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Pain Medication Changes, Possible Withdrawals?

Venierkelly40VVenierkelly40 Posts: 4
edited 01/20/2016 - 5:20 AM in Pain Medications
Hello everyone, this is my 1st time on these forum's & website, so please forgive me if there is anything I'm supposed to do that I don't.
My problem is I have pretty severe back issues. I was a Fire Fighter and Paramedic until I was injured in the line of duty back 2002. I suffered multiple severe injuries, career ending injuries. I have L4-S1 Disc Herniations with Spinal Stenosis and Disc Desiccation. I also have Systemic Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid arthritis. I have been taking Norco 10/325 taking 1 q°4hr & Ultram (Tramadol) 50mg taking 2 q°4hr now for well over 10 year's. My Dr told me yesterday that with all these stupid new laws about pain medications a new one that is getting ready to be implemented is that anyone taking more than 1 kind of pain medication has to be re-evaluated by the Dr to change over to 1 medication only. So my Dr decided to put me on MS-Contin 15mg q°12hr. What I'm really worried about is if I will go through any kind of withdrawal from stopping the Norco & Ultram. And does this new medication have good pain management? Thank you, Kelly


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    edited 01/20/2016 - 6:50 AM
    Re withdrawal, I would think doctor would be best to know if you need to taper off, or whatever, to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
    I would think, Doctor should monitor when ordering of meds and monitoring the discontinuation of meds.

    When you speak of this new law, are you in the States?
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • edited 01/20/2016 - 1:45 PM
    Your body doesn't care what the chemical name of the drug is, as long as it acts on your opioid receptors and is of similar strength to what your used to. Your Dr. should have a chart for converting your current dosage of Norco into MS contin equivalent. Typically, if the dose isn't working well enough, the issue can be solved by your Dr. during a follow-up med review. Also MS Contin is considered the 'gold standard' when it comes to pain meds, so I wouldn't worry too much if it's going to work. Personally, I was a bit extra loopy on it compared to other meds, but that's just my experience. Whenever I've switched meds, I've asked both my Dr. and Pharmacist about the tapering between and have never had any issues with withdrawal while switching. If anything I was a bit overmedicated for the couple day transitions.

    You should definitely double check with your Dr/pharm before making the switch as mixing 3 opioids together could be dangerous.
  • Two meds, over to an extended release shouldn't cause withdrawal. You are simply exchanging two previous meds, for the MSContin.
    Unless your doctor told you otherwise, you simply stop taking the Norco and Ultram and replace it with the MS Contin, at the new dosing instructions.
    When doctors convert a patient from one or more opiates to another, they use a conversion chart to get the proper dosage of the new medication.
    I would double check with the doctor, not the pharmacist, to be sure that you should stop the tramadol and Norco and start the MSContin. That's what is usually done when there is a change in meds.....stop the previous meds and start the new ones.

  • Hi, as I said, I'm new, I came here, after reading things, I finally found a place where we are all for "REAL" sufferer's. Many ppl don't understand. I had 2 back surgeries, unfortunately, they were unsuccessful, now, app., 2 years ago, the surgeon kicked me to the pain clinic,(which I absolutely hate),
    he told me I have permanent nerve damaged, and there is nothing more he can do, grrrrrr!
    For me, it's like my life has been on hold for a few years, I'm the type of person, who was always on the go, nothing stopping me, but, today, here I sit, looking out of my window, while talking to ppl who understand. When I first started pain clinic, OMGOSH, but, I had no choice. They had me trying everything, from A-Z, (I felt like a guinea pig) I can go on and on, but, I'm here today to ask for advice.
    I was on 80mg oxycontin 1@12hrs., they changed my meds, app. 3 weeks ago, to OPANA ER 40mg., 1@12hrs. does anyone here take OPANA?
    If so, do they help you with your pain?
    Thanks in advance
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Welcome to Spine-Health
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    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • I like the Opana , it seems to last the 12 hours it's intended to, unlike the Oxycontin which always seemed to stop at various lengths of time before the 12 hours is up....I've also found that I haven't needed dosage adjustments because of tolerance, unlike Oxycontin, which seemed to require frequent adjustments.
    It also provides me with better overall consistent pain control.

  • Hello, yes I am in the United States. I am in Michigan. I'm not sure if it is a State or Federal Law though. I can find out when I go back next time. I know that there are people out there that do illegal and stupid things either with their prescriptions for pain meds or to get a prescription for pain meds and due to those 2 forms of abuse that is why all these crazy new laws are being put into place. But it just makes it so difficult for those of us that are legitimately in pain and in need of pain medication. Why anyone would want to abuse these kinds of medications is beyond me. But from working in the medical field for all of my adult working life, I know there are a lot of people that do, and will go to many crazy and dangerous lengths to squire them.
    Savage said:
    Re withdrawal, I would think doctor would be best to know if you need to taper off, or whatever, to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
    I would think, Doctor should monitor when ordering of meds and monitoring the discontinuation of meds.

    When you speak of this new law, are you in the States?
  • Hello, and welcome to the group. I'm new (yesterday) as well. I agree with you about finally finding real people to converse with that can understand what your talking about. If I had a dollar for every time someone either said I must be faking it, or just look at you like your crazy and faking it, I would be rich. It's gotten so bad that my ex husband keeps telling my daughter that I'm just fat, lazy, and faking just so I can get food stamps and mooch off of the government. To the point that now she has even said Since I can't see anything physically wrong with you How do I know my dad isn't right? I took her with me and had the Dr explain things to her. I told her what does she think that all of the numerous years I have had done does she think that by me asking them too would she really believe that the Dr's would risk their licence just to fake results for me? The Dr went through it all with her. Turns out it's just that he is jealous of the fact that I can't work and get to stay home. When I really would rather be working.
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