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Old 04-21-2004, 12:05 AM   #1
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Question PainPill Tolerance Question

I have been reading some of the posts here, and I just have a quick question on Tolerance. I have 2 relatives who have been having problems with painpill addiction off and on for years now, and one question that I never got a good answer to all this time, is how did they build up such a tolerance?
I mean, one relative told me how they were taking up to 20 lortab pills a day, while the other said that one day they'd take 3, the next day they'd take 30, off and on depending on what they could get. So I have 2 questions from that:
1) How could they take that many pills and not overdose? From what I understand 8 is the max lortab you can take b/c of Acetaminophene, but isnt the narcotic dangerous too? Cant they overdose on the narcotic itself? How can their bodies handle this?
2) To spin off the last question, I know that your body can build up tolerances over time, but even then, how could someone take 3 pills one day and 30 the next, off and on, since its such a drastic difference and doesnt let your body adapt......so how is that possible without overdosing? Do you think maybe they HAVE overdosed but just never have had serious consequences? I just dont get it....I would think that even if my body were used to them and taking the recommended amount for awhile, if all of a sudden tomorrow I took 16 pills, wouldnt that fatally jack your liver?
One relative has been in "recovery" off and on for awhile now, and I just wonder when he starts back again and has a "binge", how the heck does he do that without dying or something? He hadnt had any in months, then takes 20 pills and is ok? I dont get it.
Thank you in advance for any information!

Last edited by Phlox; 04-21-2004 at 12:07 AM.

 
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Old 04-21-2004, 05:46 AM   #2
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Re: PainPill Tolerance Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlox
I have been reading some of the posts here, and I just have a quick question on Tolerance. I have 2 relatives who have been having problems with painpill addiction off and on for years now, and one question that I never got a good answer to all this time, is how did they build up such a tolerance?
I mean, one relative told me how they were taking up to 20 lortab pills a day, while the other said that one day they'd take 3, the next day they'd take 30, off and on depending on what they could get. So I have 2 questions from that:
1) How could they take that many pills and not overdose? From what I understand 8 is the max lortab you can take b/c of Acetaminophene, but isnt the narcotic dangerous too? Cant they overdose on the narcotic itself? How can their bodies handle this?
2) To spin off the last question, I know that your body can build up tolerances over time, but even then, how could someone take 3 pills one day and 30 the next, off and on, since its such a drastic difference and doesnt let your body adapt......so how is that possible without overdosing? Do you think maybe they HAVE overdosed but just never have had serious consequences? I just dont get it....I would think that even if my body were used to them and taking the recommended amount for awhile, if all of a sudden tomorrow I took 16 pills, wouldnt that fatally jack your liver?
One relative has been in "recovery" off and on for awhile now, and I just wonder when he starts back again and has a "binge", how the heck does he do that without dying or something? He hadnt had any in months, then takes 20 pills and is ok? I dont get it.
Thank you in advance for any information!
phlox thats an awesome question i was on vicodin a few years ago and i could take any where fron 10 to 15 a day and some times 3 at a time i dont know much about tolerence but i do know that your body just gets used to them and the amazing thing is i stopped taking them about 2 1/2 years ago because they switched me to methadone and ive been off that for almost 3 months now im back on vicodin for chronic back pain and i still have a tolerance to it i think alot of overdoses happen when the person doesnt have the drug in their system for a few days cause they ran out etc and then go back to taking the same high dose im not an expert but i hope this sheds a litttle bit of light im sure some one on the board knows more than i do chat later kelleigh

 
Old 04-21-2004, 08:32 AM   #3
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Re: PainPill Tolerance Question

I wish I could answer your question. I have always wondered the same thing. I cannot take more than one vicodin at a time--it makes me sick. If I took more than six in one day, I'd feel so awful. I've become "tolerant" in that I don't feel much of anything from them anymore (until I stop taking--and then I feel withdrawal)--but my body has never developed a tolerance to the number of pills I can take at once or in a day. I get as sick if I take two pills at once now, as I did when I first started taking them. Strange....

Hope others who know the answer will see this post and answer it! best, Lynn

 
Old 04-22-2004, 05:00 AM   #4
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Re: PainPill Tolerance Question

Thanks for the replies I guess thats part of why Im asking too, it seems strange to me that ppl who can take SO much into their body dont overdose, while I read somewhere that someone who actually was taking them for awhile overdosed somehow. Its confusing. I would have expected at least one of my relatives to have accidentally killed themselves by now.
Does anyone know the answer to this? From what Ive been reading on here, some of the ppl seem to have as much knowledge about painpills as a pharmacist or doctor does, so Im surprised nobody has answered with a medical explanation yet.
Can someone explain how tolerance works with Pain Meds please? How/When does someone actually reach the point of overdose? And why dont some ppl overdose that are clearly going way beyond what their bodies can handle, regardless of tolerance? Is it just a gamble, even if your body is used to it? Thank you for any information!

 
Old 04-22-2004, 05:45 AM   #5
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Re: PainPill Tolerance Question

Sorry, i cannot answer the big question that you have but ,I just have to ask if either of your relatives has had any labs done on their kidneys and liver.Even though the labs might look okay when done, there is damage going on in there.it just hasn't reached the level where it shows up on the labs yet.You cannot possibly take that much acetaminophen into your body at a time without having damage to the cells,it is impossible.I have polycystic kidney disease and have these really huge cysts(the one in my right kidney is now 5cm and has bled into itself at least once,and my liver also is quite covered with polycysts,but all of my kidney and liver labs still come up within normal ranges.so believe me, you can have all kinds of destruction going on in there and still have normal labs.But one day, when the cell damage has reached a certain point, sh** will hit the fan in a really big way.

Believe it or not, my son was down to only 20% of his liver function left,and showed no real big signs of actually being sick.He never even showed any signs of jaundice until just before his transplant was done.The other organs in the body will all work together to do some of the jobs that the liver no longer can do.so these organs will actually compensate for the liver ,but only up to a certain point.and then the dams open up and you go into panic mode.i was always under the impression that if the liver was sick, the first sign was the jaundice(yellow eyes and skin)not so, in my sons case, it was one of the last signs.i believe that this was the case with Bankers mom, who OD'd on lortab.

Sometimes an overdose can be sudden, or it can be accumulative,over time.your organs can only go for so long getting hit with the high doses of the acetaminophen before they say ENOUGH!it really IS a gamble.kind of a game of russian roulette.you just don't know how much your body will take before it goes into a crisis mode that requires immediate attention.also when you combine alcohol into the mix, you are giving your body a double whammy of a really toxic combination of chemicals.alchol and acetaminophen are a really destructive combination to your liver.The destruction of the liver increases quite hghly when these two things are used together.

Sorry I can't give you the tolerance info, i really don't understand just how that all works myself.I hope this helps some. Marcia

 
Old 04-22-2004, 05:49 AM   #6
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Re: PainPill Tolerance Question

One more quick thought after reading some more posts---I just read a post mentioning Happy Father, and how he OD'd after a long history of use. This is exactly what I dont understand---if he had such a high tolerance after such a long use, how was it possible that he OD'd? I mention that reference from the other post b/c its an exact example of what I am asking in the posts above, so to know his story might help us understand better how overdose is possible with such a high tolerance.

Does anyone know the specifics of Happy Fathers situation? Was his OD accidental? And again, if his tolerance was so high, how could he have overdosed, when so many ppl say they take as much as 50 lortabs a day? Shouldnt your liver be immune at that point?

Anyways, still looking for answers to the original question, hopefully some with medical specifics, on overdosing and tolerance. Thank you!

 
Old 04-22-2004, 06:38 AM   #7
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Re: PainPill Tolerance Question

I don't know just what caused happy fathers OD, but part of what you are asking,i think i adressed some of that in my last post.it is an accumulative effect.The biggest reason that people die from the OD is from the liver being overwhelmed by the tylenol,although, the amount of the narcotic does play into it.Narcotics also depress the respiratory system.if you take a high enough dose,you will just stop breathing.this seems to be the biggest problem with morphine.patients that are given this like after surgery for severe pain ,have to be very closely monitored for depression of the respiratory drive.I think also if you are taking really high amonts of the hydro,or any other narcotic over a long period of time and then stop for awhile and start right back at that high dose again,your tolerance is not what it was before and there in lies the problem.

And your liver NEVER becomes immune to ANY drug.ever. it only becomes more significantly damaged with repeated use,until it reaches that point of no return.

I have a suggestion for you about the tolerance thing? if you go to the pain management board and adress this question to someone there named shoreline?he will most likely know exactly what to tell you.I consider him to be quite the authority on just about anything having to do with pain meds.he is a walking library of info.Give that a try and i guarentee you he will have the answers that you are looking for.Good luck. Marcia

Last edited by feelbad; 04-22-2004 at 06:42 AM. Reason: cannot spell

 
Old 04-22-2004, 10:18 AM   #8
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Re: PainPill Tolerance Question

Here goes. The body builds up a tolerance to a drug by exposure to the drug. When you first take a drug that the body hasn't had before it has a certain effect on the cells of the body. As the drug is continued to be taken the body adapts to the drug, recognizes it and reacts a certain way. In people who become addicted to the "feeling" the drug produces sooner or later their body needs more of this drug to produce the same effect. They increase the amount, but after awhile the body adjusts to that. It is a vicious cycle. Overdose sometimes depends on your height, weight, your bodies particular tolererance to what you are taking, etc. Also, from what I've read if your body is not use to taking say Lortab and suddenly you take twenty of them well your body is going to go WOW, what the h*** was that? Whereas, someone who takes this on a regular basis their body has built up a tolerance to the drug. Hope this helps some

 
Old 04-25-2004, 01:03 AM   #9
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Re: PainPill Tolerance Question

Is there anyone out there with some medical knowledge, to better explain this to us? THank you!

 
Old 04-25-2004, 04:29 AM   #10
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Re: PainPill Tolerance Question

I really am sorry that we don't seem to be able to answer your question in the manner that you need,but I did give you an excellent suggestion about the pain board.I believe that this tolerance question has actually come up in there a few times.if you do a search on that board ,just type in tolerance in that search area at the top, you will probably find just what you are looking for.

either that or just direct the question to shoreline, he is a very knowledgable and caring person,and i know he will have the answers you seek.Obviously, we are not able to give you what you need but we did try. Have you done any kind of search using the word tolerance?there are other places that could answer your question.i hope you find what you are looking for.
Marcia

 
Old 04-25-2004, 06:48 AM   #11
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Re: PainPill Tolerance Question

i just read on line that the reason there is usually no overdose is because our body becomes so used to the drug we are taking its almost like the body doesnt even know its there so we have to start taking more and more we usually overdose when the drug is out of our system for ahile and go back to the same high dose hope this helps kelleigh

 
Old 04-25-2004, 06:53 AM   #12
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Re: PainPill Tolerance Question

do not take anymore then prescribed!!!!!!!! ive been on oxycontin and percocet for 2years i can take 8 percs at once and eat 5/40mg oxys in a day im now looking for help to ween offf please dont get in my position its bad by the way these were prescribed to me .your body will get use to that dose but is imperative you be carefull not to take more and more the body will become use to what ever you throw at it see ya be carefulll matt

 
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