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What is the next step above hydrocodone 10/325?

Tomorrow I go to the pain doctor. For the last 4 months I have been seeing a neurosurgeon who took over my pain medications because I was going to have surgery. I was 3 days away from having surgery when I started having chest pains and I had to postpone. Discovered it was due to a medication I was on and some other interactions going on.

I will be rescheduling, but in the mean time, I can't manage with the pain meds that I have. I used to have tramadol for breakthrough pain but I stopped taking that because it didn't help. So all I have is hydrocodone. I have a grade 4 tear in L4/L5 and I have already been down the path of aqua therapy, regular therapy, chiropractor, etc.

I know there are so many pain meds out there, and I know better than to suggest a certain one to the doctor, but I am just curious as to what the next one (or several) are in line? Especially with recent crack downs.

I, like everyone, am just so tired of being in pain. Currently my script reads "Take 1-2 pills every 4-6 hours as needed for pain" and the qty is 150. So I interpret that as I can take 6 pills a day? If I am reading that right, it means it is a 25 day script. I can't just take 1 pill at a time, that doesn't do anything. If I take 2 at once, it works for about 2 hrs, then the next 2 hrs I am putting ice packs on, biofreeze, doing meditation, back brace,etc, just so I can make it to the next dose. So If I take 2 at 8am, I am ready for 2 at 12noon, then last dose at 4pm which means I am in pain from 6pm all through the night until the next morning. It is torture.
Tracy,

Grade 4 tear in l4/l5 was missed in first MRI so did injections for a year
SI joints "messed up" not sure if I will get them fused at a later time
Had Open PLIF L4/L5 5/28/13
Woke up to permanent nerve damage in legs and feet.
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134

Comments

  • meydey321mmeydey321 Posts: 2,435
    edited 07/25/2012 - 3:19 PM
    Sorry about your pain. I can relate bc I've had 3 surgeries due to herniated discs & instability. My pain is managed by a dilaudid pain pump & other oral meds.
    Well the next up from hydrocodone 10/325 mg is Percocet (oxycodone/tylenol). Its stronger and is used for break thru pain. I'm on 10/325mg of it too & the pump took place of the extended release med such as Oxycontin, Fentanyl.
    Let your docor know your issues with hydrocodone. For now you could try taking 2 at 7am, 2 at 4pm, 2 at 10pm or bedtime. You need 240 pills a month at the rate you are on, thats for 8 pills a day. I get 90 pills a month for taking 3 percocets daily. Let your doctor recommend any changes, dont ask for specific meds. Take care
  • Meydey321, I appreciate your reply. I was wondering if it would be Percocet. I worry so much about the Tylenol in that and what I am taking. I have heard conflicting stories on how much you can take in a 24 hr period. I didn't think I could take 8 a day, but somedays I just can't stand it and must take something. Also, I cannot take any NSAIDS due to having gastric sleeve and issues with severe reflux. I work from home and get out to do aqua therapy 3x a week. That's it, if I do much else I wouldn't be able to function on the pain meds I have. I hope they will give me something that will give me a better quality of life.
    Tracy,

    Grade 4 tear in l4/l5 was missed in first MRI so did injections for a year
    SI joints "messed up" not sure if I will get them fused at a later time
    Had Open PLIF L4/L5 5/28/13
    Woke up to permanent nerve damage in legs and feet.
  • my pm doctor, just presrcibed me nucynta, but i have not taken any yet, i will probably start tomorrow
  • techgurl1988ttechgurl1988 Posts: 108
    edited 07/26/2012 - 7:34 AM
    I am surprised. I just got back and they gave me the Fentanyl patch. I had not been to them since they had referred me to the surgeon. She asked why I had not had surgery and went through the whole story about the chest pains, then using short term disability, and now I must wait before I can use it again at my job, so I am rescheduling for the fall. She asked me how many Vicodin I was taking and I just looked at her and told her "To be honest, some days I take 8 a day. I know I shouldn't, but the pain is so bad. That's why I am here." She said "Yeah, that is not good." and then told me she was giving me the patch. I had brought all my meds with me expecting them to want to take them or something so I could start fresh with them but no, she just told me she wants me to try and wean down to 4 or less of the Vicodin while using the patch. I have done a little research on that patch and have read the good, bad, and the ugly.

    I am praying that I don't have problems getting addicted or having withdrawals when I no longer need pain medicine after surgery. I appreciate any positive thoughts or prayers!
    Tracy,

    Grade 4 tear in l4/l5 was missed in first MRI so did injections for a year
    SI joints "messed up" not sure if I will get them fused at a later time
    Had Open PLIF L4/L5 5/28/13
    Woke up to permanent nerve damage in legs and feet.
  • I was on hydrocodone 10 mgs/325 for a couple of years. I had so much "break thru" pain that I have reluctantly added a 25 mcg/every 3 day fentynal patch. It has helped but I'm not happy with side effects. Am trying to get used to them. Addiction - no. But our bodies do become physically dependent. Reversing or getting off of any of these drugs needs a measured approach. I am so very sorry for you awful pain. I will keep you in prayers. (I graduated from UTD and lived in Plano)
  • Hi Techgurl.

    I'm in your same situation. I was taking 10/325 vicodin, allowed 6 a day and as my pain was worsening, I went to see my surgeon. After my MRI, he could see why my pain was increasing - due to facet problems and spondylolisthesis at L2/3 and L3/4, just above my L4/5 fusion. So we tried facet injections and of course, they did nothing.

    So on my followup visit, he put my on oxycontin. I tried it for the first time yesterday and hated the side effects (I was at work) and went back to my vicodin, deciding to try it today as I have today off and don't go back to work until Monday. I think that should be enough time to see if it's going to work. I'm on 10mg, but can take 20mg at any time if I experience more pain and have the vicodin 10/325 for breakthrough, allowed 3 a day.

    I hope your fentanyl patches work for you just as I hope that the oxy works for me. It's hard to change medications because you have to get used to it. I'm hoping that by Monday, I'll be tolerating this med and not calling my doc saying I can't handle it. I hat having to take it, but the alternative is worse.

    Take care and keep us posted on how you're doing on your new meds.
    Cath
  • techgurl1988ttechgurl1988 Posts: 108
    edited 07/27/2012 - 8:11 AM
    Nothing has "kicked in" for me. It's been 24 hrs. I heard it can take more time so I am trying to be patient. I hope the Oxy's work for you cath111. I've never tried them before. I am still taking the Vicodin while I wait for the patch to kick in.
    Tracy,

    Grade 4 tear in l4/l5 was missed in first MRI so did injections for a year
    SI joints "messed up" not sure if I will get them fused at a later time
    Had Open PLIF L4/L5 5/28/13
    Woke up to permanent nerve damage in legs and feet.
  • After taking Vicodin and now norco for over three years, my physical medicine doc wants me to start taking suboxone. From what I've researched, that stuff scares the crap out of me.
    Disability retirement
  • At 1:30 today was the 24 hr mark and nothing had kicked in. I took my second dose of two 10mg Vicodin at that time. At 5pm I realized I was still experiencing pain relief which is normally not the case after 3 1/2 hrs of having taken the Vicodin. It it now almost 9pm and I have not had to take any more Vicodin. So suffice it to say, my patch kicked in approx around the 28th hr. I still have pain but it is manageable. for the first time I am not watching the clock for my next pain med dose. I hope this lasts.
    Tracy,

    Grade 4 tear in l4/l5 was missed in first MRI so did injections for a year
    SI joints "messed up" not sure if I will get them fused at a later time
    Had Open PLIF L4/L5 5/28/13
    Woke up to permanent nerve damage in legs and feet.
  • About an hour after I posted my last update, the pain started trickling in. I waited another hour and a few ice packs later decided to take 1 Vicodin. I guess I had waited too long because after an hour I was still in pain so I took a second Vicodin. I know I still have to be patient and try out the second patch tomorrow but I am thinking I need the 50mcg patches. I've also read that it makes a difference on what company manufactures it. Mine is the duragesic brand made by Mallinckrodt or Lts lohmann ( it has both on the box).
    Tracy,

    Grade 4 tear in l4/l5 was missed in first MRI so did injections for a year
    SI joints "messed up" not sure if I will get them fused at a later time
    Had Open PLIF L4/L5 5/28/13
    Woke up to permanent nerve damage in legs and feet.
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