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what pain medicine are you on?

atwitsendaatwitsend Posts: 33
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Pain Medications
Hello everybody!

I take Vicodin ES 7.5/750. I've asked my doctor numerous times to change my medicine because I don't like the high dose of APAP, but she has yet to change it and continues to tell me it's safe. My father in law is a doctor and has recommended to me many times to get off the high dose of APAP, so I'm heeding his advice, but I can't get my doctor to go along with it.
I'm gonna try ONE more time to get her to change it and if she doesn't, then I'm off to a new pain clinic....it's kind of ridiculous. It's not like I'm looking for anything stronger, just with less APAP.

So, what are my options of medicines? What do you take??



  • I was initially started on hydrocodone (vicodin), but became concerned as my dose increased that the acetaminophin was also increasing. My PM doc switched me to oxycodone which still has the acetaminophin, but much less. I think no matter what strength you get it always has 350 mg of acetaminophin (I've had 5/350, 7.5/350, and 10/350). Oxycodone is stronger than hydrocodone, but my doc just prescribed me a lower dose and it wasn't a big deal. He agreed that there was no need to have all that acetaminophin (although he assured me that I could take up to 4,000 mg/day safely).
  • Well, I guess if we stay within what the FDA calls a 'safe' limit then I guess we're all fine. But I still worry about taking all that APAP. I don't want to have to have a liver replacement down the road.

    I mean, I guess what I'm trying to say, is that it doesn't look like I'm going to be living a life without pain medicine, so I want to go about it the 'healthiest' way. Sounds silly, I know.

    I just don't understand why my doctor is fighting me about it. This will be the third time I've asked for a change.
  • This may be way off topic, but I wondered if you have had other consultations about your current situation. With some of the newer procedures they are doing at l5-S1, I wondered if there is some way they could go in, clean out the scar tissue to free up the S1 nerve, clean out the stenosis and maybe even clean up L4-5.

    Sometimes a different clinic will have a different way of approaching things. It would be a shame to assume things must remain the way they are without consulting with other fellowship-trained spinal specialists.
  • I take Roxicodone, to my knowledge there is no Tylenol in it, that is one of the reasons why I liked it. I was on Vicodon prior to this and like you was worried about the long term use of that. I prefer not to take tylenol/actemeniophen (sp) everyday a couple of times a day.

  • Funny you ask!
    I just went to see a neurologist today. He told me to NEVER have another epidural steroid injection. I had a horrible 'abnormal' reaction to it or as another doctor called it, a medical 'fluke.' He also told me to avoid another lower back surgery at all costs because a third surgery would basically be a huge failure. I asked about a fusion and was told that the discs above the fusion usually go bad and to avoid that as well. Basically, don't let anyone operate on my back ever again, even if it's minimally invasive.

    I've had numerous discussions with my pain management doctor and she wants to remain as conservative as possible. But I do believe it's time to find a new pain clinic and try different avenues.

    I've been out to see a different neurosurgeon when the L4-L5 re-herniated and he wouldn't touch me with a 10 foot pole. I even went all the way up to the last step before surgery and he decided that it wouldn't be in my best interest for another surgery.

    It's such a frustrating road. Especially when I've been to different doctors and it seems that no one wants to help me but give me pain meds and shove me out the door. I think doctors look at me as a liability at this point because I can't think of any other reason.

    At this point, I'm left scratching my head in confusion, but still in pain.

  • does not contain tylenol. Roxycodone is the generic for oxycodone. Percocet is the oxycodone with tylenol. just for your info..
  • I agree with you about the Apap. If you are expected to take pain meds long term I would think that you would be offered a safer long acting med. I am currently on methadone and have had good results with it. It is easier on your system and has not been found to cause organ damage. I have heard from numerous sources that surgery to remove scar tissue is never a good idea. More surgery creates more scar tissue. I think that you are on the right track about trying to get off the apap. If it takes seeing another doc that may just be what you need to do. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • iowarobin said:
    does not contain tylenol. Roxycodone is the generic for oxycodone. Percocet is the oxycodone with tylenol. just for your info..
    Thanks for sharing that info Robin. I did not know that.
  • don't need the tylenol (APAP). I take oxycodone -- no APAP. Too much tylenol can cause liver damage.

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • I don't understand the reluctance on your doctors part to lower the apap. makes no sense at all to me.
    I know you can get lower levels of apap mixed with hydrocodone 10/325 is commonly referred to as Norco. not sure what they call the 7.5/325, but it is available.

    While Oxy and Roxycodone are supposed to be stronger, not saying they aren't, they do not work as well as hydrocodone for me. So, if you switch be sure and stay in touch with the doctor about effectiveness.
  • I also talked to my doc about lessening the APAP I was taking with my Hydrocodone, same as you - 7.5/750. So she changed my prescription to Norco, which is 7.5/350 (the generic name is Hydrocodone 7.5/350). We're actually alternating the prescription so I have both available to me depending on if I need more APAP or not.

    I don't understand why they're having such a problem with it either. You only want to manage your pain without creating additional problems. I'd think that they'd appreciate that, but who am I...

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  • Thank you all for your input!!

    Talked to the doctor at my pain management clinic today. We discussed different avenues. My pain levels today were out of control. I took a Vicodin & it didn't even touch the pain. I had to take another 2 hours later to finally get some relief. She agreed it was time to change the medicine (FINALLY!!!)

    I explained everything to her and she offered me percocet, Fetanyl (sp?) patches or Oxycontin...I didn't want the APAP so I didn't go for percocet. I've heard some funny things about the patch, so I decided to go with the Oxycontin. (20mg)

    SO, at least she's finally starting to listen to me and we took a step forward. I also told her I'd like to try out a tens unit to see if it would help, so she's working on getting the health insurance to approve it.

    I guess I'll see how this new medicine works, I've never been on it before.

    Anyone else been on Oxycontin before??

    I know it's oxycodone and I've always had better success with hydrocodone, but I guess we shall see.
  • I wasn't taking anything short of a Tylenol here and there, but as the pain increased, my NS put me on 150mg of Lyrica 2x a day. I still have pain on it, but it is taking enough of the edge off so far. I also heard it takes a few days for the "body to adjust" to it for full affect.

    Except for right after surgery, this is the only pain drug I've been put on. Hopefully that will be the only one? Be pain free all!!!! :-)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I hope the new meds help. Changing periodically is good to keep you from becoming immune, I think. I am currently taking 3 x 10mg Flexiril and 3 X 5.500 Hydros. per day. This is basically useless. Maybe it does just enough to take the edge off my pain. My surgery is Monday 11/16 and I hoping my Dr plans to give me something more useful than 5mg of Hydrocodone. I am seeing him in the morning so we can clear that up now. I really look forward, and hope in 3 months I will be walking without a limp. I walk like an 80 year old woman, wait thats not really true. In the mall with my sister, briefly over the weekend, an older 80 year old woman breezed right by me. LOL...my life in a nutshell.
  • the other med doesn't work -- I can tell you that I absolutely loved the Fentanyl patches. The only thing I didn't like was, after a while, I sort of ran out of skin to put them on over my upper arms. They would leave my skin a bit dry and itchy and it was hard to find a spot that wasn't irritated. Otherwise, they provide consistent pain relief -- for me it lasted 3-4 days at first, then dwindled to about 2 days right before surgery. It was so nice not to have to worry about missing a dose of pain med and having to play "catch-up" and get it under control again. I hope I'm never in that much pain again, but boy, was that great relief!!

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Thanks Isteller for the info about the patches. So far, the oxycontin is working awesome. It's kind of a miracle to me to actually have the ability to move around and bend over. I am real hesitant to get on patches b/c unless my body miraculously recovers, I'm gonna be on pain meds for a looooooong time and I know that they are real strong. Not like Oxycontin isn't..just trying to pick the lesser of 2 evils. :)

    And Trasee, that was me whizzing by you on my new meds!! But I didn't think I looked so old...LOL!
  • Have you asked your dr to maybe try the kadian it does not have tylenol in it, but it is a morphine based med.I take 80 mg 3 times a day and it does help but Iwant to come off of it because I do not want to get hooked on it. I am using it this month but next month I want to try to go back to the oxycontin as I was using it earlier. Good luck and I hope your dr will listen to you.If not then it is time to find you another dr That is just my opinion. Keep us updated and know we will be here for you. Linda
  • I think you have a very good attitude and thought to your pain drugs. I too was on high amounts of Vicodin and like you asked to be removed as of liver concerns. Also I just needed more and more.
    After a few bad tries of other meds we finally found the right "mix" for me.

    I am on the Fentanyl patch 75 mg every 3 days and Oxycondone 5 mg 2 every 6 hrs as needed. I too love my fentanyl :)

    Like you said I feel so free to be in so much LESS pain :D

    I also stay well aware this is my life for the rest of my life so try to tough it out before uping the meds. I went about 6 yrs before any changes.
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • I'm glad to hear the Oxycontin is working out for you. What mg where you started off on? I was on it for awhile and I tolerated it well at 40mg twice daily along with 6 10/325mg Percocets for breakthrough pain. I was told 6 is the maximum allowed a day because of the APAP. Now I take the 15 mg Oxycodone with no tylenol every 6 hours.

    I was also on Norco and 100mcg Fentanyl patches every 2 days and this worked for me for a long time too. It's not unusual for your body to get tolerant of the medication after a long time and the doctors may adjust the dose or change you to another one. Hopefully you'll continue to do well with your new meds and it will give you relief for a long time. Take care
  • I take 3 x40mgs oxy + 4x10 mgs of oxy for breakthru pain + 3x350mgs soma +1 ambien nightly.

  • The new pain doc just added oxycontin 40mgs twice a day and I can take 5 10/650mgs percocet a day for breakthrough pain.
  • My dr switched me to fentanyl 25 mcg every 2 days last month with hydrocodone 10/500 2 to 3 times a day for bt pain.I love the fentanyl,really controls my pain better than anything I've taken in the past.I also take zanaflex400mg 1 to 2 at bedtime and seraquel 400 mg to sleep.
  • Meyday,
    I've been started off on 20mg of Oxycontin which seems to work great for now. I just wonder how long until I build an immunity to it. I still have the Vicodin for breakthrough pain, but I haven't done that yet. I guess, maybe, because I don't know how it's gonna make me feel. I still need to function, ya know.

    I really don't want to go any higher on the medication unless I have to. If so, maybe I can switch to something else.

    Tweetybird recommended Kadian and that's the second person to mention it to me. My friends dad has a horrible back and 4 surgeries, etc. and he takes Kadian. He says it helps, but doesn't take all the pain away.
    But neither does the Oxycontin. I don't expect to be walking around pain free, just at least tolerable.

    Thanks to everyone for all their advice and input. I appreciate it immensely!

    Hope you all have a pain free day!
  • 380mg of oxycontin and 80mg oxynorm .sometime even more if the pain wont go away {agreed extra medication with my doctor}.
    good pain killers but at this dose it make you tired
  • I tried Oxycontin 20 mg for a short time ( 30 pills ) they did not help me much AND the Vicodin I was to take in between the Oxy stopped working all together for me. Now months off Oxy Vicodin still does zero for me - not sure why, but something changed somewhere in me :??
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • My doc started me out on vicodin and skelaxin but I was still having to take motrin. When that wasn't doing it, he told me to double up on the vicodin as needed... he offered percocet instead but, since it's never worked for me before, I said no. Last time we talked about pain meds, I asked him to switch me to vicoprophen and back to flexeril as the skelaxin had stopped being effective.

    I've been taking the vicoprophen(7.5/200) and the 10mg. flexeril and have been getting better pain relief... not great, but better. I also have knee issues, so I think the motrin maybe helps a bit with that. I got for my final synvisc shots tomorrow... they've been pretty bad this time around, but I'm hopinng they'll kick in soon. Walking is hard enough without adding in the knee issues.

    I hope your doctor will continue to work with you and help keep your pain to a deal-able level. :)

  • I am 19 days out of surgery and all the docor gave
    me is 750 vicodens.I had a injury 15 months ago so
    that was what i was on for 15 months.This is not
    helping me at all.

    I have good and bad days but do not know how to go
    about asking my doctor for something stronger for the pain when it gets bad.He seems worried.My surgery
    was not supposed to take 9 hours but ended up that way and he told my family did not know how i walked
    for the 15 months loose bones flapping all over.

    Does anyone have suggestions how to say look i am
    in really bad pain at night and take vicoden in day but its not working all the time..

    I realize only 19 days out of surgery trying stay positive but feel need something else temporary..


    L5-S1 PLIF with BMP
    Bulging disc L4
    Leg pain in both legs and numbness

  • Biggorb1,
    Just be honest with the doc and explain just as you did here. You went through a major surgery so your body is going to be hurting for a while. I hope you start feeling better and in less pain soon.
  • I was on Norco 10/325 4 times a day before and right after my surgery. It wasn't really knocking out the pain like it should have so my PM doctor switched me to Percocet 10/325 3 times a day. I'd actually prefer to not have any APAP, but my PM doctor disagrees with me. So for now, I'm stuck with the percocet. My other issue with the acetamenophine is that it tends to make me a bit naseous. I can't take regular tylenol b/c the APAP content is higher and it really does a number on my tummy.
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