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well I swore that I would never let myself run out of medication again ..I happened once years ago and it was bad but I was only out of meds for around 12 hours and an emergency doctor sorted me out ..so remembering that hell and with a vacation to go on for two weeks I asked my wonderful doctor for extra medication to make sure I have enough as I knew that being away from my home comforts and trying to keep up with younger fitter members of my wonderful family. my wife/son/his mrs and our 10 months old grandson .in a villa in tenerife .so he gave me extras and I ..like a fool ..left the extra at home !! it was the day before we were due to fly home to the uk and I had been stringing out my last few pills in the hope that they would last so for the last 3 days I was not taking my real amount and by day 2 of the last few I was feeling the pain really bad { I did not want to let everyone down and I tried my hardest to join in .it was my wifes 50th and she made a point of making sure that she enjoyed this vacation so I did not want to let her down ..we were in a lovely villa but it was not home and my home has been modified to help me out ..you don't realise just how much you miss those modification ..until they are not there .}so it came the point to tell my wife that I needed more pills !! so we went to the doctors and within two hours I has my prescription fantastic ....no ....we went to the chemist and the doctor that gave me the script was not ;;high enough in the medical world to prescribe CD drugs ..so we had to find a doctor that could ...this was hard work we even ended up at the hospital but they sent us to a doctor that did prescribe my oxycontin and oxynorm BUT the chemist did not have them and even after paying 50 euros to see the doctor and another 150 euros for my drugs I had to wait over 18 hours with no medication at all.bearing in mind I had been tapering off for the last three days as I knew that I was running low ..come the day when I had no drugs .this was beyond words I was feeling the full force of the damage to my right back and legs and feet .the pain was too much I could not bear anything touching my legs and lower back even bedding hurt then the withdrawals ..OMG withdrawal is an awful thing to go through ..its was so bad my legs could not support me they were like jelly my back was on fire I cried more times that I care to mention .it was a big kick to a nice holiday my wife was not to happy with me {for forgetting to take the extra pills !] anyway as the night went on I was up every 15 mins drinking water .that seems to be the only thing I wanted .thankfully my son drives and he took me to the chemist to collect my meds it took one hour for the withdrawal to subside then around 4 hours for the pain to get back to where it normally is {I am never pain free} by 8 hours I felt so much better ..its been 48 hours and I am tired but I feel so much better not my blood/oxy levels are back to normal..its surprising just how good the meds are ..you don't realise it from a day to day basis as you are still in pain but you only know just how good they are when you have none .and I know that I do need the pain killers as the pain when I did not have any was unbearable I know that I could not do 2 days of no pain meds I feel I would end up in a very dark place .please always make sure that you have enough to last you if you are away from a place where you can get you meds .the annoying thing was I had plenty back home !
1997 laminectomy
2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014


  • In a way, you're lucky that someone would prescribe meds for you while away from home. Here in the good ole' USA the news media has done a wonderful job painting us as being over medicated. While there is some truth to the story with people abusing drugs, my guess is if you had the same situation over here, you would be simply out of luck.

    Hospital doctors are extremely reluctant to write pain meds unless it's for in-patient use. Most outpatients will get something like Tramadol (Ultram) or very few scheduled drugs. They expect you to see a specialist to get most all other scheduled medications.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    edited 01/27/2014 - 7:16 PM
    Tony, I've been there, (on the withdrawal) In the hospital post surgery no less.
    I had a fusion surgery. I was in such pain that I couldn't believe upon waking up from the surgery. And I had this surgery before, so I knew this wasn't right. I was screaming at the nurses, and I wanted to jump out of the window! They said they didn't know what more they could do for me. They already had me on the max of the doctors drugs. I screamed at them to call my pain management dr. They did.
    When he finally arrived at the end of the day. I was just rocking in a fetal position bang my head against the rails!
    He took one look at me and screamed at the staff. He said this man is in full methadone withdrawal! HE WAS EDIT!
    When I got the injection everything was different. I was immediately out of the nightmare of pain I was in.
    When I signed in pre surgery I was on so many different drugs that the person forgot to put the methadone in my chart!
    That was the only time I've been in full withdrawal and I never want to do it again!
    So, Tony, I know exactly what you were going through.
    Post Edited for Inappropriate Language by Sandi.
    Please see the link below-The Spine-Health Moderator Team


    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • i have on my own gone off meds cold turkey years ago. it was not that bad. i had some sleep issues and diahrreah for a few days. it only lasted 3-4 days. i also worked so i think on my part this withdrawl stuff is overblown. when i hear of the hell of withdrawl i wonder what is going on.. it was no big deal for me,uncomfortable to some degree but not hellish. the lonly pain i had was in my legs and only at night
    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.
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 01/26/2014 - 5:38 PM
    I'm sure if I went off my meds my spine pain would come back full force - it's bad enough some days with meds.

    I think I would have more than just pain in the legs so it's lucky that you didn't need to take the meds after all - especially as your spine pain did not return.

    Maybe cold turkey from your medications now would be worth a try. You might not have to take the meds at all and for a bit of discomfort and a few pains in the legs think it would be worth it. It would be wonderful if you didn't have to take your pain meds ever again.

    I was lucky when I went overseas as my GP gave me enough medication, there is no way I would forget them - think I checked them a lot of times before I left as I knew there was no way I could do anything once the pain started. But I nearly forgot my passport. The increase in numbers had to go though a rigorous government process, and a Dr's letter stating my condition and medical details if something unforseen happened.
  • The withdrawal symptoms and level of discomfort are different depending on which medication you were on. Hydro and Oxycodone is one thing, but Opana and Cymbalta I've heard is a totally different story. I have gone through withdrawals once with Oxycodone when we left town for a trip and I forgot my medication bag at home. My legs wouldn't stop moving, stomach was in knots, throbbing headache and backache. It lasted about two days. My doc said if I ever come off Opana, we will step down very slowly because of how bad it can be from that med.
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Wow, I could have written that post myself! I have been in EXACTLY the same position, same meds and everything. It was HORRIFIC!
    OUCH !
  • LTee43LLTee43 Posts: 84
    edited 01/28/2014 - 4:00 PM
    I'm careful to have plenty with me when I travel or are on vacation. I was in Florida a couple of years ago and my wife did the wash and my shirt with the envelope of 6 Percocets went in with it. I barely had enough to last the trip. I should have had someone send me more from home.

    For withdrawal, I haven't had any since I went from 7.5s to 10s. My first started when I was taking the 5s for only a month and it was while talking to my lawyer. I had the shakes and was sweating with my shirt almost soaked through. Even with the 7.5s if I took only 2 a day for a few days, I'd start up with the symptoms. So much for saving a extra one for those real bad days.
    Diagnosis: Thoracic facet syndrome & cervical and thoracic radiculopathy from car accident trauma.
  • and everyone else that takes the time to read my rubbish {lol} I was having a discussion with a doctor friend of mine and I told him about my situation whilst on holiday .I told him that the pain and burning especially down my right leg was too much to stand I was unable to tolerate even bedding on my body .it was so bad I got in the swimming pool and even the water fell prickly .it was 17 hours of pure hell I take a large amount of oxycontin and oxynorm ..I have been on both drugs for ten years and my condition has gotten worse .I am going for a new MRI this Friday as my consultant is worried about my lower back and legs .the pain killers are a lifeline there is no way I could manage without them the pain/altered sensations and burning it too much for anyone to cope with ..I was just about at my limit by the time I could collect the drugs ..in fact I was so ill my wife had to drive ..but within a few hours the horrible pain was back under control and evil withdrawal had gone .one [[[[[good thing]]]]] has come from this experience .at least I know that I still have a legitimate use for the painkiller and its not just a [[[[habit]]]..because the burning pain and altered sensations {the reason I was put of them in the first place as I can't take the nerve type drugs ] went away after take the painkillers I was left with my [[[normal back pain and limited movement capabilities.}.both my doctor and consultant told me that I would always be in pain as there is far too much damage to my spine and even though there are people with more surgery than my to a larger area of their spine. what I have is only L4/L5S1 AND possibly L3 but because its so badly damaged and diseased it generates a massive amount of pain and physical symptoms {that the pain killers can't do anything about } like very swollen lower legs and feet {NOT A CARDIAC OR DRUG RELATED PROBLEM } it gets worse when I have been bending and my feet hat red hot .this is why I am going for a fresh MRI .scan .....going back to the drugs abroad .they were very good with me and I carry my medical history with me on a pendrive and I also take a copy of my prescription ..no doctor questioned my requirement for the painkillers they could see that I was a genuine case not just some on asking for drugs ...{ I was offered plenty of drugs in the resorts ...PLEASE NOTE I TURNED THEM DOWN } cocaine and cannabis as if it were sweets !!..its the first time I have ever been offered drugs .I was amazed that I guy just came to me with the pretence of selling sunglasses and before I could get rid of him he was offering me ...Charlie.. in my naivety I thought that he was referring to my 10 month grandson as he is called Charlie !! I thought how does he know my grandson's name ?? I am not thick just a little out of touch and not streetwize ! ..I feel for anyone that runs out of pain killers withdrawal on top of pain is about as bad as it gets .personally I would not last more than 24 hours then I would be in hospital or even worse ..my legs had gone to jelly I could hardly bear my own weight .I was totally able to talk and was not [[drunk]] .it was just weak and sweating and in awful pain .would not wish it on my worst enemy
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • I rencently moved out of state and knew I would not be able to get my pain meds. When relocating you just don't walk into PM Dr. and expect to get what you were previously prescribed. Also a lapse in insurance. I decided to wen myself of my monthly dosage of 30mg of Oxycodone 5 times a day. Pure hell even weening. I have no other options but to be in pain. So now to my question; I starting tapering on Jan. 18th and had my last dose of 15 mg about two days ago, and having still having unpleasant bathroom issues and sharp stomach pains. I can cope with the sleeplessness and sweats, but this is frightening. In the past I mave been on many difference med's,since 2006 but due to insurance issues this is what I have maintained my pain with for the past 3 yaers. Any thoughts, ideas, advice.
  • the acute symptoms of withdrawal typically worsen as the hours between your last dose of medication ebbs away, and worsen on day two and the first half of day three, then slowly improve toward the end of day three and days four and five.
    Immodium helps to ease the diarrehea, taken in doses, it helps to alleviate the bowel issues.
    Make sure to keep hydrated and keep your electrolytes in check and you should start noticing improvement in the next day or so.
  • sue0589ssue0589 Posts: 5
    edited 02/05/2014 - 3:58 PM
    Are withdrrawal symptoms different to the length of time you have been on meds?
  • if you're still in pain why are you taking yourself of medication ,,,I will be on strong meds till the day I die as my condition will only get worse .if you feel that you no longer need pain killers then you should go through a slow medicated taper off under medical supervision ..not taking your drugs is a dangerous as a new person taking a massive hand full of them .our bodies are used to large amount of narcotics and they need the drug ..like I said if you no longer require pain relief then please detox under medical supervision ..your run the risk of very severe side effects including death ..my situation was that I had underestimated my requirement and left myself short ,.,I went only a few hours and that was enough I wanted to die the pain was off the scale and the withdrawal was just as bad .I don't need to come off pain killers{ I wish I did ] but I must never run out again .that feeling was as bad as the night when I had my ALIF and they were unable to get my pain under control .it was very unpleasant to say the least .good luck if you are don't require med anymore .but do it right don't try to do it on your own its very dangerous ..if you still need them then you must get them living with the kind of pain that I get is not an option and if your the same you wont last a day !
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 02/09/2014 - 9:31 AM
    No, to answer your question, the length of time doesn't really factor into it, as far as symptoms go or how long withdrawal symptoms will last, with the exception of a few particular medications- suboxone and methadone have both been known to sometimes called something called post acute withdrawal syndrome- which may last a few months in severe cases.
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