I have annular tears L4,L5 & S1 + thoracic spondylosis & cervical fusions (the last fusion failed). So there is also stenosis scattered throughout my entire spine. Have had multiple injections; steroid, facet & rhizotomies over the years. This all began with degenerative disc disease that started making itself know around 2001-2002. I've been off & on again with PM doctors, neurosurgeons, employers & now a pain psychiatrist. Recently (April 2013) told I needed a 360 degree lumbar fusion but I'm not a good candidate (bones not fusing). Have been on disability since June & have been on Oxycodone 10/325's since August 2012 (a little over a year). Prescribed 1 every 4 hours PRN but I usually have to take 2 at a time to provide any relief.
Can't take nerve pain meds, (like Lyrica & Meloxicam) due to a worsening of MDD. My spine doc referred me to a pain psychiatrist & he put me on a combo of Nortripyline, (for MDD), & Nucynta, (for pain). I had to go to 8 pharmacies before finding one that even had the Nucynta. They were reluctant to fill it because of a major interaction with Nortriptyline. Well, it got overridden & I started taking them both as I weened myself off of the Oxycodone. Within a week I ended up in the ER with serotonin syndrome & spent 4 days in the hospital. Went back to the pain psychiatrist (who is well known in the Dallas area) & he put me back on Oxycodone 2 weeks ago & I go back to see him tomorrow for an update follow-up. My pain level is usually a constant 8-9 & when I take 2 Oxy's (20mg) it might bring it down to a 7-8 but he is wanting to add something to my pain Rx regimen to hopefully bring my pain level down closer to maybe a 5-6. The last time I saw him 2 weeks ago he mentioned a drug I never heard of called Exalgo 32mg. I've tried researching this but all I can find are negative reviews & it's a tier 3 drug with no generic so it's more expensive. My short term disability income is only $1000/month so after rent, utilities, etc., I have to be very careful of my Rx expenses. I went ahead & filed for SSDI back in June but won't have a final decision on that until another month or 2. This is the 6th time I've had to file for short term disability from an employer but I've always been a fighter and have always found my way back into the workplace but not this time. I just don't have the strength. So with all this being said; I'm looking for the best combination of pain Rx. Oxycodone 10/325 (about 6-8/day) along with what? Something I can afford & that won't send me back to the ER.
~ Tex311, Irving, Texas