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Timing on Taking Meds

GreyEagleGGreyEagle Posts: 350
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Pain Management
:H Hi Everyone!

I guess I'm learning how to manage the timing on taking my pain meds. I woke up this morning and my left and right arms were in a lot of pain. I'm supposed to take my Morphine (extended release) at 9 am and 9 pm each day. I also take Vicodin 3x a day.

I woke up at 9 and it was at least another hour before I got to taking any meds due to being busy waking up, shower, breakfast, dealing with family, lol. Well, I learned how important it is to take these meds at the correct times or as close as possible in order to effectively manage pain.

I have cervical spine surgery coming up soon.

Thanks for listening!

Ken GreyEagle


  • Hi Ken,

    I had to laugh when I read your post. It reminded me of what all kids are told "don't touch the stove, it's hot" and of course what do they do ... touch the stove.

    Taking meds on schedule is very important. The last thing that you want to do, is be "chasing your pain". Your doc has set up a dosage that allows you to manage your pain, but not chase it. So staying on time is very important, otherwise ... you get burnt!

  • seem starnge to take pain meds when you aren't hurting. I have made the mistake before. Waited until I started hurting...pain increases so fast and it takes the meds 30 minutes to get in my system. At those times, the pain overides the meds effect.
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  • take my meds 30 minutes before it is time to. It takes 30-60 min for the med to get into your system, and that is why I do it this way. My doc is the one that suggested that I do it this way. I actually keep my meds next to my coffee pot. That is the first thing I go to in the AM so I NEVER forget! I used to forget when I would wake up with less pain. Cuz you just don't really think about your meds when your pain is either gone (lucky ppl that have that happen, I'm not one), less than normal or just plain tolerable. So since I keep them next to the coffee pot then I wont forget. I dont keep my whole bottle next to the coffee pot since heat is no good for meds. Just my AM dose.
  • now that i am post surgery. i keep them right by my bed with a bottle of water. so that i take it and can lay here and let it kick in before i go downstairs with the kids to make sure they get off ok. yeah yeah they are 12 and 18 but they get in those little tiffs X( =))
    plus i have my commode up here so i don't have to walk to go to the bathroom. WHOO HOO FOR COMMODES AFTER SURGERY =))
    plus umm a bit spoiled here i get my coffee brought up to 8> 8> 8> 8> 8>
    and if im in to bad of shape i get to stay in bed and i yell from up here =)) :T

    how old are the kids?????? and are you still working??? just curious you probably mentioned it one of your other posts of course, but brain dead me forgot.

    you will live the holiday life after surgery and your home.
    you won't have to shower asap etc.. enjoy it while you can <:P
  • Oh gosh! My kids are 31 yrs old and 28 yrs old. We have two grandsons now that are 5 yrs and 2 yrs old. The whole bunch of 'em live with us right now, lol.

    I saw my Spine Doctor today. He is going to be gradually getting me off the Vicodin and increasing my Morphine dose.He said the reason is I could have a problem breathing post-surgery if I keep up the Vicodin. He said that if I keep taking the meds at the same dose I am now then it is more difficult for the hospital team to control my pain post surgery with the IV. It takes more meds to control the pain.

    So,I don't mind. I'm certainly not hooked on the Vicodin.

    I am going tomorrow for a 'Closed' MRI. I'm Claustraphobic so had an MRI in an 'Open' MRI machine the end of June. My surgeon is very meticulous and said the 'Open' MRI films were not as clear as he'd like. He didn't want to make a surgical decision until he was absolultey certain what needs to be done. He did say C5-6 level need surgery.

    I don't know if he is going to just trim the disc at that level or do a discectomy fusion. I know he talked about doing the discectomy/fusion with plates and screws. I'll know next time I see him on Nov 4th exactly what is going to be done.

    Anyway, so I'll be going to morphine 3x a day until surgery it looks like.

    Thanks for all your input an sharing everyone. :H

    Ken GreyEagle
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  • Hi Ken,

    I just wanted to mention that with a 3x/day dosing of a long acting or extended release med (such as your morphine) you will probably find that you need less of the BT meds than before anyway. It's possible that you will still need "some" BT meds, as we all do things during our day that push our pain levels higher, but it may not be nearly as much as with 2x/day doses.

    I would also like to suggest that you make sure that you have a meeting with the anesthesiologist who will be assigned to your case, prior to your surgery. When all parties know before a surgery, that a patient is "tolerant" to opiates/opioids, it helps them to be able to administer the proper doses of pain meds, both during surgery and in recovery.

    I have a sister-in-law who has had both good and bad experience with this. She had one surgery where she was not given an opportunity to speak with the anesthesiologist prior to the procedure and they had a hell of a time controling her pain. They were giving her the doses of meds that would generally work for a patient who was "opiate naive", as opposed to one who was tolerant. So, the meds were being "used up" by her chronic pain and not touching any of her surgical (acute) pain. The nurses refused to listen to her and they actually called her a "wuss" and told her to "suck it up"! Eventually, she convinced them to call her pain doc and he explained the fact that she was a long term chronic pain patient and needed higher doses of pain meds than the average person.

    Just wanted to give you a bit of a heads up, so that you don't have to go through what my S-I-L did. If they don't offer a pre-op consult with the anesthesiologist, then please be sure to ask for one. It will enable him/her to do their job better and for you to get the best pain coverage that you can get. And try to make sure that it is all over your chart that your body is used to certain doses of opiates/opioids. This way, the nurses in recovery will also understand.

    Good luck with whatever is decided. I will certainly send good thoughts your way for a successful outcome and a quick recovery. Take care, Mitzi
  • That was an excellent post. The points you made were RIGHT ON, RIGHT ON!

    Thanks for posting!

    Have a great day!

  • Hi Mitzi!

    Excellent comments! I will certainly ask for the consult with the anesthesiologist prior to surgery! Could I ask what the abbreviation BT meds is. I'm not familiar with that.

    My Spine Doctor told me the other day he wants to just get me down to morphine 3x a day so I don't have breathing problems right after surgery. Does the vicodin tend to cause that sort of problem? I'll do whatever he says to make sure breathing problems don't happen.

    Thanks again for your comments, Mitzi!

    Ken GreyEagle
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