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anyone have experience with Exalgo?

AmandalaAAmandala Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:52 AM in Pain Medications
Hello all,
I have been on almost all the pain meds out there. Recently I went from 100mcg Fentanyl patch to 120 of Avinza. I'm not getting much relief and found an article that the FDA approved Exalgo (it's an ER of dilaudid). It was approved in 2010. Has anyone had any experience with this med? Thanks in advance for any info!!



  • Hey Amanda. I started Exalgo a bit less than 2 months ago. I was previously taking 120mg Avinza plus many others, but it was the Avinza that I replaced with Exalgo.

    The doc started me at 24mg/day Exalgo, and just told me to quit Avinza one day and start Exalgo - no tapering off or ramping up. After about 2 day I started feeling horrible increased pain plus withdrawl symptoms. So, he bumped me up to 36mg/day. I now take 2 12mg pills in the morning and 1 12mg pill at night just to try and keep everything stable.

    So far I think Exalgo does better controlling my pain, although its not perfect. My mental fogginess has definitely increased and it is often very difficult to concentrate on complex tasks.

    Is it worth it? Jury is still out. Helping reduce the pain is great, so I'll probably stick with it for a while. Good luck.

  • I started Exalgo a little over a year ago, and I can tell you it was a Godsend,seems like I tried just about every drug on the market. My doc was not sure about the drug when we started but decided to give it a try,we were at a point that there wasn't much left. I started out with 8mg and increased doseage by 8mg every other day, I am currently taking 56mg, the limit is 64mg per day. Exalgo works. I also take 30mg Lortab for breakthrough pain per day. If you decide on this drug be warned it is expensive. Side effects are very minor.
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  • Joe BoulerJJoe Bouler Posts: 1
    edited 09/04/2015 - 8:31 AM
    I've been taking opiate narcotics for chronic back pain for over 20 years. The best results I got was from the combination of 60 mg MS Contin (Morphine) and 4 mg of Dilaudid twice a day. When I moved I had to find a new pain management doctor. None of the doctors in this area would prescribe Dilaudid. It was strictly taboo. When I asked why, they explained that Dilaudid is for short term use, not a pain maintenance drug. Since then, I've tried just about everything imaginable. My new pain management doctor says she doesn't like mixing drugs. She want's me on one narcotic only. Since MS Contin doesn't come in 75 mg. I had to get two prescriptions one for 60 mg. and one for 15 mg. This was not as good as my previous combination, but it was acceptable. Then Medicare decides they're going to put limits on the amount of MS Contin I could get. I could get the 60 mg. tablets but they wouldn't let me have the 15 mg. The reduced dose was not controlling my pain so my doctor prescribed Exalgo which is Dilaudid but it's intended for long term use. My prescription was for sixty 12 mg. tablets. The directions said Take Two Tablets once a day. I wasn't paying attention and read the directions wrong. I thought it said take ONE tablet twice a day. It's a good thing I only took one pill instead of two. The side effects were horrible! I had an increased heart beat. I had chills and sweats. I couldn't stop yawning. It wasn't because I was sleepy, it was because I felt like I couldn't breathe in enough air. I felt very light headed and like I was going to pass out. And for a lack of a better term, I'll say it gave me the worst case of the Heebie Jeebies I've ever had. I called my pain management center and told them what was going on and told them that I could not take this stuff and needed something else. They advised me to go to the emergency room which I did. The doctor in the ER told me that 12 mg of Exalgo is a pretty hefty dose and the side effects I was experiencing are typical symptoms of an overdose of opiate narcotics. He said he didn't understand why my doctor started me off on such a high doe when I had never taken this before. He also said it was a good thing I didn't take two of them. He said he prescribes 2 to 4 mg of Dilaudid for people in severe pain from a broken arm or leg and it usually eliminates ALL the pain. He said if I had taken the 24 mg of Exalgo as directed, it could have killed me. I just read Bob's statement about his doctor starting him off on 24 mg a day and then increased it to 36 mg a day. I'm amazed Bob didn't experience the same side effects as me. I would rather put up with the back pain than to ever go through those side effects again! Are you still on the Exalgo Bob?

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