Question for those on Narcotic pain relief

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tandy, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. tandy

    tandy New Member


    Hi everyone~
    For those who don't know my history,...
    I've had FM and afew other painful conditions for a long time.(12 yrs). Over the yrs I've never been given anything stronger than Ultram or Darvecet for my pain complaints.
    Which neither one of those work for me,.....
    But dr. won't budge, so I suffer daily.

    Lets just say,..a friend of mine gave me a few Lortabs to help me out. (Thank you!!!)
    The Lortabs help alot!! they are 10mgs.

    Heres my observation,..and question.
    I get loads of pain relief from the lortabs BUT...
    after about 4 hrs they wear off and I acually seem to have MORE pain than before.???
    Is this a common thing to happen with the stronger narcotic pain meds?
    We're kinda damned if we do, and damed if we don't.
    Thanks
    Tandy
  2. gramaT

    gramaT New Member

    I have never tried Lortabs but I take Oxycontin and don't seem to feel the pain is worse when it wears off. I take it three times a day (10 mg) sometimes I can take it two if I'm feeling better but have trouble getting off of it and dont want to right now.

    Good Luck with your meds

    Carolyn in Ill
  3. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    I've never been on Lortabs, but have been on Kadian (morphine) since March of last year. I wish you lived near my doctor. He is wonderful. He says he doesn't believe that most people become addicted to narcotics and doesn't think people should suffer if something can help them.

    I haven't had the experience you describe. I was on Kadian 20 mg. twice a day, but the past several weeks I noticed some of the sharp, shooting pains coming back. I saw the FMS doctor recently and he upped the Kadian to 30 mg. twice a day. It's still a low dose and hopefully I won't need to have it increased for a long time. You probably know that the body builds up a tolerance for pain meds after awhile and they have to be increased.

    The only thing I was disappointed in with the Kadian is that it doesn't help with the aching pain in my neck, right shoulder and upper back. My doctor put me on Lyrica to help with that, but so far it hasn't done anything.

    Have you tried switching doctors? Maybe someone here knows of a good doctor in your area?

    Ellen
  4. nan2dance

    nan2dance New Member

    I've never noticed that pain is worse after these wear off. I've taken Tylenol with Codeine for years at bedtime. I try to vary what I take because, yes, their effectiveness does wear off. But since the MD can't prescribe more than one narc at a time I'm not very successful doing this. The other things I've taken that are helpful (and haven't exacerbated MY pain later on) are Oxycontin and Hydrocodone. At night. For all I know they are the same thing. I save them for the really, really bad times.

    I can't speak to using this stuff regularly and during the day. I'm at the point where I can usually get by during the day. My docs never considered giving me pain meds when I was out of my mind with pain. "Be patient, it gets better eventually." Much later when the pain was much better my mom gave me a tyl w/ cod she had and God bless her! I called up the doc like I'd just discovered the cure for polio. Sure, he said, I'll call in a prescription for you. WHA??? Docs...

    Anyway, since I take most meds at night, one thing I like to do is take something kind to my liver in the morning. Thistle cleanse, dandelion extract, even lemonade. I'm no doc, so I'll just say I FEEL that these things are helpful. Some meds (just like alcohol), particularly narcs can stress the liver. So anything you can do to support the liver is a good idea. This MAY account for some of the ick you are experiencing after meds. Generally, the thistle cleanse/dandelion extracts do seem to help with my icks, particularly in the morning.

    Speaking of which, sometimes I find cranberry extract helps with lower back icks (pain, achiness, puffy/stuffy sensation). Cranberry is supposed to help purify the kidneys. Again, I'm no scientist (or herbalist) but I have found these things supportive. Not a cure by any stretch of the imagination. But definitely helpful.

    Good luck!
    nan2dance
  5. MsE

    MsE New Member

    Ativan has helped me, too. My doc said the same thing as you did about the brain being involved. Also, since it relaxes muscles it seems to ease the pain in my legs.

    haven't been diagnosed with fibro, but have CFIDS. I suspect I have fibro as well. I do have a lot of pain in my legs and some in my arms and neck as well.

    Lately I have also used a half a hydrocodone tablet for leg pain, but that's all I can manage. That stuff gives me a raging headache if I use more of it. But, for that matter, so does ibuprophen and naproxen.

  6. 69mach1

    69mach1 New Member

    weight gain as side effects?

    i am tired o f gaining weight on these darn things...

    i am not on anything currently i have to take a week off ..

    the ncall doc back up

    jodie
  7. minimonkey

    minimonkey New Member

    I've used Vicodin for pain relief on and off for years. I don't find that it makes the pain any worse at all -- if anything, having relief from the pain makes it less severe after ... my muscles relax a bit when the pain stops, breaking the cycle a bit. I've also never shown any signs of getting addicted to it -- no withdrawal at all, even after weeks of using it -- no desire to take it if I'm not hurting enough to need it, etc. I can function fine on it -- doesn't impair my ability to drive/work/etc. So, for me it has been a miracle (if hard to come by regularly -- you all know that!)

    Sadly, my pain is at an all time high right now, and even Vicodin ES isn't working to keep it manageable -- I may have to go on something stronger, which I really don't want to do.
  8. WoodstocksMusic

    WoodstocksMusic New Member

    I use hydrocodone (generic for Loratab) 10mg ... The 10mg tablets let you break them in half for 5mg... I spent 3 years trying to learn how to control the pain...

    control was just not happening when I waited until I was in tears to take the hydrocodone...I did this because I did not want to become addicted to they stuff...so I made sure I was suffering enough to warrant using it...

    I will tell you what finally broke the pain cycle for me and I have taken maybe 5 hydrocodone pills in the last 6 months...that is practically pain free living at long last! I finally but 2 and 2 together and realized that in the mornings I would tough out the pain as long as I could, then take 5 mg at say noon or 2 pm if I could tough it out that long...then at 4ish I would still be in bad shape and end up taking 2 (or 20mg) this would do the trick but 4 hours later I needed another 10mg dose....do the math that is a total of 40mg. Next day I would punish myself and try to hold out longer....I played this game of wait and hurt for 3 years trying to prove that I was tougher then the pain...

    Then I finally realized that hydrocodone was keeping me awake late into the night..(some it puts to sleep some it hypes them up and they cannot sleep) So I finally decided to try to catch the pain early and tested this method of taking my pain meds... I took 1/2 of one when I got up regardless of how I felt...that is 5mg....4 hours later I took another 5mg(unless the pain was sevier then I would take 10mg on the second dose)...4 hours later if the second dose worked well I would drop back to 5mg... do the math 20mg total at this point...and I was functioning during the day instead of sitting in my lazy boys on my back massager crying in pain. I would stop taking pain meds at 5 in the afternoon that way by 10pm I would be able to sleep...if the pain woke me up during the night and I could not get back to sleep I took pain med then....if you can't sleep because of pain you might as well be awake and out of pain.

    Eventually after 6 month of taking pain med early I found that the 5mg first thing was all I really needed each day...I would skip the second dose and sometime in the early afternoon I might need 5mg more....that is only 10mg a day total... my sleep improved during this time and my dependence on hydrocodone in order to function was gradually decreasing. I eventually learned to be able to tell when I first got up if I needed the hydrocodone or just advil.

    This has been such a blessing to understand what type of pain my body is in and what level of pain relief I need for that day.

    If you are having trouble sleeping(which FM sufferers naturally do) then you might try taking the narcotic pain meds early and cutting them out the last 5hours to see if they are interferring with your sleep.... poor sleep will cause the pain to be worse the next day...

    So the pain /sleep cycle is a rough place to be caught in. One feed on the other....pain keeps you awake...loss of rest make the pain worse....

    Note here...it took me about 4 years total to work through this pain/lost sleep/vicious pain cycle... I hope my learning experiment will give you somewhat of a head start as you try to figure out what works best for you.
  9. Pianowoman

    Pianowoman New Member

    I take the Canadian equivalent to Lortabs and I do not find it makes the pain worse. However, you know that we are all different and that can be frustrating. It appears that some type of Narcotic might help you if you can find someone to prescibe them. The oxycontin that was mentioned is a longer acting form and may give more even pain relief.

    Have you tried taking to your Doctor some of the research that says that narcotics are helpful in FM and not addicting in those with chronic pain? Do you have a rheumatologist? Mine is so good with prescribing pain meds.

    Good Luck
    Kathy.

  10. bigmh

    bigmh New Member

    Hi Tandy...I sure understand your last statement! I have been on Oxycontin, but it just doesn't do much. So the pain doc moved me to methadone, 10 mg 2-3 X/day. I have FMS, migraines, and lots of pain. It definitely helps the most with the pain of anything that I have tried.

    However!!! It does want to stop me up (serious constipation!!), so I had gone off of it for a couple of weeks. Just got back from the pain doc, and she put me back on it with Miralax, a prescription laxative, 1-2 X/day. I sure hope it works because this pain is awful.

    I was certainly not pain-free with methadone, but much better. I sure hope that you can find a doc that will help you. I have tried not to use narcotics, but the suffering is just too much. Life has to be somewhat liveable, and if it takes narcotics for it to be that way for me, then I will take them. I don't feel or act funny...at least I don't think so!!! Hope this helps...blessings...Ann
  11. momerella

    momerella New Member

    I have been on Lortab 7.5 mg for about four years now. If I wake up and am not sore, I don't take one. But if I am, what I do is break them in half. I have a pill cutter. I usually end up taking a total of two throughout the day, along with 1/2 mg Xanax 2-4 times a day also, as I have anxiety, and Effexor for depression (wish I'd never gotten on it because it's hell trying to get off as I have tried). But back to the Lortab, I find that if I break them in half and pace them throughout the day it works better, plus I'm not taking as much. It's usually worse in the morning, and then mid afternoon. Yes, the pain comes back, but I don't necessarily thinks it's the medicine. I just think it's the medicine wearing off and the pain still being there. I use a heating pad in the mornings if it's real bad. I have migraines resulting from my FBS being mostly in my upper shoulders and neck. I do find, however, that exercising does make me feel better if I do it consistently. When I lay off, though, I hurt more for a while until my body gets conditioned to it. And baths with a muscle-soothing soak helps too.
  12. tandy

    tandy New Member

    I also try to get away taking less.
    I'll break mine in half and see if it works first,..before taking the full amount.
    Probably fear of addiction because the drs. PUMP that so into your brains!!
    One dr. told me that once you start taking a narcotic for pain relief you will always need them.(forever) that was his reason for NOT prescribing them.
    Like I said,..I still don't get anything that helps. Whatever I get is given by friends~ and if I did'nt have them,..I'd be lost.
    I've been given ativan twice for anxiety. (again,..by a friend) this one was on them for suffering the loss of a child. So,..I did'nt think I'd have a fat chance in ever getting that either!! '
    I've come to find that if it works,... its HARD to find a dr. that will give them.
    Thanks again
    Hugs
    Tandy
  13. WoodstocksMusic

    WoodstocksMusic New Member

    I took as many as 50 to 60 mg a day for almost 2 yrs...then worked my way down to 15mg a day for a couple years as I learned to know which pain was heavy duty med and which was advil pain...

    Now I hardly every need the loratob(hydrocodone) but by golly if I do need it I will take it and you can bet on that!

    my last bottle of 90 pills is still half full and it was filled in February of 2005.

    As I learned how to manage my pain pill taking...adding exercise I slowly needed less and less...until I got to where I am today.

    5 years ago I spent almost a year and a half not getting out of bed at all... I was bed-ridden for the most part of the 1 1/2 years. And that was taking the pain meds at 60mg a day and more.

    You will probably not find a method of pain management in 4 weeks...I spent 2 or more years...and another couple years getting better and better each month until I reached this level of health again.

    I am removing wallpaper this week and my neck and shoulders are killing me tonight...I suspect I will be dipping into my pain pills again before this week is over....but I am living life again and that is worth a thousand addiction to loratabs! So if it gives you relief from the pain...get your butt addicted to them and get moving again...life is too short to spend it in bed the rest of it.

  14. nan2dance

    nan2dance New Member

    I'll be seeing my doc tomorrow. I'm planning on asking him about things you all have suggested here. Doctors make me feel so dirty when I start to talk about pain killers. Maybe it's just me; they're probably not doing anything. But I hate the feeling that they're sizing me up for addict. I went through the worst of my pain with NOTHING so if anything I should feel angry and demanding towards them. But I still feel dirty! OK, that's my whine for the day. Thanks for listening.

    ~nan2dance