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Immune to pain meds?

ohmybackoohmyback Posts: 39
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am 9 days post op from my L3-L5 fusion, and I am doing better than most my docs patients, he says anyways. I am not in terrible pain, but I am not at all flexible, and my hips are really starting to hurt from lying on my side. I CAN'T lay on my back...it hurts badly.

Anyways, onto my question...My doc put me on Norco 10's that are doing no good. not only that, I don't get nauseous, loopy or anything. It's like they are sugar pills. He told me I could become immune but I haven't taken THAT many of them. Maybe 1-125 in my whole life. He gave me Loritab instead but I think that is essentially the same medicine. Has anyone else experienced this? What are your suggestions? I don't need a ton of pain relief but a little would help.


  • Norco and Lortab are both hydrocodone and Acetaminophen, so yes, they are the same medicine. Not everyone feels the same way when taking these meds. I am allergic to hydrocodone, so I've been taking tramadol. You could try stopping the Norco and taking Extra Strength tylenol if he won't give you anything else.
  • Instead of the word immune, that tolerance is probably the more precise word; which can occur over time when taking any opiate.

    You are very early out to develop tolerance, but it could happen. It is best to tell your surgeon about your pain level, and that you feel that you need better control of your pain.

    If you just discontinued the drug on your own, you might get into a situation where the pain becomes so intense and beyond your control. Give your surgeon a call and work it out with him.


  • either that or the pain IS getting too much i am on strong oxycontin and oxynorm and like many on strong pain killers they may well be sugar pills as i have never got high on them {not that i want to}.i just want the pain to go away ..i know i am asking a lot but one can hope !! i remember when just 10 mg 2 times a day did the trick but with in 12 months i needed to take 200mg 2 a day i am still on around 100mg x 4 a day but not getting any where near the pain relief i used to get ..the consultant tells me that there is a limit that pain killers can do at best we are looking at a 30% reduction in pain .i also use TENS and sometime swim ..but i am too ill to swim at the moment
    still waiting for the brown envelope to hit the mat {hospital invitation}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • That is a lot of pain medicine! I sure hope they figure a way to reduce your pain.

    Personally, I am about 10 days post op and although I am doing well, the lack of pain relief is getting to me. I am SO sore....nothing excruciating mostly, just very annoying cannot get comfortable pain, and I could really use something to take the edge off and get some rest. I am also trying Ambien to help me sleep, but it's worthless for me.

    Anyhoo, I have another appt with the doc tomorrow to get my bone stimulator, and I am going to demand something other than Vicodin. I am getting rather depressed already laying around. Yesterday I decided to go to the grocery store with my husband and I think I am paying for it today. I feel SO stiff and NO position is comfortable. What positions are the best for recovery? I'm losing my mind just laying on my side all day.
  • You need to call him again and dont stop till he gives you something for pain that works its his job! some pain yes but after surg he should of gave you something stronger than that! Oxycodone vicodin something You cant heal if you cant get comfy and zzzzzzzzzzzzz or rest keep us update ill be praying for you
  • Pain meds do little to nothing for me. 5 years ago I had a hip replacement and was on a morphine pump. It did nothing or very little for me, maybe it took the edge of the pain but that is it at best. Due to severe DDD I have tried most pain meeds in the last 6 months. Right now I am taking 4 mg of Dilaudid at night and it just makes me a little drowsy. Pain is still there and no high what so ever. Lortab is 7.5 and Norco is 10 mg of hydrocodone so they are the same but not as strong.
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