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MST Morphine addiction

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,900
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Pain Medications

I have a large right sided prolapsed L5/S1 disc, due for a discectomy on 9th January 2009.

My disc prolapsed on 4th September 2008 and I was immediatley put on 150mg MST morphine, Diclofenac (3 times a day) and valium (at night). I was off my head but I could walk!

Now, a few months later, and an MRI confirmation scan, I am due surgery in the next few weeks. Hurrah.

Meanwhile I hate the morphine. It controls my life. I have bought a tens machine and zap myself for one hour every evening, watching Voyager (Star Trek!). I think that helps.

From 150mg of morphine a day originally, I have now gone down 5mg at a time, and got to 20mg a day (10mg morning and evening). Next step 5mg morning and evening and then what ........? 5mg MST in the morning and 5mg Vallium at night? I don't know what to do but I want to be off the morphine before surgery, before the nurses take control of my pain relief and I know my body is horribly addicted. I do wish the doctors had told me this before they put me on it - I suppose I would have agreed, coz I couldn't sit or walk or do anything.

Am I addicted to the valium too? I know it helps me sleep. The diclofenac does nothing much but I would rather try and use that as my painkiller if I can.

Can anyone suggest a drug routine that will help to get me off the MST? Once I am down to 5mg twice a day, I am not sure what to do next.

Iget no help from my gp - they just write the scripts for whatever I want as long as I don't bother them. I hate this addiction. I hate being in pain but I hate morphine so much because it controls everything including my bowels, which is horrible. I want to go into hospital just on the diclofenac and may be the valium (can you be addicted to that?) and see if that is enough.

Cheers and thanks for reading.


  • There are many people with chronic pain who are dependent on narcotic meds such as morphine and valium. It's dependence not addiction. Don't worry if you go in the hospital with the small amount of meds you're on. You will be getting more when you're recovering from surgery. And also if your Dr. orders physio you may need these meds to do excercises and be able to move. You'll then be weaned off your meds slowly. I had whiplash years ago and I took valium for 9 months until I woke up one day free of pain and never used the valium again. I'm on morphine slow release 120 mg a day. I need these meds or else I don't think I'd be here now. I wish you all the best for your surgery. Take care and see you around the posts. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • It's good to have you here. Charry is right, and also, people who take pain medicine on a regular basis have a very slim chance of getting addicted according to studies. Yes, it causes constipation and there are many products that help like Senokot, Colace, Miralax (rx) and Fleet suppositories for emergencies. If you can't stand the Morphine, there are other medications. I am on Fentanyl patches and Norco so I can function and have some quality of life. I have had 2 back surgeries, the last one being a 2 level fusion. I have been through all conservative treatments but I have been left with chronic, intractable pain.
    Please remember that people that use narcotics for recreational use (to get high) are addicts and drug abusers. You are not one of them.
    I hope your surgery goes well, and meanwhile you can request to change from the morphine to something else if you like. Take care, and we look forward to having you here.
  • Thanks for both your replies.

    The horrible thing is that my body is addicted. When I stopped OMG I hit the wall running. I was in a terrible state - not pain-wise, just dt's. So this is why I feel I must get off this stuff as it is controlling my life.

    I want a pain-free existence obviously but through morphine. I am in the UK so I am not sure if all the other substitutes exist here.

    So, what I need to know is how to come off the morphine. After lowering it to 5mg twice a day, then what? MST doesn't come in lesser doses than 5mg. Do I try once a day? Do I just stop or what?

  • I'm just curious how a medication (Morphine) controls your life. Are you doing exactly as your Dr. instructed you to do? Do you practice unsafe usage i.e., taking more than prescribed? If not, your body is not horribly addicted, but Dependant. Valium is an addictive medication NOT unlike hundreds of other non-narcotic medications the DEA could care less about. Taken as prescribed by a knowledgeable Dr. and you will be just fine.

    My Dr. likes to use terms like awfully addictive? To me an addict is someone who unsafely uses a medication to achieve some psychological boost or high and uses medications in possibly harmful ways regardless of the possible outcomes. Under a good Dr's supervision becoming an addict while using possibly addictive medications, when taken exactly as prescribed are rare.

    This feeds in the Opophobic frenzy thats bound to leave millions needlessly to suffer.
  • That makes sense.

    My body is dependant and without it I do not know whether I would cope, ie walk, the basics! I don't unsafely use the medication. I have lowered my levels from 150mg daily to 20mg on my own with my own will-power. It is not easy and it scares me how difficult it is. I hate the night-sweats, the realistic dreams, the inability to actually wake up in the morning and my bowels.

    But... if I don't, my legs feel like someone has taken a blow-torch to them, my back aches constantly and I limp about 30 minutes behind everyone! Even my kids walk fast than me!

    I suppose, as a control freak, I like taking nothing. I like the ability to be in control of what I take and it was suddenly taken away from me with no choices to make at all. Hence why I am trying to take back control. If I can lose the morphine and still walk/sit/sleep then I will be happier. Does everyone with this problem have to resort to morphine?
  • Pray that surgery is the solution to most all of your problems. I've been through the same experiences you have and not a real big fan of Morphine. The relief is negligible IMHO. I was on a quite higher dose than yourself and had no troubles coming off of it, metabolizing differently and probably a tad more opioid tolerant than you.

    Naivety to opoids at the beginning poses a problem for most pain patients. I weigh the good verses the bad, Job, and make no "deals." Quality of life and happiness is all I seek. I am chair bound without certain narcotic and non-narcotic medications. Hopefully theres proof so you don't have to go through all the psychosomatic BS so many patients face.

    It's hard to be new and improved when a thousand years ago the Roman pain patients had not the misnomers and falsified scientific studies that would only :W substantiate the abuse being dolled out in today's medicinal "wonder drugs."

    1973 was a very bad year for pain patients and the stigma they face. Pharmaceutical Companies Rule. Get well soon. :W
  • Why get off the morphine? Isn't it helping you? Don't look at it as a weakness; but rather that the strength of your wisdom allows you to make the best decision, and to use the medicine you need to live a happy, pain free life. Don't fight it! Good luck with the surgery!

  • I hear what you are saying and appreciate your comments.

    I will keep taking the stuff until after surgery and I am "pain-free" in theory.

    I don't want to stop only to be put back on it after surgery anyway. It is hard enough to come off it anyway, so to do this twice for the sake of a couple of weeks, is ridiculous.

    One thing though, I itch - my eyes itch alot. Anyone else have that? I take an anti-histamine, which helps but it is yet another wretched pill into my body.

    Frances x
  • valium are very addicting, i am on them myself, its hard to cut down, they cause muscle spasms as your going down on them... its horrible even a small amount. my doctor says it should be cut down very slowly over months or years and i take 2 a day and he still says i have to take it really slow due to my muscle spasms and back pain. i downloaded a book called the benzo book, very interesting.

    this is just my personal advice as i am not a doctor.

    I hope you feel better soon.

  • does anyone know the most morphine in the slow release form you can take morning and night i take 8 60 mg twice a day and am still in incredible pain
  • I can't imagine that much morphine a day. I take 120mg a day. Maybe you should review your meds with your Dr. Did you say 860mg? unreal. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • but that is the only drug i take other than heart meds i notice that most people seem to have a cocktail

    i have two rods one to join t 5 6 7 8 and then one at c 5 because a nurse attacked me and broke my neck ...............but the doctor fogot to put this in the report i have only onemonth left to sue and i cannot unless he admits that he did the operation she gets away with this and i am 0paralysed for life............. the doctor is now trying to tell me that the rod in my neck joining c 5 and c 6 is because i have the other rod and would have a hump if he had not put the one in my neck i think he is just covering up i hope someone in hear can help with this info i am in canada by the way thanks for answering

  • I became seriously ill nearly 4 years ago. I had a fall in January 2005 & I prolapsed the major disc in lower back. L S1 (something like this) Over the next 4 months I started to have numb patches to my legs, gentilia etc & I was wetting freely. I saw a total of 2 emergency Doctors & my own GP twice along with an Hosital Appt. All agreed I had prolasped a major disc & required an urgent MRI.

    No referral came.

    On 24th April 2008 I again went to the Emergency Doctor & he got me booked into Hospital the next day. I was admitted into this Hospital for just over a 2 week period & during my time there they had taken X-Rays & MRIs & all sorts of other tests to try & find out what was wrong with me. After being in there for a week the Registrar & his SHO came to my bedside & told me they had found that I had indeed prolapsed the major disc & because off all my other symptoms they would not be able to operate on me as they normally would, due to the fact that there was an 80% chance of me being left totally paralysed. So instead they recommended me to have a procedure called an Epidural. There thinking was that they hoped the epidural would allow the inflammation around the prolapsed disc to calm down & for the disc to slip back inside where it belonged. As the prolapsed disc was pressing on my spinal cord this was causing me to have the very severe pain, numb patches & wetting freely. So after speaking to the Doctors I agreed to go ahead with it.

    The Epidural was done the next day in my bed on the ward. I had no pain relief or a nurse attending to me. It was just me & the Doctor. (I found out later to my horror this was NOT normal procedure) The Doctor told me to lie on my front, which I could not do due to the prolapsed disc. So instead I was at an angle on the bed with pillows for support. My Husband was sent to the waiting room right the other end of the ward to wait. The Doctor then proceeded to carry out the epidural.

    As soon as the needle went into my lower back I knew something was wrong. My pain increased dramatically & as he continued to insert the needle further the pain just took over me. I tried to fight to get away from the pain, it was totally horrific. I cannot put it into words how the pain hurt & how it felt like. The Doctor carried on regardless with the epidural & by this point I was screaming very loudly & crying like I never cried before. It felt like it went on forever with no end in sight.

    The Doctor removed the needle & I curled up into a ball sobbing my heart out. The Doctor put his hand on my shoulder & said to me "sorry" & "do you want your husband", I could not talk I could only nod yes. My husband came to my bedside & I could see he was crying also. He heard every single scream & could hear me sobbing. He could not console me as he was so very upset himself, & he told me he couldn't stay he had to go. So he left me lying there sobbing, after a time a nurse came into me & put my head in her lap & spent the next couple of hours calming me back down. My husband finally reappeared not long after I had calmed down enough to talk & by then it was 3 hours after the actual epidural had taken place. We talked & he told me that he had heard everything as did everyone else on the ward did. He told me it sounded like I was being tortured & that he felt totally useless to be able to help me. He went on to say he was so angry at what had happened to me & so very upset at the sight of me in bits that he could not deal with either himself or me & that's why he could not stay to console me. I then spent the next 3 days begging to be let home as I had not come into hospital to be put thru the worst pain I have ever endured in my life time. They finally let me go 4 days after the epidural. I went back to work a couple of days later & tired to put the whole incident behind me.

    10 days after the epidural I woke up & knew something was wrong but I couldn't figure out quite what it was. It was only when I put my feet to the floor that I realised I had no feeling in my right foot or leg. I tried pinching it & digging my nails into it but I could nothing at all. I barely could move my right leg too. I rang for my husband to come home. He took me straight back to Broomfield hospital & within 5 minutes of my arrival I was in A&E being seen too by 3 Doctors. It was like panic stations. After having another MRI I was transferred to Old Church Hospital whereupon I had emergency spinal surgery lasting over 10 hours. After 2 week in this hospital I was transferred back to Broomfield & after another week in here I was sent home.

    I never found out what had happened to me until 5 months after my operation. It turned out that the Pain Clinic Registrar was the one to tell me that I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. It was caused by the Registrar who did the epidural by placing the epidural into the actual prolapsed disc itself & after a time the disc exploded/shattered into minute pieces which then, in part severed my spinal column & also either severed & nicked the nerves to the Cauda Equina. (These are the major nerves that control bowel, bladder, legs etc etc) He likened it to winning the lottery but saying I was the loser as the odds were about the same to either win the lottery or by getting Cauda Equina Syndrome. So I was left with a paralysed right foot & leg & I loss all use of my bowels & bladder along with my stomach not tolerating most food groups. I also lost the feeling in my genital area. I had 2 nurses come every 2 days to see to my needs & to manipulate my bowels into moving.

    I also then went on to have PTSD & have relived the horrific Epidural procedure on a weekly basis since it happened nearly 4 years ago. As a consequence of all this happening I started to stop looking after myself & became severely depressed. I stopped washing & taking care of personal needs. I stopped eating & in the end shut myself away from my Husband, Children, Family & Friends in my bedroom. I would no longer see anyone or talk on the phone & I would not look in a mirror. I stayed in bed permanently.

    I could not cope with what had happened to me nor could I cope with the depression or the PTSD. I became suicidal to the point where my medications were given to me as needed as I was not allowed to self medicate. (I'm still not allowed to self medicate even now). After a time of living like this I went on to becoming mentally ill with psychosis. I would hear voices & see things that no one else could see. Even to this day I have no awareness of how ill I actually was.

    During the next few years of which I barely have any memories I had several falls, one where I fell out the shower severely injuring myself & being taken to hospital in a Helicopter & another bad fall where I fell out of my bed & broke my back. On all these occasions I was given Oromorph (Liquid Morphine) every few hours for pain relief. (I no longer use or take Oromorph I am now on tablet form of Morphine) It wasn't until August 2007 after I broke my back that I was transferred to a rehabilitation hospital that I started to receive help to get better. I spent 5/6 weeks in there rehabilitating & I finally received a wheelchair to help with my mobility.

    The turning point came in October 2007 when my Husband was transferred to Poole Dorset with his job & I was put under a different Hospital, different Doctors & along with the support of the local Mental Health Hospital that I begun to recover from the terrible events nearly 3 years prior.

    I had started on the long road to recovery finally until last year in January 2008 I woke up again to find my teeth were not as good as they used to be. I normally had near perfect straight white teeth & yes I had even seen a dentist during all this time. As we had moved from Essex to Dorset I had to get a new Dentist. I finally found one that was taken on NHS Patients & I registered myself & my family with them. But because of the back log & their own procedures of doing things I could not get to see a Dentist straight away, I had to wait for nearly 4 months to be able to get an appointment.

    By the time of my appointment my teeth had started to just disintegrate or rot away. The Dentist I saw at my appointment told me they could do nothing for me & that I required a referral to a specialized Dentist. So they did the referral & I waited.

    I finally got a card from the Clinic to say they could see me. In approx July/August 2008 I finally got an appointment. The dentist I saw & still do is called Simon. He inspected & took X-Rays of my teeth & even took photographs. He spoke to me at length about my medications & about what I had been thru over the past 3 years or so. I told him about the Oromorph (Liquid Morphine) I was on for sometime & it was then I discovered from him that it was indeed the Oromorph that had made my teeth disintegrate & rot away.

    I was totally horrified!! The nightmare I have been living seemed never ending!!

    I am now undergoing treatment to rebuild/repair or remove any teeth needing work.

    I take 220 mgs morphine morning & night & use 10/20 mgs Sevredol morphine as top up for pain break thru. I also take a whole collection of other pills (36 pills daily) for internal issues, I was left with after the botched Epidural. Sometimes when my Husband has not ordered my monthly pills on time, I have had to miss my normal MST dosage.

    So I then go into withdrawl. I get the shakes, shivers, sickness, diarreah, cold sweats etc etc & feeling really bad in myself. As the time goes on I get really ill.
    These are all symptoms of withdrawl from Morphine! Morphine is a derivative of Heroin & you get the same symptoms as a user would get as they withdraw from Heroin.

    BUT there in lies the difference we use Morphine to control our pain we do NOT use it to get a high!

    At these times when I have run out of Morphine I have to call my GP for an emergency prescription or if the GP is shut call out the on call Doctor.

    I hate having to take any of my medications especially the Morphine. My body is hooked on it as the withdrawls show. I used to take 280 mgs x 2 daily but I was out of my head on it. I had my Pain management Doctor help me to reduce it down to 220 mgs x 2 daily. I tried to get it down even lower but the pain hit back at me with a vengeance & thats where I have stayed for the past few years.

    I would love to be pain & Morphine free but its never going to happen.

    All of the above happened to me thanks to one cocky arrogant SHO who should never of gone near me with that Epidural!!

    Thank you for taking the time to read
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