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Med Questions

misterkatamarimmisterkatamari Posts: 51
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Lower Back Pain
I wasn't sure if I should put this in my previous post or just start a new one.

Right now I am prescribed 7.5/500 mg Lortab (Hydrocodone). It doesn't really do anything at all for me. I've also been on muscle relaxers such as Flexiril and Robaxin. And also been on naproxen and used over the counter anti inflammatory agents.

Anyhow, I was just wondering if there are higher doses of the Hydrocodone that could help. My doctor acted like this is the only thing he can really perscribe, so it makes me feel like there are no alternatives. I'm just scared I'll be in this level of pain forever without any relief. :(

Just wondering if anyone has any advice on medications. I know they don't *fix* anything, but right now I'm most concerned with just enduring every day...


  • How often do you take your Lortab? If your Dr feels comfortable, the Norco (still hydrocodone) has less APAP in it and maybe s/he could change your Rx to 10/325, but no matter what you are taking, you need to stay on top of the pain and don't let it get a handle on you. In other words,discuss with your Dr your need to control your pain instead of letting it control you. Best of luck.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    all of this with your doctor. Just increasing pain medications is not always the answer. There is a total package that needs to be looked at in order to control and manage your pain.

    Take a quick look at The Blend to see what I am talking about
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Well I saw my doctor today. He basically told me to see a Neurosurgeon as he lacks the expertise to help me. He told me to stop taking all my pain meds if they aren't helping, and he acted like there was no other alternative to help in terms of medication. So I'm pretty much stuck like this until I see the neurosurgeon...
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    There are correct ways to do this and there are ways that will only shoot you in the foot.

    If this doctor feels that you need to stop all medications, my only question I would ask him is "WHY?"
    There may be some very sound reasons, but you owe it to yourself to understand that.

    In general, doctors are not going to shut off their patients and allow them to suffer "UNTIL" they can see the next doctor.

    Because this one doctor lacks the skills to handle your situation is not a reason to just pass you along.

    Too many times people go in all hot and make demands of their doctors, want this, want medications upped, etc. Thats where you can get yourself into problems.

    Instead, the best plan is to just discuss it with your doctor. Be firm, let them know that you expect an answer that you can understand. Many times a doctor may just use a lot of big words and send you on your way. Dealing with doctors for over 35 years, I've learned to treat them like anyone else.
    Treat them like you would like to be treated.

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I've been on my pain meds and muscle relaxants for over two years, with only one up in dosage.

    At my last meeting with my surgeon's PA, because my problems above my fusion are getting worse thus more painful, we talked about my meds.

    The pain meds, well I DO NOT want anything stronger, what I have sufficiently takes the edge off, and I told him that until recently, I'd been going down on the amount I'd been taking daily. But recently with the increased pain, I've sometimes taken the actual dose that is prescribed, not always, but some days.

    Then as for the muscle relaxants, I was on flexeril and was put on valium just for post-op, but I told him that they're working much better than the flexeril for the increased spasms and I get the added relief of them helping my anxiety. So I told him I'd like to keep those on my list. He totally understood and then added an anti-inflam and lidoderm patches.

    Having an honest discussion about your pain, as to what medication is helping and why, if there's an added benefit, and talking with them, not to them, is the best way to work with the doctor so you both understand what treatment and meds you need, or don't need, and why.

    This is always such a difficult thing for patients to talk to their doctors about, but like Ron said, treat them like you'd like to be treated, be honest and it should all come together, while building a strong doctor patient relationship.

  • Thanks everyone.

    He didn't act like he was cutting me off, more of just like 'well if it isn't helping, don't take it'. He just said there was nothing else he could prescribe. I didn't even ask for another medication, I just told him that what I was on right now was doing nothing for me and that I needed help. So his response basically was that he couldn't help me. lol!

    He said a neurosurgeon can more easily get an MRI. So whatever. I'll go without the meds for a bit, see if the pain increases. If it seems like they take even a LITTLE of the edge off, I'll probably go back on them until I see the neurosurgeon. I had no adverse effects from the meds, so that isn't really a big concern for me right now.

    I just feel like everyone is kind of dismissive of me and/or just not able to help. When I told him that I needed help deciding what to do, and if this pain was going to stay like this...he told me didn't have the answers and so I needed to see someone who does. So I give him props for being honest, I guess, but I would have thought that perhaps there were other alternative medications I could have tried in the mean time. I may just end up taking stuff to sleep most of the day away, because I cant really endure this constantly. Guess I'll see. :P
  • Well, you never know...your new neuro may become your best friend and ally. I never thought that for two years my surgeon and his PA would be my PM and everything else I need. So this may be one of the best things that has happened for you, seeing this neuro.

    I'm wishing you luck and yes, if the current meds even help a little, that's better than nothing.

  • Thanks, Cath.

    I'm not at all adverse to going to see the neuro, I just sort of wish that my general doctors had been a bit more helpful in the mean time.

    Right now I don't even know the extent and severity of any of my back problems, so seeing the neurosurgeon and getting a new MRI is probably my top priority.

    I'm just sort of scared of my life screeching to a halt in the mean time...but if it'll lead to me getting relief, then I'll have to do what I need to!

  • My GP is a weeny when it comes to meds and spine problems. I was very happy to be handed over to my surgeon and wish they were my PCPs. They can be very understanding.

    I know you're scared, but luckily you have us who have been in your shoes and understand what you're feeling.

    I can't wait to hear what happens.
  • Thanks again, I'll probably update on here if anything changes. :)
  • Hi, misterkatamari. While you wait to see the NS, you might try, if you haven't already done so, applying moist heat or a colkd pack to your painful area. Each won't have to cost much; a massage therapist suggested putting uncooked rice in a sock, tying a knot in it or sewing the top shut and putting it in the microwave. For a cold pack I've put Blue Ice - the thing you freeze and then put in your ice chest to keep food and drinks cold - in a plastic grocery bag and then sitting with it between my painful area and the chair back or a throw pillow. I sure hope something works; back pain is no fun! Best wishes with the new doc, and keep us posted. Essmoe
  • Wow Essmoe, thanks so much.

    I have a hot water bottle that I use as well as a dry heating pad. It does seem to help a little. Maybe part of it is just comforting to my mind, either way who cares if it helps!

    The rice thing sounds really smart. Who would have thought of that! lol

  • I plan to become a future med.student in Canada and I have a lot of questions about getting involved and what's the best route... Just basic stuff.

    Link removed. Spam links are not allowed. Removed by authority member, Cath111.
  • Thanks for the info, I'll check that out! < end sarcasm>

    Anyone else think this is an awful choice for spammers to visit. I'm sure they can find a better audience else well. :P

    On a thread related note, I'm still waiting to see my neurosurgeon on Thursday. I'm hoping he can help me out and get an MRI and find out something about all this pain. I'm running out of meds right now, but I don't really mind because I'll see what the neurosurgeon says about taking them when I go see him.

    Mostly been lying around with my heating pad, which seems to help slightly. :P
  • Did your PCP let you run out of the 7.5 and not write you a new Rx? That's too bad, also not very professional if that is the case.

    My H is going through the same thing with his PCP, but his issue is pain *and* tolerance. He was started on hydrocodone 5/500 4x a day, but that was a year and a half ago, and didn't really cover his pain even then. The last time he mentioned to his Dr that the medication was no longer helping, the Dr said "well then, stop taking it." Well, if he stops taking it the pain is worse, and he feels bad because he is dependent at this point. Obviously the medication does take the edge off, and what he should have said was that the medication is just barely taking the edge off, but he didn't realise that he had to watch every single word with the Dr., and that everything was being taken so literally.

    Whenever I went to the Dr last month I mentioned that my medication was not seeming to be lasting 6 hours, and before I could even finish what I was saying my Dr upped my meds to every 4 hrs, so 60 more pills a month. I was actually going to say that I thought a different muscle relaxer might help my pain medication, but I never got the chance and after the Dr changed my meds I felt uncomfortable asking for a different muscle relaxer at that point. It is my muscles that seem to be causing me the most grief right now, but anyway.. I just wanted to mention just how different some Drs can be and how important communication, or the lack thereof, can be. I wish you the best and hope that you find relief from your pain-and soon!
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