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Old 05-21-2008, 06:18 PM   #1
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When Do You Take Your Breakthrough Meds?

Today I helped with a project at church and of course over did it. Then when I got home my lawn needed mowing and I figured the pain is already going up so I might as well do that while I can. After mowing the front half I took a little break and that was the end of mowing for today. As I sat in the recliner I could feel the spasms and all the different things starting to hurt more and more so I took my vicodin. I was just wondering when do others take their bt meds? Do you wait until the pain has really jumped or not? If I know the pain is going up doesn't it make more sense to take the med to get a jump on it before it gets really bad? Or should I wait it out in case it doesn't get up that high? Just some ramblings from the wonderful world of vicodin. By the way, I hate this drowsy, messed up feeling. I just can't understand why anyone would take these things for this feeling.
Fred

 
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Old 05-21-2008, 06:35 PM   #2
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Re: When Do You Take Your Breakthrough Meds?

Everything I've always been told re: PM is to "get ahead" of the pain, if possible. If you wait too long to address the pain, it's highly possible the meds will be of marginal value. Conversely, if you hit it early, the meds are more likely to help. With that being said, you may actually take more BT meds this way, but suffer a lot less. While "waiting" is admirable in principle....And sounds prudent.....It usually comes @ a price. Just my .02.

I would talk with your Doc re: his/her theory on the subject...I would come right out and ask....And tell him/her that you heard it's best to stay ahead of the pain and see what he/she says.

Good luck.

Ex

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Old 05-21-2008, 06:48 PM   #3
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Re: When Do You Take Your Breakthrough Meds?

Sooner the better - the longer you wait, the less liely it will be effective. Thisk of it as like using a fire extinguisher on a kiichen fat fire, its better to use it right away, rather than wait and see if the house burns down, and then try and use it.

It is now common to give analgesics prior to surgery, because that gives a lot better pain releif than giving them after the operation.

 
Old 05-21-2008, 07:21 PM   #4
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Re: When Do You Take Your Breakthrough Meds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussiejono View Post
Sooner the better - the longer you wait, the less liely it will be effective. Thisk of it as like using a fire extinguisher on a kiichen fat fire, its better to use it right away, rather than wait and see if the house burns down, and then try and use it.
.
that's exactly the analogy my new PM used when he brought my dosage up from 4 pills to 5 for BT

 
Old 05-21-2008, 11:26 PM   #5
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Re: When Do You Take Your Breakthrough Meds?

Fred, Same as the others. I was told right in the beginning by my PM, that you should never be chasing your pain. He explained that if you wait too long, till the pain is at a higher level, the BT meds stand less of a chance at helping bring it back down to manageable levels.

I always take my BT before I am going to do something that I know will more than likely increase my pain. It really does make a difference. Depending on the activity, say, if my hubby and I go out to do errands for the day and then out to get a quick dinner, I will take one just before and right after the activity. (approx. 4 or 5 hrs)

Hope you can rest up and feel better. God Bless, CMP/MM

 
Old 05-22-2008, 08:32 AM   #6
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Re: When Do You Take Your Breakthrough Meds?

I agree with Ex, Cmpgirl - my Dr has same advice for me as well. Never wait until your pain escalates, take it before otherwise it will be much harder to bring pain to lower levels.

Best of luck!

 
Old 05-22-2008, 09:07 AM   #7
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Re: When Do You Take Your Breakthrough Meds?

Fred,

In real world terms this is not a simple thing for me.

Using the example of my migraines, I can explain what I mean. I get migraines in feast or famine mode. I can go weeks without one, and then have one per day for a week. I get 12 subcutaneous shots of Imitrex (non-narcotic) per month. It's rare that I use all 12 in a month, but I try to get it refilled monthly so I have enough in case I get a marathon migraine attack. With migraines the advice is even stronger when it comes to taking it right away, at the very first inkling of a migraine. That sounds simple, but it's really not. There are other headaches besides migraines, and sometimes they can feel suspiciously similar. With a conventional headache I can wait and see if it's going to subside. Oftentimes it does. However, I find the same thing can happen with migraines. If I wait a little, it just might go away. So do I burn a cartridge or be patient? I usually choose to be patient. And quite often I can get by without the Imitrex. But what if I'm wrong, and it is a migraine with an attitude? Of course, I use the Imitrex. I am fortunate in that the Imitrex usually works whether I take it immediately or whether I wait.

Now for the opioids BT meds. Most of my BT meds are taken preventatively, before an activity that I know is going to be painful and probably blow past my LA med. I am fortunate in that I can usually find a comfortable position for my arthritic knees when they are hurting. But this is IF I have treated the pain before it happens. So it's uncommon to need BT meds unexpectedly. Before every workout I take a full dose of BT meds. Sometimes afterwards I take another. If I am going out shopping, or to do something that I know will really aggravate my knees, I take a dose of BT meds 30 minutes before leaving. Oftentimes I take a dose even before getting out of bed in the morning. My doc is fully on board with my use of BT meds. Last night was an exception. Well after working out my knees were really communicating with me. Walking was a real chore. I tried to wait it out, elevated my legs, tried everything, but to no avail. And I was out of BT doses for the day. So, very uncharacteristically, I took an extra dose of BT meds. I think this was the first time this has ever happened. I'm hoping it doesn't happen again. If it does I may need to examine my whole regimen of meds and recommend a change.

Anyway, that's how and when I take BT med doses.

steve

 
Old 05-22-2008, 11:07 AM   #8
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Re: When Do You Take Your Breakthrough Meds?

Thanks to all. I wish I could take my vicodin before the work. Unfortunately if I take the B.T. med I won't be able to do the job or even drive to the job. But that was good advice to not wait until I'm in agony. Thanks again
Fred

 
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