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Pain Management during Hospital Stay

Hi everyone,
I am brand new to this forum and I need some advice. I have been in PM for about 3 years and am prescribed Opana - it works for me, until I am admitted into the hospital. I have lymphedema in my left arm. For the past 5 years, I will get an infection that causes me to get celluitis (pretty severe). I usually pack a few things and go straight to the ER. I am always admitted because they hook me up to Vancomycin - which can only be run every 12 hours, so I usually stay for 3 days. My question for someone who has had a similar experience of being treated in hospital and trying to get effective pain management?
This infection happens around 2X a year. I have had the unfortunate experience of having to use my chronic pain meds to manage my hospital pain. At the hospital, my pain is not being treated properly (long story - blood pressure drops below <85). Anyway, this last incident just occurred right before Thanksgiving and I am seeing my Pain Man. Doc next week. I am short on my meds because I used them in the hospital. Does anyone here have experience with needing more than your usual chronic pain meds because you suffer an acute incident and need more than your usual dosage while in and after your hospital stay??<br />I would love to hear others stories or experiences. I am always honest with my Doc and I am going to share with him my trouble with this issue.
Thanks for reading.



  • LizLiz Posts: 9,708
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    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,269
    edited 12/17/2013 - 8:23 AM
    even if you used them during your hospitalization? Most hospitals, while patients are being treated, want you to bring your meds to show them, but patients are not allowed to take their own medications while being treated in the hospital because of the liability issues/concerns and the potential for accidental overdosage.
    While the hospital may not have given you Opana, they would have converted the dosage of Opana to another medication carried by the pharmacy for the duration of your hospital stay.
    Since it was only a three day stay, and Opana is dosed every 12 hours, you shouldn't be 'short' of medications.
    There is a difference in treating acute pain episodes and your use of opiates for the treatment of Chronic pain, and the medications given to you for your chronic pain should not be taken to manage acute pain espisodes, the hospital was responsible for that need, if the doctors felt that you needed it.
    If, while in the hospital, your pain is not being managed effectively, then you always have the option of asking for a consult with the pain management department.
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  • i have been to the hospital for cellilitus also, 3 times and the last was last month where i was given iv antibiotics, x-rays, cat scans, mri's and on and on. I also immediately told them that i was under the care of a pain dr and i gave them his name and phone number. they gave me narcotic pain meds for 4 days and as far as i know, they did not contact my pain dr. i was given meds in house and even with back surgeries, gall stones, i was given meds in the hospital and did not have to use mine at all. i have never heard of a person having to use their own pain meds when they were in the hospital. as part of the treatment, the hospital would work with my pain doctor as far as what to give, how and how much. they always worked in conjunction with each other. like sandi said due to liability issues, i believe it is illegal for a hospital to force a patient to use his own narcotic pain meds. always tell hospital the name etc of your pain dr and make sure they work together. this is a weird story and like i said, i have never heard of a hospital force a patient to use their own pain meds.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,433
    edited 12/18/2013 - 6:09 AM
    patients to bring in any of their own medications. This is for you benefit as well as the people that are treating you.
    If for example, you are taking you own pain medications and then they give you what has be prescribed by the hospital that would falsify any future examinations while you are in the hospital.

    I've had a 4 surgeries the past two years, each time, there was an agreement between the surgeon, my pain management doctor and myself. 1 - Upon entering the hospital, I no longer take ANY of my medications 2 - My surgeon takes control of pain medications until I am formally discharged completely and 3 - My pain management doctor takes over then

    This way there is no reason for any shortage of any medication.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • i don't know policies on pain meds specifically, but i do know a hospital will allow you to bring your own meds, if its a medication their pharmacy doesn't carry. my last 2 surgeries, i was given a script for Emend to bring with me prior to surgery. (its a seriously strong anti-nausea med.) the hospital i used didn't stock it, because it was an orthopedic hospital and this is a chemotherapy drug.

    second instance.... i take zantac... hospital gives me prevacid because that is what they stock. took it during the 1st stay, and it doesn't work for me. I told the pharmacy this when preparing for my 2nd stay, and i had the option of bringing my own, or they did tell me they do stock a small amount for patients like me that the other med doesn't work on. so in the end, i didn't need to bring it myself, but they would have let me do it.

    so long story short, they do allow you to bring your own in certain cases i guess.
    Microdisectomy / hemi-laminectomy 6/2010 and revision 10/2010
    Cervical fusion C4-5 and C5-6 9/2011
    Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 6/2012
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  • terror8396tterror8396 Posts: 1,832
    edited 12/18/2013 - 9:40 AM
    any med i had to have the hospital give to me wether it be narcotic, cholesterol, blood pressure, antacid anything they wrote it down and put it into the computer then they gave it to me from their pharmacy. if they did not carry it, i don't know. but from my experience, most hospital pharmacies carry most meds. i believe there are legalities letting a patient use their own meds. i am surprised that the hospital let you use them. in fact my pain dr warned me against bringing pain meds to hospital. it can be dangerous, taking your meds then the hospital's meds especially if narcotics. i'm sure their will be posters that say they could use their own meds, but i doubt it
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • TarenTTaren Posts: 524
    edited 12/18/2013 - 9:48 AM
    Same here I was allowed to bring in Creon, its a digestive enzyme that I have to have for chronic pancreatitis. I was also allowed to bring in Prilosec because the pharmacy only had IV protonix, they did not carry IV Prilosec--the protonix they provided worked so I did not need to bring the Prilosec in but yes I had to have my Creon brought in......However, I would never think a hospital would allow you to use your own pain medication if they were providing you with pain medication--that could cause an overdose....Did they know you were taking your own pain meds in addition to them giving you pain meds?? If you answered this question already then I apologize for asking again.....Anyway, I hope you are feeling better now. From reading some of Jon's posts about cellulitis I understand it is very painful and can cause alot of additional problems. Anyway, take care and welcome to Spine Health :-)
  • 1ofmanyinpain11ofmanyinpain Posts: 60
    edited 12/19/2013 - 11:37 AM
    I hate to say it but not all "things related to pain management are equal".. I understand that most of you think that we are all treated the same way when it comes to anything pain related... NOT TRUE... just because you have had good experiences doesn't mean we all have. I can see how some Hospitals don't follow your pain medications ritual and they do their own.. sometimes they don't do the conversions correctly and you can be way undermedicated... This was the case when I had my first back surgery... I had to take my own methadone with me and take it...even though the surgeon and my PM Dr. talked.. it doesn't always work out... in a Perfect World it might... but not in our World...
  • I don't believe that anyone said that all things are equal in pain management, but the hospitals will NOT allow a patient to take their own medications because of the liability issue. If they do not carry your particular medication/dosage , then they will convert it to what they do carry in their pharmacy.
    The use of other non opiates, they might in fact, allow the use of those, since they aren't in their formulary/supplies, but they are not scheduled medications/opiates.
    The hospital in your situation should have sent for a pain management consult to convert you to whatever the hospital had in stock , and as the patient, you always have the right to insist on a consult with another doctor if you feel that they are not treating or addressing your medical concerns appropriately.
  • terror8396tterror8396 Posts: 1,832
    edited 12/20/2013 - 6:34 AM
    it is amazing that the backlash regarding narcotics and any subject posted is argued. once again, hospitals will not let patients bring their own narcotics to use. these are schedule 2 drugs and are monitored extensively. the dea would not allow this to happen. i don't know why people keep arguing this point. it does not happen and if a hospital did allow it then they would be subjected to major disciplinary issues and the doctors and hospitals would lose their licenses. in an age where pain drs are paranoid about scrutiny from the dea a hospital would have it worse. not only would the hospital be liable, the head of the hospital, the nurses and all involved would lose their licenses. there always seem to be some that will argue and issue when the moderators and others say it would not happen.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
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