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Norco for pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Chronic Pain
I have pain in my lower back and right leg pain from a fall I had 4 months ago. I was DX'd with L4-5 disk rupture and severe arthritis. The fall set all the pain in action.
I did 6 days in the Hospital and have been on Norco every since. My question is: The pain is slowly creeping up on my pain scale in the last month and I'm afraid to get a stronger med. I'm allergic to aspirin,motrin, all the NSAIDS. these would really help me but I get bronchial spasms when I take them.

I've been to the ER a few times for severe pain and have got the drug seeker attitude from the staff of a local hospital. I guess if you are going to the ER for pain relief, then, I would be seeking drugs : ) Anyone let me know if I am confused here. I wanted to pull a Rambo on them after their lecture that night but I made it out in time before snapping!!! : (

Surgery is probably a fair future but my Doc wants to see if time will get me to adjust to the injury and see if the risk of surgery is needed.
My Doc is pro everything first before surgery. Good I guess??

Do I ask for something stronger for the pain?

Muscles relaxers, ultram, creams, and tylenol has no real effect. Exercise, heating pads, cold pads, massage therapy and acupunture which helped a little, has all really been a futile responce to the pain.

Sciatica block and a steroid injection has been suggested by other readers but also been dis-advised by others??

I feel like I'm at the end of the road with pain management except for increasing the narcotics and consider the risk of surgery!! I'm not expecting pain removal just main management!

The doc prescribes me 100 Norco's a month and I run out 10 days before the 30 days is up!! I can't even take out the trash without needing to sit down and rest my back.

As far as surgery, caging the L4-5 and or doing a new procedure of replacing the disk with a stainless prostesis is my next option.

Any suggestion's

The drug seeker : )



  • Two questions for you: 1) Do you have a pain management physician? 2) Is the doctor currently prescribing your meds a spine specialist?
  • I would suggest that if you're seeing a Primary Care Doc, that you ask him or her for a referral to a pain management Doc that specializes in treating patients whom suffer from chronic pain due to injury or illness.

    My guess is that the PM Doc would recommend PT, Chiropractic, meds (narcotic and otherwise) and perhaps a referral to a Neuro or Ortho Doc for surgery if warranted.

    Best wishes to you and check back to let us all know how things are coming along.

  • I agree with Jeff, you should see a pain management doctor.

    May I ask why you are taking more Norco than prescribed? :? Not that you might not need it, but the first thing people, and especially doctors, think when they hear "I run out before I can get a refill" is "abuse". Unfortunately, it's just that kind of a world we live in now.

    As you probably know, one of the most important things to remember as a chronic pain patient, is ALWAYS follow the doctors instructions for your meds, and follow through with any other treatments that he/she may require. This will ensure that you don't get labeled by your doctor as anything other than what you are: a patient that needs pain control, and is willing to do anything that may even help slightly to get to what we all strive for: as much of a pain-free existence as we possibly can get.

    I hope you can find a doctor that can treat you with kindness, understanding, and that you will get the treatment and pain relief you need. >:D<
  • Just because he runs out 10 days early does not mean it is abuse. I received scripts of 150 Norco 10/325 and it was loosely worded to take 1-2 tabs every 4-6 hours as needed for pain. He then told me to not take more than 6 a day.

    I always ran out right at the 25 day mark, always. I even asked about this and my doctor told me as long as I went 25 days to not worry about it he would renew the script and he did.

    Norco, Hydrocodone 10/325 always worked better for me than Oxycodone.

    I would suggest contacting your PCP and get a referral to a PM. One or the other should be able to get you to a level that controls pain until you see if time will allow healing. Or, surgery is needed.

    I also suggest complaining LOUDLY if they do not work with you to control pain. The squeeky wheel often gets the oil. I had to do a LOT of complaining to reach a decent level of pain control while working to get my SCS implanted.
    I am very proud of the fact that as of 6:15 this evening I have been completely off of pain med for 48 hours and feel pretty darned good to!

  • Wrambler said:
    Just because he runs out 10 days early does not mean it is abuse. I received scripts of 150 Norco 10/325 and it was loosely worded to take 1-2 tabs every 4-6 hours as needed for pain. He then told me to not take more than 6 a day.
    I didn't say that it WAS abuse, only that MOST doctors would THINK it. I thought long and hard before writing what I did, and tried to do it in the most sensitive way possible. I, myself have lived with doctors throwing Pain meds at me for many years, then labeling me, before they could find out what was wrong, so what I say is purely from experience. Sorry if it offended you, but as I said, it's the world we live in today, and it's unfortunate.

  • Norcos do not last 8 hrs,so 100 norcos would not last a month.My bottle had on it at one time-way back when-every 6 hrs,and I told my Dr that these were not lasting...not helping my pain for that length of time.He said that,"they are not supposed to last 6 hrs",and he changed my script to every 4 hrs and 180 per month instead of the 120.

    I'm being treated for chronic pain,which is pain 24/7,7 days a week.No days off.Is your Dr treating your symptoms or your pain,and if it is your pain,is he treating you for acute or chronic pain.

    It's obvious that you are looking(call it seeking if you like)for pain relief,but that does not make you a drug seeker in the negative sense of the term..more the common sense type.

    Why would you consider surgery for pain relief before you consider,or try injections? The fact that others here at S~H have dis-advised(your words)blocks or injections should not stop you from doing something that you otherwise might try.Others have also said they would only have surgery as a very last resort....way after all other options,including injections,ie:ESI's,TRIGGER POINT,FACET JOINT,BLOCKS,etc.

    If all you are willing to try is drug therapy,then your Dr will think that that is all that you want.
  • Hi medic,
    What dosage of norco are you on? Maybe a higher dosage would help.Or maybe norco just doesn,t do the trick.From what I understand it's used for moderate to severe pain for the short term.Then the body develops an immunity to it.Get to a PM dr.,maybe the injections will help you.Sounds like you've done everything else.Hope you find something,you drug seeker you! Have a good one, Sagehen
  • Medic47,
    I can relate to what you are going throughas I've been there. Mine started eleven years ago. I had a disc repaired and that only made things worst. I wound up having my L-3 to L-5 fused. That was agony for three months afterwards. I have since moved on to a Morphine pump. After only five months the cathator came out of the interthecal space(spinal column) and I had no meds at all. I guess what I'm saying is, do what you have to to get relief wether it's Norco, and don't be afraid to ask your doctor for more, or what other meds you may be taking. I am back to the Norco a one every four hours and that seems to work for me. I wish I could tell you more but you will have to determine what you really need and go after it. As for the ER, most do think people are drug seekers. I am perenoid to this day because I ask for pain relief at our ER. The guilt feeling.
    Good luck
  • When I was on Norco, my doctor prescribed 1 tab every 4 hours and I got 180 pills a month. I'm figuring you're taking 1 pill every 8 hours; it never lasted that long for me either.

    I know you have read the good and bad stories about spinal injections, but you must keep in mind that no two persons are alike and will have the same outcome. You won't know how you do until you try it. I understand what you're going through because I suffered 2 disc herniations and am very familiar about how much it hurts. If you have nerve pain, your doctor should give you meds like Lyrica, Neurontin, or Cymbalta. If there is muscle spasms going on, you should try something like Zanaflex, Flexeril, Robaxin, or Baclofen. I'm sorry you can't take an NSAID because it would really help with inflammation and pain. Are you able to take Celebrex instead? I think it would really help to get the pain controlled better. I survive on this combination of meds since they deal with each aspect of this type of pain. I hope you get the help you need, and don't forget to keep an open mind about other treatments- you never know, it may help. Take care
  • Even if some here may think that others are rough on my decision with the pain meds, I want everyone to know that I respect all comments. sometimes tough love is the only love you can get: )

    I've tried the neurontin and had severe dizzy spells and was told to stop the drug. Cymbalta is probably the only one here that I didn't try.

    My doctor is a pain doctor that is with a group that has a Chiropractor, MD,Ortho, and an accupuncturist.

    I'm seeing the Pain Doc tomorrow to see if he will try something else or move up to another level of pain medication.

    What I'm doing now is the Norco, flexeril, and hot and cold packs at night. I walk when I can and have lost 25 lbs. Losing weight when you are sitting on your ass all the time is tough!!

    I'm 6'4 255 and trying to lose weight to get down to 220.. TOUGH TO DO IT!!

    Like most in this forum, I hear some bad stories about the facet injections and sciatic nerve blocks and some with good stories. Like I said, my doctor wanted to give me some time to rest and see if the pain would decrease. I hve heard from my Doctors that Surgery will most likely be the next course.

    Thank you for the Honesty in your messages.

    Your comments really help.


  • Sounds like great advise!

    I'll use it.


  • That Rabbicatadog is just freakish. =))
  • Has your Dr. prescribed something for the nerve pain like lyrica,neurontoin or amitriptyline or Cymbalta? It just seems these med(s) may help as well as muscle relaxants plus the narcos. I would let your PM Dr. know that the meds only last 3 hours or however how long so he can work around or up the meds. I had to go frequentely at first to my Dr to let her know ms contin wasn't lasting the whole 12 hours and not even 8. If you're having sciatica I've had relief about 30-40% leg pain from the injections and well worth trying them out as well as facet joint injections and trigger point injections. Good luck and hope you can find some relief. 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
  • He keeps me warm at night and understands my issues. :)
  • You're better off than I am.

    I have a regular dog who kicks me out of bed at night and drools on my shoes. :<

    It's hard to convince a 131-pound Alaskan Malamute that I'm right and he's wrong, though. :))(

  • Ya, and this thing only eats carmel corn and drinks starbucks coffee!!!!!!! I've got a doggie door : )
  • We'll, my pain doc told me today that he would right me a script for 120 of Norco but also said we will have to start cutting me down soon??
    I told him that I hope we will start cutting down after the surgery and not now because I'm still in alot of pain. he agreed.

    I'm glad that he is concerned about my long term use of the Norco but I wish he would put the pain in front of the Norco concern!!

    I'm going to take the norco as he prescribes but it still will mean some sleepless nights due to pain.

    I asked him about concidering a nerve block or something else and he said it would not be a good idea at this time? But he keeps me on the Norco's he is concerned about?

    I see my Ortho on the 6th of June (Saturday) ??

    I really appreciate everyone's comment's on this matter. its a real serious time in my life.

  • Unless you have issues that we are unaware of,the norco-IMO-is not as harmful as your pain,and controlling your pain should be(my opinion again)his/her first concern while waiting for your upcoming surgery.
    The norco would be the way to go with this surgery coming up--anything stronger could make treating your post operative pain more difficult.

    Whenever I was prescribed 4/day.I took them during my waking hrs-every 4 hrs,but I took ambien,muscle relaxers,and topamax at night..in hopes of helping me sleep through some of the pain.I did talk to my Dr about my schedule and he was supportive.The nights were not always easy,but I did get some good nights that way...the mornings,or waking ..the first couple hrs ..bad.That is the problem that I see with not treating the pain round the clock,or 'keeping up w/the pain'.

    When is your surgery planned?
    My apologies if you already mentioned a date-I can't seem to remember,or find it??
  • beachett5bbeachett5 Posts: 1
    edited 03/04/2015 - 11:23 AM
    I've been taking Norcos 10 325mg Every 6 hours as prescribed, Prolbum is their not lasting 6 hours about 4 hours is more like it.
    And I'm running out about 7 to 10 days early
    So I'm in Tremendous back pain till refill date!
    My husband bought me the eversion table
    But it has little relif at all,
    I am afraid to talk to my Doctor, as I don't want to try any other pain meds the Norcos are extreamly
    Effective for Pain management ,
    The last Dr I had had me try one medication which
    Did nothing for the pain but made me Extreamly
    Moody and high anxiety,
    I started Seeing a new Doctor due to personality
    Conflicts, I'd go on line to refill meds through system
    And be Accused of asking for Early Refills?
    No I was allowing 5 days notice the needed to be Filled, plus with new regulations on Norco
    30 days between refills he was counting 18th to 18th
    Of each month as 30 days not recognizing every month varies, leaving me even days with out meds,

    I'm afraid to let my New Doctor that the meds aren't
    Lasting me 6hrs only about 4 hours
    I'm Not Abusing them, I Just am in Tremendous
    Pain and in the Morning I can barely get up for work
    Without it, and I can feel the relif and start my day
    Within about 10 to 15 minutes of my dose,
    I can't function when I run out,
    The Pain is so bad
    All I want to do is Cry, useless I know but
    Its so much pain it becomes my world focus
    I can't move, I just want to ball up and dissaper,
    What to do?
    If I tell my Doctor their not lasting 6 hours
    Just about 4 and I running out early?
    I'm afraid of nasty remarks,
    But I'm sick of being in Pain when I do run out
    And going days in Tremendous pain?
    Stacy goodwin
  • Jillybean079Jillybean079 Posts: 266
    edited 03/04/2015 - 1:32 PM
    Ok one, taking more medications that your doctor prescribed for ANY reason is against the rules. If you were with a pain management clinic, they would prob have dropped you. There is no reason to do this at all...if your medication isn't covering your pain, you need to be speaking with your doctor and adjusting appropriately. Therefore, you really need to be involved with a pain management clinic. Two, you said you had an injury...what kind of injury and what kind of surgery are they thinking about doing? So you have a neurosurgeon? You said you are allergic to "all" NSAIDS??? There are other medications besides narcotics that can still help you. Have you tried injections (ESIs)?? Most docs go through ALL types of conservative treatment before surgery is discussed....I would like to know more about your back ground if you don't mind m asking????
    Spine-Health Moderator 
    Ankylosing Spondylitis
    Bulging discs T12-L3
    Annular Tears with Disc Extrusion L4-S1
    Moderate Central Canal Stenosis
    Moderate Foraminal Stenosis
    Enlarged Facet Joints/Ligaments
    Spinal enthesopathy
    L4-L/5 PLIF with cages, rods, screws 2/15 

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