To take pain meds or not to, that is the question!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by AnnG, May 27, 2003.

  1. AnnG

    AnnG New Member

    I thought that since I now know where my pain is coming from (FM) and don't have to worry about what's causing it, I could just grin and bear it. I have always had a high threshold for pain and for a while that was working for me. But, now I realize that the pain is exhausting me, tiring me, aging me, etc.... My question is this: Do you take pain meds? Do you take them everyday or only when needed? How strong are they? Do you feel any side effects from them is worth the pain-free hours you get? Are there risks in long term use of pain meds? Are there risks in long term pain?! OH,WAIT! Thats more than one question! Any thoughts would be appreciated, thank you very much. Ann
  2. KayL

    KayL New Member

    YES, definitely take pain meds. I am taking Lortab 10/500 and Soma 350 mg 3 times a day, sometimes 4. Several months ago I could manage some days with twice a day, but have found it to be more effective overall by taking them 3 times a day. That doesn't make me pain free at all, but it does take the edge off.

    After Prolotherapy yesterday, I'm on 4 to 5 times a day because I am hurting big time.

    You are so correct about the pain exhausting and aging you. If I have pain control I can live my life, and even though I'm tired at the end of the day, it's not nearly the same as being emotionally and physically exhausted from pain.

    As for strength, side effects and all that, yes I'm sure there are side effects to taking what I am taking every day over a long period. Some would say what I'm taking is strong-over a 24-hour period at the least I'm getting 30 mg of hydrocodone, on worse days I'm getting 40-50 mg. I'm reluctant to go to anything stronger at this point. What's strong though for one person, is not necessarily strong for another person.

    Yes, I worry about the long term effects of these drugs on my liver, etc., but at this point, I'm more concerned with living my life and my feeling is that if this is what it takes to live it, then that's what I'm going to do. I know for a fact, if I were not on the meds I'm on, there is no way I would be able to continue working, and I wouldn't be able to do at least 50% of the stuff I do outside of work. So for me, it's definitely worth it, taking pain meds.

  3. judywhit

    judywhit New Member

    that to build endorphins we must zap the pain. These little healing helpers canot produce when we are in constant pain. I cannot imagine not taking pain meds for this. I do not take a bunch. I have 5mg of oxycodone which is an opiod. I take up to 20mg a day. I very much like the low dose tabs because somedays I will need only 5mg in the am or after noon to get me out of pain. I have no side effects at all from this drug! It is a natural substance..opium. I truly believe that my fms has not been progressive as some here on the board because my doc has never witheld the meds (his PA is a poop and does withold). I hope you find your answers. There is nothing to be scared about when we take these meds for PAIN. It is when you take them for a high feeling is where we get into trouble. My doc said that because we are in pain our body will use these meds to go right to the pain and not to get high. he also said that when used as prescribed for pain and not pleasure they are not addictive. Do not try to be a marter with this DD and not take pain meds if offerred. It will get the best of you. My profile shows you what I am still able to do- Ride my horse into the mountains. Notice in the pic I am resting!!! This is something that I now do. After 3hrs of riding I Take my horses saddle off and put a blanket down in a meadow and rest! I really must pace myself! I could never do this without some pain relief. It is about quality of life. I would ask to start on the 5mg of oxycodone this way you are not hit with a high dose all at once and can have some control over how much you take. Wonderful drug!
    Hope you find your answers,
    [This Message was Edited on 05/27/2003]
  4. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    This really is a decision you will have to make for yourself.

    But getting feed back is always a good idea.

    I do not take pain meds at all anymore, they have ruined my stomach a longtime ago, not the liver thank God.

    Now I can only take OTC Advil gel caps, a low dose of Xanax when the pain is severe.

    Taking magnesium has lowered the pain level in the last two years to where I can deal with it, if I pace myself. The spasms are almost non existant for me now. I just have that nagging painful feeling in the back mostly. Which I can handle.

    If you decide to try the Oxycotin, be sure you have something for constipation. All opium based meds cause this. I had taken it in other forms years ago, I like to lost it with my bowels. I had locked bowels once, never forgot that experience.

    I also have a high threshold for pain, thats probably what got me through 20 plus years of FM without meds.

    What I did learn, was to rest, pace my activities, get at least 7 hours of sleep (ZMA took care of that for me), etc. That is a big help with the pain. Sleep is extremely important.

    HOpe you decide what is best for you...........

    Shalom, Shirl
    [This Message was Edited on 05/27/2003]
  5. judywhit

    judywhit New Member

    yes, I forgot about that symptom shirl. It is a non issue with me now. I grind golden flax seeds in my grinder and put about 1/3c. on my yogurt. Yummy and good for us too.
  6. AnnG

    AnnG New Member

    I really appreciate your advice. Those childhood messages of,"Quit crying and get over it!" still are a powerful force to reckon with. I go to my Rhuemy in a week and I will ask him about it. Thanks again!
  7. swred5

    swred5 New Member

    I am on Duragesic Patch 50 mcg., and take Morphine IR 10 mg. for breakthrough pain. I do feel that if I has been started on meds earlier, I would not have progressed with my pain as much as I have. I do know that when I was only taking things every now and then when I really needed it, it wasn't working very well. My Doctor says that you need to keep a constant amount in your system, otherwise that is when you spike up with pain, and then you have to play catch up, so it takes more/longer to get you back to a livable level. As long as you are taking a pure opiod, nothing that contains tylenol or asprin, they won't do anything to your liver. I just read a post reciently from Madwolf which says the same. Darvon is plain opiod, Darvocet is the Darvon with added tylenol. I have never felt "high" from taking my meds. The first week I did have some times when I would feel light headed, but not enough to make me feel sick or want to stop taking the meds. Good luck!
  8. catgal

    catgal New Member

    Hi Ann~~I am 54 and have had FM/CFS for 33 years now. I never took anything for the FM mainly because I could not find a physician or rheumy that would help me. So for many years of my life I read, researched, and spent a fortune on various vitamin regimes, diets, and whatever. I got no relief.

    I was born with asthma/allergies and IBS. As I grew older I also got osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Still no pain meds. Then three years ago I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease with multiple back problems. I couldn't work, couldn't clean my home, couldn't sleep, was in severe pain with constant muscle spasms, and my life had become a living hell. After trying various alternative routes to dealing with the pain and having no success, my primary physician suggested I start on oxycontin which is long-term, time-released oxycondone 3x's a day without any tylenol or aspirin. Pure opioid. He also gave me 10/325mg percocet for breakthrough pain 3x's a day; soma for a muscle relaxer 3x's a day; 1mg klonopin for restless legs & sleep at bedtime, and 20mgs bextra (anti-inflammatory) once a day.

    In the beginning I felt very conflicted about taking opioids along with all the other meds, but the pain stopped, and I was able to continue working and have some quality of life. As I was born with irritable bowel syndrome and suffered constantly with diarrhea--I had no constipation problems from the meds, and instead began to have normal, daily bowel movements for the first time in my life.

    As you are aware, there is a difference between "addiction" and "physical dependence". My physician talked at length to me about this and also building up a "tolerance" to the drugs over a period of time. After two years of being on a 10mg dose of oxycontin 3x's a day, I had to increase it to 20mgs 3x's a day due to tolerance and the progression of degenerative disc disease and increased pain. After being on the opioids for three years, I have developed a physical dependency on them. I never got any sort of 'high' from these meds, but I do get HORRENDOUS withdrawals if I do not get my meds filled on time.

    For me, taking the meds was a choice between having a life at all, having a decent quality of life, and being able to continue working--or being bankrupt and living with terrible pain every moment of my life.

    I no longer feel conflicted about taking the meds as they have given me my life back, but instead am grateful every day for them.

    It's a personal choice. I would, however, encourage you to take the narcotic path as a last resort and research what other alternatives might help you. But, whatever you do--don't live a life of constant pain and misery.

    I wish you the best and hope you find relief soon. Best Wishes, Carol....
  9. Lox

    Lox New Member

    Hi Carol

    I just made a post on addiction versus dependence and then I read what you wrote here, was very helpful. Maybe I should print it out and take it with me to my doc and then she may understand what I am trying to say.


    Lauren :)
  10. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    Hi Karen,

    I saw that you are taking 10/500 Lortab several times
    a day. I just wanted to tell you that I asked my dr
    to switch me to Norco which is 10/325. It's the
    acetaph. that ruins our livers so I was concerned
    about that aspect. I have since heard there is a new
    med that is all hydrocodone without the acet. Don't
    know if it would be as good though because I think
    we need the acet to make it work. Just thought I would
    let you know that you can get a lower dose of the
  11. horsegal

    horsegal New Member

    I can't believe some of the posts I read on the board. Some people are suffering in pain with no pain meds, because docs won't issue any, then there are some who get oxycontin, lortab 10's, etc. Doesn't seem fair. I finally got some tylenol 4. They help me, probably a good thing to stay on a low dose. Then I take 4-5 a day. I have been able to return to taking care of my horses and riding with the help of pain meds, trileptal, and xanax. Last summer, I did nothing but sit in a chair and wonder what the devil was wrong with me. I also gained a lot of weight, now I'm losing it because I can be active. I still get so tired I can barely move, but it's and the end of the day. I absolutely crash!!