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Needed : Opinions on different pain med side effects

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Chronic Pain

I am a returning member, after a long absence. I had a PLIF done in Jan. 2008, on L5-S1. I was doing great, went back to work after 3-months, then severe pain in my butt, and left leg started.

Another MRI showed nothing my Neurosurgeon could find. I went for a round of Cortisone shots and got much relief from the first two, and no relief from the last one.

My question is this: I am taking Oxycodone 10/325 4 times per day, along with 50 mg tramadol 6 times per day.

I get some relief from the pain, but not much. I was wondering if there is a more potent pain reliever that does not make one sleepy. I used to take Hydrocodone, and I could work fine, but the pain relief was not enough.

I know everyone reacts differently to medications. Has anyone had experience with a more potent pain reliever without the sedative qualities.

Or am I going down a road I should not go. I do not want to be addicted to pain killers, but I do have to work, I have no other option.

Robert in NC


  • I'm taking amitriptyline which is good for nerve pain and take flexeril a muscle relaxer at night. I don't know if you're on any meds like that, these meds cause drowsiness but if they're at night it's not so bad. Maybe you can review your meds with your Dr. and see if there's another med to help you. 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
  • I don't have a lot of experience with Oxycodone, but can they try some Oxycontin since it's a long acting medicine? It should be more effective paired with oxycodone, and you can drop the tramadol.
    I myself am on Fentanyl 75 mcg every 2 days. I read on Wikipedia that it's hundreds of times more stronger than morphine and eighty times stronger than heroin :O I wasn't aware how potent it is. But you do need a BT med with it, according to them. The Norco is okay, but not as strong as oxycodone. Well, I tolerate the patches very well as long as it's placed on the belly.
    With the Fentanyl I don't have mental impairment or euphoria. I feel comfortable driving and my coordination is intact. However, I am extra careful and never forget that I'm on strong medications. Not everyone has the same experience with it, and outcomes differ with each person.
    Whatever you try, I hope it gives you relief so you can go on working. Welcome back :H
  • :H Thanks Charry, and Meydey for your replies.

    To Charry: I am going to ask my Dr. for a prescription for Flexiril. I have tried it in the past. As long as I take it a night I am OK with it. I did have some hang-over effects at first, but they went away after using it for a while. I do think some of my pain could be due to extremely tight muscles, hamstrings mainly. I will ask about the Amitriptyline. I was given several anti-depressants to help with the pain, but they all made me sleepy, except Prozac. I stopped taking it because of other reasons.

    I was also given Nuerontin, and Lyrica. I could not remember anything, and felt like a walking zombie. Thanks for the tips, I'll ask my Dr. Also: How do you feel with the MS Contin?

    To Meydey: Thank you also for your reply. I am not sure, but I thought Oxcontin was Oxycodone in slow release form. I am not 100% sure. It sort of scares me to realize I am taking such powerful pain killers after all the horror stories I have read in the past. I am sure most of the horror stories are from people who abused the drugs. I only take what is prescribed to me, so hopefully I will not have trouble when I have to stop. To me Hydrocodone would be harder to stop because it actually makes me feel good. I just went from Hydrocodone to Oxycodone, so maybe that is why I did not have a problem.

    I have been reading up on the Fentynal patch. A lot of people seem to have good results. That's sort of scary that it is so much more powerful than morphine, and heroin. I would assume the potential for addictiveness is much higher also. I could be wrong. Thanks again.http://www.spine-health.com/sites/all/modules/smileys/packs/Yahoo/smile.gif
  • PS You are right-Oxycontin IS Oxycodone in extended relief form.
  • Ive been on about the same exact meds as you (percocet10/325 with ultram). I was switched to the Extended Relief (Oxycontin) with norco(hydrocodone)/ultram for breakthru. Ive found that it works much better and DEFINITLY does not cause as much drowsiness.
    I would ask for an Extended Relief pain management drug and see if that helps!
  • sounds like the mri may not have shown everything. talk to your doctor about a diskogram. i had to. ready for my second epi; also, check which med they use in the shot for your back, maybe a more potent one can be used. there are so many other problems that could be going on they really need more info to decide which meds are best (possibly different types of shots at different places).
    i have to work also, i provide the insurance for my 5 family members. my husband is a plumber (no insurance available there).
    longer acting pain relievers tend to cause less addiction possibilities and ease of withdrawal if discontinued. so i agree oxycontin (stigma-right?) is good as well as ultram in the e.r. strength instead of fast acting things which give an initial euphoric type feeling even though all you want is pain relief. sometimes the body gives a signal that once the euphoria goes away, sometimes in as little as an hour, the pain should come back. thus, it might seem to. most importantly, take the time off work to run tests that may be needed or go to physical therapy, water therapy, accupuncture, chiropracter, etc. --don't be like me and always think there is quick surgery or fix all. not happening --(by the way, oxycontin has a bad stigma because the abusers chew it, thus getting really high really fast.)
    good luck and i would say welcome back, but i just got here 3 weeks ago.
    your friend in pain and hope,
  • Amitriptyline is an antidepressant but it is also used for nerve pain. Ms Contin is fine with me and I don't feel any side effects at all I take 60 mg 2X day and very rarely take percocet for BTP. It's the Lyrica I take that snows me and I feel sleepy,slow,can't concentrate but I still do my 30 minutes of cycling on the recumbent bike and 10 minutes on slim glider I got for xmas. I also have a Dr. blank massager and it's almost like a TENs machine. If having a choice I would buy the TENs. Take care. 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
  • As far as muscle relaxers go, Skelaxin was the least sedative, Flexiril knocks me out for a day, and Soma is perfect - just slightly sedating but the best muscle relaxing properties.

    I also take Oxycontin Er - slow release and I find it not as sedating.

  • Interesting to see so many different forms of treatment, for some of the same symptoms.

    I'm currently straddled with a 75 microgram Fentanyl patch (2day), which helps some, but does nothing for breakthrough pain. I compensate that with 60mg of Oxycodone (pure, no Acetamenophine), and take Lyrica as well.

    Before going the route of more physical procedures, talk to your doctor about seeing a Pain Management Physician. Sometimes it's a matter of finding the right combination for you. For me, taking 1 x 10mg Percocet at a time would have done NOTHING for me. You may need something more isolated, depending on your pain.

    I will tell you this...I had an XLIF with instrumentation in April of this year, and went back to work after 11 weeks. It was too soon, and I don't think I healed right. Some of your pain could be caused from that. The fusion has likely healed o.k., but L5-S1 is a brutal level. When I had mine done, it was a longer term remedy.

    Anywho, to answer your question directly, there are not really any "stronger" drugs that will not make you sleepy. You can go down the roads of the bigger and badder drugs, which might help. As someone mentioned above, the Fentanyl patch could help you out. It helps me, and I don't have any adverse "head affects" from it. Methodone is also a possibility. I did try Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) after my 3rd surgery and that wasn't as sleep-inducing.

    Point being, there are so many different combinations available, you should talk with a Pain Management physician. Also begin inquiring about nerve tests. You may find relief through something like Neurontin or Cymbalta, in combination with your current narcotic regimen. And stay away from a discogram if you can help it...it was one of the single most painful things I have EVER undergone.

    Best of luck to you.
    mike in los gatos.

    The information provided by members of Spine-Health should never be considered as formal medical advice. It is recommendations based on member's personal experiences only. This can vary from person to person, so do not take comments as medical rules. Edited by moderator Paulgla
  • I really appreciate all the helpful comments, and advice.

    Balou2: Man, you sure have been through a lot. I pray someday you will be pain free. I pray for all of us, that someday we will all be pain free.

    It would not matter if I won a 100 million dollar lottery. If I was still in the pain I am in, it would not bring me any more happiness. I feel the rest of you probably feel the same.

    God Bless all of you. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Just keep looking.

    Have a great day everyone.

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