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Any experiences with tolerance to opiate pain meds and how was it handled?

JohneroopJJohneroop Posts: 1
edited 06/08/2015 - 8:28 PM in Chronic Pain
Just curious if anyone has had problems with tolerance to the opiate pain meds after long-term pain management. How does your PCP or PM doctor handle this issue? I was prescribed MS Contin 15mg x 3 a day with Oxycodone 15mg for breakthrough for almost 3 years by neurologist. I decided to go off all meds with the help of Burtrans 10mcg. Have not taken any opiates for the last year. Chronic pain (cervical disk disease, cervical radiculopathy, and avascular neucrosis of both hips) is now getting too uncontrolled and may have to go back to opiate intervention. I am just afraid of the tolerance issue again.
J. R. P.


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427

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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    When I started with my pain management/neurologist, he told me from the start that he would be switching my main daily pain med every one or one and half years so I didn't build resistance.

    So started with fentanyl patch, then switch to OxyContin , back to fentanyl patch, back OxyContin and so it goes.

    Only once did doc, like think out loud about morphine and methadone, but not for near future.
    I guess it's good he has plans B and C up his sleeve. :)

    Fortunately, I have not built a resistance to either med I am now going back and forth with.
    I probably have couple of decades to keep pain managed, so I'm grateful for the planning in prescribing in the hopes there will always be something to take the edge off the pain.
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  • are three major things-patient expectations regarding pain relief, including other things to reduce pain, including ice, heat,rest, regular stretching and excercise, using topical pain relievers, muscle rubs etc. and not relying solely on medications.
    A reasonable goal of pain reduction is 50% of your unmedicated pain levels. Using extended release meds and not using breakthrough meds on a regular basis. There is nothing that will drive up "tolerance" faster ,than using your breakthrough meds on a regular basis. All that does is increase the amount of opiates your body is used to having, and leaves you with nothing for those really bad days.
    I also switch my extended release med at least every year/18 months to another med. I work at keeping my opiate doses at the lowest possible dose that eases some of the pain, and don't use my breakthrough meds unless it is a really bad day, and all other options have failed. Then I start with half a tablet , if it doesn't help in an hour, I will take the other half, relying on rest, heat or ice in between.

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