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Proactive pain med use, or as needed?

christiebcchristieb Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Pain Medications
What do you all think about using pain meds (neuronton/hydrocodone) on a regular, pro-active basis, rather than just using them for acute episodes? My mind keeps wanting me to see if i will still be in pain if i stop the meds, but i don't want stopping them to bring on another acute episode. I have moderate/severe lumbar problems including spondy, spinal stenosis, ddd, an autofusion and scoliosis. Was set for surgery on 11/7 but symptoms abated a bit. Had 4 facet injections last Friday-not much from that. The injec doctor said i had so much going on in my spine, it was hard to determine the primary problem. My pain is not severe right now, but i am half afraid if i stop meds, it will come crashing back. Last severe attack was November with some incontinence, tons of spasams, yada, yada, yada.....thoughts?


  • Meds like Neurontin are designed to be taken on a regular schedule and not just to fight an acute attack. Since they take a while to build up a therapeutic level in your body, it is recommended that a person stays on the prescribed schedule.

    Hydrocodone is designed to work on acute or chronic episodes of pain.

    The key to taking any meds, is to take them as your own doctor has prescribed them. Your doc knows your issues and has determined a specific regimen to target your pain and keep you as comfortable as possible.

    Welcome to Spine Health


    Spine Health Moderator
  • Thanks-i am aware of what you are advising. I have been on the neuronton/hydro and am working with my doctor as to regular use etc. I am more interested in finding out if weaning off and stopping, then starting again is better or if just continuing to take them is better. I hope i am not the only one who has these mind games going on where a good day or painfree timeframe makes you think, hey....maybe this is all in my head and not as bad as i thought. maybe i will just stop medication and be cured. :) i know it sounds stupid and even looks stupider when I you write it out. LOL
  • Please keep in mind that on the Spine Health Forums, we are all patients and not doctors. So giving out medical advise is strictly prohibited. Many members have posted about certain "experiments" they have tried in regards to their meds, but in the end they have to default back to what their doc recommends.

    Have you discussed this with your doc at all? Many times doctors will prescribed a medication "holiday" where meds are removed and a patient gives their body a break. Again, not to sound like a broken record, this is something that needs to be guided by your doc.

    I think all of us question our injuries on the days that we feel better. Since it's not like seeing a large wound on your arm or a broken limb, the mind can play games and get us to wondering "are we really that injured". It generally doesn't take long before our body smacks us up side the head and once again shows us just how much pain we really are in.


    Spine Health Moderator
  • C is right. Neurontin has to be taken regularly to be effective. It is meant to block the nerve receptors in the brain and need to build up and stay at the prescribed level. This is not one to mess with.

    The hydro/oxy use is between you and your doctor. My intense pain is about 25% of the time so my doctor has given me oxys to use as needed. They work almost instantly and only last 4-6 hrs. But if you are in constant pain he may want you taking them regularly to pre-empt your pain. THis is similar to what they do in the hospital when you have surgery. They don't wait for you to need the drugs because they know you will be in pain. No need to suffer what is inevitable.

    But as C said you need to talk to your doctor about this. And as she mentioned some people take a "drug holiday" under the quidance of their doctor. No change up or down should be made without first speaking with your prescribing doctor.
  • Uh oh! I hope you told your doc about the incontinence. This can be a symptom of cauda equina syndrome, a condition that requires immediate surgery! The severe acute attacks sound like you're heading for that. Look it up-its really bad news! Don't fool around with this.
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