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Old 11-02-2007, 12:45 PM   #1
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jamesm HB User
med change: side-effects and shame

I don't know if you all remember, but I was having problems with my Avinza and severe constipation, despite all the right treatment (Miralax, fluids, fiber, senna, fruit, colace, everything).

Anyway, my physician ran through the other options and decided to try Oxycontin. I am nervous about it just because of all the buzz around it. Saying Avinza didn't get the same reaction as saying Oxycontin will. I feel ashamed to be on it.
I also had to go to 5 different pharms to find one who had the strength and amt in stock. He put me on the 10mg ones, 2 twice a day. The reason he wrote them for 10mg was to give me a little more flexibility with my dosing (if I need less or more), expecially when starting.

For those who have been on it, have you noticed worse, less or no difference in constipation?

Thanks for your help.

Last edited by jamesm; 11-02-2007 at 04:28 PM. Reason: more specific title

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Old 11-02-2007, 01:15 PM   #2
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Re: med change

Hi James,

First of all.....DO NOT BE ASHAMED!!! You didn't ask to be in pain, did you? So, why be ashamed for taking the medicine to treat your disease? By the way, chronic pain is a disease. So, don't feel that way, ok??

Anyway, I'm on Oxycontin 80mg twice daily and have been on it for years. I've been on other meds and as fas as constipation, I find the OC to be the easiest on my system. Morphine (Avinza, Ms Contin, Kadian) is notorious for the severe constipation. Are you new to pain management?? The reason I ask is because a lot of us (me included) felt the same way you are feeling now when we first started long acting meds. Just keep posting here, ok?? We are here for you! Bye for now!

Old 11-02-2007, 02:41 PM   #3
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Re: med change

I can relate to the ashamed feeling.

I've been on opioids for years for chronic pain. The meds have ranged from Vicodin, to Buprenorphine, to Duragesic patches, to Methadone, to Oxycontin to MS Contin. My dose of Duragesic was very high (275mcg/hour). When I went from there to Methadone my dose went to 80mg/day. I felt so good to be on what seemed to be a realistic dose. Then I had to be changed to MS Contin. It takes quite a bit of MS Contin to equal the pain killing power of 80mg of Methadone.

Now I do feel ashamed for how high my morphine dose is. I know I shouldn't, but I do. My doc has never made me feel this way, it's just me. But my family thinks of me as weak and addicted. I know in my head all the info regarding the difference between dependency and addiction. But I still can't escape the shame I feel. Maybe some day it'll go away, even better would be the possibility to be drug free.

Do any others feel this way?


Old 11-02-2007, 03:05 PM   #4
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Re: med change

I am a recovering alcoholic and have spent years telling people about the differences between use and abuse, dependency and addiction. However, when faced with my own need for narcotic medications I felt deep shame.

My doctor, who is also in recovery, has spent a lot of time talking to me about this. My condition is debilitating and without the medications I take, I would be non-functional. I wouldn't be able to take care of my kids, attend my meetings or do any of the things I want and need to do.

I have slowly come to terms with the fact that I will probably be on some type of narcotics meds for the rest of my life. Do I like it? Hell NO! Is it necessary? Hell YES! I take only the prescribed amount of medications and never any more.

No one should ever make you feel guilty for having a medical condition. If you were a diabetic would they think you were weak for needing insulin?

I would also like to mention to the OP that no one needs to know what medications you take unless they are immediate family. It can be very dangerous to tell others what type of medicines you are on no matter how much you trust them. If they tell someone who tells someone else, you could find yourself in the position of being robbed for your meds.

Good luck!


Old 11-02-2007, 04:27 PM   #5
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jamesm HB User
Re: med change

Liz...I don't breathe a word about the meds I am on; only my wife knows. I meant even how medical professionals look at you when you say you are on opioid pain meds. It's sad, because I'm an RN myself, and know the way a lot of nurses make judgements.

I hate that we have to deal with these feelings on top of all the other crap we go through.

Friendly, I have been on long acting meds about 8-9 months. Before that, I was taking Norco off and on for about a year. At one point I had myself convinced since I was taking the Norco regularly, I must be addicted, and got off of them. I've come to terms that it wasn't really the case.

I know in my head the difference between abuse, addiction, dependence, etc, but it is sometimes hard to not feel like I am a slave to these drugs. I would love to not take them, and still and hoping I can one day manage my disease with non-narcotic pain meds. I finally have a diagnosis to fight: psoriatic arthritis.

Old 11-02-2007, 04:36 PM   #6
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Re: med change

I am a recovering addict and I have felt the shame and guild for the medications that I take. However I am doing all of the RIGHT things by being honest with my doctor who prescribes my meds, my girlfriend (who monitors me). Luckily I never abused the opiate medications and I am currenty on the fentanyl patch, Ultram, Lyrica, and Tylenol. I do have to be very careful because I am more likely to become addicted to the narcotic medications if I was to abuse them at all. I am still coming to grips with the fact that I do have chronic pain, that it is a disease, and that I will probably have it the rest of my life. You are not alone in your feelings.


Old 11-02-2007, 05:37 PM   #7
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Re: med change

Hi James,
Ive been on oxy 10's for a while now and take them 3x a day and although I've never been on long acting morphine like avinza, I think you will find that the oxycodone will be kinder to you in that sense. I had major problems with constipation on the fentynal patch which I believe is in the morphine family.

Old 11-02-2007, 07:28 PM   #8
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Re: med change

I have just stopped taking the Fentanyl Patch (100 mcg/h) changed every 48 hours and am now only taking oxycodone - I'm taking 120 mgs. of the long acting oxycodone (oxycontin) and 30 mg. of oxycodone - instant release - for a booster if needed. I've been on narcotics most of my life and I find that I have less constipation with the oxycodone than I did with the patch. Memere

Old 11-03-2007, 08:37 AM   #9
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Re: med change

Jamesm, this past Wednesday, my Doctor told me I might have Lupus, but also mentioned psoriatic Arthritis.

I am already in pain management for 3 bulging discs, 2 levels of spinal stenosis and 2 levels of facet hypertrophy.

My other symptoms include a numb left hand that feels like it is asleep with joint pain, upper back pain as opposed to the lower back pain from my other problems, constant chills (in house I am wearing 2 shits, 2 light jackets and a leather jacket), loss of appetite, psoriasis. Itching. My right hand is begining to feel numb at times as well, and both hands are weak.

I have a very weak left leg with no reflex, although that might be attributed to the back situation.

What were your symptoms?

Let me add that you have no reason to be ashamed. Do you know how many posts I've read from CP'ers who quit their opiate meds CT just because a relative or friend made an inappropriate and incorrect comment? Would it be better to walk around in pain all day, not contributing to society? None of us asked for whatever it is that gives us CP. Those making comments have never had CP.

Ok, off the soapbox, back to my reason for posting...

I had a blood test Wednesday. A few years ago, I hads a similar blood test and my Primary Doc at the time, told me I either had Cancer or some type of autoimmune problem. I took another blood test and he ruled out cancer and that was the end of that. It was about 6-7 years ago.

I hope by Monday to hear from my current Primary Doc to see what the results are.

I want to add that my left hand at times, is so stiff that when I move the fingers, it feels like I am breaking the skin by moving them.

Thanks for your reply!


Last edited by erfan; 11-03-2007 at 08:58 AM. Reason: Add comments

Old 11-03-2007, 10:09 AM   #10
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Re: med change

You have nothing to be ashamed of - it's not your fault that you got all this pain. Millions of people leave every day with CP and take narco meds, not by choice. And if somebody makes you feel this way, just don't tell people what are you taking, nobody's business, is in it?

Unfortunately I was taking all of narco due to allergic reaction to some of them. All of them gave me constipations, nothing-nothing was OK for my stomach. So I had to choose either to leave with pain or try my best fighting with constipations.
They have a lot of things in a health food stores (great powder brans with a lot of fiber), I also boil beets every week and keep them in a freegde. I eat every AM before breakfast boiled beets. If you don't like them, eat them in a salad, so good! Senna - be careful with any of senna products, you can't take it every day since it irritates your colon and can make other problems occure (IBS, colitis, etc.)
Good luck to you!

Old 11-04-2007, 05:55 AM   #11
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Re: med change

Hey jamesm,
When I changed from Mscontin to Oxycontin some years ago, I found that many of the side effects, including constipation, were much improved with the Oxycontin. I always thought I was objective and rational about the use of Opiates, but when my doctor suggested adding Methadone to my regimen I was somewhat ashamed of the stigma associated with it. I got over it and I hope you will too. These are very useful medications.

Old 11-05-2007, 05:20 PM   #12
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jamesm HB User
Re: med change

I can tell you my symptoms:
The main symptom is morning stiffness and pain in my joints. It feels like bone grinding on bone when I get out of the morning, and I can barely walk. This returns anytime I am still/not moving for any period of time, like sitting, relaxing on sofa, etc. The pain and stiffness is relieved by movement.
Also, I have fatigue (gee, who doesn't)
Some of my joints swell up at times.
I have a few spots of psoriasis over my ankle joint and on my side, but they are very small. I have never had a big problem with skin involvement.
I was diagnosed by a combination of xrays, bone scans, blood tests and physical exam by a rheumatologist.
I had a lot of uptake in my SI joints on the bone scan, which is a hallmark symptom of PSA. I also had changes shown in my x-rays.
I was started on plaquenil and naproxen...had to give the plaquenil a full 6 months before moving on. Unfortunately, it didn't do anything and I had to move to the more heavy artillery: methotrexate. I was really upset about having to go on this med, and still am not thrilled with the side effects. I have been on it 6 weeks. I think I might be starting to notice some changes in my joint stiffness, but it isn't going away all together.
I hope you can figure out what is going on with you

Last edited by moderator2; 11-05-2007 at 05:52 PM. Reason: disallowed website

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