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manaleriemmanalerie Posts: 550
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Pain Medications
Ok. It has come to my attention recently, that I am taking way too much over the counter pain meds. Maybe not too much, but for too long. For as long as I can remember, I have been taking pain medication. As far back as high school.

Everyday I take something. Is it possible to build a tolerance to NSAIDs? I know they are bad for the stomach. Tylenol is bad for the liver.

800 IBU's are a joke to me. So is Tylenol. The only thing over the counter now that even slightly helps is Naproxen.

I guess my concern is that I am hurting myself with over the counter pain meds. (and prescription NSAID) And doctors just keep telling me to take them. Take motrin, take tylenol, this and that. THEY JUST DON'T WORK

Anyone else have this problem? Any suggestions? It can't be safe to keep taking this stuff. Maybe if I lay it all out to my Dr, the way I have here, he will understand.

Thought and ideas would be appreciated.



  • I was seeing a PM that would not give me narcotics...just kept putting me on the latest and greatest meds such as Lyrica, cymbalta, gabepentin, ultram...etc..and for my pain?? Well he just said take tylenol or advil. My pain levels were at 10's every single day. I was beside myself but felt like I had no other choice. Then one day I went #2 and thought my insides were inside the toilet...sorry for TMI but it was a huge wake up call. I was bleeding for several BMs and went to my pcp. He told me to STOP taking OTC and gave me a script for norco. He said that I was killing my lining while I could have been taking something to prevent the pain that was not as damaging. He thought the PM was not the brightest one on the planet. So I stopped seeing him and now am going to a top notch clinic. I finally have someone that truly listens to my symptoms and my pain and works with me on therapy.
    Good luck.

  • and on top of your own healthcare. While I don't believe everything I read on the internet there are enough good websites to gain a good understanding of my condition and about drugs.

    My doctor prescribed diclofenac on my first appt. The second appt he told me to keep taking it. The third appt he didn't say anything about it and I forgot to mention I was still taking it. Six months later he tells me I should not be taking this drug long term! Well hell, why didn't you say so?

    I had tried to quit taking this several times before but was still in enough pain that I'd end up going back to it 2-3 days later. I think my ruptured disk has healed enough now that I've been able to do without for two months now. Yippee! I have times when I tweak it and have to take the diclofenac so am trying to be careful not to overdo it. Sometimes my left leg tingles too.

    My main symptom now is popping in my lower back. If I lift my left knee to waist height my lower back pops when I lower it. I wish I knew what this is from.
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,347
    Amanda, there are a number of different web sites that discuss some of the dangers of OTC drugs.
    But I think the one common denominator is that most of them do not specify everything that the consumer needs to know and when it is presented, it is in such fine print you need a laboratory magnifying glass to read it.
    When it comes to most OTCs, I talk this over with the pharmacist. Somethings they are in the best position to tell you if OTC Drug#1 is harmful if combined with Drug#2 OR if
    you take OTC Drug#3 for more than 3 months,this will happen, and so on
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • This is OTC and there is also a RX strength. If I took Aleve/Naproxen OTC I would have to take 4 at a time and then 4 more a few hours later. I would ask your DR for the RX form. I know it is basically the same thing cuz I got teh 800mg strenght but it seemed to work a heck of a lot better for me. I would ask your doc for Norco. It is basically the same as Vicodin BUT instead of having 500+ mg's of acetaminophen there is only 325mg's. Which of course is way better on you organs. My doc actually asked me how Vicodin worked for me and I said it worked good but I prefer the Norco because of all the Acetamminophen.

    I would ask your doc for one or the other. Norco come's in 5/325,7.5/325 and 10/325.

    AND YES!!!...Do bring all of this up with your doc. Just be plain and simple about it. Tell him you are worried about the amount of OTC's you are taking and that either get the RX strength of Naproxen or the Norco. OF course the Norco will help more with the pain BUT if it is inflamation then get the Naproxen (also called Naprosen). They are both a pretty inexpensive medication also.
    Good luck and be sure to "lay it all on the line" with your doc.
    Have a great day MJ
  • Ok see, I was taking Norco, it was the only thing that has worked for me. But it was a doctor I saw while on vacation in California who prescribed it to me. My primary doctor refuses to treat me for my back. I am seeing a Neurologist, who has taken over pain management. I told him that Norco worked for me, and he gave me Kadian. I was terribly ill from it, and asked him to take me off. I showed him the bottle of Norco, and told him it worked, and he said you want percocet? I said to him, thats not percocet is it? Its Hydrocodone, not Oxycodone. And he said that it was percocet, and prescribed me Ultram.

    And I do take prescription strength aleve... Naproxen. It works better and is a heck of a lot cheaper than OTC Aleve

    I've hit a brick wall with my primary. Last time I saw him, which was NOT FOR PAIN, he lectured me the entire time, about how I need to have surgery. He was very demanding, cruel, and I left in tears. I really don't wish to see him again, but have yet to find a new doctor. And this isn't the first time he has treated me this way. Just the final straw. But right now I don't know if I should go to him, and bring up these concerns, or wait till I get a new doctor, explain what I have been doing for treatment, and get their opinion.
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  • If you primary doctor refuses to treat you back,i would find a another doctor.
  • definately find another doctor if at all possible. I am stumped on his Norco is Percocet thing. Kind strange on his part dont you think?!?!?!?!?!!? Hmmm.
    Anyway if he doesn't want to treat you for your back, ask to be refered to an ortho or nuerologist. And while your back is being treated you can find a new primary.
    Sounds like your doc isn't a good fit for you. Another strange thing on his part is that he doesn't want to treat your pain or treat your back but wants to do surgery. Is the surgery for your back or something different? He kind of sounds a little off to me. I do hope that you find someone that will help you. MJ
  • here's the story:

    It took me six months, 3 trips to the ER, and umpteen trips to my primary, before I finally demanded an MRI
    My primary just kept telling me I was having muscle spasms.

    After the MRI, I got a very dare I say, "cold" phone call from a nurse. She said that my doctor read the MRI, I have goo goo gaa gaa wrong with my back. If I want to have surgery, I need to see a neurosurgeon. And I need to see a neurologist, either way. I told her I was confused, and she said "Thats what doctor X said to do"

    I got off the phone and freaked out. I had no idea what these terms meant, or what to do. My first thought was of my next door neighbor. He had back surgery, and now has to use a walker to get around. I have seen him writhing in pain for days on end. I was horrified.

    I called back, and spoke to another nurse. She was shocked that the first nurse didn't explain any of this in terms I could understand. She told me I have a herniated disk, a bulging disk, and torn nerve root. I asked her to have my doctor call me.

    He called with an "I'm so sorry, you must be in so much pain" And told me to consult the NS and Neuro. I asked him to fill the scripts for Norco, Soma, and Naproxen that I received while in California. He refused to fill the Norco, but gave me the Soma and Naproxen.

    I returned to PT, and was treated like I had the plague.

    I then saw a neurologist, who said that I did not need to have surgery and put me on Kadian.

    I went back to my primary for help with smoking cessation. While I was there, he asked about the surgery, and I told him that the Neuro said I didn't need it. He got very angry, said that he will not be treating me for my back that I need to go to a neurosurgeon or a PM, and "what do you want to be on Narcotics the rest of your life?" He said I needed to have the surgery on my back to get better. I felt like I was being personally attacked, and was hurt. What do I do when one doctor tells me one thing, and another tells me the opposite?

    I have since seen a PM who said that I have the back of a 40 year old. He said I have arthritis, though Im not sure how he came to that conclusion, since he never looked at my scans. He told me, almost begged me not to have surgery. He said that too often he see's people my age have surgery to relieve the pain, and end up worse. He said that the surgery is to prevent further nerve damage, not to stop pain. He spoke to me so fast, I left with my head spinning. I couldn't even answer a question, before he had started asking another. Then he told me that I should return to physical therapy, and besides an epidural, there is no reason for me to return to him. So, who then is going to manage my pain?????? Isn't that what a PM is for?

    I then saw the neurosurgeon who was amazing. He took the time to explain everything to me. He also said that I do not need surgery, nor would he perform surgery on me. He said that he is not willing to cause me 50 years of pain. I asked him who should be treating my pain, he said that responsibility goes to my primary. My husband told him what happened with the primary and the NS basically said that my primary is a numb skull, and would be speaking to him. He asked me if I was sleeping (no), and prescribed me 2 months of Valium.

    The Neurologist is the one who is now treating my pain. He started me on Kadian, which made me terribly sick (120mg morphine a day) I didn't even realize just how sick till about 3 days after I stopped taking it. I realized that I had been walking in a fog for a month. That's when I showed him the Norco, and he said that it was percocet. I'm not quite sure what that's all about, but for now the ultram (200 mg a day)is helping enough. I can get up, and get my housework done, which in turn is keeping me from being so depressed. I think I will have to call him about it again though, because Its causing some major blurred vision, and I can't drive. I never had any side affects with vicodin or Norco. Even with the Valium, the ultram keeps me up all night.

    I am looking for a new Primary physician. Its all about finding one who is willing to treat me as a person, and listen to my issues. How I will ever find one like that is beyond me.
  • What crazy confusing hell you have been through!! Man oh man.
    Ok, yes definatly call your doc that gave you the Ultram. Tell him your side effects. When I Was on that stuff Icouldn't sleep either no matter how early I took the med. I am still stumped,as you are, as to why the neuro said the Norco was Percocet. Strange.
    So to answer your question about what you should do when you get 2 different answers to the same question....
    Get yet another one. Write down all of your concerns and questions and let him/her know that you are there because you keep getting different answers from different docs and he is somewhat of the tie breaker. You can NEVER have too many opinions. Especially when it comes to surgery.

    Now with me I had a tear at the L5-S1 and my NS said that if I didn't get a fusion I wouldn't be walking in the matter of months because it would be too painful and would basically live in my bed. With me I tusted my NS more then my Ortho. The ortho wanted to basically coterize(sp?) the disk and said I would have been good. The reason I went to the NS is because he removed a tumor out of my husbands spinal cord that almost left him paralyzed if he didn't get it done. Of course the surgery could have paralized him also but thank god it didnt. So once you have an experience like that with a doc that isn't "knife happy", you kind of want to stick with him. The NS told me the cotorization of the disk would have made me worse.

    So if you have a funny feeling or something just doesn't sound right get another opinion. Always listen to that voice in the back of your head or that "gut feeling".

    I had my fusion at 28 and am glad to say that the pain I was feeling is gone. However I am now feeling a different pain in the same area. I also have a bad SI joint. Whatever the hell that means. LOL But I think that there is something more under lying that possibly my NS couldn't see because of all the inflamation in the SI joint. I just know that there is SOMETHING going on with the L5ish area. I guess after I get the SI injection we will have to see if it helps and see what clears up and hopefully he can find whatever else is going on. I have a lot of pain in the SI, I also have a lot of pain in the L4 or L5 area that is different than the SI. Not to mention all the nerve type pain I am having in my hip, leg, foot etc. Even if I sit for a while my whole leg goes to sleep or numb within minutes.

    As far as the PM doc. Try to find a different one. I once had a fast talking PM doc. He wanted to do Prolo injections. Of course he made an ass load of money off of them. After my initial consult with him I had a gut feeling something wasn't right. So I made another apt with the NS that performed my surgery and my NS said that they would have made me worse. He too didn't even look at my MRI's or X-Rays. he did about 3 minutes worth of me bending twistin and him pressing and came to the conclusion that all i needed was the injecions. Not to mention he didn't help me as far as the pain meds went. He instantly thought I was a drug seeker due to the fact that I had to go to the ER after driving 12.5 hrs straight with no breaks except for gas and potty breaks. All he gave me was Ultram and Lyrica. Lyrica seemed to help a little but not much. The Ultram kept me up all night and didn't relieve the pain at all.

    This is a long and frustrating process. IF I were you I would get another opinion from a NS and in the mean time find a different PM doc that takes the time to listen to you and makes sure all of your questions are answered fully so you understand. Sometimes the PM docs are so overloaded with patients that they almost set a 10 minute rule on all of the patients where each one is done in 10 min or less. Well that is what it seems to me 1/2 the time.

    Sorry for the long winded over informative post. LOL I hope you have success in your PMP search.
    Good luck and keep us posted!

  • As far as surgery goes, doctors are now 3-1 against. The only Dr. who thinks I need it is my primary. I don't know how to go about finding a different primary without seeming like a shopper. But I kind of feel like I have the right to shop for a doctor don't I? I mean this is the person I am trusting my life with. I should be interviewing them, not the other way around.

    Its really depressing the way the system works. I feel like I want to write my primary doctor, lay it all out. Tell him that I feel like he is not listening to my concerns etc. But then I think that may only make matters worse. My neurologist said that this is common for doctors. Every doctor wants to think that they know all, and they don't like being told they are wrong. My husbands grandmother see's the same doctor. She also feels the same way, like he just doesn't listen. She tried to get another doctor, told him her issues and the other doctor asked what makes her think he would be any different? She thinks that no doctor wants to take another doctors patient.
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