What the Heck is 'Breakthrough Pain'?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by NyroFan, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    Hello all:

    I have looked in the archives above, but am not still sure what 'breakthrough pain' is.

    Can anyone explain it to me?

  2. carebelle

    carebelle New Member

    its when you have taken all your pain meds and then you still have pain break threw all that med.Or the pain meds stop working hours before you can take another one.
  3. llama

    llama New Member

    I'm a nurse, and in my training, "breakthrough pain" is any significant pain that you experience between scheduled pain med doses.

    So if you're prescribed Vicodin every 6 hours as needed.
    If you take one at 1pm and it helps the pain but by 4 or 5pm, you are in a world of pain again...that's breakthrough pain.

    In other words, the time span that, that particular pain med. has been prescribed doesn't match your actual pain profile. The doc need to either allow you to have it, say at 4 hour intervals instead of 6 or sometimes they order a lesser potent drug (like Tylenol/Ibuprofen) to get you through until the next scheduled dose of the higher potency drug.

    They use this term a lot with menstrual problems..."breakthrough bleeding"...bleeding at times of the month that you shouldn't be.

    Hope I answered your question. I have "breakthrough brain fog" lol today, so I hope it makes sense.

    Good Luck............Jill..............
    [This Message was Edited on 11/06/2006]
  4. butterfly83

    butterfly83 New Member

    It's pain that 'breaks through' after you've had your normal pain medicine. Some people ask for a stronger med to have a smaller supply of just for 'breakthough' pain, if their regular medication does not help.
  5. Mini4Me

    Mini4Me New Member

    Unfortunately, most long acting meds do not keep you pain free for the 12 hours they are supposed to. So most docs prescribe a short acting pain killer for those times when your long term pain killer isn't working. For me, it's oxycodone every 12 hours, and hydrocodone for breakthrough pain (I usually have to take one to two a day).

    Some days you are in more severe pain, and you need something on top of your long acting pain med.

    Does that make sense?
    Hope so.

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