Why does Darvocet eliminate my husband's fatigue?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by jsessler, Nov 20, 2002.

  1. jsessler

    jsessler New Member

    OK--here's one for you guys. My husband has CFS/FMS and has been having a lot of trouble staying awake for more than an hour or two at a time the last several weeks. He is on 225 mg of effexor, Baxtra for the pain, two blood pressure medications, several nutritional supplements. He had a migrane two days ago, and I gave him a darvocet (I have severe degenerative disk disease and my doctor gives me darvocet for when I can't get comfortable) for the headache. Lo and behold, not only did the headache go away, he woke up! He felt great for the rest of the evening and then went to bed (still doesn't sleep well, but that's been going on). We decided to try it again yesterday--when he hit his usual "wall" in the afternoon, instead of going back to bed, he took a darvocet, and again, was wide awake 20 minutes later and stayed awake for the rest of the day and felt great.

    I guess my question for this board is has anyone ever tried this before and why should this work?
    [This Message was Edited on 11/25/2002]
  2. jsessler

    jsessler New Member

    OK--here's one for you guys. My husband has CFS/FMS and has been having a lot of trouble staying awake for more than an hour or two at a time the last several weeks. He is on 225 mg of effexor, Baxtra for the pain, two blood pressure medications, several nutritional supplements. He had a migrane two days ago, and I gave him a darvocet (I have severe degenerative disk disease and my doctor gives me darvocet for when I can't get comfortable) for the headache. Lo and behold, not only did the headache go away, he woke up! He felt great for the rest of the evening and then went to bed (still doesn't sleep well, but that's been going on). We decided to try it again yesterday--when he hit his usual "wall" in the afternoon, instead of going back to bed, he took a darvocet, and again, was wide awake 20 minutes later and stayed awake for the rest of the day and felt great.

    I guess my question for this board is has anyone ever tried this before and why should this work?
    [This Message was Edited on 11/25/2002]
  3. BethM

    BethM New Member

    I'm not sure why it works, but it sure works well for me. I can function at work, and drive, taking half a Darvocet and one tylenol, which truly helps decrease the pain levels for me, both the DDD in my lumbar spine and the fibro-aches. (yes, I know, there is tylenol in Darvocet...I'm careful about dosage!) If I take a whole pill, I won't drive, and usually need to go to sleep within an hour or so. Half a pill is great, though. Darvocet has been around for decades, is well tested and has few side effects. I figure if it works and is relatively safe, that's a good thing. Glad you found it for your sweetie.

    Peace,
    Beth.
  4. jsessler

    jsessler New Member

    Thanks for sharing your story. Nick's pain has been fairly well controlled since he started taking the Bextra--he supplements with Arthritis strength Tylenol if he needs to. The Darvocet produced the effect of waking him up--that was the unexpected reaction. I'm glad it's working for you. I understand there is little chance of addiction with an oral dosage. We'll try cutting a pill in half to see if it has the same impact on his alertness.

    We were noting yesterday that until the doctor put him on Bextra, Nick was taking a Tylenol 3 once a day at night to control pain in his legs (he fell off a roof when he was a fireman in 1982--broke a lot of stuff and damaged a lot of nerves in the legs) and get to sleep. He had no trouble sleeping at that point. Once he tapered off of the T3s and went on the Bextra, he didn't have the pain, but his CFS symptoms started up (also in conjunction with a viral illness), along with the sleep disturbances. It may all be coincidental, but we're trying to understand the underlying patterns here.

    He started with TMJ about 24 years ago, had the accident in 1982, was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (another weird disease), then FMS several years later, and now CFS.

    Thanks again. We'll see how it goes. I would love to hear anyone else's experiences with Darvocet--not only for pain but they have experienced the alertness effect. Thanks.
  5. jsessler

    jsessler New Member

    Madwolf--Thank you. Nick's pain has been minimal (if he does too much, it takes a day or two to recover, even before he had the CFS symptoms). The Bextra seems to get rid of 95% of his discomfort and he supplements with Tylenol Arthritis formula.

    Is there such a thing as silent pain? By this I mean that the pain is at such a low level that it doesn't register in the consciousness but continues at a subconscious level? Or is that a nuts theory? Or perhaps he is so used to pain that the relative impact of the pain he feels appears to be minimal but it is still at the same level? I know that he is in a significant amount of pain if he misses the Bextra dose he takes each day.

    Jeri
  6. BethM

    BethM New Member

    there are times when the Darvocet keeps me awake, but most of the time it will make me sleepy if I take a whole pill. Just once in awhile I get the paradoxical reaction of wakefullness. Very annoying at night, feels like I've had too much caffeine.

    Beth.
    PS. Madwolf is right, he needs his own prescription for the pain meds. Talk to his doc about the Darvocet. Also, not to worry you, but did you see the post today on this board about Bextra?[This Message was Edited on 11/21/2002]
  7. jsessler

    jsessler New Member

    I looked up the information, thankfully, my husband has had zero reactions to the drug and it's done wonders for his pain. I will pass on the info to a friend who is severely allergic to sulfa and on anti-inflammatory drugs for her arthitis.

    And you are right--he does need his own Rx for Darvocet--we just wanted to firmly establish the reaction to it before taking it to the doctor and making a case for it.

    Jeri
  8. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    I took one tablet of Darvocet N-100 at bedtime for 12 yrs. for my FMS pain, so I could get to sleep.
    I noticed that it gave me back my old, pre-illness personality, so I took it on those occassions when I could not avoid relatives or other unpleasant people, and it worked.
    I felt like I could get off it in 1998 and listened when my Rheumy told me I could go cold turkey because I had taken such a low dose. WRONG! I almost croaked. Please don't ever do this, if you take this drug regularly. The Pharmacist told me the chances of a severe withdrawl reaction like I had are about 50%,and the chances of dying from cold turkey withdrawl are about 30%. I went through 11 hrs. of pure hell, throwing up blood, chills, shakes, spasms, bloody diarreha, followed by 4 days in bed, and 5 more days before I was eating normally again.
    A recent study showed Darvocet to be no more effective than the equal dose of Tylenol, and it was suggested it should be taken off the market. I disagree, as I definitely got relief from it that was way beyond what Tylenol can do, but just please be careful, esp. if there is any addiction in your family, as this would make a severe withdrawl more likely, according to my pharmacist. I wish I had asked he pharmacist first and not the doctor!
    Klutzo
  9. karen2002

    karen2002 New Member

    Responding to the question about alertness effect---yes, yes, yes....when I take ultram or vicodin.....I am much more alert, less distracted, more energetic.
    Karen
  10. nje

    nje New Member

    I HAVE FIBROMYALGIA,AND I TAKE ULTRAM 5 TIMES A DAY, AND LORTAB7.5 2 TIMES A DAY TO SUPPLEMENT IT. YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVEN`T HAD TO USE PAIN MEDICINE MUCH,OR YOUR BODY CAN`T TAKE MUCH OF NOTHING,BECAUSE DARVOCET TO ME IS LIKE TAKING 1TYLENOL NOT EVEN 2. IT IS THE LOWEST PAIN MEDICATION,IF YOU CAN CALL IT THAT,I HAVE EVER TOOK ,AND A LOT OF OTHERS AGREE WITH ME. IF YOU CAN GET BY ON DARVOCET,MORE POWER TO YOU. THE ONLY THING THAT MAKES ME ALERT AND PAIN FREE IS ULTRAM AND THE LORTAB7.5. MY RHEUMY TOLD ME EVENTUALLY IT MIGHT HAVE TO BE INCREASED BECAUSE THE LONGER YOU TAKE SOMETHING YOUR BODY BUILDS UP A RESISTANCE TO IT. IF YOUR HUSBAND HURTS NEAR LIKE I DID BEFORE GETTING ON THE RIGHT PILLS,I JUST DON`T SEE HOW A NOTHING LIKE DARVOCET COULD POSSIBLY HELP. IF IT WORKS NOW,I GUARANTEE IT WON`T BE LONG BEFORE HE BUILDS A RESISTANCE TO IT AND THEN THEY WILL PUT HIM ON SOMETHING ELSE. DON`T BE SCARED TO TAKE A HIGHER AMOUNT OF A NARCOTIC,IF HE`S HURTING BAD ENOUGH,HE`LL WELCOME IT. MADWOLF WAS RIGHT,HE NEEDS HIS OWN DOCTOR TO PRESCRIBE HIM THE MEDS HE THINKS HE SHOULD TAKE. FIND HIM A GOOD RHEUMY AND HE`LL BE LIKE NEW IN NO TIME,OR AT LEAST, FUNCTIONABLE. HOPE I DIDN`T MAKE YOU MAD ABOUT THE DARVOCET,ITS JUST THE FIRST GOOD THING I HAVE EVER HEARD ABOUT IT FROM ANYONE.HOPE HE GETS THE HELP HE NEEDS AND A GOOD RHEUMY.
  11. jsessler

    jsessler New Member

  12. jsessler

    jsessler New Member

    Let me repeat--my husband's pain is controlled with Bextra and supplemental Tylenol. After almost 20 years of non-stop searing pain in his back and legs and lots of narcotic pain medication to take the edge off, the Bextra has all but eliminated it and the need for strong narcotic drugs.

    My question about darvocet is about the effect of waking him up. He can barely stay awake more than a couple of hours at a time during the day without feeling so fatigued that he has to take another nap to get through the rest of the day. He's asleep 18-20 hours out of 24. The darvocet woke him up and kept him awake for 8 straight hours. When it wore off, he got sleepy again. He took it for three days with the same reaction. He's didn't take it for three days and went back to his usual fatigue. Half a pill didn't do it for him, but a whole pill does.

    Does anyone on this board have a scientific explanation for why a narcotic pain reliever like Darvocet should have the effect of waking someone up and making them more alert?
  13. sofy

    sofy New Member

    I cant enter this line directly but have had a similar situation. Ritalin will keep me in an upright position for 7 to 10 days and then nothing. I need several weeks off before I can get any effect again. I save it for those special days and then cut it in half and hope for the best. The last time I took it I used 2.5mgs which is nothing and had no effect but the next day I woke up and felt wonderful and it lasted for 4 days. I know there is no way 2.5mg of ritalin could give me back myself for 4 days but I think it did act as a catalyst. Have had similar instances with other minor changes that caused surprise short term good results. These events are usually not repeatable. I think things are just a point to where the particular dose of whatever is just the right thing to create the right setting for everything to fall into place. Maddog said something about the rhythem of the adrenals one time and faulty rhythm sure fits my ills. Just what to do with that info to make a more permanent change I dont know.
  14. Stormy214

    Stormy214 New Member

    My doc changed my meds a couple of weeks ago to zanaflex and darvocet, both of which she said would probably make me very sleepy. For the first 2 days, they did; since, the actually keep me up. Does help the pain a little bit, though.
    Stormy
  15. Stormy214

    Stormy214 New Member

    After reading your response, madwolf, I am assuming that what you said applies to me as well, and I guess it makes sense! I have been in such severe pain for so long, that just having something to take the edge off gives my energy I never thought I'd see again. I only wish it didn't keep me awake at night, as this is a self-defeating cycle. The less sleep I get, the more I hurt...the more darvocet I take...the less sleep I get. *sigh* My husbnad said, just last night, "we have to find a cure for this." I advised, (wisely I thought; something I dont do too often) "No, honey, we need to accept it until a cure is found, and make our lives as happy and productive as possible in the meantime. Wish I felt as confident now as I did when I said that yesterday. Missed work again today, which I did NOT want to do, and will pay for when I do go back...Sorry, I think I'm venting a little here. Not very productive.
    Stormy
  16. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    In the months following my mycoplasma infection when my hips and legs hurt so bad, my doc gave me an Rx for 800 mgs of ibuprophen. I actually called him and asked if they had uppers in them because I had so much energy for the first time since becoming infected.

    He just laughed and said, "No, you're just finding out how tiring it was when you were in chronic pain. Now, your body can use it's energy for something else."

    Love, Mikie