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MS Contin vs Oxycontin? What should I do?

QuiltinouslyQQuiltinously Posts: 152
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Pain Medications
Hi All,

My doctor and I want to change my daily meds from 20mg 4x/day of Oxycontin to MS Contin. I have been on this level of Oxy for about 2 years and it is no longer as effective. I see him monthly and we will likely make this change or something else similar next week.

How is MS Contin different? I know it is morphine based, but that makes it still an opiate. Will I likely take the same amount? I really like my doctor, but I feel like I need to be a step ahead of him. At least he will listen to me if I do not completely like his suggestions, and when I have input, he takes that into consideration.

Also, I take Oxycodone for "breakthrough pain" but it feels more like taking an M&M as it does nothing. We did not discuss whether we would change this too or not. What do you think would be good here? I really would like an effective breakthrough med!

My doctor knows that I have my "neck friends" who I "talk" with online. He even encourages me to talk with you all as he wants me to feel better too. He will NOT think I am a drug seeker if I bring an idea or two. In fact, he reassures me and says things like, "I know you are someone who really needs relief... and not an abuser." Even with his reassurances, I am still careful in how I talk with him about meds.

Thanks in advance for your input.


  • Hi Quiltinously. I have never taken oxycontin before but have have taken ms contin. I think it worked though I did have to take b/t meds almost everyday (5mg percocet). I know what you mean, though about it being like an M&M though as I have such a high tolerance for this stuff!

    However, I just wanted to let you know how fortunate you are to have a doc who listens to you and doesn't treat you suspiciously. I used to have a doc like that when I lived on the east coast. I moved to the west coast about a year ago and the docs here are so suspicious (except for a pm doc i got to see before my insurance changed last may).

    Lastly, It had probably been about 7 months or so of taking 60mg MS contin a day when my pain got to be too much again and called my doc to let him know. I don't think they prescribe oxy here (ins or state i'm not sure) so he decided to put me on a fentanyl patch. These are not to be taken lightly however, it looks like you already have a good tolerance to opiates you may be able to handle it fine. Maybe talk to your doc about that? I'm not sure how long it takes to build up tolerance to the patches though, since I've been on them a little more than a month and while at first I felt relief, my pain is back up (6-8 with the patch and "b/t" meds each day).

    Anyway, I hoped all my rambling helped you out at least a little.

    Good luck!

  • I just switched from ms contin to oxycodone. The ms contin made me extremely tired and crabby. My Dr tried every type of morphine all had the same effects. I had to beg him to try a different med.!! I have been on the oxy for 3 weeks and what a change. Better pain relief and not the bad side effects.

    p.s. christie percocet and oxycontin have the same opiate oxycodone in them
  • Good luck with the switch. At first ms contin worked for me for 2 years almost but I was switched to oxycontin in January and it seems to help for me. I had too much break through pain with ms contin. I hope it helps you. 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
  • Hi again,

    Thank you for the replies. I wish it were not so confusing, and more clearcut. I wish I weren't in pain either, so this thinking doesn't help. ha, ha

    My pharmacist told me that the MS Contin will be about $100 more a month for me than my current Oxy Contin based on generic vs. brand and my insurance. Great! Maybe I should keep things the way they are.

    Or any other ideas for an extended release type pain med?

  • i would ask to get you oxycontin upped .i take 320mg of oxycontin {thats 4x80mg of the timed release type} and 8x 20mg of the oxynorm {thats the instant type} .this helps with the pain.my doctor wants to keep me on the oxy.because he said that morphine is not as strong BUT it last longer and has a longer half life .he said that if i was to change to morphine he would have to give me massive amounts of it and he is not willing to do that ..and i tolerate oxy well .morphine has more side effects and is extremely constipating.so if i were you i would stay with the oxy if you can
  • Hi Straker,

    Thanks for the input. I found OxyContin was constipating until I found a good senna tea. I wonder if my tea would help. I like your idea of upping my meds. I am not sure that he'll like that idea... but it's worth considering.

    If I need to switch... I wonder:

    Do you or any one else know which is more effective:
    Avinza/Kadian or MSContin?

  • i know your posts were long ago but i just came across them so i thought i'd add to the discussion based on my experience. i have a lifelong pain issue that i've been dealing with for nine years now. although i have a herniated L5 disk and a crushed vertebrae my pain is from a serious issue with abdominal adhesions resulting from a screwed up surgery. over the years i have been to every pain management center around. none could come up with any options for me other than medication. trying to make a long story short, after several years i reached the point where i was on 180 mg's of oxycontin, three times per day. i was also on 8 mg's of dilaudid every 2-4 hours as needed. it reached a point where the pain medication was not effective and i was like a zombie every day. i switched several times between oxy and ms conting as well as changing breakthrough meds more times than i can remember. through my own research i finally found a "hospital grade" TENS unit (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation). i also purchased a small portable TENS unit which is far less effective as the larger unit but it is not visible at all when wearing it. neither unit eliminates pain completely but it helps more than any other alternative i've tried and it has allowed me to drop down to 30 mg's three times per day and eliminate breakthrough meds completely. now, i need to add that much of my ability to cut back has been due to me, over time, both physically and mentally, becoming stronger and able to better deal with the pain. it takes a combination of the TENS, meditation, counseling and the minimal amout of meds i'm on. i will admit, the pain is much more prevalent when it spikes but i'd rather deal with that than live like a zombie the rest of my life. i used to live with pain levels that exceeded 10 on the scale all the time. now the pain spikes several times a week to that level and some times i end up in the emergency room but again, i'd rather deal with that than live the life of a zombie. these pain meds affect everyone differently but usually constipation comes with both oxy and ms as well as any breakthrough. chronic pain can and usually does lead to depression, anxiety, permanent intestinal issues, liver and kidney probs. i found a solution to the constipation with will help avoid long term intestinal issues. a quarter cup of "Golden Flax" which is a powder (milled) form of cold milled golden flax seed. mix well using a spoon (not a blender) with about 4 ounces of your favorite juice and drink quickly every night prior to bed. each morning you should find yourself on a "regular" schedule if you know what i mean. other significant benefits of the Golden Flax is it is totally all natural, gluten free, plenty of fiber, high in omega-3, as well as plenty of other valuable nutrients. cutting back on the amount of pain medication you're taking will be difficult but believe me, in the end, you will feel much better about yourself and you'll be able to function much better. the last point - you should be aware that more pain meds over the long run can actually cause for more pain than you would have otherwise. just speak with a pain mgt specialist or just google it. also, there are many forums and blogs online that are there solely to allow people with chronic pain, caused by the same affliction you have, to talk with each other, share knowledge, experiences, new findings, etc. i wish you all the best.
  • one other point i forgot to mention which you may be aware of by now. the generic for Oxycontin was found NOT to be as effective as the non-generic. if you're using oxycontin you must use the non-generic. if your doctor disagree's, simply do a little research on the internet. you will find documentation backing up this claim to put in your doctors face. in fact, again, as you may already be aware of, the last i knew they were going to stop making the oxy generic knowing that it didn't work. this means purchasng the non-generic which means spending a lost more money for this long acting, time-released medication. the generic form of ms contin is morphine sulphate. it is just as effective as ms contin.......
  • Welcome to the boards...If I could make a suggestion that you break your posts into paragraphs...it would be so much easier to read:)

    In reference to the Oxycontin...The generic has not been available for over a year now as the patent ran out. However...even though some people 'thought' that it didn't work better or the same as the non generic...It's just really about some medicines work differently depending on the person..

    But by law in the US...Generics have to have the exact same active ingredients as the non generic. The + or - 20% is for the non active ingredients...the 'fillers' in the medicine...

    So one is not 'stronger' than the other...

    So stopping the generic had nothing to do with the medicine itself.

    The new Oxycontin formula has changed in the delivery system...not the strenght either. Labaratories are trying to come up with long acting medicines that upon breaking or crushing them...which addicts do...it will stop the release of the medication.

    But a 20mg of the old version of the brand of Oxycontin is exactly the same milligram of the new version of the Oxycontin pill. Just like the generic had exactly 20mg of Oxycodone in it.

    And just fyi..but most people who are completely happy with their Drs., medicine, treatments, surgery...etc. Usually do not post online to talk about this. So you will always find more negative information about anything when doing 'research' online and it going to message boards...So it should always be taken with a grain of salt.

    I was on the generic version of Oxycontin for years until it was discontinued and it worked great for me..Just like the brand.

    I am now on generic MSContin and it also works just fine.

    Some people think it also varies from generic to generic of the same medicine...but again..the discrepency is the non active ingredients...Sometimes a certain filler will cause a particular side effect or reaction that is unwanted. But the strength of the medicine is exactly the same as I stated by law..

    It's really all relative and people should work with their Dr.s and make their own opinions about any medication after being on it for about a month or so as it takes time for each person to adapt to a new medication.

    We would love to get to know you more if you would like to start your own thread introducing yourself...This is a great board with caring people...And it's also good to hear all sorts of different views...It's just about being careful to have generalities...or telling someone that a medicine will 'not' work for them..That is impossible to know.

    And even though some people can develop Hyperalgesia from being on pain medicine long term...it is still fairly rare.

    Anyone who has chronic pain should work with their Dr. to use as many modalities to help manage their pain so they don't rely on just one medication or one form of treatment..

    It sounds like you have found things to also help with the inevitable constipation that comes from opiates and muscle relaxers...I drink lots of water, eat foods rich in fiber..and then use Miralax (thank goodness that is otc now!)...

    Again..welcome to the boards..

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