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  • What Over The Counter Medicine Is Safe To Take Now?

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    Old 05-29-2009, 09:08 PM   #1
    Lindaru
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    What Over The Counter Medicine Is Safe To Take Now?

    Hi, all . . . been with Health Boards a while but this is my first visit here.

    I have had sciatica for over 20 years and osteoarthritis in the last five years. I had been managing on up to 2,000 milligrams a day of Acetaminophen to keep the edge off.

    I understand that there is now some controversy that even this dosage may cause liver damage and internal bleeding? I have since cut down to no more than 1,000 milligrams a day but it is just not cutting it.

    Is there something else I can take since NSAID and aspirin is out of the question (bleeding).

    Thanks, all.

    Lindaru

     
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    Old 05-30-2009, 07:02 AM   #2
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    Re: What Over The Counter Medicine Is Safe To Take Now?

    Hello and welcome to the pain board. OTC consumption can be sort of a tricky thing. There are "recommendations" out there, but they are just that....recommendations. It's not like some pre-determined amt is the magic amount. Each person is different and each situation is different. It's also important to note that the effects of OTC meds can be cumulative in nature, so taking xyz amount every day, can add up over time.

    If it were me and I was in your situation, I would go to my GP and tell him what I'm going. Discuss with him your options and etc. He could even do basic blood work to test your liver & etc....There would be two benefits....(1) Would let you and your Doc know how your liver is functioning and it's basic levels, and (2) It would establish a baseline of functionality in case something changes later.

    Chances are, you'd fine with 2,000 per day, but it's best for a Doc to discuss the different options with you. Lots of things are available today in pain mgt, so I wouldn't just automatically assume that your option is the only one.

    Take care, and I hope this works out for you. This is a great question, BTW.

    Regards,

    Ex

     
    Old 05-30-2009, 11:17 AM   #3
    Lindaru
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    Re: What Over The Counter Medicine Is Safe To Take Now?

    Hello, Ex . . . given the fact that when I first got sciatica, they tried muscle relaxers which did not work, and codeine which made me dizzy and nauseous, they tried me on the profens (Ibuprofen, Ketoprofen) and even at low doses I was seeing blood in stools.

    It was decided years ago and agreed upon by all of my doctors that Tylenol was the best choice for me but being that I am only 5'3" and weigh an average range of 110 to 114 pounds, I needed to do half the dosage recommended.

    I am seeing a naturopathic physician now who did run complete metabolic, kidney, liver and the like on me just a few weeks ago. All was normal except for trace urea nitrites. I do worry about what may be down the road if I continue.

    It may be that she just does not know of anything else but someone may?

    Thanks again, Ex.

    Lindaru

     
    Old 05-30-2009, 07:42 PM   #4
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    Re: What Over The Counter Medicine Is Safe To Take Now?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lindaru View Post
    Hello, Ex . . . given the fact that when I first got sciatica, they tried muscle relaxers which did not work, and codeine which made me dizzy and nauseous, they tried me on the profens (Ibuprofen, Ketoprofen) and even at low doses I was seeing blood in stools.
    Yes, codeine has a lot of side effects as as a result, many went to work years ago and developed "hydrocodone." It is a synthetic med that has engineered out many of the unpleasant side effects of codeine. Granted, it is a narcotic and has some of it's own side effects, but taken in low doses, it is very tolerable and can work wonders. Not sure if you and your Doctor have discussed this option or not. It comes packaged with tylenol in order to boost the pain fighting power.


    Quote:
    It was decided years ago and agreed upon by all of my doctors that Tylenol was the best choice for me but being that I am only 5'3" and weigh an average range of 110 to 114 pounds, I needed to do half the dosage recommended.
    Yes, Tylenol is a great drug, but one does have to be careful of heavy long term use. As a side note, I hope you don't drink any alcohol....Even small amounts.....Because Tylenol and even minor amts of alohol, like a glass of wine, can be lethal. Taken independently, they are perfectly fine, but in combination, they can be deadly. Many people don't realize this and take Tylenol for minor pain, and then have a beer, glass of wine, or even champagne.....And then they develop serious liver problems and need a transplant. This is well documented.

    Take care, and hopefully you and your Doc can figure this think out.

    Regards,

    Ex

     
    Old 05-30-2009, 08:46 PM   #5
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    Re: What Over The Counter Medicine Is Safe To Take Now?

    Hi, Ex . . . thankfully I quit alcohol altogether (except one ounce of white wine at Thanksgiving in a toast per year) 11 years ago long before I needed to do daily Tylenol.

    I think Hydrocodone has the same ingredients as Percocet? I could not function trying low doses of Percocet about five years ago for an abscessed tooth.

    My doctor did tell me a long time ago to drink a lot of fluids to help flush my system and I drink almost a gallon a day of non-carbonated non-alcoholic liquids, so hopefully I am good there.

    Thanks!

    Lindaru

     
    Old 05-31-2009, 07:52 AM   #6
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    Re: What Over The Counter Medicine Is Safe To Take Now?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lindaru View Post
    I think Hydrocodone has the same ingredients as Percocet? I could not function trying low doses of Percocet about five years ago for an abscessed tooth.
    No...Not even close. Hydrocodone is the active ingredient in such meds as Lortab, Lorcet, Vicodin, Norco, and etc. Hydrocodone based meds are CIII....Refills (up to 5) are permitted and the med can be called in.

    Conversely, Percocet contains the active ingredient "Oxycodone" and is much stronger. It's is a CII med and no refills are allowed. Each script must be hand carried to the pharmacy. Most who take some form of Oxycodone do so after being on hydrocodone for some time period.

    Big difference between the two. Hope this helps explain things a bit.

    Regards,

    Ex

     
    Old 05-31-2009, 08:52 AM   #7
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    Re: What Over The Counter Medicine Is Safe To Take Now?

    Thanks, Ex. Wonder why the dentist did not try that one first?

    Will check into it. Hope you are having a great weekend!

    Lindaru

     
    Old 05-31-2009, 06:21 PM   #8
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    Re: What Over The Counter Medicine Is Safe To Take Now?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lindaru View Post
    Thanks, Ex. Wonder why the dentist did not try that one first?
    Probably because he felt the pain was at a certain level that required that level of pain control. Normally, pain mgt falls into one of two categories....

    (1) You have a certain procedure done, or suffer from a certain injury, and there is a corresponding level of pain control that is typically required or associated with that surgery / injury. For example, someone gets their nose fixed and it's deemed by the surgeon to be of a certain pain level, thus, a corresponding pain med is usually prescribed. Some procedures are known to be more painful than others.....Same with injuries. In your case, the dentist felt like an abscessed tooth required the strength med he gave you.

    and / or,

    (2) You have some type of injury, or chronic condition (like yours) and over time, the pain becomes worse, or you develop tolerance to the med you're taking and the Doc slowly increases the qty and / or the potency of the med.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards,

    Ex

     
    Old 05-31-2009, 08:12 PM   #9
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    Re: What Over The Counter Medicine Is Safe To Take Now?

    Ex . . . you are absolutely right . . . especially about the first one.

    I had to live with the abscess for ten days before getting it extracted because he put me on a full course of Cephalexin (I have an artificial heart valve and that prevents bacteria from getting in the pericardium). Plus it took more than a week after to heal up from the extraction. The tooth broke and he had to go in and drill to get the roots out.

    Thanks so much for everything!

    Lindaru

     
    Old 06-01-2009, 04:36 PM   #10
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    Re: What Over The Counter Medicine Is Safe To Take Now?

    Well, called my doctor today.

    Reasons she is against prescribing Hydrocodone:

    1. Allergic to Codeine. Would probably be allergic to this.

    2. Have asthma, may aggravate.

    3. Have irritable bowel syndrome, alternating constipation and diarrhea, may aggravate.

    4. While not yet classified as tachycardia which requires treatment, my resting rate is over 100 on office visits.

    Guess I will just have to figure something else out.

    Lindaru

     
    Old 06-01-2009, 10:02 PM   #11
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    Re: What Over The Counter Medicine Is Safe To Take Now?

    Sounds to me as if your Doc is just against hydrocodone. Just because one is allergic to one pain med, doesn't mean you are to another. In fact, it's probably less likely in your case because as I mentioned previously, codeine is a natural med and hydro is synthetic....It was developed specifically to reduce the number of side effects.

    Lots of people with asthma take pain meds. I have asthma and take some of the most potent meds available.

    While all pain meds cause a certain degree of constipation, this can be very easily managed by increasing one's fiber intake, or using a product like Metmucil (all natural husk fiber) or one of many other products available to address the situation. Additionally, I've read many posts on here about people with IBS who take pain meds....And strong ones at that.

    Quite frankly, when one starts taking any regimen of pain meds, you have to weigh the "pros" vs the "cons." The meds certainly aren't magic bullets by any means. However, for me, the pros of taking the med far outweigh the cons.

    In your case, I would argue that taking the amt of Tylenol you're taking, coupled with the fact that your pain is not under control, far outweigh any negatives associated with taking an entry level pain med. But, that's up to you and your Doc and you have to feel comfortable with his decision. After all, he's looking after your best interests.

    Best of luck to you.

    Regards,

    Ex

     
    Old 06-02-2009, 07:35 AM   #12
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    Re: What Over The Counter Medicine Is Safe To Take Now?

    Yes, she thinks since the Tylenol is not causing me any immediate side effects, I should up it back to where I was every day.

    I was the one who cut it down after hearing that the FDA said it was more dangerous than they thought.

    She also recommended chiropractic, massage and physical therapy but I have to pass on that since it is not covered under insurance and I cannot afford it.

    Lindaru

     
    Old 06-02-2009, 07:44 AM   #13
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    Re: What Over The Counter Medicine Is Safe To Take Now?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lindaru View Post
    Yes, she thinks since the Tylenol is not causing me any immediate side effects, I should up it back to where I was every day.

    I was the one who cut it down after hearing that the FDA said it was more dangerous than they thought.
    I think that was very prudent of you to do that. I'm actually surprised that she thinks it's ok to take that much Tylenol every day indefinitely.....But, she's the Doc, not me.

    Best of luck to you.

    Regards,

    Ex

     
    Old 06-02-2009, 09:29 AM   #14
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    Re: What Over The Counter Medicine Is Safe To Take Now?

    Hi!!

    I just wanted to chime in on something if I could.

    I am DEATHLY allergic to Coediene as in I swell up into a balloon, cover in hives, temp jumps to 104 and my throat tries to completely close.

    But I have never had a problem with Hydrocodone.

    Wishing you success in your pain management.

    Peace.
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    Old 06-02-2009, 11:42 AM   #15
    Lindaru
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    Re: What Over The Counter Medicine Is Safe To Take Now?

    Hi, Ex and Silentwarrior . . . this may be an influence in my doctor's way of thinking but she is a naturopathic physician and I switched to her when I was going through menopause because the doctors at the regular clinic did not seem to understand my situation.

    She specializes in women in my age group and a lot of the things she has had me do have helped in other areas of my health, so just hoping someone somewhere can invent something topical or oral that is totally natural.

    Thank you both for all of your help!

    Lindaru

     
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