not increase the oxyodone. So I sought out a pain doc and fired my rheumy.

    This pain doc started me on 20 mgs oxycontin 2 X a day and 15 mgs of oxycodone 3 X a day (for breakthrough pain). That worked for about 1 year and then he increased the oxycontin to 3 X a day and the oxycodone(no tylenol) to 4 X a day. This truly helped.

    I have been on this dose for about 2 years now and am starting to tell the tolerance is building and they are not as effective as they used to be.

    Most primary docs will not prescribe the higher narcotic doses we need to function in life. I would recommend seeing a pain specialist and ask him/her to let you try the oxycontin. They have been an absolute life saver for me.

    Also remember that the tylenol that is added to your current pain meds can really affect the liver, so please be careful in taking pain meds that are mixed with the tylenol.

    The oxycontin and the oxycodone I have been taking have no tylenol in them at all. I wish you the best of luck and pray you can get your pain under control. Please keep us posted on how you are doing.


  13. jen_miester27

    jen_miester27 New Member

    i would just like people to be careful taking that. my sister n law took it for a short time, after a surgery, and she died from it. they said that the oxycontin builds up in your system. very scarey. please be careful if you are taking this.