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Combining OTC's with narcotics for minimal pain control

Herniated my L4/L5 disc, confirmed with a recent MRI.
Was given ten days of dexamethasone by my PCP. Been the chiropractor route, had acupuncture sessions, doing core stretching exercises every day and night. I am in the process of searching for a pain doc that might prescribe hydrocodone 5/325 but until then I have some I can take. I find it works well for me. Feel a bit goosy but I can still function and am able to sit and get my work done.

I am not one to want to get hooked on any meds. In fact, I took nothing else before I hurt my back a few months ago but an OTC nasal spray for allergies. My goal is to try and live on the least amount of medication I can get away with and still have some quality of life. I fully expect to recover from my back issues and look to the medication as just a way to get there faster and with less pain.

What I'm trying is a combination of the 5/325 for pain relief and an OTC NSAID (Aleve) for the inflammation. So, I take 1/2 a 5/325 and a 220mg Aleve around 7:30AM. I then wait around three hours and take the other half of the 5/325. I find I can go most all day with some mild pain but still need to take something like a 500mg Advil around 5 to 6:00PM. It is not a perfect situation but right now i can live with it.

I'd like to hear from others who may be going this route. Does it work for you? How long have you been doing it. Any problems so far? 

Thanks.
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Comments

  • memerainboltmmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 1,790
    Hello dirtbikeguy

    Welcome to Spine-Health. While we are waiting on other members to reply, go to the search engine at the top right of the page and key in the blend. Scroll down until you find Spine-Health. There you will find articles as well as discussions on what other members are trying.
    But I'm sure you will get a lot of replies, just give it time.

    Please click on the Welcome link below for more useful information.

    Welcome to Spine Health

    All new members should take the System Tutorial
    Sandra
    Spine-Health Moderator
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my  Medical History
  • I think the best take away message is that if what you are doing is working, stick with it.  medication is so quirky with everyone in that it effects everyone a little differently.  I think you're wise in limiting how much Tylenol you are getting.  Sometimes with back pain, people throw caution into the wind and take a lot of Tylenol.  All that's doing is hurting your liver. Also, don't over do Aleve either!  NSAID can have a negative effect on your stomach and heart.  

    Swimming is a pretty good activity for a sore back.  Or, if you have access to a hot tub take a dip!  As always though, ask your doctor what he/she thinks is the most appropriate activities based on what your films show.

    Good luck!

    Keith

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
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  • jimandjrjimandjr Dallas TXPosts: 448
    My first ortho had me take prescription NSAIDS from 2001/2012. Also took other pain meds and a muscle relaxer. Had zero problems handling the meds. Did they cure anything? Not for me. 
  • I forgot to mention that I will occasionally take Doan's Pill's with my regular medication.  Doan's uses a different NSAID than most and works pretty darn good.  But, you have to be careful with it because the medication can really mess your system up if you're not careful!

    Keith 

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • memerainboltmmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 1,790
    We had a discussion on here several months back on genetic testing for drugs. Only a few members new anything about it.
    I guess we need to post about this test for the new members.
    It's called Gene Therapy Drug Interaction Test. Your doctor will swab your mouth and send it to the lab along with the list of meds you are now taking. The results will tell your doctor what drugs work on you and what doesn't. It would save the patient from taking drugs that don't work.

    My PM doctor ran this test on me on the first visit because nothing was working.
    Sandra
    Spine-Health Moderator
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my  Medical History
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  • Hi Sandra,

      I had that test done about five years ago.  My PM was having a hard time believing that the meds he was prescribing wasn't working.  In fact, when he came in to test me, he said that depending on how the test turned out would drive which way my treatment would go.  At my next appointment, I was prescribed a different medication which was in a different classification of meds.  The test showed that my body does not metabolize oxycodone or hydrocodone.  I ended up on Opana (Oxymorphone) which works pretty well for me.

      I'd highly recommend the test for anyone who isn't getting pain relief from their currently prescribed medications.

    Keith

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • jimandjrjimandjr Dallas TXPosts: 448
    I had the gene therapy test and it said that I react well to my current meds. Not sure it really helped me. Not sure I would do it again. 

    All my meds are prescription. 
  • dirtbikeguyddirtbikeguy Posts: 14
    edited 04/24/2017 - 8:38 AM
    I think this test makes sense after you have been on meds for a good while. I'm not there yet.

    My current "cocktail" is to take one Aleve, one 650mg time release Tylenol and one 500mg rapid release Tylenol around 7 to 8:00 in the morning. That lets me at least get out of bed and start my day, walk the dog, etc. I can even sit at my desk or work bench for a spell. Still need to lie down now and then when it gets bad.

    I seem to get decent pain reduction for about three to four hours. Then need to take another 500mg rapid release around noon.

    I have tried swapping the 500 with Norco 5/500 with about the same affect. No major increase in pain reduction. Perhaps, as suggested, I do not process opioids that well.
  • memerainboltmmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 1,790
    That's what they found with me. My metabolism was so high it was taking everything and throwing it out immediately. 
    When you wake up during surgery, that's not good. I'm tiny. They go by weight. Now, the results of my test are on file at every doctor and hospital.
    Sandra
    Spine-Health Moderator
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my  Medical History
  • dirtbikeguyddirtbikeguy Posts: 14
    edited 04/27/2017 - 10:56 AM
    So I wanted to update my daily medication in the hopes it might help others out there.

    I saw a physiatrist... Really his PA-C for my initial visit this week. She prescribed a 30 pill supply of 10mg of Oxycodone and told me to try it and report back as to benefits, length of time, etc. As I told her my goal was to use the least amount to get by. So here is how it's going so far:

    8:00 AM (first meds for the day)

    one 10mg  Oxycodone (as Roxycodone)
    one 325mg Tylenol (CVS generic, rapid release)
    one 220mg Aleve

    I repeat this at 12:00 noon and again at 4:00 but I leave out the Aleve.

    Now, here is something interesting. I was taking a 500mg branded Tylenol (rapid release) but find I get more benefit with this lower dose. Why is that. The medication itself being from a different manufacturer perhaps. I had read where folks get different pain benefits from different suppliers of Oxycodone and the generic versions. If you find you have issues with your pain meds, you might try different generics for both your narcotics and OTC's if you use any. There can be differences.

    So this is my regimend for now. Will see how it goes. Right now I feel great compared to before. I can sit and work, stand up and work. About all I can ask for as I progress.
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