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Anything stronger than percocet??

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Old 04-25-2003, 10:30 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Thornton Colorado USA
Posts: 115
shakarkia HB User
Unhappy Anything stronger than percocet??

Hi all,
First my situation: I have a herniated disc at l5 S1 that is pinching my nerve root and spinal cord. I have pain in my leg and lower back 24/7--the problem is this: I currently take 8 percocet 5/325 per day--2 at a time 4x a day--this keeps the pain "at bay" so to speak, but at least once a day I will have the WORST pain in my right outter thigh and calf--it feels like I am being eaten alive by 1000's of tiny little bugs!!
I have had 2 steroid injections--I had about 80% relief from the procedure, but the pain returns in full force if not worse 3 days later--I am scheduled for the 3rd one on May 5th. I am also doing P.T.--just electrostim, ultrasound massage, and a few slow and very breif stretches--the P.T. therapist told me that he has never seen anyone's back muscles as tight as mine are--I can only have the electrostim machine up to 10---most people have it at 30 or more!! Massage is out of the question--it HURTS BAD!!! I have soma, but it really doesn't do anything for the pain though. My question is this--what else is there to do?? I REFUSE accupuncture--no way is someone going to stick me with needles--it's bad enough having to have all the injections done!! I have been told I am a great candidate for a laminectomy. Question--is there something for pain that would work better than percocet?? I hate to have to take so many pills a day, but if I don't, I would not be able to keep up my job, life, ect... I really need some suggestions--please don't just read this and pass over---I need help--please!!
thank you,

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Old 04-25-2003, 11:14 AM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 54
Buddhabuoy22 HB User

Hi Karen,

Yes, there is stronger medication out there. How long have you been in pain? Are you concerned about the amount of tylenol that is in percocet? You should only have 2000 mg. of tylenol a day safely. It could ruin your liver. I only know this from my doctor telling me this. Keep that in mind as you take that many percocet. Anyway, if you can prove constant pain for six months or more, a pain specialist can give you something stronger without tylenol.
I hope this helps.

Apparently, I am wrong with the amount of tylenol one can take safely. When I was on them, it concerned me that I was taking far too much and tylenol is not an anti-imflammatory. Something I needed. My pain doctor told me that 2000mg a day was max., maybe because I only weight 104 lbs.
Oxycotin is a good choice for relief without all that tylenol.

[This message has been edited by Buddhabuoy22 (edited 04-26-2003).]

Old 04-25-2003, 11:40 AM   #3
Join Date: May 2002
Location: van nuys, ca, us
Posts: 169
igy76 HB User


First of all, I'm sorry but the last person wasn't quite right - the maximum daily amount of tylenol you can take is 4000mg (or 8 extra strength a day), past that and if done on a regular basis you will find your self ended up on the waiting list for liver transplant.

Who is prescribing the Percocet 5's to you? What it sounds like you need is Pain Management doctor. Now I have the same problem myself right now, herniated disc at L5-S1. You could try OxyContin, that's oxycodone (same active ingredient in Percs) but on a sustained release. There's other long-lasting meds you can use too (MSContin, Kadian, etc) but with the tolerance you must have from all the Percs by now, you'd need to start off at a rather high dose. Or you could try what I'm on now. Methadone. It's terrific because there's no tylenol at all (oh, which I forgot, there's no tylenol in any of those sustained release meds either). Methadone has worked pretty good for me, I take roughly 5 10mg pills a day, and perhaps best of all for me, having no insurance, it is super cheap. Good luck

Old 04-25-2003, 12:39 PM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Thornton Colorado USA
Posts: 115
shakarkia HB User

In response: I have been in pain since July/August of 2002--used to only need 1 Vicodin 7.5 per day--up until February--not sure what happened, but that is when the proverbial **** hit the fan-my GP doc ordered an MRI and found the problem--I am seeing a pain management doc, but he wants me to keep getting the meds from my GP--who is a sports medicine guru,,not sure why, but whatever. I think this problem has been a long time coming, but I was rear-ended in March of 02--my hubby suggested I go to his chiropractor and my auto insurance paid for that, so of course to the chiro it was "free" money so he was having me come in 3 to 4 times a week--I ALWAYS hurt worse after seeing him--he said it was because he was "re-breaking" an old injury and I needed to see him so much to make sure it got fixed correctly. Well after about 25 times of getting adjusted I quit going--the actual adjustment was just AWFUL--and in August started to pursue the medicinal way and said **** chiropractic. I completely think all those adjustments made the problem worse---I went in for another adjustment at the begging of my hubby who completely believes this guys bullcrap and then the chiro gave me his dog and pony show so I said sure let's do another one--HA==that was in Feb. and I have NOT been the same since!! I have another apt. w/ my GP on Monday and I will see about getting something stronger so I don't have to pop pills all day--it's kind of embarassing going to the pharmacy and picking up 112 pills!! Thank you for your responses--My GP has also told me 4000 of Tylenol is OK safely--I will ask about the MSContin or oxycontin as an alternative and see what he says.
Thank you,

Old 04-25-2003, 04:13 PM   #5
Join Date: May 2002
Location: van nuys, ca, us
Posts: 169
igy76 HB User


That is completely BAFFLING to me that your PM doc wants you to be getting all your meds from your GP. Part of the whole point of seeing a PM is so he (being someone who is specially trained in pain and all the drugs typically used in relation to it) can oversee and regulate everything, including meds, that you are doing while trying to actually fix the problem. Plus, most GP's don't want to get into dispensing hard narcotics (even though they can - any doc can prescribe any pill), especially long term, the fact is most of them don't know that much about the specifics about pain control. Hence, the PM doc. I can't get over that, it just sounds crazy to me.

Old 04-25-2003, 06:57 PM   #6
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: madison, wi usa
Posts: 968
Karla HB User

Karen, I used to take the same amount of percecet and vicodin that you are now taking. It quit working for me. I switched over to methadone and it has done wonders.

I saw a pm dr and he decided after reviewing my records that methadone would be best for me. He decided how much and how often and then called my gp to get him to perscribe the methadone for me every month and teach him how to perscribe it. He explained that if all his patients came to him for pain mentainence refills then he would never have the time to diagnose and treat people and help them with their pain. His goal is to trian gps to help their clients so they take the case load. My dr was reluctant at first to perscribe methadone but once the expert recomended it and told him how to perscribe it he had me sign a form saying I cant get refills if I runout or loose my meds or script.

Old 04-26-2003, 02:39 AM   #7
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 747
mokita HB User

My PM Doc wants to do all prescribing. I had to sign forms that say I will get all meds from him, and if I run out/lose them, too bad. My GP WAS prsc. for me, just not enuf... and we weren't fixing the prob. He thought it was bursitis in rt hip... probably true, but due to bulging/degen disc! So, waiting on discogram next.

I am taking oxycontin 10 mg 2x - that got bumped to 3x day last week, then yesterday - I had horrible spasms in tummy - he changed back to 2x but added vid 7.5 for BT and flexeril every 8hrs. He seems to be very understanding.

Each individual is dif... and diff combinations need to be explored until you can function. I'm not looking for pain free as I'm sure you're not... just comfortable enuf to have a semi-normal day! Good luck! (sorry so long)

Old 05-03-2003, 12:30 PM   #8
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Michigan
Posts: 73
DollFace18 HB User

you might want to ask you dr about norco, it has twice as much hydrocodone and only 325 mg's of tylenol! like the percocet but stronger!so you only have to take one instead of two and get the same amount of pain med less tylenol!!

Old 05-03-2003, 03:24 PM   #9
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 199

A drug that worked for me is hydromorphone--dilaudid. This drug sved my life and is much much stronger than hydrocodone. Dilaudid is 10 times stronger than morphine. Duragesic patches are fentanyl--extremely powerful and also used as a sedative. There are many options--talk to your doc and be honest about your pain--there is nothing to be ashamed of.

Old 05-03-2003, 04:54 PM   #10
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Location: South Pasadena CA USA
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ErnieG HB User


I had a bilateral laminectomy at L5/S1 about 12 years ago. It seemed to help for about a year, then the pain began to return. It has been off and on ever since, with all sorts of attempts at easing the pain. So far, ocycontin has been the only thing to touch it. This includes epidurals, rhizotomies, all kinds of other medications etc. If you can get away without having surgery, I think that would benefit you. I have met very few people who have had that particular surgery with a lot of success. Good luck,


Old 05-03-2003, 07:31 PM   #11
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Prospect Ky USA
Posts: 80
chumbo HB User

Hi Karen,, I used to be on percocets, and hydrocodone, I was very concerned about the amount of tylenol I was taking. After using up to 10 pills per day, I had blood work performed to check on the status of my liver enzymes. My test results came back, and my enzymes were extrodinaraly high, due to the tylenol. I immediatley quit taking them. I now take kadian, which is a time release morphine (No Tylenol). I take 100mg 2x day. I agree with Igy, There are alot of GP's that won't even think about giving out a script for such a strong narcotic. I would talk to pm dr and see if he could possibly write these for you,

Good Luck

Old 05-04-2003, 08:05 PM   #12
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 473
PsychLea HB User


Been reading this board with interest. My experience with my PM was a dismal failure. I'm not on any narcotics at all, except for occasional Darvocet. Was taking 100mg of Ultram four times a day for cervical herniated disks and degenerative disc disease. Did the PT and OT, epidural injections and trigger points, yadda yadda yadda.

When I told PM my pain was not relieved with Ultram, after 4 months, she cut my Ultram in HALF!and then gave me Neurontin. Now Neurontin is a really good drug for nerve pain, IF you can tolerate it, but it made me a major zombie woman.

I have a very high tolerance for pain, and even though I have pain 24/7, I work 50+ hours a week. Well, I have fired my PM. She was questioning me about whether I was getting PT and why I had a splint on my arm, well DUH SHE ORDERED IT!!! There are other examples of her incompetence, but I won't bore you with it. How hard is it to read someone's chart?

Anyway, my problem can be fixed. I am seeing my NS tomorrow to schedule surgery and get this darn disk off of my spinal nerves. I am hopeful that in a few months I will be pain free.

I work in psychiatry and see alot of addicts who abuse opiates. It makes me so angry, but then I also see those who have become addicted through no fault of their own, and they usually recover with detox and rehab.

As a medical professional, I can tell you it is a very fine line between addiction and pain management. The hallmark of addiction is tolerance, taking more than prescribed, and doctor hopping for meds, even going as far as getting drugs off the street and forging prescriptions.I have seen this more times than I can count. No wonder docs are hesitant to prescribe narcotics. However, with my MRI results, Ultram is a ridiculous drug indeed, although it does help me function some without sedation, etc.

I am a side effect weenie, so it puzzles me that the PM would not give me what I need to maintain functioning. Not like I'm sitting on the welfare rolls and being a couch potato.

Sorry this was so long. Just good to vent

God bless,


C4-5 noncompressive disc displacement
C5-6 compressive disc displacement
C6-7 broad based disc protrusion encroaching on the anterioposterior aspect of the spinal canal.
God bless,


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