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New to taking Oxycodone

Hello all. New user here.

In September 2012 I was diagnosed with a moderate to severe herniation at L4/L5 putting pressure on my S1 nerve root. My doctor recommended surgery but allowed me the choice of conservative therapy. At the time he prescribed me 5/325mg Norco, every 4 hrs as needed. In January he upped me to 7.5/325. I never used my medication more than prescribed, however due to my experiences getting prescriptions filled, I would usually always call them in 3-5 days before running out and have the pharmacy prepare the prescriptions 1-2 days before running out and then pick them up when needed.

On April 15th, I had a discectomy to remove the herniation. PostOp I was in some of the worst pain I have personally experienced. The initial pain management regimen was one shot of Dilodin (sp?) every two hours and one 5/500mg Vicodin every 6 hrs. After screaming and writhing in pain for several hours, the nurse reached the Dr. in surgery and he upped me to one shot hourly and 1-2 5mg Percocet every 4 hrs. This mildly helped my discomfort, but with the contributions of a cheap hospital bed I was back in severe pain several hours later. I eventually, politely requested to be discharged if they could not do anything else for my pain or find me a more comfortable bed for overnight.

After being discharged I was given a prescription for 60 5mg Percocet to takedidnt every 4 hours for moderate pain. The nurses who discharged me suggested I continue to take 2 pills, but to try to stretch them to 5 hrs. I told them I was concerned about that amount of acetominophen, and they told me 3000mg daily is safe. The intensity of pain didn't really taper off over the next couple days, so I contacted the surgeons postop office to ask some questions. The medical assistant told me that I should not be taking more than 8 pills a day, and that they wanted me to be in "some pain" but for it to just be tolerable. At this point I had already been taking more than that, I informed her and they filled a new prescription April 19th (the weekend was coming so it was filled a day or so early). At this point, the prescription was changed to a maximum of 6 pills a day. However, having been on consistent prescriptions for so many months, I never even read the bottle until a few days after when I realized it was no longer for 1-2. Now, due to having been taking extra pills (i would have contacted them immediately to inauire), I'm almost out of medication 10 days following surgery and having 120 5mg pills prescribed in that time. I am still inba tremendous amount of discomfort, sleeping only a few hours a night. When I spoke to the medical assistant this morning, she didnt even remember which doctor i was seeing despite having just given all my information and reiterated they want me in some pain and then basically told me I'm SOL and to call in a couple days. I don't know what to do. I see my surgeon for a followup tomorrow morning, but I feel like I am already being labeled as a drug user or something and I am terrified to even bring up pakn meds or tell him that I feel my tolerance is too high.

Did I mess up badly somewhere along the line? Is it possible that I am red flagged for something I did in the past few months? Is it wrong of me to think I should be allowed to be comfortable, not in "tolerable" pain. I don't feel that kind of subjective approach should be used for anything. Also, aren't 5mg Percocet the same or weaker than what I was taking before surgery?


  • The comment that they want you to be in "tolerable" pain is unfortunately the norm postop, or at least was for me. But you shouldn't feel ashamed to talk to your doctor about these things at your appointment, or fear being labeled as an addict. You're certainly not the first or last person to inadvertently take a medication incorrectly, whether too little or too much. I think if you explain yourself to your doctor the way you did here he/she will be understanding and will alter your drug regimen to best suit your needs. The worst that can happen is they say no, and at least you will have asked!
    23 years old, female, back problems began at age 13.

    Herniated disc at L5-S1. Microdiscectomy in '05, fusion in '07. No relief found other than the daily tramadol.

    New: neck pain with radiating tingling/pain down both arms into hands.
  • taking more narcotics than you are prescribed is a no no and it sends a red flag to your doctors. i am on meds and i signed a pain contract that stipulates that i can not take more than prescribed or i can be dropped from pain clinic. they are very strict about pain meds.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Your best bet is to explain to your doctor you have followed the instructions on your pain meds but it is not covering your pain and then ask what else can we do. Let him decide.
    You are right they lowered the amount of tylenol allowed each day to 3000 from 4000 a couple of years ago.
    Keep track of that and don't add cold meds with tylonal or any other source.

    I have always told my doctors what was working and what was not working for pain coverage,, we are all different and the doctor needs to learn to trust you

    Good luck
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