Re: compound pain creams
I've tried a compounded cream before (mine had lidocaine, gabapentin, ketamine, flexeril, and baclofen...they can vary). My pain didn't respond to it, but it was more of a long shot for my type of pain (headache). What type and location is your pain?
I know some folks have pain which responds to topical treatments (like icy-hot or lidocaine patches), so the combo of ingredients can be every more helpful than those for some folks. Its definitely more of a short term help though, especially for breakthrough pain, but some folks use it daily on a schedule.
When using these creams, you should be careful to wash it off your finger afterwards (or even use a glove if applying it to a large area). I'd ask the pharmacist who is compounding it how much is safe to use at one time (depends on the concentration of the ingredients...for example, I was told a pea size amount).
You may want to start with a small amount and work up (a small percent of folks will get some side effects, depending on the ingredients and their reaction to them). For example, dizziness. Also be sure to completely rub it in.
It seems odd to cut down on your meds before knowing if this would help, and especially by half. Did your medication get switched (such as to something stronger or longer acting) or was the dose increased, to account for the switch from 4 to 2 times a day? Did you ask why?
Sometimes these visits can go so fast its difficult to even follow what the doctor is saying. I'd ask at your next visit, as well as asking what this doctor's treatment plan will be for you (to get an idea of what they will try). It may be helpful to make a list of questions to bring in. Some people even like to bring someone with them to their appointment to help them out (second set of ears).
Since you say this was your first visit, the doctor may have just not been comfortable continuing the treatment/dose your previous doctor prescribed, or at least not without trying some additional treatments first. However, a reduction by half of a medication is quite a lot at one time. Each doctor has their own way of doing things. I have a feeling the med frequency change isn't directly related to adding in this cream.
If you are really struggling, don't be afraid to put a call into the doctor and say so. They may be able to bring you in for an earlier appointment. Are you having any withdrawal symptoms (assuming it was an opiate and you were taking it around the clock)? That would be another really good reason to put a call into the doctor. Sorry you are struggling and confused about your treatment. Hope things improve soon. Best wishes.
constant headache since 2006