It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Fibromyalgia Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-24-2011, 05:50 PM   #1
Newbie
(female)
 
fibropanicker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Posts: 1
fibropanicker HB User
potential long term side effects of chronic medication usage

Hello,
I'm completely new to this board, but I find it hard to really talk to my friends and family about my concerns with my meds and fibromyalgia because they are very averse to any chronic use of medication, and think that modern medicine is an industry geared to get innocent people hooked on medication for profit without regard to any health care issues resulting from taking those medications as prescribed.

If you see my profile, I have suffered from panic disorder for a little while, and my xanax use was intermittant prior to my fibromyalgia onset. When i began experiencing side effects, they developed over a long period of time (7 months) and kept getting worse and worse. Finally, after several battles with doctors prescribing me lyrica, cymbalta and...some other S-starting SSRI or SNRI (can't remember), and them not understanding that I am the minority who experiences suicidal thought behavior when taking these types of meds, I have now limited my meds to Tramadol and Xanax. Unfortunately, I tend to take my full daily dose of xanax (3.0 mg) at the same time as my tramadol, nightly. My late night symptoms almost completely dissappear and after about 4-6 hours I will get sleepy. otherwise I won't sleep at all, and my pain gets much worse as the night wears on.

I am worried about the long-term side effects of xanax and tramadol usage, especially in this combination. Is there anyone else on this type of regimen? Also, I do not increase doses, i stay within the limits of my doctor. But I am worried about addiciton, my boyfriend thinks I am addicted to xanax. But I see it as, I used to never have restful sleep before I started taking xanax. now i do, and it gives me a great sense of relief to know I can take something that will stop my racing thoughts.

would love to hear some stories/feedback/anything!

thank you.

 
The following user gives a hug of support to fibropanicker:
HOTFLASHIN (01-28-2011)
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 01-25-2011, 05:27 AM   #2
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
tooolgrl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Maine
Posts: 1,176
tooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB User
Re: potential long term side effects of chronic medication usage

Welcome to the board if this is your first posting here. I think any medication has the potential for long term effects after a time. I used to take 4 ibuprofen every night before bed in my young adult years. I now have a rare bowel disease called collagenous colitis, that could have been the cause, long term NSAID use. But who knows. I am happy that xanax and tramadol work for you and to me it doesn't sound like addiction is an issue for you as you only use it at bedtime. I am on way more meds and the last thing I worry about is addiction. I believe if a medication is used as it is supposed to be used and not abused the potential for addiction is low. Long term side effects? Who really knows until the long term is reached. I know for me I worry what I will do when my percocets stop working. You sound like you know and understand what you are taking and why. And it sounds like it is working for you. Panic disorder is a horrible thing to have. My mother used to get that way in crowded places and used to hyperventilate and have to take us home as kids. I had it to an extent in my 20's. I just dealt with it, drugs were not routinely given for that in those days. Have you tried anything like buspirone? Good luck to you and if you ever need to chat please feel free to post. Everyone here is wonderful. peace and love
Sandra

 
Old 01-25-2011, 06:46 AM   #3
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Worcs UK
Posts: 810
thesweetlife HB Userthesweetlife HB Userthesweetlife HB Userthesweetlife HB Userthesweetlife HB Userthesweetlife HB Userthesweetlife HB Userthesweetlife HB User
Re: potential long term side effects of chronic medication usage

HI fibropanicker and welcome.....have you tried using herbal/nutritional alternatives? I'm in the "camp" with your friends and really worry re the use of long term meds - I believe that the pharmaceutical companies are purely in this for the money - and with meds for a lifelong condition it's all to easy to become "addicted" without knowing - the meds typically have to be increased as our bodies reach their tolerance levels - I was on amitryplinine (sp!!) for 3 weeks and had palpatations for 3 weeks and a hungover feeling in the morning (and that was on the lowest dose) so I came off them PDQ.

At the end of the day it's a personal choice and you'll choose the best path for yourself - good luck
__________________
Love and Light
thesweetlife

 
Old 01-25-2011, 09:16 AM   #4
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Sunsetnan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 515
Blog Entries: 21
Sunsetnan HB UserSunsetnan HB UserSunsetnan HB UserSunsetnan HB UserSunsetnan HB UserSunsetnan HB UserSunsetnan HB UserSunsetnan HB UserSunsetnan HB User
Re: potential long term side effects of chronic medication usage

Welcome to the FMS board. You will learn a lot reading the previous posts. This message board is very active as you will find out. They are very supportive and informative and I don't know what I would have done without them.

I have been taking 0.5mg of Xanax at bedtime for sleep for the last year. I started with 1/2 of that dose until I was waking too early and couldn't go back to sleep. I worry, too, about tolerance and addiction. And, I certainly don't think the pharmaceutical companies have our best interests at heart. But, we can't deny that our bodies are quite spectacular in their abilities to adapt to things and that is unpredictable to say the least.

With that said, I've found that it's best for me to stick with what works until it doesn't anymore. Some drugs seem to stop working on our bodies after awhile, and we also get withdrawal symptoms when we wean off. I used to take Trazodone and after I felt I was out of the flare and was sleeping well, I tapered off. I slept years without it until my FMS flared again.

For now, Xanax works for me. I suppose it could just as easily be Benadryl or Trazodone or any one of the other sleep aids. My doctor told me that when I think the time is right, I can just stop taking the Xanax since it is such a small dose. I think that when I do decide to stop, however, I will taper it anyway. I think that will prevent any rebound effect or withdrawals.

Do you have any side effects with the Xanax? I haven't noticed anything that I am aware of. But, I have heard of people cautioning the use of the medication for long term. I would be interested in hearing about what the long term side effects would be other than the addiction concern.
Welcome again and,
Best Regards,

 
Old 01-25-2011, 08:50 PM   #5
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Sandpoint ID USA
Posts: 2
SadieHawkins HB User
Re: potential long term side effects of chronic medication usage

Are you saying that you take 3 mg Xanax when you go to bed & you're still awake after 6 hours? Xanax is pretty potent stuff, & 3mg is not a trivial dose: if you've been taking that much of it (even in divided doses) regularly, for a month (some say 2 weeks) or more, I promise you you're addicted and the sooner you can get off the stuff, the better. You should start tapering down, very slowly, starting right now, unless you want a lifelong, impossible-to-kick habit like mine.

Valerian Root is supposed to be a good calmative and it's certainly worth trying, as is St John's Wort. If you can't find anything else and benzos look like the only answer, tell your doctor to prescribe Valium instead of Xanax. It's not as strong as Xanax but has pretty much the same tranquilizing properties, and it's the best muscle relaxant anybody knows of. It helps me a lot with fibro and its knots and muscle spasms. It stays in the system much longer and is the benzo of choice for tapering off.

Xanax is supposed to be taken when needed (prn), like when you're having a panic attack or feel one coming. It's NOT something you take every x hours no matter how you feel, like antidepressants or antibiotics or insulin or prednisone. If 3mg Xanax doesn't do anything, why are you taking it? If your 'script says you're allowed (up to, or max) 3mg/day, it doesn't mean you MUST take it: the less benzos you take, the happier you'll be.

Unless pain keeps you awake or wakes you up, why take tramadol when you go to bed? Do you take it the same way as Xanax, a one-day supply all at once? Does it even work ('cause it doesn't do a thing for me)? Remember that it's an opioid and can cause addiction. Tramadol is also a prn drug - you take it when you need it,

BUT - if your pain is chronic (24/7 and neverending) - tramadol isn't the right medicine for you. It's a weird opioid that doctors prescribe because they're afraid to prescribe opiates/opioids that actually work. If it does work, I'm surprised.

If it's meant to treat chronic pain, it should be taken on a regular schedule, for pain prevention and to eliminate side effects: much less is needed for prevention than for immediate relief, and with regular use, side effects (constipation, doofiness, but I wonder if tramadol's strong enough to have those effects) should disappear in a couple of weeks.

That's if it works. If so, it should be taken as prescribed, X mg 3 or 4 times a day. If that doesn't work - and it won't, if you've spent a couple of months taking 3-4 doses at once - you need more of it or you need a different drug.

As one who's been in chronic pain for 25+ years & on opiate therapy for 12+ years, & as a lay person who has studied opiates in increasing depth for 50 years (because they fascinate me, not because I'm overly fond of their euphoric effects), it's probably safe - and, sadly, true - for me to say that I know more about opiates, what they do, how they do it, when/if their use is appropriate, what kind works best for this pain or that, etc., than any doctor, including "pain specialists" (& there's lots of them) whose expertise doesn't encompass anything about the appropriate use of opiates and opioids. You can trust me. Really.

I don't know if this answers your question, but I hope it helps.

 
Old 01-26-2011, 06:29 AM   #6
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
tooolgrl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Maine
Posts: 1,176
tooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB User
Re: potential long term side effects of chronic medication usage

Sadie, I have to agree with you. Tramadol to me is a joke drug. I bought a bunch of it while I was working in veterinary because I used it on myself for my fibro years ago and used it on my dogs. It is not a drug I like to take. It gives me a really weird, jittery feeling that I got from taking savella. I am on percocets for severe fibro and colitis pain. The latter being collagenous colitis which in and of itself causes a horrible arthritis like pain all over, but most specifically in my rib and torso area. Xanax, I also have tried that myself. I have a prescription I use for my cats when I have to sedate them. Doesn't work so I never refilled it. Valium does work much better as far as the benzos.

<edited>

Another funny thing, opiates are supposed to practically stop the bowel motility. And in most cases it does, mine included. However right now I am battling one heck of a colitis flare and NOTHING is slowing that crazy bowel down. It is going probably as fast as Bluelakelady flying on her grandsons tonka truck. lol. Funny how our bodies work and how disease processes affect it. Now I wonder how bad my colitis would be if not for the percs. Hmmm, not an experiment I am ready to embark upon. Good day all. Much love and hugs.xoxo
peace love and sunshine. more snow on the way. I love Maine
Sandra

Last edited by Administrator; 01-26-2011 at 05:19 PM.

 
Old 01-26-2011, 07:59 AM   #7
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Sunsetnan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 515
Blog Entries: 21
Sunsetnan HB UserSunsetnan HB UserSunsetnan HB UserSunsetnan HB UserSunsetnan HB UserSunsetnan HB UserSunsetnan HB UserSunsetnan HB UserSunsetnan HB User
Re: potential long term side effects of chronic medication usage

Our bodies seem to respond to pain medication differently. My doctor says that I have a "virgin liver" because I do not drink alcohol and I prefer to take the least medications I can. So, it seems that I can take lower dosages and get the same effect that some people get on higher dosages when it is absolutely necessary to take them. I consider that good and a lesson to be learned about how our body works.

Years ago my rheummy gave me a few samples of Ultram to try for pain when I refused anything stronger. As I was told, and if I remember it right, Ultram is a non-narcotic but a narcotic- like pain medication. I took it as prescribed for pain on several occasions and felt no relief what so ever. I felt more relief with just plain Tylenol (which we've learned by the way can really damage your liver if you don't watch out).

I tried codeine- based medication after a dental surgical procedure, and all it did was make me sick to my stomach, and I threw it up. But, I've experienced the opposite as well. During my colonoscopy, the doctor had to keep re-dosing me with IV Demerol because I was wide awake during the whole procedure. It just didn't work on me. During recovery from a major operation, I was on IV Morphine, and I kept pressing the button on the dispensing machine without any relief. I even made the nurse come and check to make sure it was working right.

Finally, I threw up my hands with any kind of pain medication. Either they don't work on me or they make me sick. When I came home from having surgery the last time, I only took plain Tylenol or a potent anti-inflammatory and that was all. I didn't even take any pain medicine during labor with either of my kids. I was taking cox 2 inhibitor NSAID's for about three years solid and ended up with a stroke because of them. 'Nuf said.

So, I've sworn off the buggers. Too many unknown side effects, addictions, tolerance, etc. I'd prefer not to take any medications if I didn't have to, but then we would all be dropping like flies, I suppose, from skin- shedding bacterias and deathly viruses. Of course then there is MRSA- need I say more?

Medication obviously has its place. I certainly wouldn't want to have surgery without anesthesia, now would I? However, some people can do it with hypnotism and meditation. Our minds are very powerful when it comes to coping or making things seem worse. My doctor said that anxiety is so powerful that it can make you have a heart attack! I remember someone told me that a patient had been in so much pain that he died from it. I wonder what the pain was from, though. That might have been the cause. Rabbits can die of fright.

So, it stands to reason that we could use our powerful minds to better cope with pain. Bio- feedback comes to mind. Then, instead of having to deal with all the side effects of these medications that aren't researched long enough to determine their safety long- term, we would use other methods. I use comfort measures, mindfulness-based meditation and diversion.

Of course, our need to be able to earn a living gets in the way. And, we are forced into having to take bad side effect- causing meds to function to feed ourselves and our family. So, then we have a stroke and end up on Social Security anyway. And, we all know where that is leading us. At some point there won't be enough SS funds for all the baby boomers, and we'll be sunk.

Wow, I guess I'm in a mood- huh? It's a little too early for such a soap-box topic. The real answer is that there is no real answer. What works for one, doesn't necessarily work for the other. There are side effects taking meds, and there are consequences if you don't. We all have to find what works for us and hope it is best for our continued health and longevity.

Here's to a pain-free, side effect- free day for all of us. May the doctors treat us and do no harm. May our bodies and mind help us to do what we need to do to survive. May I get off my soapbox now?
Best Regards,

Last edited by Sunsetnan; 01-26-2011 at 08:03 AM.

 
Old 01-28-2011, 09:21 AM   #8
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Hook'em Horns
Posts: 149
F150STX HB UserF150STX HB UserF150STX HB UserF150STX HB UserF150STX HB UserF150STX HB User
Exclamation Re: potential long term side effects of chronic medication usage

Throughout this thread there was a lot of people mentioning addiction, but nothing was mentioned about the difference between addiction & physical dependence. Often times they are clumped together instead of distinguishing the differences. †I'm on opioid meds and I will admit to being physically dependent on my meds but I'm not addicted. †Below will be information about these "touchy" subjects so hopefully it'll bring some piece of mind, enlightenment, and acceptance of opioid medications.†

Tolerance: The bodyís need for an increasing quantity of a medication in order to achieve the same therapeutic effect

Physical Dependence: Anyone taking opioid drugs for more than a few weeks will develop tolerance and some physical dependence on the drug. Usually, these people are on stable doses of medication. If they stop suddenly, they have withdrawal symptoms and once the symptoms go away, the person does not seek opportunities to use that drug again and they go on with their lives. Physical dependence should not be considered to be either positive or negative. Basically the exposure to pain medication does not create an addiction (nice segway).

Addiction: It is a disease that has both psychosocial / environmental factors and a biological predisposition. For people with an inborn vulnerability (predisposition) to opioid addiction, taking pain pills can lead to an intoxicating rush. The pleasure of getting / repeating the high mixed with the fear of withdrawal "rewire" the brain. This leads to compulsive drug seeking, craving, and continued use despite negative consequences. The percentage of addicted chronic pain patients are very low. For example: There were 24 studies with 2,507 chronic pain patients. The calculated percentage showed only 3.27% within the abuse/addiction category.

Pseudo-Addiction: Where under treated chronic pain patients mimic the behavior of drug addicts to reduce the under treated pain.

I hope my comments were helpful in reducing the misconception between dependence & addiction.

I hope everyone has a great day and God bless!
__________________
"If you have ignorance about something seek knowledge, because ignorance breeds hate and hate breeds destruction."

 
Old 01-28-2011, 11:54 AM   #9
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
tooolgrl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Maine
Posts: 1,176
tooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB Usertooolgrl HB User
Re: potential long term side effects of chronic medication usage

This is a good post. I am one of the ones who are physically dependent on opiates. I need them for pain relief. And if I try to go without the pain is pretty bad. I can imagine how withdrawal is having gone through withdrawal from SSRI's in the past. I honestly wished there was something that did the job without being an opiate but for now there isn't. And I am very glad you posted this, it is good to have the stigma of dependence and addiction clarified. If I didn't need percocet for pain relief I certainly would not be taking it. And if I could find or afford a different medication, one that was not an opiate, I would certainly go that route. Again, great post.
peace and love
Sandra

 
Old 01-28-2011, 12:09 PM   #10
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Hook'em Horns
Posts: 149
F150STX HB UserF150STX HB UserF150STX HB UserF150STX HB UserF150STX HB UserF150STX HB User
Re: potential long term side effects of chronic medication usage

Thanks .. I'm the same way. If I don't take my meds I probably will spend the day in bed. Being dependent sucks, everyone is dependent on something whether it be advil, tylenol, coffee, soft drinks, or sleep aides. If someone doesn't think they are the either their not thinking hard enough OR they are VERY VERY lucky.

Thanks again and have a great weekend!
__________________
"If you have ignorance about something seek knowledge, because ignorance breeds hate and hate breeds destruction."

 
The following user gives a hug of support to F150STX:
tooolgrl (01-28-2011)
The Following User Says Thank You to F150STX For This Useful Post:
tooolgrl (01-28-2011)
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Difference between TENDER Points and TRIGGER Points (sorry so long, lots of info) tkgoodspirit Fibromyalgia 20 09-13-2010 10:40 AM
Long acting pain meds vs short acting gorgee Fibromyalgia 4 07-31-2010 04:09 PM
Mobic side effects neveragain444 Fibromyalgia 4 05-06-2010 03:12 PM
How long does it take Neurontin to work? waiting4acure Fibromyalgia 7 10-21-2009 02:42 PM
Lyrica side effects/withdrawal seaturtle Fibromyalgia 8 05-04-2009 11:22 AM

Tags
abuse, fibromyalgia, med side effects, tramadol, xanax



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added




Top 10 Drugs Discussed on this Board.
(Go to DrugTalk.com for complete list)
Ambien
Cymbalta
Effexor
Elavil
Flexeril
  Neurontin
Percocet
Tylenol
Ultram
Vicodin




TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



bluelakelady (370), WoodsWalker (132), thefarm (111), Glojer (103), tooolgrl (94), biogirl71 (88), janewhite1 (85), kirstee (60), monalisa24 (55), tmrots (41)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1180), MSJayhawk (1005), Apollo123 (906), Titchou (850), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (759), ladybud (755), midwest1 (669), sammy64 (668), BlueSkies14 (607)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:13 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!