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New Meds...does this seem right to you?

broncomanbbroncoman Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Pain Medications
Hello, I'm new here. I had a microdiscectomy in 2006, and a fusion in 2008, both at the L5-S1 level. Since then, I have daily back pain, and nerve pain in both legs. As well as significant numbness and muscle spasms in both legs.

My old PCP would prescribe nothing more than norco 10's, and I have been on those for years. I recently moved, and have a new PCP, who is more comfortable with pain meds.

He prescribed me oxycontin 10mg, 2 per day. I WAS taking 2-3 norco 10s every 4-6 hours.

This seems like a step down, doesn't it? I'm worried that I will now be dealing with more pain. Advice?

I wanted to tell him that the dosage seemed low, but the last thing I want to do is come off as a drug-seeker (Which I'm not). I don't want a sky-high dose, as that'll just increase my tolerance, I just want a dose that takes the edge off. I know there is no such thing as "pain free" from medication.





  • From norco to oxy a step down? No its not a step down,

    If you did ok with 2 to 3 norco then 2 oxy a day might work beter,
    Why worry about it ahead of time and just see how it works,

    Only way to know is simply try it ! If you tell yourself its not going to be enough then it probably wont be,

    Norco is nothing compaired to oxy, So oxy can last half the day if norco is all you been taking all this time,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • But it's not 2-3 Norco a day, as the OP says they were taking 2-3 every 4-6. That's up to 18 Norco a day...OxyContin 10 two times a day seems like it is a step down based on their typical dosage for a day. In fact the maker of OxyContin advises: "Experience indicates a reasonable starting dose of OxyContin for patients who are taking non-opioid analgesics and require continuous around-the-clock therapy for an extended period of time is 10 mg every 12 hours." Norco does not fall under the non-opioid category! It seems the dose they were started on is not appropriate for the opioid tolerance the OP has. It is more for the opiate naive. I'm not a doctor though and this is just my opinion.

    I think you should of course try but be completely honest about what it is and what it isn't doing for your pain. I was in the same boat as you except I was on Norco much longer and my PM put me on Oxycodone (instant release) at a comparable dose to the Norco. I had to go up right away. But you simply won't know until you try. Good luck.
  • If you were taking 2-3 norco 10's every 4-6 hours, how many did that mean you would take in a day, did you take the max on that, 18 per day (180mg)? If this is the case, then you will be making a huge step down. I would clarify you dosage with your doctor, is it possible he believed you were taking 2-3 per day like Alex?

  • Thanks for the replies!! Perhaps he was mistaken about the amount of norco I was taking. I was taking 10-12 norco's per day. I'll try it, and remain optimistic, but I'll let my doc know if it's not enough. The drug seekers and addicts have made it tough for
    Us chronic patients to talk openly with our docs without suspicion.
  • Oh 10 to 12 norco a day. Thats diferent, Then yes it would be a step down only taking 2 oxy, Of course as we become use to norco and dont help no more oxy might be a change and work beter even at low dose,

    As you said you can always take. 3 rd if needed and i am sure dr will adjust it to the levels needed,
    I been taking vicodine switching to ultram then back to norco for 20 years now just to switch it up, Oxycodine was harder on my stomach and after having ulcer issues went back on norco as dr felt its beter on the stomach,

    But norco does get old as it stops helping even if you eat it like candy,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • was your doctor aware that you are taking (were taking ) 2-3 10 mg Vicoden every 4-6 hours? If not, that may be why he chose to start you at the dose of Oxycontin that he did, although most patients find that oxycodone ( pain reliever in Oxycontin) works far better at relieving their pain than vicoden does.
    You may find that it does ease your pain at the newly prescribed doses, but if you find that it does not after a week of taking it as prescribed, then by all means contact your prescriber and clarify that you were taking far higher doses of vicoden and that the current dosage of oxycontin is not covering your pain levels as well..he may decide to adjust the dosage.
  • The daily maximum for Norco, Percocet...and other short acting meds are 8 in a 24 hour period...They are not meant to be every 4 hours while sleeping..

    You were on dangerous amounts of Acetaminophen at 5000 to 6000 mg a day! (And that is assuming you were on the lowest 500mg per pill) That is another reason they have a max per day. I don't know many Drs. who would prescribe 10-12 a day.

    And yes, being that Oxycodone is stronger than hydrocodone....they always start on a lower dosage on a new med to account for it being a different opiate as well as monitoring any possible side effects or allergies.

    Also....what else do you do to help with your pain? No one should rely soley on a narcotic to lower your pain..It's just one small piece of the puzzle.

    There should be exercise, PT, yoga/stretching, aqua therapy, injections, massage, ice, heat, acupuncture, counseling, muscle relaxer, nerve pain medication, sleep med if needed, antidepressant if needed, eating healthy, not smoking, etc....

    As mentioned...working with your Dr. after a few weeks of seeing how this helps your pain...they can decide if they want to tirate the medicine higher.

    Good luck...

  • Norco is 10/325 (I can not even find evidence of Norco being made in a dosage of 10/500) and the OP said they were taking 10-12 per day. Assuming the OP is taking Norco 10/325, that means the OP was taking 3,250-3,900 milligrams of acetaminophen per day respectively. The maximum dosage is 4 grams which is 4,000 milligrams. While admittedly taking a lot, it was not beyond the recommended dosage.

    I really hesitate to say that a medication should only be taken/prescribed a certain way, because you never know what other circumstances are present that may dictate a change in the norm as far as treatment goes. I cannot take long lasting medications for example. Should I suffer all night because unlike most, I can't use an ER medication? I should hope not. In fact, my circumstances are so extreme that my body wouldn't even begin to break down an ER tablet and I would get NO relief whatsoever! Also, I'm highly allergic to adhesives so I couldn't tolerate a patch. While there certainly are norms, there are always exceptions to the rules. I think it's extremely important to leave treatment decisions between the patient and their doctor(s).
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