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some general questions

thigh-grippertthigh-gripper Posts: 21
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Pain Medications
Hi I am new to this site so hope it's ok to ask general questions about personal meds prescribed. I am suffering my third and most severe bout of sciatica and was taken by ambulance to hospital ER 3 weeks ago due to pain and immobility after the initial onset. It's been found since by MRI I have a fairly severe rupture at S1/L5 compressing the nerve and I'm looking at possible surgery if no improvement after the 6 week mark. I've been told I need a combination of drugs to relieve the pain and that it is best to find a schedule to fight the pain before it fully has a chance to kick in rather then take the drugs after it becomes very painful.

Some of the medication I am now taking I have been on during my past episodes and some I have not. I feel it's fairly dangerous the amount I am currently taking to get by.I wanted some others opinions on if it is normal to be taking all of them? Some names of the medications may differ as I am in Australia.

I've been put on..

*Endone 10mg (oxycodone)- every 4-6 hours.
Does this differ from ms/oxycontin? If so better or worse?

*Tramadol 150 (slow release) - every 12 hours
*Valium 5mg - every 8 hours
*Panadeine Forte (paracetamol/codeine) - every 6 hours
*Endep 25mg (amitriptyline) - one before sleep
This one appears to be an anti-depressant?

*Ibuprofen 400mg - every 4-6 hours
*Ducolax (laxative)

Does this sound fairly normal? It worries me slightly as there's no set time line yet for me to continue this regiment and is more then I have needed in the past (although pain is far more severe this bout).I was a relatively heavy drinker prior to this also and I worry I may end up with liver issues.

If I was to attempt to cut out one or more of those, what would likely be best to try? The Tramadol seems to have little effect but I think this is just due to the slow release and that I may find it does if I am to stop. The Endone is the only one I find directly effective so am not wishing to discontinue taking that.

I've also read information regarding not mixing Endone with Valium and also with Endep however my specialist and GP's have not mentioned this. Does anyone have experience with that specific combination?

Thanks in advance for reading and for any replies.



  • Hello T.G. -

    As I read through the list of meds you're on, nothing jumps out at me as being "dangerous"...IF of course you take them only as prescribed.

    The Oxycodone you're prescribed is the "instant-release" vairety which is short acting (4 to 6 hours) where as Oxy-Contin is "extended-release" or long-acting (usually 12 hours). So in your case, the Doc has opted to go with the Tramadol as your long-acting pain relief med and the Oxcycodone is for break-through pain...meaning times when the Tramadol alone just isn't getting the job done.

    The Valium your prescribed is a muscle relaxant, used to lessen painful spasms and cramping and the Amitriptyline can be used as an anti-depressant or for Neuropathic pain relief (which is the burning, tingling, sharp, shooting variety of pain) that many of us experience.

    You've been given quite the cocktail of meds that should work excellently to control your pain, just be sure to contact your Doc ASAP with ANY questions or concerns that you might have with them and oh yes...make sure to ALWAYS take your Ducolax, or you could end-up being in more pain than you could ever have imagined possible!! :)

    All the best mate -


  • Thanks for the reply Jeff, I feel a bit better hearing these are all fairly typical. I was just a little worried as it seems to be so many physical pills a day but you've put my mind at rest. For the moment they seem to be working ok. I'm not pain free but my pain is fairly tolerable provided I don't move around too much.

    I hear you on the durolax and have already learned that lesson the hard way unfortunately (no pun intended).

    Cheers mate
  • You're very welcome TG and in your last ost, I happened to notice something that I want to reply to. Early on in my pain management experience, I recall telling my PM Doc that i thought my meds to be working but that I wasn't "pain free" and that was disturbing to me. He said to me "Jeff, I want to tell you something that you need to keep in mind for the entire length of time that your in pain management." "That is...you should not now or not ever expect more than a 20 to 30% decrease in pain level with ANY pain med that we might decide to employ, because if you do you're always going to be greatly disappointed."

    Let me tell you TG, once I moved forward whilst keeping that in mind, my entire outlook as to what pain management could/would do for me changed for the better...and life has been alot rosier as a result!

    Just a little something I thought to pass on and cheers back at ya!

  • Thanks Jeff that sounds like good advice. Will definitely take that on board. Far better to have expectations exceeded then to fall short of them.

  • I had exactly the same thing you have. I had surgery on 5/19. Before my surgery no medication took my sciatic pain down and I could only stand or walk for a few minutes. I couldn't work. Since my surgery I don't need pain meds and I'm back to work.
  • That's very good to hear Alaskagirl, thank you for posting. I've been off work 3 weeks so far and have used up all my leave. From here on I need to survive without pay but I am lucky in that I changed jobs mid last year and my company is being understanding in holding my job for me, even though I've told them I may not be back for months. It was my last job I worked for 7 years that really did all the damage to me (very strenuous work) but the problems didn't start getting bad until I had changed jobs and worked for awhile with my current company.
    The work and financial side of things has been getting very stressful for me so it's excellent to hear you were able to return to work after the surgery. I have been worried that maybe I wouldn't be able to but you've given me a bit more confidence. The meds for me are taking the pain down a fair bit but not enough to get myself very mobile even with crutches or a walking stick.
    I was only married last November so I'm eager to get back on track with the pain and work as we had plans to try and buy a home and start a family over the next couple of years.

    Thank you again

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