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  • What medicines are working for others with cronic back pain?

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    Old 11-29-2007, 01:17 PM   #1
    wt2
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    What medicines are working for others with cronic back pain?

    Hi,

    I have had increasing back and sciatic pain the past couple of months and want more relief. When I talk to my doctors about this, they talk about doing more procedures, or taking other medicines like Cymbalta or the last one I tried which was Nortryptyline. I had weird reactions to both of these, and fear trying anything else like them. And, I credit some of the past procedures and shots, especially the Discography, with causing me more pain. So I would like to know what others with similar pain have found to help?

    Background: I have had severe back pain for many years, and have been diagnosed with degenerative disk disease. In fact I have lost close to 2" in height over the past couple of years. It seemed like a long journey to get to where I am now with pain medicines that generally make it possible to function and work. I am currently on Avinza 90mg/day, Neurontin 600mg 4x/day, and Ultram 50mg 6-8/day. My Avinza was increased about a year ago and I don't think I want to increase it more. Besides the Cymbalta and Nortryptyline, I have tried Lyrica (which caused swelling and other problems), and I also have Lodine which doesn't help much.

    I need something better for the breakthrough pain. It is hard to get going in the morning, and is hard to focus on anything but the pain. Usually I get going around noon, and after I have had the Ultram a couple times. Years ago, I was on Lortab for a while and it really helped. However, I did have to take increasingly more and they took me off of it because of the amount of acetaminophen in it. I have wondered if the same thing without the acetaminophen (Vicodin?) would help, but the doctors don't seem to want to go there.

    I really appreciate these forums--doctors, friends, and family don't really understand how frustrating it is and what you are going through.

     
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    Old 11-29-2007, 06:03 PM   #2
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    Re: What medicines are working for others with cronic back pain?

    Hi! I too am a fellow spiney. I can't really give you any advice on which meds work as I too am still looking. They tried me on Cymbalta and that drug made me so rock bottom depressed I had to stop taking it. Usually if you get that type of reaction, you aren't depressed to begin with and the med is not the right one for you. Not sure what your reaction was, but thought I would share. I was on Hydrocodone and Flexeril, It was changed to Oxycodone and Flexeril as the hydrocodone didn't work as well as the oxycodone but truthfully, nothing has worked well enough. They have tried many different meds, but nothing that "sticks". I was sent to a new pain management and had my first appointment today. He doesn't like me taking so much oxycodone roughly 5 times a day at 5/325 plus flexeril 3 times a day. The Hydrocodone was 10/325 so I don't know why the other was only half. The new doc switched me to Avinza 30 mg to see if I even tolorate it. I'm very nervous about taking it. The pharmacist cautioned me that it isn't as strong of a dose as what I have been taking but the doc just wants to be sure I CAN take it before making other changes. If you don't find the answers you are looking for, you might want to post your questions on the back boards. Good luck to you! I hope you feel better soon.

    Sincerely,
    Lisa

     
    Old 11-30-2007, 06:36 AM   #3
    wt2
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    Re: What medicines are working for others with cronic back pain?

    Lisa,

    Thanks for the reply. It helps just to hear what others are going through. I totally agree with you on Cymbalta. It made me violent at night. And there are so many doctors out there that have no clue when it comes to these medicines. They haven't taken them, and don't know what they do to you. My GP doctor doesn't even know what most of these drugs are and yet she said that I should have given Cymbalta more of a chance!

    I have heard others talk about Oxycodone and it sounds like it is similar in some ways to Avinza. When I first took Avinza it took about 2 days for it to start helping me. It really helps me sleep better. There are shorter lasting morphine sulphates, like oramorph if I remember corectly, that I tried. They cost a lot less, but they only last 4-6 hours. Some people have bad constipation problems on these medicines. Luckily for me I have had stomach problems since some cancer operations I had about 30 years ago, and the Avinza helps me in that area (more regular). Anyway, I am interested to hear more about how you compare oxycodone to avinza.

    Sorry to hear about having to change doctors. I think about moving, and worry a lot about finding a good clinic in the new place. My doctors are really bad in some ways, but they seem to understand in some ways the pain I am going through.

    Please update me later on how you are doing.

     
    Old 12-01-2007, 05:21 PM   #4
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    Re: What medicines are working for others with cronic back pain?

    Wow, it sure seems like you have been through so much. My mother has crohns disease and takes Tylenol 4 to slow her system down. She only has about 6 inches of her small intestines and none of her large intesting and they were able to reconnect her several years ago. Needless to say, she doesn't have much of a bowel to travel and constantly battles with the effects of it.

    I am on day two of the Avinza and I hope it will get better. Yesterday it seemed to work well until about 8:00 pm. I took it at 11 am. The night was hell with pain and restlessness. Today it has only helped a little. I am hoping that it will work better after tomorrow like you said (i think it was you). The pharmacist did caution me that the dose he has me on 30mg was not as effective as the meds I was currently on. But, the doc did say he wanted to be certain I tolerate it before going further.

    Thanks for your input and I'll keep looking for you!

    Sincerely,
    Lisa

     
    Old 12-01-2007, 08:30 PM   #5
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    Re: What medicines are working for others with cronic back pain?

    There are many different types of medication for back pain both narcotic as well as non-narcotic. And I guess it depends on what your diagnosis is as to what your doc feels will work best. I have three herniated disc's in my back and after trying several meds, my doc prescribes for me: oxycontin 3x a day and lortab ( up to four a day ) for BT pain.

     
    Old 12-01-2007, 08:58 PM   #6
    wt2
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    Re: What medicines are working for others with cronic back pain?

    Lisa,

    It sounds like you are on too small of a dosage. I think I started out at 30mg and quickly went to 60mg. And, after about a year moved to 90mg. Don't wait too long to tell them it is not enough. 2-3 days of that unbearable pain is enough.

    JoJo921, thanks for responding. I am surprised that they give you both a long term and a short term narcotic. I just had a conversation with one of my doctors, who told me that doing that is against their protocol. Right--what do they know about what we are really going through! I read an article from a doctor named Steven Richeimer who said that he thinks the best form of pain treatment is prevention. Because dealing with the pain initially is easier than dealing with untreated pain that overcomes your body. I am probably not stating it very well, but I sure agree with what he said. Constant pain makes me tired, and robs me of energy. I probably get about three good working hours a day, and feel that with better meds, I could get 5-6 hours. Anyway maybe you have more understanding doctors than me Jojo. Something that is hard to find for many of us.

     
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