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Old 09-16-2010, 04:38 PM   #1
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Is my pain medication intake too much, or normal for severe chronic pain?

My pain management dr will no longer treat me saying he can`t help me and sending me to an ortho surgeon suggesting I need fusion. I have grade 1 anterolisthesis of L5 on S1, bilateral L5 pars defects, discogenic disease between L3-4 and L5-S1. After 2 years of dr after dr I am finally taking medication which helps the pain, but my husband is saying I am taking way too much and would like to compare with readers if I am. I am currently taking Oxycodone 30mg ER twice a day with additional splitting of pills so I`m getting an extra 30mg a day. The PM dr gave me as a last script(s) Oxycodone 30mg 2x plus Percocet 5/325 1 or 2 at a time as needed. I am NOT constipated (I`m vegetarian and no longer drink or smoke), I don`t get lethargic or nauseous(sp?) and once the pain leaves me I can walk without a cane and actually go to my job. Am I taking too much medication like my husband accuses me of? I don`t feel addicted and don`t get high, unless you want to say that therelief I get from the pain is a "high".?.?

 
Old 09-17-2010, 07:49 AM   #2
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Re: Is my pain medication intake too much, or normal for severe chronic pain?

As far as pain meds go, you aren't taking a significant amount of meds. You are on the light side of the amount that can be given, and you are taking the lowest dose of percoset made. Your hubby's concern is nice, but you certainly overdosing.

I take 30 mg. mscontin x3 day. I have 15 mg. oxycodone, and percoset 10/325. I also take cymbalta, neurontin, and flexeril DAILY. I also have the lidoderm patches to use if necessary. So, i certainly don't think you are overmedicated, nor are you addicted. PM patients who take meds to control their pain may develop a dependancy on the meds, but not an addiction. People who take the drugs for a rush will become addicted..

it sounds to me that you are doing everything right. hang in there....

 
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:25 PM   #3
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Re: Is my pain medication intake too much, or normal for severe chronic pain?

I agree, you are not on a lot of meds per a chronic pain patient. It sounds like you are doing the right thing and I hope after your husband reads a few of the posts he will see that you really aren't on that much. I am on the fentanyl patch and it had made a huge difference for me in what I can do.

Take care

 
Old 09-18-2010, 10:20 AM   #4
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Re: Is my pain medication intake too much, or normal for severe chronic pain?

I recently changed PM Doc's and on the first visit i was told that I was on the "high side" of morphine level. I currently take Oxycontin 60 mg x2 day. Oxycodone IR 15 mg 4 x day. I do not think that I am on the "high side" at all. I also would be interested in other's med level.

2005 PLIF fusion w/hardware l4 l5 l5 S1
2006 hardware removed.

 
Old 09-18-2010, 12:56 PM   #5
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Re: Is my pain medication intake too much, or normal for severe chronic pain?

I think that the both of you would get many more resonses if you asked your questions over at the Pain Management Board where they deal with these very issues....janiee

 
Old 09-19-2010, 11:29 AM   #6
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Re: Is my pain medication intake too much, or normal for severe chronic pain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeLee61 View Post
My pain management dr will no longer treat me saying he can`t help me and sending me to an ortho surgeon suggesting I need fusion. I have grade 1 anterolisthesis of L5 on S1, bilateral L5 pars defects, discogenic disease between L3-4 and L5-S1. After 2 years of dr after dr I am finally taking medication which helps the pain, but my husband is saying I am taking way too much and would like to compare with readers if I am. I am currently taking Oxycodone 30mg ER twice a day with additional splitting of pills so I`m getting an extra 30mg a day. The PM dr gave me as a last script(s) Oxycodone 30mg 2x plus Percocet 5/325 1 or 2 at a time as needed. I am NOT constipated (I`m vegetarian and no longer drink or smoke), I don`t get lethargic or nauseous(sp?) and once the pain leaves me I can walk without a cane and actually go to my job. Am I taking too much medication like my husband accuses me of? I don`t feel addicted and don`t get high, unless you want to say that therelief I get from the pain is a "high".?.?
I agree, with the other poster's comments, I have spinal degeneration and severe nerve damage to my neck and Tspine (C1-7 T1-5) nerve damage to my shoulders as well as Fibro. My dose is currently oxycontin 80mg 4x per day and oxy IR 10mg x3 for breakthrough pain. (which is a great breakthough med for those of you who do not know it, as it does not contain aceteminophin, and is therefore much less harmul to the liver) However, my doctor has told me that he has patients who take upwards of 6000 mg per day and my pain specialist has told me of patients taking doses even higher. I have been on these meds for four years and built up to this dose gradually. My doctor also explained to me that I am not "an addict" because I take my meds to manage pain and do not abuse them (I expressed the same concerns as you) I will be switching to methadone for pain soon I am both excited and worried, however, as others have said you are still on the lower end of pain meds as far as chronic pain is concerned. I wish you the best of luck.

One thing I can say is that unless a person has suffered chronic pain, they have no idea what life is like when you suffer from it.

I also take clonazepam and flexeril. And have been on just about every other med in the book, this is currently working ok for me, but as tolerance builds so does the pain.

Take care, and many blessings to you and yours.
Zoey

I forgot to mention I recently suffered 2nd and 3 degree burns to my feet but did not take additional medication aside from a few PRNs and antibiotics. My feet are almost healed now. (sorry for such a long post)

Last edited by Zoey1977; 09-19-2010 at 11:34 AM.

 
Old 10-05-2010, 04:42 PM   #7
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Re: Is my pain medication intake too much, or normal for severe chronic pain?

I agree with what everyone else is saying. Doesn't sound like you are taking too many pain meds. I hear all the time that I take too much. I take

50mcg Fentanyl Patch every 3 days
Oxycodone, 20mg every 4-6 hrs.
Embeda, 60mg twice per day

Those meds are for pain. Then I take Dextroamphetamine for Narcolepsy (30mg er) Then there are various other meds for blood pressure and bladder problems.

It may be alot but it is the only combination that seems to take the edge off. The pain is still there.

I was worried about addiction but like all my doctors keep telling me.... I need the meds for the pain. If I took them without having pain then its an addiction.

It is so hard for friends and family to understand unless they go through the same experience. An experience you would not wish on your worst enemy.

Last edited by hessie28; 10-05-2010 at 04:43 PM.

 
Old 10-05-2010, 11:30 PM   #8
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Re: Is my pain medication intake too much, or normal for severe chronic pain?

"an experience you would not wish on your worst enemy" agreed 100%

 
Old 10-09-2010, 01:13 PM   #9
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Re: Is my pain medication intake too much, or normal for severe chronic pain?

I thought this WAS the pain management board? Anyway, your meds sound on the lower end of the scale to me. I take 120 mg. of methadone a day plus 4 30 mg. oxycodone tabs every 4-6 hours. Yes...that means I can take 24 30mg. tablets per day for breakthrough pain. So, you see, I don't think your husband understands what a high dose of meds really is. Good luck to you.

 
Old 10-09-2010, 02:45 PM   #10
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Re: Is my pain medication intake too much, or normal for severe chronic pain?

Hello Lee,
Welcome to the Pain Management Board. You've joined with an amazing group of people who share a common problem. It's a group that none of us in our wildest dreams ever thought we'd need to joing, but we're here, so we might as well tap into the support that is offered.
I agree that you're not on the high end of meds by any means.
As far as your pain management specialist telling you that there's nothing more that he can do for you I offer the following. It sounds like there's surgery that can help your back. Am I correct? The pain specialist may be looking at it that his patients have to exhaust all areas of pain relief for their particular issues, including surgery that may or may not help. Only after said patients have had the surgery will the pain specialst work with you. I've heard of doctors doing this and dismissing patients when MRIs showed something that could be helped by surgery.
I hope I helped.
Please keep us posted on how you're doing and keep the questions coming.
Peggy

 
Old 10-09-2010, 10:37 PM   #11
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Re: Is my pain medication intake too much, or normal for severe chronic pain?

Unless I'm going crazy, or I can't see,lol, this is the Chronic Pain Message Board. Unless you are considering it a sub-board? of the Pain Management Board? Not that it matters as long as your getting your questions answered properly. I have a question- in your first post, you said something about" additional splitting of pills"? What does that mean?....janiee

Last edited by janiee08; 10-09-2010 at 10:53 PM.

 
Old 10-10-2010, 04:59 PM   #12
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Re: Is my pain medication intake too much, or normal for severe chronic pain?

This is the "Chronic Pain" Board it was started as a sub-board of the "Pain Management" Board.

I agree with others, you definitely aren't taking a very high dose of pain meds. I've been on PM meds for 8 years now and am currently taking Oxycontin 40mg 3 x per day; Percocet 10/325 up to 6 per day as needed; Lidoderm patches; Voltaren Gel; Ibuprophen 1200mg per day; and Ambien 12.5mg at night. As well as these I also take Lithium, Lexapro, Topomax, Singulair, Premarin, Clonodine, Vistaril and B12 injections for Seizure Disorder, Migraines, Allergies, BP, and a B12 deficiency.

My doctor (who has been such for 11 years) and I both agree that I am physically dependant on the narcotics as a result of taking them for so long. I understand that and except it. I do not get any increase in feelings as a result of my medications, for me it's like taking an aspirin for a "normy". I take these meds so that my quality of life will be improved and I will not be in severe pain 24hrs a day. The meds do not get rid of the pain, but they do make it bearable enough so that I can work and have some type of life.

Kat

 
Old 10-10-2010, 05:00 PM   #13
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Re: Is my pain medication intake too much, or normal for severe chronic pain?

This is the "Chronic Pain" Board it was started as a sub-board of the "Pain Management" Board.

I agree with others, you definitely aren't taking a very high dose of pain meds. I've been on PM meds for 8 years now and am currently taking Oxycontin 40mg 3 x per day; Percocet 10/325 up to 6 per day as needed; Lidoderm patches; Voltaren Gel; Ibuprophen 1200mg per day; and Ambien 12.5mg at night. As well as these I also take Lithium, Lexapro, Topomax, Singulair, Premarin, Clonodine, Vistaril and B12 injections for Seizure Disorder, Migraines, Allergies, BP, and a B12 deficiency.

My doctor (who has been such for 11 years) and I both agree that I am physically dependant on the narcotics as a result of taking them for so long. I understand that and except it. I do not get any increase in feelings as a result of my medications, for me it's like taking an aspirin for a "normy". I take these meds so that my quality of life will be improved and I will not be in severe pain 24hrs a day. The meds do not get rid of the pain, but they do make it bearable enough so that I can work and have some type of life. I've had 22 surgeries total and am looking at many more before my life is over...whatever I have to do to make this life livable...I will do....without guilt or regret.

Kat

 
Old 10-13-2010, 03:10 AM   #14
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Re: Is my pain medication intake too much, or normal for severe chronic pain?

You sound like me and my husband, I only take 10 mg of Oxycontin 2x per day and I have percocet 10 mg to take every four hours for breakthrough however I always, always need the breakthrough meds which suggests to me that my ER needs to be upped every time I have ever suggested anything they switch me to the lowest dose of another ER medicine?? One that usually doesn't work or works about the same. The best I have ever done was after my brain surgery last year which they had actually given me extra due to the surgery so I was upped to Fentanyl but my patch was 25mg every 3 days with the percocet every four hours I still needed the breakthrough but my pain was well controlled then later they lowered me and since I have had a hard time. I think you are on the low end of the spectrum, you could always have them add lyrica or another type of nerve pain med see if that helps at all but hopefully surgery will give you some relief. Good luck.

 
Old 10-13-2010, 05:39 PM   #15
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Re: Is my pain medication intake too much, or normal for severe chronic pain?

In my experience, this probably sounds like a lot to an outsider, but all of us in PM know that it's not that much. I've been in PM for 2.5 years and I'm taking 50mg Kadian (morphine) 2x/day and two 10/325 percocet (oxycodone) for breakthrough pain, up to 8 per day. Usually I end up taking about 3-4 BT pills per day.

So, that's 100mg of morphine as a base with a minimum of 30mg-40 mg of oxycodone per day on top of that. I think that's still very low compared to some people.

One of my surgeons once remarked to me that the dose I was on at the time (60 mg morphine per day) was "very high" and he kind of raised his eyebrows in surprise. I went back and checked with my PM doc and she just laughed and said that surgeons don't understand pain management. I think it's the same with other people outside the field.

 
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