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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Message Board

Opiates for Severe IBS

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Old 03-22-2004, 05:30 AM   #1
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bcruth4 HB User
Question Opiates for Severe IBS

Hi All,

I am new around here and very happy that I found this board. I'm 30 years old and I've had IBS over 10 years, although I was just formally diagnosed 2 years ago. Several times per week I have boughts of "D" that makes me feel like I have a stomah virus. It is very painful and I've missed several days of school and work because of it. I used to guzzle Pepto Bismol almost everyday for 10 years until I developed salicylate sensitivity and had to stop taking it. If I take Pepto now, my ears will ring incredibly loudly for a couple of days so I never take it. My doctor had me try Levsin which also made my ears ring. Immodium stops D, but it leaves me constipated for days. We've tried antidepressents and anti-anxiety drugs. In short, my search for a helpful drug hasn't been succesful.

By accident, I found a drug that works incredibly well....

Some time ago I was prescribed a few Percocet tablets for severe headaches. I take them as needed (maybe 2 per week). On Thanksgiving morning 2003 I had one of my stomach "attacks". Severe cramping and D hit me out of nowwhere. I was just about to ask my wife to tell my parents that we would have to miss Thanksgiving dinner when I decided to take a Percocet to stop the stomach cramps. I had no idea it would help with the D. To my astonishment, within 20 minutes my stomach pain was gone and so was the D. I went to my parents house and enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner.

I told my doctor about the success I had with Percocet and he treated me like a drug seeeker. He said "I'll continue to give you a few per month for your headhaches, but I will not increase the number". He said Perocet is not supposed to be prescribed for IBS. I thought "Well maybe it should be!". Now I have to suffer through several boughts of cramps every week (like today) and try to ration my Percocet pills. I will not abuse the drugs because I don't want them to stop being effective.

I cannot belive I've found a drug that works and my doctor does not want me to take it. Have any of you had a sililiar exepreince?

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Old 03-22-2004, 08:53 AM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2004
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L-Town HB User
Arrow Re: Opiates for Severe IBS


I have "D" with ibs also. Always hits at the most inconvienient times! Pepto seems to work well for me but like you said too much of that isn't good either.

I take xanax for anxiety as needed it works well for "D" and cramping too because it is a calming drug and the GI tract muscles relax. I only take half since xanax can be addictive as can percocet. That's probabaly why your doc. won't put you on it.

There is another anti-spasmadic drug called hycosycamine (Don't know if that's spelled right) that my friend takes for IBS "D" that she swears by. You might want to mention this pill to your doctor. I can't take it though because it gives me headaches. I can control my IBS pretty well as far as food goes so I don't have to use pepto and xanax that often. Only time I do use xanax for ibs is when the pepto don't work because I mess up bigtime and eat something I shouldn't.

I hope you find something soon...I know how frustrating it can be having to deal with this. Good Luck!


Last edited by L-Town; 03-22-2004 at 08:56 AM.

Old 03-22-2004, 05:27 PM   #3
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Re: Opiates for Severe IBS

OMG Percoset is fabulous for IBS. Now wonder how much people fall into drugs. After many months of ibs-d I got one time a severe cold and had to go the ER for the high fever. They gave me percoset and omg thats the best I have felt ever since the ibs ever hitted me. I felt so damn good and no "d" whatsoever. I have felt so tempted to tell my doctor to prescribe them for me but same way I feel the doctor will think im a drug addict so I dont even bother. I still have some of them that I save like treasure in case I ever feel real bad again. They are super addictive, more so than xanax so thats why doctors are careful. Its a narcotic so it really is no joke.

Old 03-22-2004, 05:29 PM   #4
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nightangel00 HB User
Re: Opiates for Severe IBS

pepto-bismol gives me diarreah btw.. I take Zantac (ratidine) and that seems to work all the time knock-wood

Old 03-24-2004, 05:30 AM   #5
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zip2play HB User
Re: Opiates for Severe IBS

Oxycodone addiction (percocet) is one of the most terrible to break. It just CANNOT be taken routinely for anything that isn't terminal and should be used with care even for short term relief.
Withdrawal can be much worse than heroin or morphine withdrawal. My friend's daughter went through Hell and had to be institutionalized for a month.

All opiates will stop the cramps of diarrhea and a trial with codeine would be less dangerous than oxycodone. The ANCIENT diarrhea medicine used to be PARAGORIC....tincture of codeine. Lo and behold I found that it can still be "signed for" (no prescription needed)in certain sane! Even that should be used for only the worst attacks....and maybe Thanksgiving !

I still think the best cure is the high fiber diet. Failing that a rounded teaspoon of psyllium (Metamucil) two or three times a day is my faithful friend. If I remember to dose EVERY day, I have ZERO IBS. They really should take the word "laxative" off the can. It's muchmore than that...and and the word is off-puttting for anyone with diarrhea.

Last edited by zip2play; 03-24-2004 at 05:35 AM.

Old 03-24-2004, 07:18 AM   #6
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Re: Opiates for Severe IBS

Spasms and cramping is in many cases caused by lack of magnesium in your diet. As you may know it is also used as a laxative in large doses. But in the doses used in a supplement it rearly causes a laxative/ loose stool problem ---- It's certainly worth a try.

The most bio available type is the chelates that are bonded to a protein amino acid-- glycine and lysine. I have used Doctor's Best, Solgar, Kal and Carlson with good results.

Old 03-26-2004, 09:04 AM   #7
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Re: Opiates for Severe IBS

I can really relate to your painful bouts of IBS. I have had it for years and it was only about three years ago, after almost every test imaginable my Gastrointologist told me I had Irritable Bowel. I was sent back to my PCP to take care of my medications. I have very painful periods, almost daily, so I am on long acting opiates for the pain. I have been on several, but mostly Oxycontin with 30 mg Oxycodone for BT pain. I won't go into a lot of detail, so I can keep this short, but right now I am on Methadone with no BT meds. I am up to 180 mg per day, which is a very high dose, but I have a very high tolerance to the meds, due to the years I have taken these heavy drugs for the pain.

To answer your question, no it is not out of line to take opiates for IBS, but most docs don't see it that way. I am fortunate to have one that understands. The opiates handle the pain, plus they slow the bowels and almost eliminates the diarehea. I also take Lomotil for the diarehea when it gets so bad the methadone doesn't take care of it. Talk to your doctor about it. Although most people and doctors are against the drugs for IBS, they don't know what we go through and how painful it can be and put you in situations where you're fored to go home or not attend a function because you're having a bout of IBS.

I wish you luck in talking to your doc and having him understand how devestating this can be.

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