Pain Meds Alternative to NSAIDs, Tylenol

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dhcpolwnk, Jan 17, 2003.

  1. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    I have been getting by using buffered aspirin and extra-strength Tylenol (generic) for pain (along with Neurontin). But I have had a couple of blood tests that show elevated liver enzymes (a danger signal for Tylenol), and my acid reflux problems limit the amount ot NSAIDs I can take. I'm a little nervous about getting started with narcotics, and I understand that although Elavil can help with pain (and sleep), it also tends to cause weight gain, which I'd really like to avoid.

    Complicating this picture is the fact that I'm taking Avonex for my multiple sclerosis, and my neuro told me on Wednesday that Avonex sometimes causes elevated liver enzymes. I talked to the Avonex people this morning, and while my neuro was correct, it's also possible that the Avonex alone wouldn't cause the problem, but that it might in combination with Tylenol.

    In any case, all this leaves me in a quandary about how to handle pain. If it's just the low-level aching that I always seem to have, I usually can manage without taking anything, but I've had a lot of pain in my arms (especially right arm) lately. Nothing really seems to help, that either. It feels muscular, not neurological, and though buffered aspirin or Tylenol sometimes dulls it a bit, the pain returns in spades if I move my arm the wrong way.

    I'd really appreciate some ideas I can float with my doctors in considering my alternatives.

    Thanks for whatever suggestions you can share.

    --Laura R.M.

  2. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    I'm bumping this message in hopes that somebody has a suggestion for me.

    --Laura R.M.
  3. lisjhn

    lisjhn New Member

    If your liver enzymes are high, I'd watch the tylenol. Perhaps ask your doctor for Lortab, which is Vicodin with half the tylenol. (10/500) Or oxycontin which doesn't have any tylenol.

    The neurontin has been working for me, I just started taking it and noticed I must take it every 4 hours. I can only tolerate 100mg. at a time. I don't know how much you take, but perhaps you can up your dosage if it helps with your pain. I believe it's metabolized through your kidneys and not your liver so that would be a good choice to spare your liver any extra damage.

    I take Ultram which has been a life saver for me. If you haven't tried that, it works better than most opiods for my pain since it works on supressing Substance P. (P=pain!) Although, I heard it's hard on the liver, I'm not sure if it's true.

    I was on Elavil for a few months and gained a lot of weight. It pretty much stopped my metabolism and made me crave lots of chocolate. Although I do recommend this as it helped me to have a very restful sleep and seemed to help a LITTLE with pain as well, you have to weigh out the advantages and disadvantages of this med. It's an older med so a newer one might be worth the try.

    I'm on Neurontin, Lortab or Vicodin, and Ultram right now and the combo seems to help with my pain. I'm not pain-free, but it definitely takes the edge off!

    Good Luck! ~LISA
  4. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    Thanks so much for your suggestions, Lisa. I will be seeing my medication specialist tomorrow afternoon, and I will discuss these suggestions with him.

    --Laura R.M.
  5. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    Ultram *was* my best friend!!!! I took this for several years and worked and worked and worked. Then, with the severe pain in my rear end and thighs, I had to add Mobic, Soma and Vicodin. Then, I stopped the Vicodin and added Oxycontin 20 mg. each a.m. and 10 mg. each p.m. and Oxy IR in between for breakthrough pain. Hot baths with Epsom Salts in it, warmth from rice socks, a warm bed, a warm husband, 3 warm cats, Lidoderm patches topically, rest, relaxation and much prayer.....this is my solution to pain at this time....who knows about next month.........
    Love,
    Kady
  6. lisjhn

    lisjhn New Member

    When you see your doctor, it might be best to ask what he/she thinks about Ultram first. It is not a narcotic although it acts like one on the receptors once in the body. He/She may be more comfortable prescribing you that first before any opiods anyway. I noticed you said you were nervous about getting started on narcotics, so Ultram would be my first choice if I were you. Let us know what your doctor said and what they prescribed you, I'm interested to know.

    ~LISA
  7. AnnetteP

    AnnetteP New Member

    I know you are asking about pain medication, but because I really don't have much pain anymore, I can't offer you much in that area. However, because your liver enzymes are elevated, I strongly suggest you take milk thistle, ALA (alpha lipoic acid) and/or NAC (N-acetyl-cysteine), as these supplements are great at detoxifying the liver. I take all three, and after months of liver-damaging meds, my enzymes were normal.

    Good luck,
    Annette
  8. selma

    selma New Member

    is good to take. Tylenol doesn't help much for me. Ultram and Oxycontin are helping TG. I hope the new drug for MS which they say is coming out in 2 yrs. works. Meanwhile your doc seems open to trying other meds. Good luck.
    Love, Selma