Question about pain meds

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lvjesus, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    When I was on vacation in New York for a week, I took my hydrocodone every morning before we left the motel. I did very well for that week but was crashed for the next two weeks (just a side note, nothing to do with my question).

    This past weekend after cleaning on Saturday my back muscles were VERY sore, but I took the hydrocodone regularly and by Monday it was all gone.

    My question is: does anyone find or think that taking the pain meds on a regular schedule versus "as needed" make a difference? I have been taking a half with advil every morning around 6 or 7. Sometimes I need some later in the day (I have to wait at least 6 hours to avoid drowsiness) and sometimes I don't. I have been taking another half with advil before bed also.

    Just curious.
  2. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    I know that taking my hydrocodone 7.5 post surgeries (one in 2007 and one this yr.) on a regular basis was the key to getting rid of a lot of my pain. But, I have hesitated doing this on a regular basis. Plus, in my mind at least, I'm always trying to get off the drugs completely.

    When my pain gets to be more than I can stand, I have taken 2 at a time . . . but, by that time, nothing will get rid of the pain. I can't seem to take any OTC drugs for pain but Tylenol . . . and, it does nothing .Right now, I'm trying vitamins and supplements for pain, but I still have to take the hydrocodone; wish it wasn't so bad for us . . . then I would definitely take it on a regular basis.

    When I was first dx'd, I told my Rheumy I had been taking 1/2 hydrocodone twice a day - like you; he told me I was under medicated (go figure).

    Soft Hugs,
    Sharon (Nikki)

  3. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    I don't think I have done a very good job of explaining my question, but your answer does apply to what I was trying to ask :)

    It seems sometimes that getting ahead of the pain is more effective. So if I take it early in the day then that accomplishes 2 things: #1 it nips it in the bud right away and #2 it allows for a 2nd doseage during the work day, say around noon if I take it @ 6am.

    I guess the main issue is that I am STILL trying to figure out this DD (fibro) when no one really knows much about it - what causes it, what helps it, blah, blah, blah. I keep saying I am going to stop puzzling over it my little brain, but I just keep on guessing...
  4. Nikki

    Nikki Member

    what you were saying . . . & I agree. Guess my brain fog was pretty bad yesterday & I'm the one who didn't explain very well :) .

    After my surgeries, I was told by all my drs. to take my pain med every 4 hrs even if I didn't feel like I needed it. And, that way, I never had the horrible pain that I now get.

    I think you're on to something.

  5. ksp56

    ksp56 Member

    I frequently make the mistake of not taking pain med's before my pain is extremely high. It take's forever to feel relief after doing so. Doctor's have always advised me to get a head of the pain.

    While I don't need them often, this is the very best thing I can do to help myself. And when I am flaring I take them as often as I can. Such as now. Our weather is changing, again, and it bring's on bad flare's. I will use as needed until I don't! LOL

    Take care!

  6. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    I did not take anything before bed (thought I'd save the dose) and when I got up this morning the pain in my ribs that was gone was back. The only thing that worries me is running out (I only get 30 a month) and taking some when I wouldn't need any.

    I am WELL aquainted with waiting too long to take something and having to wait MISERABLY for it to take effect. Sucks! LOL

  7. jc16551

    jc16551 New Member


    Taking narcotic pain medications on a daily basis can lead to physiological dependence (medicine becomes less effective, need to take it just to feel normal or to function etc.), can precipitate withdrawal symptoms as well, and lead to dosage escalations and dependence.

    Pain meds are a double-edged sword. Sometimes they're completely necessary on a daily basis. Even when warranted, tolerance and dependence will inevitably develop along with a lessening of the analgesic effect when taken on a daily basis.

    Ideally, PO narcotics should be taken PRN (as needed,) but as always, one really has to weigh-out the pro's and con's on a case-by-case basis as to what method of administration is in the patient's best interest.

    Dr. Dan
  8. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    I feel sort of safe in that area. I was on 5/500 for 7 years before I went up to 7.5 (I take 1/2 at a time). Right now I am having a bout of costochondritis which I am keeping pretty much under control with regular dosing at this time.

    In this case, I am willing to take some risk because my last bout with it was MISERABLE. Pain was such as I could not concentrate properly about work or anything much because it was all I could think of. So for now I will keep up the regamin. I take in the a.m. and sometimes I won't take another till bed time. The only "regular" part is every morning. If I don't need another dose in 6 or so hours, I don't take it, so I am doing both as needed and on a schedule if that makes sense.

  9. MicheleK

    MicheleK Member

    I think you are handling your pain in a responsible manner. If you were chugging back multiple pills a day and then finding you needed increased dosing, then that would be trouble.

    I took a half of a Lorcet 2 x a day for years. I never needed a higher dose and it not only took away the pain but gave me a bit of energy. Eventually I didn't need the pill anymore when I did physical therapy and learned where I needed to stretch my body a number of times a day.

    Pain is a very personal thing and each person is different. I hope you will continue to have the success with such low doses of hydrocodone.
  10. mujuer

    mujuer New Member

    I was on a "as needed" schedule and it wasn't working. I was having heavy flares up here in the Pac Northwest in the winter. They sent me to another Dr. in the same pain clinic as I was getting some depression too due to 4 family members, including my father dying within 3 weeks and a friend of the family.
    They gave me to one of their new Dr.s their who was a Psychiatrist who specialized in pain. She told me that the protocol "as needed" was not enough for someone with Fibro and Ankylosing Spondylitis. I was put on Percocet 5-325 and then 45 minutes later I would take a 7-325 and then 5 hours later-repeat. I felt like a new women. She understood what real pain was. Now I am on the Fentanyl patch, also an opiod with Percocet as a breakthrough med. and I feel like a kid again. I have had A.S. since I was 28 and Fibro since I was 49 and I am now 54. Feels like a lion and a bear trying to rip my back apart. This Dr. has since left and took up a private practice. She is now a primary care Dr., Psychiatrist and pain care management specialist (Right) She is awesome!!!
    She just came back from a whole weekend up here about Fibro. I have her cell number, her e-mail and if I can't drive home from an appt. due to the time and fatigue she has told me that I could stay at her guest house.
    I will have to be on Narcotics probably for the rest of my life as A.S. is a progressive disease. I want some quality of life so I don't do that self talk anymore and have labs if not weekly, every two weeks.
    You just can over-cede the amount of acetaminophen in the Percocet in one day. While you can take up to the very highest amount it won't pound your liver like everyone is afraid of it doing.
  11. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    I think, at least for now, this is keeping me on an even keel. Mujuer, glad you fuond a doc to really help you. I know how some feel about pain meds but it really is a quality of life issue.