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alternate between Percocet and Vicodin ?

john 40jjohn 40 Posts: 190
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Pain Medications
my doc said i could try taking percocet in the mornings and after noon. and at night a hour or 2 before bed and when i wake up at 2 or 3am take vicodin since the vicodin zips me out and puts me to sleep. and the percocet kinda keeps me awake and not so spun out feeling.
I just don't like the idea of mixing all these meds i also take Flexeril and lyrica.
i am Beginning to feel like a drug addict it seams like all i do is pop a pill.
any one ever alternate between Percocet and Vicodin ? in the same day?


  • John,

    I've only had Vicodin once that I can remember, and that was after my Ulnar nerve was transposed in my arm! But...both Vicodin and Percocet make me sleepy, so not sure what to tell you. If sleeping is a problem, why doesn't your doctor just give you a specific sleep aid? That would be my question.

    Me presently, Lyrica, Oxycodone and Lidoderm patches...other meds for heart and cholesterol.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I had surgery just last week and in the hospital they alternated between Lortab (same as Vicodin, I believe) and Percocet, just made sure to tell me to not take both at the same time. I think the Percocet was given at six hour intervals and they gave me Lortab in between a couple of times. I came home with a one week prescription for Percocet for my pain and again was told not to take both, just one or the other. Lortab is my breakthrough pain reliever that I use on a regular basis. I found that I didn't need the Percocet for every dose, so I did choose to take the Lortab instead several times. Neither make me sleepy although I will say with two Percocet at bedtime, I definitely slept better than normal. :)
    Good luck to you.
  • specific sleep aid?i have tried Ambien it did make me sleep deeper i think but i still woke up around 2-3am and 4-5 am and then out till 8 or 9 and up but felt like i had been out partying all night. a few times i would not get up till noon, my wife say i would talk to her and look at her like i was awake but she knew i was out of it. and being flat that long would really pis## off my back and leg.
    Vicodin, to me has more effects and zips me out. but dose help with the pain as much or more than the percocet.
    the doc is talking about uping the lyrica next month she was waiting to see how the ESI went,well after the out come of that and my fall,the week before.my so called brake threw meds mainly perco- turned into more of a maintenance med and a higher dose.
    just after talking to her on the phone after the ESI i got to thinking about(worrying) about mixing the two. i don't see her for 2 more weeks.
    honeysmom= after thinking about it i had forgotten in the hospital after my surgery they gave me morphine iv 2 times in 20 min and after that did not work 30 min later orally something like perco- according to the nurse. and 2 hr later a Vicodin witch spun me out witch was not good because i was up walking laps by that time so the next time they gave me perco-.
    wow i can not believe how much i can not remember.
    brenda=i loved the Lidoderm patches it worked so well for what i called the out side pain in my back i was thinking about going back to work before my rash and skin pealed off.(looking back now that wood have been a big mistake)weird how things work out i know i wood-not have stopped tell i was in the hospital. crap sorry hear i have gone rambling on again.
  • Sorry to hear 'regular' known sleep aids messed you up. I know that oversleeping or doing odd things are a side effect, and it sounds like that happened to you - but at least you did try them.

    The Lidoderm patches help me a little, but not as good as I thought they would. I guess I should start experimenting again where I place those puppies! (G)

    Like has been said on here a "mazillian" times, we all react to mediations differently. If you're concerned about the 2, ask you pharmacist if there is a conflict, and or what you should look for if there are problems. My GP has me go through blood work every 6 months or so to be sure all is well - especially for CBC, liver, kidneys etc. So far so good. Have you had recent blood work?

    If you aren't getting any bad affects with the mix you have now, maybe all is well?

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Lidoderm patches my doc and the pharmacist had me cut them into two or three pieces and i would put one on the mad guy in my back one on back of thigh one on back of knee. 12 hr on and 12 off. after about 4 days i skipped a couple to see how it was working. I know the insurance did not like paying for them(they prob would rather i just take a hundred Vicodin a week)
    Blood work= been a long time, doc probably will next time i see her with the big increase in doses.
    the mix seems to be ok only been 2 days.
    just today the cramping is goin nuts and nothing is helping
  • John,

    Cramping is the pits! I get that bad in my right hand, and my feet. Sorry you are going through that phase!!!

    I too have cut my patches up to try and hit more areas, but so far, not that much help. I might try just leaving them "full strength" and see if that makes a difference! (G)

    I guess at this stage, based on your stating you haven't had blood work in a while - ask your GP for a full panel. Women (we) have hormone issues, but men do too - "low T" for low testosterone as they say. You can have such symptoms just like us!!! It can bring you down, and affect your pain just like us with our low hormones, plus it won't hurt to be sure you have the main vitamins in your blood at the proper levels.

    Fingers crossed it is just minerals causing issues. :) Please let us know what you find out, okay? *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I've used Vicodin and Percocet in the same day without problems, but that's me. I wouldn't use either for sleep as that's not what they're designed for, unless the reason I was awake was pain. For me, Vicodin is too weak & mostly useless, and I only take it if my Percocet runs out. The best advice I can give is know your body and how each medication affects it, and what works best given your pain intensity. Just remember that both medications contain acetaminophen, and you need to account for that otherwise you can make yourself ill. As for feeling like a drug addict...if you're taking the medication as prescribed, for pain, that's not the action of an addict. Taking meds for chronic pain is no worse than taking meds for any other disease. We do what we have to in order to function. Good luck to you!
  • Hi,

    I was the same way Percot definitely would keep me awake when I fist started taking them. So the doctor prescribed me vicodin and I took that at night for pain so I could sleep and too the Percocet during the day. As my body got more used to the Percocet I started being able to sleep with them so now I only take the Percocet during the day and night. I also started taking melatonin at night which helps, but am like a lot of people here and still have trouble sleeping just due to waking up at all hours in pain. I know what you mean by the pill popping it alone is enough to drive someone batty! Hope you find the right combination for pain relief and to get some sleep. :)
  • welcome to spine health- the way my doc talked about it i knew there had to be some one else who had or is taking both. the perco works best for me ,it just keep me from sleeping well. vicodin even at low dose makes me feel drug-ed big time it dose not help the pain as much it is i just get so loopy i dont care what feels bad.
    maybe i was wrong about saying "feeling like a drug addict" should have said for me who up to 2 years ago had maybe taken 20 TYLENOL ever am taking a lot of pills each day.
  • like i just told belyc -i knew there had to be some one else who had or is taking both.
    i am kinda used to not sleeping much i just feel more tired in the day. in my past life 6 hr was the norm.
    i usually wake up at least 2 times on a good night its just a mater of how long.
    at first my doc was Leary of giving me the pero since i am way hypersensitive to most drugs but after the second day i knew that it had and dose for me work better than any thing i have tried so far.
  • Hi there..

    It's a little odd that a Dr. would prescribe you two different short acting medicines to take the same day...just so you know...the DEA is getting tighter on Dr.s who prescribe pain medicine....especially if they aren't actual PM's (not sure what yours is)....and they have to provide information about every single medicine, why their patient is taking it...monitoring the patient..and explaining the results and reasons for every medicine.

    And Vicoden is a pain medicine...not used for sleep...and most Dr.s do not prescribe any pain meds specifically for sleep...

    As well as someone mentioned the acetaminophen you are getting from both medicines..

    The reason it doesn't work for it..is that yes..it may cause some fatigue...but then it is hitting certain receptors in the brain to counteract any pain...this is why you are not feeling 'rested' after using these at night.

    Have you tried other sleep meds like Lunesta or even natural like melatonin?

    I take Ambien...and yes..in the beginning I had a few strange episodes...but just like other medicines...my body adjusted and I have no problems now and get a wonderful night's sleep...I turn every hour...because of soreness...but go right back to sleep and feel rested.

    Were you making a joke about the 'hundred a week' of Vicoden? maybe I misread that hopefully...

    It will be good to get on the Lyrica since that is specifically for nerve pain...narcotics do not work on that type of pain as they hit different receptors..

    If you are going to be a chronic pain patient...most Dr.s will move you to a long term/extended release medicine like Oxycontin, Morhpine Sulfate ER, Kadian, Tramadol ER, Opana, etc....

    Medicines like Lortab, Percocet, Vicoden, Norco, Tramadol(regular) are all for acute pain episodes...they only last 4-6 hours maximum...the peak is at 45 minutes in...then gradually taper down...that is why it's not meant for long term use...

    I just wanted to make you aware that this Dr. may not keep prescribing these two medicines together as it's not recommended...I'm glad you are able to get some pain relief at this moment though..that is a good thing!

    Are you seeing a PM for this?

    Are you prescribed a muscle relaxer to take as well? Sometimes with that type of pain...that can work better and you can subsitute for a narcotic when needed...I use Flexeril but there are many to choose from..

    I use MSContin for my long acting medicine..then OxyIR for my breakthrough when needed...but I've been in PM for about 10 years...it's taken years to get to this level...and I still take a very low dosage to keep tolerance low...haven't had to have an increase in over 2 years..

    Keep in mind...that medicine is just one piece of the puzzle for pain relief...there is exercise, yoga/stretching, aqua therapy, acupuncture, massage, injections, CBT, muscle relaxer, antidepressant, eating healthy, not smoking, just to name some..

    I wish you luck..keep us posted!
  • Were you making a joke about the 'hundred a week' of Vicoden? yes joke- it spins me out so bad i do not take much at all as i am hypersensitive to most meds.
    NO I do not take any thing for sleep. yes have and i do not like the way they make me feel after i get up. doc did not give it to me for sleep aide only for pain.like i have said above the only reason for taking the vico at night is that the perco kinda keeps me awake.
    Are you prescribed a muscle relaxer to take as well? yes-i also take Flexeril and lyrica. the perco and vicod. are manly used for the over the top pain control. they my gp doc and my pm doc work in the same office and since day one of this train wreck i have filled all my prescribe meds with my gp doc even the ones from my surgeons wanted me to take. the lyrica was the only one that i started with the surgeon at first and now i get it from my gp doc. and have them filled at the same pharmacy.
    both the gp and the pm Dr's are in constant contact with each other as they do not want me to have a S.J.S. reaction again. or a melt down like when i was on neurontin although it did work if i took a high enough dose.
    and now that the ESI that the pm doc thought would work made things worse. they are upping the lyrica o boy more spun out feeling .
    and yes i am getting very short and snappy lately as the ESI i had high hopes for helping made even my numb parts hurt ,so ya i am upping the lyrica and starting a antidepressant. as the doc new or knows that i am about to my limit when i asked about just killing the nerve and being done with it as numb was way better.
    live with it for 10 years-wow you really got my wheels turning keep on keepin on
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