OK, I have been in pain for aver 6 years. I am now on a fairly steady course of pain meds to help manage my "unknown but blossoming into something" (my doc's remark) pain. I take oxy, Norco, and zanaflex for the spasms. What I am curious about is the use of prednisone with this. I know that the steriods are anti-inflamatory, have horrible side effects, however this is the only way I can have some relief. Without it I would like a wheelchair or stay in bed 24-7. And while all of the meds don't take away all the pain the pred. makes me feel good and enables me to function on a small level
Now my question. Why are doctors so afraid of it. I mean I have to beg to go on a "pain vacation" and then they will say ok. And if someone out there also uses it how do you manage the side effects. Are the side effects worth the time of feeling good? Or should I just crawl back into bed (literally) and hope that I can stand up again soon?
Anyway, thank you all so much. I am glad I found this site and pray that we can have some pain-free minutes and some happy times. Jean
Hi Jean, It sounds like you already know the dangers of steroids. The biggest is Osteoperosis. SP? Anyway, I would bet my last buck that the same relief could be achieved with an apropriate level of opiates. Do you feel dose restricted due to side effects or have you reached your docs comfort level.
I had a fusion revision of L1-S1 in april of 99. I couldn't get out of bed until the following January. That was after I started on long acting meds and they were titrated properly. In fact once the dose was high enough I was able to do away with several other meds including Motrin, Tylenol,Neurontin and Zanaflex.
Opiates in general don't cause the damage to your organs or bones. There is no doubt steroids do.
Do you feel that more opiates would make a difference. If you do and you doc is unwilling he is doing you a great disservice by repeatedly giving you steroids. In fact he is doing harm. What is your pain generator? There may be other less destructive options. Good luck, David
Hey thanks for the reply. I am on both oxycontin 40-400mg TID and Norco PRN. I have two good physicians that work very well with me so I don't have a problem with dosages. I have tried all the usual meds, meth, neurontin, etc. and the regimen I am on is the best. However it works like this:
Start with a course of prednisone, I feel great still with some pain but less. I decrease my dose until I wean myself off. At 20mg the pain starts increasing, by the time I am off of it I want to be back on. I hold out 3-6 weeks before I start a course of predn. again, usually when I can't function or even socialize with my family. Then the cycle starts again. When I a;m not on the predn. my pain meds are at the highest, on the predn. I barely have to take any. When I am not on the predn. there are days I have to crawl to the bathroom or use a bedside commode. I can't walk any further than 50 feet without spasms or increased pain. I am unable to use my arms for any period of time and my threshold is about 4-6 minutes. SO I have to balance it out and that is where I am not sure. I hate taking it but...
Alternative med has been helpful but not complete relief. Believe it or not but one of my 15 DX is atypical fibromyalgia. (don't gawk) So all I am told is that I am blossoming, I have a low positive ANA but they won't go there, so...
Anyway, thank you again this is very helpful to have response from people who understand I look forward to interacting again. Jean
I have had a very bad experience with prednisone myself. I laughed when I read the insert that came with the med when it said that one of the side effects was "psychotic episodes." Then, I quit laughing when I felt like I was having one. <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/dizzy.gif">
I also have a friend that ended up in a psychiatric hospital because of a prednisone reaction. She will never be the same again, that is what the doctors tell her anyway.
I'm sure you aren't one of the people that gets this type of reaction, or you would know it by now. I'd just be real careful with this drug. My friend took it long term, with no side effects at first and then wham! I certainly understand doing almost anything to get out of pain. Just be careful if you continue taking this drug. I hope you find relief!
Missy, Thanks for your concern, that is one of the thing that terrifies me. Well it all terrifies me. Everytime I open a pill bottle it terrifies me. I hate taking meds. But as all of you know it may be the only way we can function. My pump trial helped only a small percentage of my pain.
As for a "pscyhotic episode" I had those on methadone, felt paranoid all the time. Neurontin, disoriented and unable to put a clear thought together or complete a sentence. Guess I am glad I am on the regimen I am.
So unfortunately prednisone is the only med that truly helps. I use it as little as possible. I am not sure how to deal with the side effects when they come, because I know they will. AHHHH Frustration.
Hey! I replied to another of your topic replies elsewhere and for whatever reason felt a cedrtain "simpatico" with you.
The main overriding concern with steroids for me is its effect on one's immune system. Pretty much shuts it down, and considering your multiple DX's i would be wary of that aspect. Also, if you're around small children daily, that should be a biggie concern since they love to give you as many germs over and over and over again as possible!
But, if that was all that worked for you, it would be a toss-up for me as it is for you.
Again, you didn't mention whether you do actually up the Oxy's to be effective for you, only that you go from a smaller amount to one ten times that dose, so i'm a little confused about that.
If steroids make the difference between life and bed, you're certainly valid in your dilemma. Having injections more than three times each year is where your concerns about side-effects should become paramount to your feeling better. Again, let me know how the pills work for you and how you go from 40 all the way to 400 in a day's time. (You have mentioned a few things which i am unfamiliar with their abbreviations, so maybe some things i don't get answer my questions?? I don't know what ANA is, nor what med is Norco--sorry! Enlighten me, i'm new to the boards myself, not that you could tell from how much i write!) Your doctor has valid concerns for your health in mind regarding the steroids. Ask specifically which the doc feels is worse for you, upping the Rx's or the injections w/no meds. I'm glad to hear the injections work for somebody! All they did for me was make me *need* a Dairy Queen hot fudge sundae *every* night and gained me 50 extra pounds with the waterweight/swelling and the ice cream combined, with no effect on the pain at all!
Glad you're here, welcome!
Oops, my oxy range is 40-200mg TID not 400mg. I can definately see where there is a lot of confusion here. Regarding the oxycontin it depends on my pain level, if I am doing good I take 40mg, if my pain is extremely high I can up it as high as 200mg. It all depends on my pain level. My PM doctor & I have a good relationship and he knows I won't take anymore than i need. As soon as I go on something I want to go off. The Norco is similar to Vicodin, I use that for breakthrough pain. As for prednisone, well I am sorry to have confused you all, it is oral predn. Iam talking about. The shots didn't do a thing for me except when I had an accidental intrathecal (within spinal fluid) injection and that was very short lived. For me I have found that oral predn. works great, it has even stronger side effects than the shots, which is why it scares me so.
As for abbreviations, sorry... ANA is anti-nuclear antibody, one of the test for Lupus,among other things. Other abbreviations I used- TID 3x day, DX-diagnosis. that is about it I think.
This rollercoaster we are on drives me nuts. If I could have a static pain level, not one that is so fluid, it would be nice. But I just never know what I am going to wake up like or when it is going to change to severe. Well anyway thanks all for the imput it helps alot .Jean