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MS Contin and pain relief

NatesmomNNatesmom Posts: 2
edited 12/07/2013 - 5:52 AM in Pain Medications
Hi Everyone. This is my first post but have been lurking around for a while. I wanted to let others know my experience with MS Contin. It seems alot of people are saying it doesn't work for their pain. For those who have not tried it yet, IMHO it's the best pain relief I ever had. I have been on Oxycontin, Fentenyl (sp?), Percocet, Roxycodone and others and had never gotten true pain relief. My experience with Oxycontin was horrible. It seemed like I had to keep upping my dose like every month. I kept waking up at night with cold sweats and shaking (the beginning of withdrawal). I had already tried the patches (and got NO relief) so my Dr. said the only other ER med is MS Contin. I agreed to try it and have been on it for 5 yrs. now and havn't had to up my dose yet. I started at a high dose due to having high tolerance. I am on 100mg. x 2 a day (every 12 hours). When I first started taking it, it would last 15-16 hrs. I had never experienced being able to leave my home for any amount of time without my pain meds before - it was AWESOME!! Now, due to tolerance, they are only lasting 8-10 hrs but still work just as good. Just wanted to let anyone who hasn't tried it not to let the bad reports keep you from trying it. It may work as good for you as it has for me. It truly has been a life saver. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.

I have 7 herniated discs - 2 cervical, 2 thoracic and 3 lower lumbar with tears. Facet joint disease, DDD and nerve impingement located L2-L3. Surgery not an option.

Hope everyone had a wonderful and PAIN FREE day!!



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  • I started an earlier response and " lost it " to the Virtual Hinterlands . So again . I am ordered 3 divided doses of this drug equalling 95 mg total/ day . I have been in misery this past week and upped by 15 mg to 45- 45 - 20 @ bedtime . It does not last 6 hrs . I usually need 2-3 Perc 5 mg . Last couple of days 4 percs for breakthru AND still a lot of pain . I feel so miserable and am becoming depressed . Is this a large dose ? I have been on Opiates for past 5 yrs . Latest MRI of 6 wks shows bilateral hip Osteo- Arthritis Moderate - Severe . Sitting is unbearable and has been due to post- op nerve damage , scar tissue and additional degenerative changes . Now hip issues add to pain pic and i understand why it has intensified when sitting and walking . I see my PS in 2 wks . I feel i need more med for relief from this misery BUT seek feedback about taking too much . I am not sure of his response either . I am 68 and this is an Intractable Pain Issue - other interventions haven't worked . I hope to have a few more years . Feedback PLEASE re dosing
  • Yes, that is a lot of medication. Did your doctor increase your mediation dosage of the MS Contin to this dosage of 110 mg or did you increase it on your own? Is he aware of you taking the additional 2-3 percocets too? How often are you taking the percocet with the MS Contin? How many times per day?
  • I was put on MS Contin 15mg, every 8 hours, after my fusion. Which I am now 5 days post-op. I did not and still do not think that it is helping. I also take Percocet 5-325 in-between. The nurse told me it would take a few days for me to start to feel the MS Contin working but I still don't believe it is. I take1-2 percocet every 4-6 hours depending on the level of my pain. And my surgeon is only keeping me on the MS Contin for 30 days, weaning me down every 10 days.

    I am having a hard time understanding why I need to take this stuff because I dont see the benefit of it.

    L4-L5 Herniated 02-02-2013 (Slipped on Ice)
    L4-L5 MicroD 08-07-2013, Reherniated 10-21-2013
    L4-L5 MicroD Revision 10-07-2013, Reherniated 10-17-2013
    L4-L5 PLIF/TLIF 10-02-2013
    Released From Surgeon & All Restrictions 03-06-2014
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 12/07/2013 - 8:35 AM
    MS Contin is a long acting opiate pain medication and it is a bit different than the immediate release medications such as percocet or vicoden, in that the relief offered through extended release versions of meds may not feel like they are helping because the delivery is much smoother, and you don't "feel " the medicine start working as you do with the immediate release types of opiates.
    If you are only going to be on it for 30 days, and he is weaning you off it every 10 days , then in a very short time, you will hopefully not need it, but right now, I'll bet it is providing far more pain relief than you think it is .
  • Thanks Sandi.
    I figured it is doing something it just isn't instant. I do have to agree that I am not in much pain and when I do start to get pain I take a percocet and that helps. I am sure if I were to stop the MS Contin I would notice a difference, but I dont plan on it because I need to wean off it. I would mes myself up even more if I quit it cold turkey.

    L4-L5 Herniated 02-02-2013 (Slipped on Ice)
    L4-L5 MicroD 08-07-2013, Reherniated 10-21-2013
    L4-L5 MicroD Revision 10-07-2013, Reherniated 10-17-2013
    L4-L5 PLIF/TLIF 10-02-2013
    Released From Surgeon & All Restrictions 03-06-2014
  • EMS GuyEEMS Guy Posts: 916
    edited 12/08/2013 - 8:46 AM
    I had issues with hydrocodone and oxycodone not working for me. My PM did a test and found out my body does not metabolize either drug. He put me on Opana ER and it works wonders. Between the meds and the facet joint injections, I can say my pain is well controlled. My PM does not prescribe breakthrough meds so I need to make sure my maintenance medication is working as well as possible.

    Perhaps this is a medication you can discuss with your PM doc to see if it would work for you.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • terror8396tterror8396 Posts: 1,832
    edited 12/08/2013 - 12:36 PM
    I have been on oxy 45 mg, compounded, fenatyl lollipops 300 miss for 12 years and they work the best. I have tried xr morphine but had nightmares and oxy ir for breakthrough in the past but I am satisfied with these 2. I have downed my dose on the lollipops from 700-300 mics on my own volition. at times i take less of the oxy just because i can and have no problems. i believe opana is a xr morphine based med. the xr are released slowly that is why people think it does not work. just one does not get the high feeling does not mean the meds are not working. at school i do not do it in front of others or students. my principal and the higher ups know i take them and i have a drs note stating that i can work while taking them and it is not an issue with teaching or students. i also have someone at the district office who is in charge of my case so i keep myself pretty covered legally.
    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.
  • That's one thing I really like about Opana ER is that there is no "roller coaster" of emotional feelings with it. I do not feel any different when I take it. All other opiates I've been on usually caused the euphoric feeling for a little bit when I first started taking it, but there was always the let down a little later. I hated that because I was moody with my family.

    This just goes to show how different our body chemistry is with medication. I do not like the other effects my body has because of long term opioid use, but it's either deal with it or sit around being miserable from back pain.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • I also used Opana ER and found it's pain relief right up there along with fentanyl......at a much lower dose. It really was one of the very few meds that I tried that lasted the 12 hours it was supposed to, as well as being very consistent over time, not needing frequent dosage adjustments........in fact, once we found the correct dose, I stayed at that dose for several years....
    Even the IR version for breakthrough worked well with not needing adjustments in dosage.
    I hate oxycontin , it worked well for the pain but like many people have found over time, it seemed to work initially for the 12 hours, then suddenly , stopped, and needed frequent adjustments in dosage, and over time, it seemed as though the frequency of dosing needed to be lessened. I got off it quickly when I started seeing that.....
  • sandi \i have used a compounded version of oxy which they make as 45 mg. i have never used opana but the oxy works for me i guess. i have been on this stuff for about 12 years i am hesitant to change meds. i am not sure how my doctor would take it. he likes things to go smoothly and no hassles at all. best to keep him happy and contented.
    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.
  • It's not the oxycodone that was the issue, it was the long acting version of it, Oxycontin that I found problems with. In fact, many of the patients they had on it did, it was great at offering pain relief, but the need for frequent dosing increases was a huge red flag for me. I am one of those people who like to keep my doses as low as possible, while not compromising the pain relief.
    I found that Oxycontin seemed to just stop working after a dosage adjustment in a couple of months- two or so, and then if we increased it, two months later, we needed to again, and the pain relief would again be okay, until it suddenly wasn't. It lasted most of the 12 hours at first, but quickly just would disappear around the 7-8 hour mark, so we changed dosing to every 8 hours, and those things combined with the frequent need to increase the dose made me very uneasy with staying on it, so I took myself off it..and thankfully, my p m was happy that I did it, and understood why........
  • I was prescribed MS-Contin, Oxynorm, Fentanyl patch, and a number if others (Cymbalta blah blah). This added up to around 450mg per day. This was happening for 2 years and wasn't helping much. 4 bottles of vodka or gin did help, but, I turned off that road for obvious reasons. Very easy to drink vodka, lime and tonic on a hot day when your sitting at home in serious pain.

    Shooing the pain away didn't seem to work either, despite the PM specialist believing so, but, I digress.

    The opiates did help, but then, the immunity thing kicked in and the doses went up.

    I was sent in for a medication detox to start all over again. I don't know what happens in the USA, but, I was in hospital and got plugged into Ketamine. Apart from my numerous surgeries, this was the worst time/experience of my life. 3 weeks of hell, I promise.

    I'm back on the opiates and slowly working my up again on the doses. Maybe next year, another detox trip. Great.....

    How do you go with having to increase your dosage to handle the pain?

    Anyone else had to do a detox?

    Hope everyone is doing ok today.

    Cheers & best wishes


    More titanium steel in me than a modern car.....
  • Probably the most important step in getting pain management is to have realistic goals. Once you have a spine injury, it is always there, surgery or not......Surgery can in fact, complicate the picture by the addition of scar tissue on top of the original injury.
    We see claims of tolerance far too often in any of these forums, when in fact, it is not tolerance at all, but most of it is the lack of proper education on the medications and their uses for the patients and at times, even the doctors.
    Once pain is determined to be "chronic", the idea is use a long acting opiate to cover normal, every day, pain levels......the use of immediate release or short acting medications are meant to be "rescue" medication only. For use during those times when the pain levels flare up for known or unknown reasons but they are not meant to be used every day or as we often see here, every 4-6 hours. Doing that, does two things, it simply increases the amount of baseline medications in our systems , constantly increasing and your body quickly acclimates to it, and will , when denied the extra amount of opiates, send increased pain signals in it's attempt to satisfy the need for the additional narcotics- a mini withdrawal per se.
    The frequent use of short acting medications also leaves the patient with nothing to treat an actual flare up, because the body is now acclimated to the additional doses when taken with regularity.
    A pain management doctor should have a goal of a reduction of 50% reduction in someone's pain that was unmedicated prior to using opiates to treat the pain. If a patient comes into their practice complaining of pain levels of 8, then a realistic goal is to get a reduction to a 4-5, with the use of long acting medications, with a possibility of the use of breakthrough medications when the levels reach above a 6 or so.
    I tell people to use the least amount of medications that they can manage with, to perform the activities of daily living, and then to use other modalities to treat flare ups before reaching for the pill bottle.
    Your doctor did you no favors by allowing your medication levels to reach 450 mg per day.......he should have changed your medication regimine if it was not working, instead of increasing the pain medication doses constantly.
    I have been on the same medications and reduced my dosages by 2/3 and haven't had a dosage increase in over 3 years. That is the goal of pain management.
  • Many thanks for your reply. I appreciate your thoughts and advice.

    Realistic goals? I don't have any. My neurosurgeon has told me "your a maintenance case, not a cure." I've had 6 x spinal surgeries and now I'm looking at getting bolts inserted into my hips to support my spine. There's going to be a massive fight at my funeral for the scrap metal rights (maybe I can deal with this issue in my will?).

    Physio's have said they can't help and the PM specialist wants me to be the next Dalai Lama and shoo the pain away. I'd have a go at that, but, spending 16 hours in a plane and then a bit of a walk (1500kms) to the temple kind of puts me off.

    I just take each day as it comes and try to make the most of it, however, when a simple trip to the shops leaves you wrecked, shooting for goals isn't something I think about, sorry.

    Thanks again.

    More titanium steel in me than a modern car.....
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