Originally Posted by thenewfmgirl
The pharmacist at my work suggested the half tablet thing too, and he said they CAN be addictive, and the docs don't always tell you that. I'm starting to think about just sticking to Motrin when I need pain meds.
Yes, Ultram/Tramadol can be addictive. Much has been posted on several online message boards, including this one, about problems that develop. Pain meds are a slippery slope....great in the beginning...tolerance develops and then the downward slope begins where they don't work as effectively and yet a dependency issue has now developed. I have been navigating pain management meds now since 1998. My best advice is to manage with OTC products as much as you can and reserve RX pain meds only for worst days and flare periods....that way you will still have something that will effectively work when you are really bad and need it most. Easier said than done, I know. Even knowing that, when extended flare periods happen it creeps up and knocks on your door occassionally. The problem with OTC pain meds is they irritate your stomach so bad...exept for Tylenol of course, but that has to be limited because of risks of kidney damage---and the RX stuff has risks of tolerance dependency..... and even addiction if one is not capable of self-regulating meds.
For me, Ultram worked pretty good for my FM...actually somewhat better than opiate RX---Ultram is a synthetic opiate hybrid of sorts, but acts on the body's opiate receptor centers. As such, those receptor centers respond similarly both in effectiveness as well as tolerance dependency. Doctors are still learning that occurs. Those who don't yet know will still tell you it is not addictive; it is.
You have to experiment and find what works for you, and know that your unique formulary may work for awhile and then not.....its a constant challenge retool your pain management plan. I am finding that on some days I can cope with Excedrin and then add1/4-1/2 RX to it to boost it. Ibuprofen w-1/4 RX worked even better for me, but I had to change it because the Ibuprofen was just too hard on my stomach over time......same w-Excedrin eventually, but Ibuprofen was even harsher. When my stomach gets too irritated I have no choice to resort back to the RX for a bit. I bought some Bufferin, buffered aspirin, and am going to try that and see if I can last for longer period on the OTC cocktail.
Anti-depressants, especially trycyclics, are supposed to help in that in very low doses they modulate the brain's pain pathway signals as well as promote sleep. For me however I have had adverse reactions to everyone of them I have tried so far. Flexeril (muscle relaxant) is supposed to work similarly in the brain as Elavil (Amitryptiline-trycyclic antidepressant), and the Flexeril supposedly has less adverse side effects.....but, I had adverse affects from both
A significant key to managing FM pain is REM4 sleep. During the REM4 deep sleep cycle the brain does a diagnostic evaluation of its functioning and then triggers the body to recalibrate and produce what is needed to manage the demands being made on it. Part of the problem for those of us with FM is our serotonin levels are low and we don't enter that deep sleep REM4 cycle.....sooooooooo, our problem is progressively made worse.