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My Doctor wants to prescribe Avinza timed-release capsules...?? Anyone used this drug?

KMarsha59KKMarsha59 Posts: 31
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Pain Medications
Hello all..I am a chronic back pain sufferer and I have had 4 back surgeries entire lumbar spine (Lam and fus L1-S1). I have DDD, SACROILIAC disease, spodololithesis, arthritis. spasms thruout my back and I stand at a flexed position and cannot stand for longer than 5-10 minutes without pain. I have been thru the therapy over the years etc.. and have had progress and improved but fell back after a few illnesses, like Hysterectomy, shingles..etc.. but I am now back on the road again in the direction of pool therapy and have renewed optimism again. I took pain meds for 5 years and the last drug I was on was fentanyl patches 30mcg. and Oxycontin 20 mg TID. I went offf of them myself to see if I really needed that much pain meds because of my surgeries I had not had a break in four straight years with out having one so before I could completely recover from one I was having another so I feel and know that is why my tolerance for the meds went up so high. Well, little did I know that I would have severe withdrawals from the Oxy and let me tell you the pain I had from these meds was all over my body and it didn't go away for several months , well, not completely but after a few weeks the most worse of the pain had subsided but I had repercussions for several months. I found that I was right, my body was dependant on the drugs but I never once took more than I was supposed to. I always took them exactly as I was told, being a Physical Therapist for many years before my injury at work, in a hospital, I knew the dangers of prescription drug usage. I counseled patients on the dangers and helped them with their workman comp nurses on how important it was to not abuse them because I had many patients who did and I worried about them cause we all know there are some out there who will and do so.. although I wasn't addicted to them I was definitely dependant on them. I finally got them out of my system but I still had pain so I went to therapy and did alot of things at home to try and evade the pain. I also became much less functional over night but I was tired of taking the meds for so long and curious to see myself off of them. Ok. fast forward to present.. I recently gained 25 pounds due to Menopause and over the past year and I am only 48 so because my grandmother and mother both went thru early stage menopause I did too, it being heriditary. The pain started coming back in waves and even in places on my back that had nothing to do with the lumbar area.. I had some signs of fibromyalgia as well probably due to a bout of Pneumomia, cancer of the cervix I had that resulted in a Hysterectomy and Shingles all which affected my immune system and lowered my resistance. I am over the Shingles after having it five years and free of it a year and a half now.. I am starting Lumbar injections in August and I was on the Fentanyl patches , well still am, 12 mcgs. but I had some rash issues and they made me feel too sleepy and light-headed most of the time and just weren't consistant and now they want me to try the Avinza morphine timed-release capsules and I would like to inquire as to whether anyone on this board has tried them or know anyone who has? Could you please reply and let me know a little more about the side effects, if any or any other details you might have would be greatly appreciated... Thanks.. have a good day!


  • Hi Kimberly,
    I was in 60 mg's of avinza before I had my spinal cord stimulator was installed 4 weeks ago, I now have weaned down to 30 mg's and I should be of them in a few weeks. Avinza worked for me quite well and I did not have side effects from it. I just have a question for you,since you are such a chronic pain sufferer like me and have had so many surgeries, trials and tribulations, has your PM Doc ever mentioned an SCS to you or a morphine pump? I know that SCS's don't work for everyone and that only the right candidate's get them, but with my SCS I have been able to get rid of about 70% of my pain and to anyone suffering from chronic pain as you know that is a huge blessing! You might want to check out the new one's out there like the Advance Bionics Precision model, that is the one that I have and it is amazing! I just hate to see people in pain if there is something else that can be done to improve the quality of your life. Take care hun,
  • Hello Milliekeylargo, ya know, I have heard about those pumps but have never really had anyone suggest one to me, but then again I have been away from pain mgmt. for a few years and just got back into it recently, really recently cuz I have seen the doctor just once. I haven't started my injections yet but they are trying to move up the appt. from August to bit sooner but that's up to the scheduler she said. I have just got started to get to know this doc so I awm sure that once we get more new tests done and so far...he will have new, more or different recommendations for my rx. I was just concerned about the Morphine making me feel disconnected because I remember that feeling in the hospital to an extent and dosing off to sleep frequently which I don't need that at all in my life right now because I have a daughter 13 and she is my last one still at home and she still needs my attention and I bascially just need to be a mother involved, so to speak..she is s very good girl though and sweet and I want to make sure that I give her all that I can so if this drug makes me loopy..well, that's a concern for me...lol, ya know. Was wondering is it anything like Oxycontin? I took that drug for five years before going off pain mgmt and before I had my other illnesses, it worked genuinely but I could see the huge potential for addiction and I felt trapped by pain mgmt so to speak and I guess that's why I tried to forego it on my own, I just wasn't as functional anymore off of the meds. I have noticed the huge change in my abilities since I have returned and it's too tempting now not to stay. But I like many others was made to feel guilty a little by family members thinking I was doomed for life to pain meds and I let them convince me of that and I just quit cold turkey. I am strong willed so I did fine after it blew over but I wasn't functional anymore so I have chosen now to like people on here say keep my med info between me and my docs and this won't be a problem for me, in fact I should have done that before. I definitely never needed monitoring while taking my meds (fortunately) like I know some do (unfortunately) but I have never had any addiction problems in my life nor have I ever used recreational drugs so I never had an issue regardless. I guess I am just wanting some info , the reason for my post..thanks for the quick reply.. nice to meet you. I live in Oklahoma..btw:) Wondering how the pump feels and that must be awesome never having to take the meds yourself anymore..I have heard the pump puts the meds right into the spinal canal by-passing everything so you need less, it is more focused where it is needed and none gets dissolved elsewhere in the body therefore chancing never reaching the destination like oral or IV meds do..and that sounds fantastic.. Well, thanks again..Kimberly
  • I do not have a pump but for what I know about them they are not like the pump that they put us in the hospital post-op. Somehow for what I understand the medication goes directly into your spinal cord and it does not make you loopy as the other one does. I hope that a member that has one installed can come here and give you information. Take care and good luck!
  • :) hi! i used Avinza for only a month. it was not strong enough for me. i thought two aspirin could work as well. i use a stronger time released morphine which is really working . my back pain is pretty much taken care of with it although i am still having severe hip and leg pain. the medication doesn't make me too groggy or have many side effects once i adjusted to it. with many of these medications you have to let your system adjust and then they can be used while you are working. of course everyone responds differently and you should take this up with your doctor. good luck and i hope to see you around the forum! Jenny :)
  • lulushart, thanks for the response about Avinza. I also have nerve damage in my left leg and at times have pain in my hip too, but my hip paincan fluctuate from the left to the right hip if I over-exert myself. Was wondering what strength of Avinza did you use. You may have a high tolerance to pain meds if you have bene on them awhile, I know I did after being on the five years after 4 back surgeries. I just recently went back into pain mgmt. and I am having some good results from the therapy and this time I am going to try to brush up in the areas where I failed in the past , cuz it seems that each time I have went into recovery phase it has gotten a little better for me learning what helped and didn't help before but I am a true advocate of physical therapy and beinf a Therapist once myself it helps and makes me more optimistic. I was too sick for wahile to even forego anything but now again I am heading in that direction. Say a prayer for me, please and maybe this time I 'll get it right and find the pot at the end of that recovery rainbow...so to speak. What med are you now taking? Was wanting to know the name of it and when they put you on it, how long had you been taking opoids at that time? Just curious, and ya know it may not even matter, I was just trying to gauge a reason why it may not have worked for you. I do know that I have always had a high tolerance to pain meds anyway, for instance when I was three years old I was playing outside with my brother and I acccidently kicked my dog's glass water bowl and it broke and I stepped on it and it cut my little toe completely off and it was hanging by a piece of skin and the doctors gave me a shot of pain medicine and I remember (this was in the early 60's) and they had me strapped down to a table to help hold me still so they could attend to the bleeding and sew it up. That shot didn't even phase me and the doctor had to do most of it with me feeling the pain. Thruout my life at other times there have been many instances with the same kind of results. So I may not be affected by the Avinza as well. Who knows until I try it. I do know they put me on these pain patches and I had not been on opoids that long and they weren't even too strong for me. I had went off pain pills in 2004 and just recently as of December 2007 I started using Tramadol 2 tablets 3 or 4 times a day, not always in that order sometimes less. So..was wondering the name of the med your speaking of anyway so I might could keep it in mind later if... need be the case. Thanks to all for your responses.. have a good day.
  • Sorry..about the mispell..
  • :) hi! you know if you are having severe leg pain you might consider Lyrica. it is a medication used to treat nervepain. i take 300mg of that a day but you start much lower. it takes some adjusting to but it has helped with the sciatica in my left leg. it might give you enough relief in your leg that you would not even need anything else. i take time released morphine. it is taken from once to three times a day. just like the Avinza it is meant to stay in your system for a long period of time and prevent the ups and downs you get from the short release pain medications. i hope this helps some. anymore questions just let me know. Jenny :)
  • Hi I have had a spinal cord stimulator put in 4 years ago, it hasn't worked for 3 so we took part of it out in feburary with my 7th lumbar surgery, and then a spacer popped out and the dr. did not think it would bother me bu he was wrong, so he took out the spacer and the lead for the stimulator out last week. I do have the pain pump but I guess I had the wrong dr. for that cause he kept upping my dosage, but everty time he did I had a metalic taste in my mouth, anyway I was up to 15 mg a day with the pump and then it was time for a refill. Here is where the fun starts, the next morning I woke up at 6 am and built a flower bed in the back yarf(???????) and then started throwing up and haluicianatin, then I knew what was happeneing and stumbled across the dtreet and told my neighbor to take me to the E>R> cause I was dying. Wasn't too far off quit breathing twice. Changed DRs. and I kept having to go to the E.R. about 2 times in 2 weeks cause I could not breath. They would pump me up with oxygen all day and send me home. After about 5 months of this i refused to go home until they figured it out.
    I knew what was going on and kept telling the doctors but after hollering and screaming maybe they realized I may be onto something. Each time I went in my pulse oz would be in the 70 t0 80 range, but when they stick that needle in your wrist for your oxygen level in your blood it would be between 50 or 60. Enough to put me into a coma.
    So the good DR. figured out the morphine took away the oxygen to my brain.
    So here we go my pain management started turning down the pump. I don't know if anyone realizes how potent that stuff is in your pump. Like my morphine was 1gram equaled 1000 grams of regular morphine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Ok back to the dtory so I was being turned down with the pump and had to take like 15grams of morphine evry 2 hours and 27.5 every 4 hours alond with phenegrine?. I still went through dts bad. So as soon as the pump was empy they put in a new drug called Priault ( whis was not a narcotic becaue iw was made from the snail thathad it looked like a worm and it lured its meal in thinking they was going to get a worm and bam he was gone with a lethat injection of his pioson that paralyzed him)
    So this was at Christmas and was trying to be a human being not a zombie and cook. I thought I did ok didn't burn the turkey and all the pies came out. Si as soon as the morphine was out and they put me on this priault my legs started hurting so bad like I had run 100 milkes or so, called the doc said it was a side affect and would go away. Ok didn't want to ruin any ones holidays. So a couple of days later I could not remember my prayers, how weird since I have said them for 50 years, had to go online and print them out to say them. then came the voices that kept telling to eat all my pills. At night when my partner would be asleep I heard music coming out of the wall and the voices oh God stop thos voices. So I did not sleep for 5 days ( this was during new years so could not get the dr said it was a side affect and would go sawy).
    Finally the second day of our new year I told my partner to take me to the ER. LOL that was really fun. They told me that there was nothing they could do because my vitals was fine and call a dr tomorrow. ok lets go to the next hospital same thing, I begged them to put my in the physco ward, said I didn't need it and to call my dr tomorrow.
    Well by this time I knew if I did not go to the rehab or something I would probably be to weak and listen to the voices, We went to rehab where they sent me to my dr to turn pain pump off went back then they decided to take the meds out of the pump, finally about 10 I got to lay down. I stayed for 5 days and I tyell you I would noy put my enemy in 1 of those places. It was a rehab so where did all the crazies come from like this black dude kept walking in his gown with his penis stuck straight( guess he liked it) lol I fanally told them to put some tape on his gown to close it. That was just the tip of the iceberg.
    I will not bore you of the rest but came home in 5 days and called Praiult myself and they saiud there was a black box warning that it was not a narcotic but could have thing happed tp your BRAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!\
    So I have my pupmp did not take it out like 100 people told me too, I have hydromorphone in it now which is delauded?, it is helping but am afraid to go up much on this 1 sice I have to use oxygen at night and have 1 of thos real nice pulse oz machines like in the hospital.
    I check it all the time. You made me remember all of this cause I think you said you are on the fetanal patches? Boy tose things are wicked. They have killed a few people. I am scared og them.
    My pain management wabted me to take the delauted? along with my pump and boom it was just like the morphine lost my pulse ox and my blood pressure dropped out and my heart rate fell way down, called them up andtold them to give me cak my percets. You would not believe what they told me!!! They wanted a doctors release saying that the delaudid made everything go down and I could take my percocet without having the same problem.
    Ok I am calm now, sorry i get upset rehashinh that out again, was not a good time for me. But was looking at the message board and aren't you the 1 taking Avintn? I would like to find out more about that. My percocet does not touch my breakthrough pain which I do not call it that it is just plain old fashioned pain I have caus it never stops, day or night. I am up every hour on the hour due to my pain. I am afraid to try anything else for pain youknow? So I am going to fing out more about that avintn. Well thanks I hope you all don't thing of me as a CRAZY woman. I just have to let it all come out at times you knoe. makes me feel better, after all I have been through. thanks for listening to me Ronnie
  • :) ronnieladart, i see you are new to the forum. you have certainly been through alot problems with your medication. i hope you get it adjusted so you can function better. you might check the Pain Medication section for some more input. good luck to you! make sure you take advantage of the forum when you are feeling down or need to vent. that is what we are here for. Jenny :)
  • I have been taking 360 mgs of Avinza each day now for about 8 months. I started out with 120 mg pill every day and that wasn't cutting it so I went to taking two of them. That lasted for about 6 months and then each night I was waking up with Night Sweats. So I have now been taking 3 of them each day and it has been perfect. I get NO buzz at all from them just pure pain relief. I don't know how that works but I do know that once you get the same amount of the drug into your system each day, you don't even think taking anything else. It has been wonderful for me. I hope this helps you. I know alot of people think that Avinza is crap, heck I did at first, then after getting the right amount scripted to me, I think its great!!!
  • I have been on Avinza for over 4 years now and can't stand taking meds anymore. I have compression fractures of T3, 4 & 8. I am down to 120 mg a day and want to stop. Does anyone know how long it will take for them to clear my system?
    They have worked well. I have tried all kinds of meds before we ended with the Avinza so I do recommend it for back pain with no "loopy" feelings.
  • I've been on Avinza now for about a year only I am taking the 120s and I take three of them daily. I think that if you taper off of them, it won't be so bad only because they are a 24 hr drug. They stay in your system for an awfully long time. I love them because like you said, they don't make you loopy and they really don't get me high or buzzed but they do work on my pain. That's a fact. I would highly recommend them (Avinza) to anyone that has an oportunity to try it for their pain. It is now the only 24 hour pain med out on the market now and believe me, it works a long time. I am a walking advertisement for Avinza, it's been a Godsend for me.
  • My PM just gave me a prescription for Avinza 30 mg. He suggessted I try to cut down on the dilaudid. I take 8mg every 4 hours.
    What he didn't tell me was how much should I cut back on the Dilaudid with this new dose of Avinza. Any mathmeticians out there?
    Also, I keep telling him thst I'm interested in doing a trial with a spinal cord stimulator. I have a ton of nerve pain in both legs, I've had a bezillion injections, RFDs, surgery (laminectomy and fusion L5-S1). I know how little is left for me. Why would he be insisting on more injections?$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
  • Most of canoot and the rest of us should not answer your question.

    Please contact you prescriber on that, s anything we may say could cause you great troubles,

    As for the injections, well, honestly, he may be trying to diagnose a new problem.... but I may be wrong. Did you ask him point-blank "Why" ?

    Best of wishes,
  • Avinza is a godsend.

    It does last quite a long time. Both on a daily basis and it terms of months/years.

    Expensive is the word. My monthly bill is 1000.00 per script. Lucky I have great insurance. And part of the price is because I live in the San Jose, CA. Everything is expensive here.

    I take 90's 4 to 5 times a day. I also have norco for breakthru.

    The thing I like about avinza is it constanly dose's. When you have pain you just wait a few minutes and it will disipate.

    Another drug that works for me is prozac. I started for the depression, but once I got off, the burning was returning. Ive been on and off a couple of times and it does relieve the burning. For me anyway.
  • If Avinza is supposed to be a 24 hour drug than why would a doc prescribe it to be taken several times a day? Reason I am asking is I just get it prescribed for me (90mg once a day) and my PM doc stressed to only take it once a day and use my oxycodone for any breakthrough pain.

  • Let me answer your question first Timbo. I take the 120 mg Avinzas and I take 4 of them a day. Two in the morning and two in the evening. The reason is because simply one pill is not strong enough for a particular person and their pain issues. Actually its not a matter of how many times a day, but more like how many per day. So when you ask why would a Dr. prescribe them several times a day, its not that they are prescribing several times a day, but that they are prescribing more than one pill per day. That's the difference. So many folks that are taking the Avinza no matter what strength, are taking more than one pill per day. I find that taking all 4 of mine at the same time works just as well as if I took 2 in the am and 2 in the pm. I started off taking 1 pill (120mg) a day and realized that wasn't cutting it so we moved to 2 and then to three and now we are at 4 a day. Of course I have to get this approved by AvMed every three months because they say it's too much medicine and that Avinza is a once a day dosing. If they made 240 mg capsules or 480 mg capsules, I would only need one a day. Two with the 240 mg caps. It is a fantastic drug and like I have stated before it keeps working up to damn near 30 hours for me. So metalshredder, I am with you, its a godsend for me too.
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