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New here ~ from Tramadol to Morphine in 10 days

WildewomanWWildewoman Posts: 30
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Pain Management
Short story of me:

2 weeks ago - woke up with screaming pain in butt & down my leg. Dr. ordered tramadol. No relief.

Went to see her the next day - in tears - got a shot of dilaudid (sp?) helped. Got a prescription for percocet. No relief.

Next day got oxycontin & muslce relaxers & a referall to a specialist. He ordered Predinison & Neurontin.

Last night Dr. called - I'm still in pain & she has ordered Morphine.

Does this sound like the usual progression of meds??

Thanks so much!!


  • first has your doctor done or ordered any tests like MRI/CT bone scan bloods etc?? before strong drugs are issued you normally have to have a firm diagnosis .i was on 30/500mg codeine .paracetamol for years until it was not doing anything pain wise and i had many tests and 2 operations {now waiting for a fusion} and taking oxycontin and oxynorm {both are stronger than morphine BUT morphine lasts longer in your system .the reason i am on oxycontin and oxynorm rather than generic morphine is my doctor would have to give me massive amounts of morphine and when taken via the oral route its strength is lost in your stomach compared with IV morphine and in the UK they don't give home patients IV morphine unless you have a terminal illness and Macmillan nurse come to see you .so yes i did it a bit strange that you have gone to morphine in a very short amount of time {unless you have not told us everything!}
  • Morphine isn't stronger than oxycontin or oxycodone, it's just different- and some people respond better to one than another.

    But as you are finding, opiates are not always so good with nerve pain. The medication you're taking for nerve pain is Neurontin, and I'm surprised he hasn't changed that one out for you rather than just pushing the analgesics. Has he mentioned a pain management specialist? How long have you been on the neurontin?
  • Yes - he ordered a spine x-ray showed severe DDD with other issues. The MRI is Thursday (had to wait for insurance apporval)

    PT has also been ordered - but he wants the pain under control first, which it is not.

    I have been on the neurotin for 6 days.

    Thanks so much!!
  • Oh, only 6 days- then it's barely getting started! Give it a chance to ramp up to a good dosage and get working :) Good luck!

  • Another option that might help is Lyrica. I've found that people seem to be good with one or the other. I am so sorry you are hurting so bad. It is good to see that your doctors are engaged in your issues and pain. Please keep us posted. I hope the MRI's and such turn out good. Fingers crossed. *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • happyHBmom said:
    Oh, only 6 days- then it's barely getting started! Give it a chance to ramp up to a good dosage and get working :) Good luck!

    My Doctor said to start with 1 pill at night (neurontin) - then increase it by 1 pill each night until the pain is gone. I am up to 6 pills a night!! I feel better this morning - but don't know if it is the morphine or the neurontin.

    I'm just glad that I was able to sleep more than an hour or 2.

    How long do most stay on the neurontin? Until the acute pain is gone??

    Thanks for all the support!!
  • Your doctor will talk to you about your options. I've been on my nerve medication for quite a while, though, since my injury is permanent- a lot will depend on how all of your tests and such turn out!

    So glad you're feeling better! Your doctor seems to be doing well by you :) You can't just start taking Neurontin at a full dose all at once, it will knock you on your butt!
  • I saw the specilaist today - he wants to do a cortizone injection into my back on Tuesday. He said that this will relieve the pain.

    I am really anxious about this - but need pain relief.
  • They have helped many people, hopefully it will help you!
  • This is all happening very fast for me.

    As I have said - 3 weeks ago - I was running 3 miles day, doing hot yoga - fit as a fiddle.

    Now I am on so many meds that my DH & I have a notebook on the table to keep track. And now we are talking about having a needle stuck into my spine.

    I am scared & worried & in so much pain that I think I would agree to anything at this point.

    sigh . . . . . .
  • Well, I've had 4 of them. The ESIs aren't necessarily a fun time, but they aren't (or weren't to me) awful. And if it helps, it's well worth it!
  • Will I be able to go back to work the next day?

    Why have you had 4 - didn't they help??

    Thanks so much!!
  • They usually come in a set of 3. Also, my problems are permanent (barring surgery), so they weren't going to give me anything except temporary relief from swelling, but was happy with that.

    So I had the set of 3. Then a few months later I was having a bad flare and he gave me a 4th.

    I won't say they were a miracle for me, but then I'm not the "usual" candidate.
  • I'm sorry to hear that. Is the relief instant?

    Can I go back to work following the shot - the next day?

    Thanks so much!!
  • Oh, sorry- meant to answer that!

    No, the relief will take a few days. The steroid takes a while to take effect. Although it will feel nice while you're pumped full of local anesthetic, you'll be sore for maybe 48 hours from the needle and the actual injection, but you should still be OK to work (ask your doctor about that).

  • Hello WW :))) I've had many injections.ESIs,TPI,s nerve block,Cll RF,and all of them are temporary.Not only that,but what works for one might not help the next.. so it's hard to say until you give it a shot (lol).

    The best injection that I ever had was in my hip for Bursitis.It was an ESI-I limped in,but I walked out with no pain at all..and I mean zero,it was like a dream come true at the time because the pain was so bad.Now I can't say that my luck with the injections in my C-spine have been that wonderful,but I imagine it could happen,and maybe has for some folks :??

    The injection is a little painful,and my advice is to close your eyes and find your zone (or zen).A couple weeks ago I had my neck done and the Dr told me afterwards that he was talking to me but all that I would give him was a "yes" or "no",and nothing else.I'm a talker so he stated that he knew I had found my happy place.I had,and it wasn't bad at all.I've gone in stressed and scared before though without such good results and had a lot of hard muscle pain after those particular episodes.

    Your yoga can come in very useful for this purpose,and if you can meditate I find it helps a great deal.Wishing your injection a success!!
  • Thanks Robin. My doctor said that if I continued with my PT & did the back exercises & core work - then I may never need another shot. He said this shot will take the inflammation away & the pain - and that if I work to fix the back, then I may never need another shot.

    I so hope this is true. The last 3 weeks have been a nightmare for my husband & I.
  • The Dr knows that you are in pain / his or her job is to make you comfortable. If you were on Oxycontin and now Morphine its not that big of a change just a different drug type. Both are for pain but people react differently to the two drugs and one might work better than the other. You be the judge and let the Dr know when your pain is under control so the Dr can adjust the meds.

    It sounds like your Dr is doing the right thing or would you prefer to suffer. The choice is yours. Me Ive had enough suffering and I take a large dose of narcotic pain meds but only so that I can be a productive human being.
  • I tried both and within about 10 days I thought I was loosing my mind. I couldn't sleep my skin felt like it all creepy crawling like. Even thought I was hearing things.
    So I don't take them any longer.
    THe Norco takes care of most of my pain in my spine but it doesn't help much on my right foot pain, though that has abated a bit.
    I am glad it works for the people that it works for.
    C3-4-5 fusion 2005
    C-5-T-1 disk bulged
    L-4-5 bulge to the right, with Microdiscectomy, failed
    L5- Bi-Lateral bulge
    Pain in right foot -loss of feeling
    Left butt, hip and front thigh pain with bad shooting pain into inside ankle sometimes
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