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Stepping up the pain med ladder

Hello all,

Currently I have protruding discs with right encroachment at the T8 through T11 levels, including scoliosis and disc degeneration. I'm currently taking Norco 5/325 every six hours and Robaxin 750 mg three times daily as needed. I know Robaxin doesn't do the trick for many, but it has worked wonders for me. I was originally on Flexeril and found it gave me the most terrible headaches that I ended up taking migraine medication, Imitrex. Now that I am in pain management, there has been discussion of increasing the strength of my Norco. I was on OxyContin following gallbladder surgery a few months ago and found Norco worked better. Now my PM doctor is considering increasing me to 7.5 or 10 mg Norco so I do not have to wake up in the middle of the night to take my meds. If I don't set an alarm to take something, I regret it in the morning. Ultimately, I know I need to discuss my concerns with my PM doctor, but what experiences have you had with stepping up the ladder? It makes me nervous as I am only 22. I feel too young to be on such a high dose. I know most here take much more and was wondering if I should be concerned or if any of you guys have been nervous about increasing dosages.
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Comments

  • at many points during our journey. My personal philosophy is less is more, especially because I know that unless miraculous happens, I will be on meds for the remainder of my life.......so for me, I try to keep my doses as low as I can and rely on other modalities to manage those days when the pain is up there.
    The best suggestion that I can make is if you decide, with your doctor to go up in dose, go as low as you can in the increase.......change the timing of the medications that you are taking, to just before you go to bed, so that you have the medication still working when you get up. I don't know what your dosing schedule is, but I have found that if I change the timing of doses a bit, ( ex. if you are taking short acting, such as Norco, you are better off taking it just before bed, and if your dosing schedule is every 6 hours, take it at 11 pm if that's when you go to bed, then again at 5 before you get up for the day ) If you time it so that you have a half an hour or so before you have to get up, you may find that there isn't so much morning pain.
  • recently I was upgraded to 30 m Roxicodone, I take a whole one in the morning N 1/2 in mid afternoon the other 1/2 in the evening.. I don't take it as prescribed I'm too scared N yet I'm in excruciating pain.. My friends and family see me in pain and ask why don't I take my meds as Prescribed.... Bottom line Im too damn scared.
    etorres
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  • PlumbTuckeredOutPlumbTuckeredOut Philadelphia, PAPosts: 325
    If I were afraid of my meds, like I was initially, I'd talk to the doctor. He thought I was having good pain management on Tramadol and I wasn't. Then I saw the Pain Clinic psychologist who, on seeing me asking why my pain wasn't controlled. I had no idea how he knew but he said that just by watching the way I sat and moved that I was in excruciating pain. I admitted I was terrified of addiction and of overdose. So he tried talking to me about it but, to me, he wasn't a MD and I wanted the nitty-gritty. I had studied pharmacology and I wanted assurance!

    When my Pain Doc saw me a few days later he took the reins in his hands and explained what I felt like I needed to know and then asked me to trust him. (And he's the baby on the block- very cute but I was so afraid of inexperience!) I have to admit, it's been wonderful being pain free at times! It's such a load off my shoulders saying, "Okay I hurt again but what about.............." and letting him know what my concerns are, letting him address them and feeling better.

    Having a trusting relationship with your medical provider is essential! You're not getting the full effect of the medication by not taking it as directed. These medications work for a certain period of time and then they are filtered out of your body by your kidneys and liver. Your doctor can explain this to you as can your pharmacist. Use all these available references to help you beat the fear!
    Sheila

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by...... (Robert Frost)
    I still don't know if I should have taken the one that said, "Caution! Dead End" (Me)
  • Kelsiedee said:
    Hello all,

    Currently I have protruding discs with right encroachment at the T8 through T11 levels, including scoliosis and disc degeneration. I'm currently taking Norco 5/325 every six hours and Robaxin 750 mg three times daily as needed. I know Robaxin doesn't do the trick for many, but it has worked wonders for me. I was originally on Flexeril and found it gave me the most terrible headaches that I ended up taking migraine medication, Imitrex. Now that I am in pain management, there has been discussion of increasing the strength of my Norco. I was on OxyContin following gallbladder surgery a few months ago and found Norco worked better. Now my PM doctor is considering increasing me to 7.5 or 10 mg Norco so I do not have to wake up in the middle of the night to take my meds. If I don't set an alarm to take something, I regret it in the morning. Ultimately, I know I need to discuss my concerns with my PM doctor, but what experiences have you had with stepping up the ladder? It makes me nervous as I am only 22. I feel too young to be on such a high dose. I know most here take much more and was wondering if I should be concerned or if any of you guys have been nervous about increasing dosages.
    I was just increased to Percocet 10/325, I am currently taking 5/325 but I take 1.5 pills. Doctor upped the dose to keep the Tylenol component lower. He doesn't want me cutting pills in half any more and getting more than 325 of Tylenol. I have been to nervous to take the 10/325. I take my 1.5 pills and get hardly any relief, if I do it's for an hour. So I know I need the higher dose. My fear is that once I start going up in dose when does it stop? A year and a half ago one 5/325 pill gave me relief for hours. Sometimes the whole day. So now I need 7.5 mg and only get 1 hour relief and I need it every four hours. So when will I need more than 10/325? I'm kind of scared to start that rock rolling, if you know what I mean. Keep me posted on what you do and how you fare with higher dose. Oh, and I also take Robaxin during the day but I find it doesn't do much for me. I still spasm like crazy on days that my muscles are all spasmy. I have Flexeril to take at night, but I just despise the hangover that lasts all day the next day. I have my family to care for and its hard when you're dragging and yawning all day.
  • PlumbTuckeredOutPlumbTuckeredOut Philadelphia, PAPosts: 325
    From when you swallow an oxy-codone you have about 3 hours of relief depending on how good your kidneys are working. This is true if you take 5/325 or 10/325. Changing the dosage doesn't cause the pain relieving aspects of the drug to last longer.

    The longer lasting form of Oxycodone, many of us know is oxy-contin. I was surprised to find that oxy-contin doesn't extend the half life of the medication for much more than an additional hour.

    And most of us know that there is an upper limit to these medications where they depress our respiratory system and we won't be able to breathe.

    Currently I take MS-Contin (extended release morphine) 2 times a day and 5/325 oxy-codone for break thru pain. I'm learning the dance. The morphine allows me a lower overall level of pain and the oxy-codone is when I know I'm going to do something for a few hours which is not going to be relaxing like grocery shopping or walking or doing laundry. Since I can take the oxy-codone every 6 hours I can get in 2 activities which would normally cause pain. It definitely limits my fun time!

    But this is where the "blend" comes in for other things helping. My TENS unit definitely helps my neck pain and I can use that all day if needed. Relaxation is huge and for me it's sitting in a comfy position and having my smallish dog climb into my lap. The animal human bond releases oxytocin, a hormone known for it's relaxing qualities. Sometimes distraction works.

    The thing to remember is meds cannot do everything and no 2 of us are alike. by the time I was 22 (or close to it) I was declared totally disabled. I found things to keep me going. Make sure not to isolate from others. Social relationships are extremely important to mental and physical health!
    Sheila

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by...... (Robert Frost)
    I still don't know if I should have taken the one that said, "Caution! Dead End" (Me)
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