New and a bit nervous of Pain Meds...what do you take/recommend?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Keja, Oct 2, 2002.

  1. Keja

    Keja New Member

    Hi...I was diagnosed with FM and CFS almost 18 months ago and have gone through 2 years of Lupus testing (all tests showing negative results). My muscle and joint pain sometimes will get so bad (as I am sure you all know) that nothing seems to help. I have tried to stay with natural remedies (herbs, vitamins, essential oils ect.) as much as possible but now have opened up to the more traditional remedies. My Doctor now has me on Xanax 5mg, Soma 350mg and Oxycontin 10mg, all of which are PRN. Is it the "norm" to be on narcotics? Is it common for peole with diseases such as these to become addicted to pain meds? The amount of Oxycontin does not even touch my pain but I can't take Vicodin or percodan.
    Please...if anyone has any advise they could give me or experience they would share, I would greatly appreciate it!!!
  2. Keja

    Keja New Member

    Hi...I was diagnosed with FM and CFS almost 18 months ago and have gone through 2 years of Lupus testing (all tests showing negative results). My muscle and joint pain sometimes will get so bad (as I am sure you all know) that nothing seems to help. I have tried to stay with natural remedies (herbs, vitamins, essential oils ect.) as much as possible but now have opened up to the more traditional remedies. My Doctor now has me on Xanax 5mg, Soma 350mg and Oxycontin 10mg, all of which are PRN. Is it the "norm" to be on narcotics? Is it common for peole with diseases such as these to become addicted to pain meds? The amount of Oxycontin does not even touch my pain but I can't take Vicodin or percodan.
    Please...if anyone has any advise they could give me or experience they would share, I would greatly appreciate it!!!
  3. queenbee69

    queenbee69 New Member

    Keja, Sorry to hear your in so much pain. Im with you there. FMS is fairly new to me too. I cant take really anything for pain because they all make me ill. I cant really shed any light on the drug thing either, but Im sure someone will respond to you and let you know. I can see where people could become addicted though,. The pain is so bad at times it seems like your going to die. I too do noit sleep much..Thank God for this computer....Im going to go....just wanted to let you jnow that your not alone with this. Good luck in your quest for info. Take care, Queenbee69
  4. Keja

    Keja New Member

    Thanks a BUNCH Queenbee69 for responding so quickly!!! I do know, and you are absolutely right in saying that we are NOT alone, yet I still find myself feeling that way sometimes...so it feels good to be reminded of that every now & again :)
  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Less than one percent of people with chronic pain become psychologically addicted to narcotics. I used Morphine to control my unbearable pain and it allowed me to start other treatments which eventually have allowed me to almost never need to resort to the Morphine now. I saw it as a temporary treatment while I tried other things. Opiates are one of the oldest tried and true medications and you build less of a tolerance to them than to other meds. That's what I liked about Morphine.

    When I got my pain under control, I started the Guai treatment. It's a long-term treatment and doesn't produce results right away. In fact, pain can get worse before it gets better. Then, I started taking Klonopin to get a good night's sleep. The ZMA sold here is an excellent sleep aid and works synergistically with sleep meds. Finally, I started physical therapy and the exercises keep my muscles toned and strengthened. These are gentle flexes and stretches which can even be done in bed.

    Not everyone can make the transition from pain meds, but I highly recommend it if you can do it. The danger of taking pain meds year after year is that if you ever are in a bad accident or become ill with a very painful condition, you may have built up such a tolerance that the docs would have nothing to offer for pain short of a lethal dose. Some have such horrible pain that going off pain meds seems impossible and they feel they must have them to get through the day. We are all different, but I do think trying other things is a good idea.

    Love, Mikie
  6. sickandtired

    sickandtired New Member

    Hello. I've been taking vicoden for about 5 years now. It doesn't relieve my pain completely, but makes it bearable to function. I was taking 2 or 3 a day. I recently became pregnant and had to drop my meds and it was no problem. What I've experienced is that if you take your pain meds as perscribed to manage pain, the probability for addiction is low. The addiction factor comes in when people misuse the pain meds when a temporary pain starts to subside, but our pain is always there. This is just my opinion and my experience. I believe that the "threat of addiction" comes from illegal street sales and the DEA trying to control it.
  7. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    Hi, Keja:

    Fibromyalgia is new for me, too. I was just diagnosed in July, but realized I have had it for years (along with endometriosis, which was diagnosed over two years ago). I have been on pain medication since the endometriosis diagnosis and have found that after awhile I become immune to the drug and need to try something else. I am currently on Ultracet (there is no mg. on the bottle). It wasn't helping as much (I started on this about nine months ago), so I called the fibromyalgia specialist I've been seeing and he doubled the dosage. It has been helping for the moment.

    To help me sleep in addition to the Ultracet, I also take Elavil 10mg. and also Melatonin (this is a natural substance in the brain which helps to trigger sleep). I take all of this about an hour before I go to bed to give it time to work. I still have bad nights, but sometimes I do get a good night in. I'm grateful for anything at this point. I read the many people with FM are low in magnesium, which can help with our sensitivity to pain. So on my own I just started taking it twice a day, which gives me 300 mg. The RDA is 320 for women. When I read the foods that are high in magnesium, I realized it was foods I didn't eat on a daily basis.

    I certainly understand your problem with pain-I guess everyone here does. Anyway, I don't know if this info helps you or not, but good luck to you!

    Ellen
  8. achy

    achy New Member

    You sound like me word for word. I too am taking
    Xanax 5 mg 3X day
    Soma 350 1@Bed & one in afternoon if needed
    20mg Oxycontin with 7.5mg percocet if needed for breakthru

    I have been playing with meds for over a year and this combo I swear by. Yes, I still have pain, but I have what I need to keep it undercontrol...usually. Nothing helps a flare.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: the Oxycontin has to be taken regularly. It kinda builds up in your sustem..once you get a steady dosage in ya it works better.
    Why don't ya ask your doc to up the Oxy to 20mg and see if that helps. OR, take 1/2 a soma halfway between your 12 hour dosage.
    Like I said I have to take a percocet at 2:00...the 20mg of Oxy gets a bad lag after 6-8hrs.

    Good luick
    Achy

  9. Darla5010

    Darla5010 New Member

    I had no idea that FMS caused such pain! I have had neck and back problems for years and years and after 2 surgeries and no let up of pain, just figured the pain was from all that. Maybe part of it is from the fibro also!! I have been thru the vicodin (it's for breakthru pain now), Etvil, Fexeril, oxy (which made me itch so bad I scratched my skin raw),and lots of other neds, so now I have been on MS Contin (morphine) 30mg 2xday for the past 2 years. Ativan and Celexa. I don't know if these help me or not, I still don't sleep and I still have great aniexity. And I still have almost constant pain. (could be due to I have 4 more heirnated and 4 bulging disc back there)!! I am addicted to the morphine, even though the doctors don't call it that. Last winter I ran out of it and by the 3rd day I was vomiting, fever, shakes, etc. Went to the ER and they had to give me a high does of Demeral to stop the symptoms. Soon as I took my morphine, I was fine again. So that tells you how that behaves! But I couldn't live without it right now for my pain. They want to put a morphine pump in me and I say no! That's a last resort for me. The tender (sore) spots on my upper arms and thighs get so sore I can't stand it some days. What can you do for these?
  10. Allen2

    Allen2 New Member

    pain meds, that is. I'm grateful to God for Ultram, a moderate-strength pain reliever and Vicodin when the misery is off the charts. Many docs still are scared spitless about addiction: actually the national scandal is the UNDERTREATMENT of chronic pain and the needless misery of so many. You got me on my soapbox, by golly! Al
  11. Sunshyne1027

    Sunshyne1027 New Member

    I have taken a variety of pain meds.

    Aleve, it helped for a time,then I started getting this terrible stomach, bowel problems with it. So discontinued it.

    I tried Vicodin for a time, after a car accident. For back and neck pain. It caused drowsiness, tiredness, for a few hours after taking it. I felt like a zombie. But after getting used to it, it seemed to bring me more energy.

    I have tried Tylenol 3's, they didnt work so was prescibred Tylenol 4's. They seemed to work for a time, but after a time,I became resistent to them, had to take more of them at a time for them to work on helping with the pain.

    I have recently started Ultram and Skelaxin. A TMJ, facial pain doc started me on them a few days ago. They seem to be working, but they cause a big time drowsiness, and I am working, and its interferring with my ability to work. I was told the effects of them after a time, will decrease, and I hope so. The pain doc said that to stay away from the Tylenol 4's because of the side effects.

    I hope you find what you are looking for with the pain meds. Its a trial and error, to see what works best for you. Then there may be alot of switching, when one stops working well.

  12. karen2002

    karen2002 New Member

    Keja---In the beginning, I too, was worried about pain meds. After much research on chronic pain, and enduring chronic pain, here is the decision I came to:
    1. Only 1% of chronic pain sufferers ever becomes addicted to their meds.
    2. Chronic, unrelenting pain, is more debilitating in my opinion, than the side effects I encounter with my meds.
    3. If I find myself in that minute 1% of addicted, chronic pain sufferers, it will still be worth it, because with my pain meds., I can still have some quality to my life.
    Karen
    Oops--forgot the other half of the question--foggy, today.
    I take Ultram daily and Vicodan on bad days, as needed for break through pain, and Elavil daily@ bedtime.
    [This Message was Edited on 10/03/2002]
  13. tlsparrow

    tlsparrow New Member

    Hi Keja,

    I, too, suffer from fibro. Have had it 10 years, but was only diagnosed about a year ago. My pain is sooo severe, I am on 80 mg of oxy a day. I also can take two percocet a day for breakthrough pain. I'm also on Zanaflex (muscle relaxer), clonzapam (light sedative) for sleep. Zoloft and Paxil for depression and anxiety. Don't I sound like a fun person.....lol. It's a major chore every Sunday sitting down to separate my meds for the week. I'm only 41, but feel 80.

    Anyway, about the oxy. It saved my life. I was in so much pain that I didn't want to live anymore. Even though I have a loving husband and two wonderful boys, the pain was taking away all logic and hope in my life.

    Oxycontin has given me back some quality of life. Honey, take what you need to get your life back. Have a serious talk with your doctor about your fears of addiction and/or withdrawls. My research shows that chronic pain sufferers suffer from a very low possibility of addiction. As for withdrawls, the right doctor will be there with you every step of the way to help you off the meds, when and if the time comes.

    Why suffer, when help is available. Ask you doctor to up it a little at a time. If you feel like talking write to me at tlsparrow@aol.com

    Take care of yourself!

    Terry Sparrow
  14. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    Ultram, Soma, Vicodin...........love these meds to death!!
    ('specially the Ultram..it's my BEST friend!)

    Love,
    Kady
  15. JP

    JP New Member

    Hello Keja,

    Jan here...

    There is an amazing difference between dependency and addiction. It took me awhile to finally get this concept and accept the help with meds. I have a dependency with my medication, not just the pain medication. I need hormone replacement thearpy (HRT) for an autoimmune disease, pain medication to control chronic back pain and FM, anti-inflammatory medication for widespread arthritis...and the list continues. I was a veggie, all natural athlete in my day. Wow, does life look different now.

    Anyway, I tend to have the best results with taking good old Vicodin Es 3x per day (at meals). It never makes me high, just takes a wee bit of the edge off to help with daily function. I do not increase my pain meds. I know they take the edge off everytime I skip a dose. It is a good reminder that they help. I also control my pain daily in other assorted methods, like heat, ice, water therapy, weights, walking, positive thought, mediation, Epsom salt baths, etc...

    Hang in there and don't worry about the meds, go for increased quality and find what works for you.

    Take care
  16. teach6

    teach6 New Member

    First I want to extend a big welcome to you. You've found a great source of support and information here.

    I take Ultram, four times a day for my FM pain. Like you I also have CFS. I try to use the least amount possible, while still controlling my pain so I can function. That doesn't mean it's gone, but it's just not screaming at me all the time like it was before I was on Ultram.

    Barbara
  17. Maggie000

    Maggie000 Guest

    Hi, I'm not an FM patient, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and I came here for info for my friend who was just dx with FM.. I thought I would jump in and just give my 2 cents worth re: addictions to pain killers or tranquilizers. I'm on Ultram for a pain killer, and also alpolazam (sp) as an anti depressant. I told my Dr. I am not that concerned about addictions, as I believe that stress is a killer, I have yet to hear of a person dying from a tranqulizer of pain killer. As an overdose, that is something entirely different. I feel I will worry about weening off later " if and when" I ever do. I know that when I am in pain, it causes me to also get stressed out, and like I said,stress is a killer, tranquilzer is not. So, that is my philosophy... take it for what it is worth :):) Oh, BTW, My Dr. said he agreed with me and he said he certainly could not disagree with my philosophy. He also knows me and I am not one for pushing pills unless it is necessary... Take Care and I hope you have more pain free days...

    Maggie