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    Old 08-23-2003, 07:51 PM   #1
    avogadro
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    Question MS Contin 15mg?

    Hi, I am new here but someone suggested posting my question to this site. I have chronic pain from a severe back injury. I've been through physical therapy 3 times, steroid injections, now they are talking about surgery. This has been over a year long process following a bad car accident. I have two disks in my lower back that are basically torn, bulging, and the joints are rubbing together now and causing arthritis type symptoms on top of everything else. So.. my question is this... my doctor recently switched me from 5.0mg Vicodin to MS Contin 15mg. I started taking it yesterday and can not tell that it does ANYTHING. Why? From everything I have read, it is a fairly strong medication. I might as well be eating tic-tacs for all the good it is doing. I wish I had the Vicodin as it has been a miserable weekend. Any idea why it does not work for me?

     
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    Old 08-23-2003, 08:12 PM   #2
    Autumn Angel
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    Hi and welcome...I havent a clue why MS contin is not working for you. I know the long acting meds take about an hour to kick in instead of the 10 to 15 mins of the instant release meds. But also if you started taking them yesterday they should have kicked in by now.
    Did he give you any breakthrough meds? Like Vicoden or Morphine Ir?
    The only thing besides percocet that worked for me was oxycontin which is the same med as percocet except 12 hour time release. They take about an hour to kick in and I found there is no way these meds last 12 hours 6 to 8 maybe..thats why most docs give breakthrough meds to get you through till the next dose of the contin kicks in. Hope this has helped you some. Take care.
    Autumn.

     
    Old 08-23-2003, 08:17 PM   #3
    avogadro
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    Thank you. I think I have an idea - which I talked to my doctor about when he gave me the Rx. A few years back, I had gastric bypass surgery to lose weight (I've lost over 200 pounds). If you don't know much about the surgery, I do not have a "stomach" anymore. I think the time release may not work as well for me since my intestional system is different and I do not absorb food or I would assume, medication, the same as a "normal" person. He did not think it would be a problem but did say that if it didn't work, he would give me a patch. He does not like using the immediate release meds so I don't have anything else. It has been a BAD weekend. I have thought about crushing it up to take it, knowing it would go into my system immediatley but I have been told not to do that either. I don't want to take another one either since I'm not sure what is going on. But, I hate this pain!!

     
    Old 08-23-2003, 08:42 PM   #4
    Autumn Angel
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    No No never crush or break a time released med. You would get all 15mg at once which could be very dangerous depending on your tolerance.
    I meant to ask you how many vicoden 5mg were you taking a day? This could have an eefect on whether the ms contin is working or not.
    For example when I was on oxycontin for awhile I was taking percocet (same as oxy but in instant release form) I was taking 6 5mg percs a day which equals 30mg and that wasnt working too well at the time so he perscribed oxycontin 20mg twice a day equaling 40mg a day. So whatever your daily intake of vicodin was he should have ajusted your ms contin to equal or exceed that a bit depending on if it was working for you.
    You could be right about not having a stomach too I am not sure how it is absorbed try doing a search on ms contin on the web it might help you some. Take care.
    Autumn.

     
    Old 08-23-2003, 08:45 PM   #5
    avogadro
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    I was taking about 30-40mg of Vicodin a day. I do not know how that would correlate to the MS Contin in dosage. That is 15mg twice a day.

     
    Old 08-24-2003, 02:00 AM   #6
    painintheneck2
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    Dear Avogadro,
    Hello, and welcome to the pain management board.

    I am on MS Contin (Morphine). My doctor put me on it about 2 1/2 weeks ago. I was taking Lortab 10 (4 x per day, so 40 mg perday), but it quit working for me. He decided to try the longer acting meds, which he said we should have been trying for awhile.

    He said that it's much better for a chronic pain patient to be on longer acting meds because of the damage that the short acting meds will do to your liver. Plus with the short acting meds your tolerence is built up much quicker and you find yourself having to take more and more to get any effect, which does more damage to your liver.

    Anyway, He started me on 30mg, 2 x perday and said that 30mg may not be enough, seeing how I was on the Lortab for over 2 years. He also kept me on the Lortab for breakthru pain, and since my body was dependent on it he didn't want me being slammed into withdrawels.

    So, the first day I took the 30mg, I felt it withing the first couple of hours. I felt "very" high, nausea and dizziness. Those side effects went away. It took my pain down to a "ZERO"! He started me off on 20 pills, just to see how I did.

    Before the 10 days were up I noticed that it wasn't working as well as in the beginning. So when I called for my refill, I told him this and I told him it was up to him if he bumped me to 60mg or not...that the 30 would probably do just fine.

    He bumped me to 60 mg. I picked up my refill, which was enough to last 30 days, but cost me $250!!!! OUCH!

    I can split the 60, which I do often if I feel like I don't need a full 60mg.

    You may be on to something when you say that you think the time release in the MS Contin isn't helping because your intestinal system is different, but it could be that 15mg just isn't enough for you.

    I would call your doctor on Monday and ask him if you can take 2 at a time to see if 30mg will effect you. At least that way you should know one way or the other if it will ever effect you.

    If you discover that the MS Contin just will not help you, because of your intestinal situation, then do try the Duragesic Patch or maybe even Methadone. From what you've told us about your pain, you should be on a longer acting medication. Do some research on all long acting meds and on the MS Contin and your theory on why it may not be working for you. Then when you go to see your doctor again, bring your research with you.

    I'm so sorry about your pain. No one should have to suffer as you so obviously are right now. If your doctor has an emergency #, then call or page him over the weekend and ask about taking 2, or maybe even 3, of the MS Contins (I deffinately think you are on too low a dose either ways). If you can't get ahold of him and your pain is unbearable, consider going to the ER and explaining your situation to the ER Doc. If he knows you will be talking to your doc on monday he may not have a problem prescribing or giving you some vicodin to tied you over until your reg doc visit.

    Hope I helped, sorry so long. It sounded like you needed someone that's had experience with MS Contin to tell you their reactions. I know that MS Contin has helped me TREMENDOUSLY!........good luck, and hang in there. I'm sure your doctor will help you and this will all get worked out.

    PTIN http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif

    ------------------

    ~head on collision in 1999 (car totaled)
    ~badly sprained ankle, bruised chest cavity, whiplash
    ~month later, recovered
    ~month and one week later, couldn't move neck LOTS of pain and crying. Tingling in right index and middle finger. Pain down right arm, pain always in neck and in upper back between shoulder blades (burning). Legs also hurt at times.
    ~went to various docs, prescribed muscle relax. and pain meds on and off whenever I got a "flare up".
    ~found my doc 2 years ago, prescribed lortab. insurance wouldn't cover preexistin cond till 6 months lapsed
    ~doc said "you are having muscle spasms and will prob be on pain killers the rest of your life"
    ~later, doc started to question my pain
    ~told him to schedule MRI
    ~MRI showed herniated disk, bulging on right side at C5 & C6
    ~kept me on pain meds and referred me to a wonderful chiro.
    ~now seeing chiro and taking pain meds
    ~next step is epidural shot if chiro doesn't work.
    ~UPDATE: Aug 2003: Saw Doc., discussed tolerence to Lortabs; Discussed long acting meds and complete loss of sensation in right thumb up to first finger; and pain worse, + wake up with right arm "dead" often!
    ~Set up appt with Neuro
    ~Prescribed MS Contin 30 mg 2x day plus Lortab 10 5 per day for BT.
    ~ 1 wk later: bumped up to 60mg MS Contin 2x day
    ~ So far MS Contin works excellent. Pain level 0 to 1 for 8-10 hours
    __________________

    ~head on collision in 1999 (car totaled)
    ~badly sprained ankle, bruised chest cavity, whiplash
    ~month later, recovered
    ~month and one week later, couldn't move neck LOTS of pain and crying. Tingling in right index and middle finger. Pain down right arm, pain always in neck and in upper back between shoulder blades (burning). Legs also hurt at times.
    ~went to various docs, prescribed muscle relax. and pain meds on and off whenever I got a "flare up".
    ~found my doc 2 years ago, prescribed lortab. insurance wouldn't cover preexistin cond till 6 months lapsed
    ~doc said "you are having muscle spasms and will prob be on pain killers the rest of your life"
    ~later, doc started to question my pain
    ~told him to schedule MRI
    ~MRI showed herniated disk, bulging on right side at C5 & C6
    ~kept me on pain meds and referred me to a wonderful chiro.
    ~now seeing chiro and taking pain meds
    ~next step is epidural shot if chiro doesn't work.
    ~UPDATE: Aug 2003: Saw Doc., discussed tolerence to Lortabs; Discussed long acting meds and complete loss of sensation in right thumb up to first finger; and pain worse, + wake up with right arm "dead" often!
    ~Set up appt with Neuro
    ~Prescribed MS Contin 30 mg 2x day plus Lortab 10 5 per day for BT.
    ~ 1 wk later: bumped up to 60mg MS Contin 2x day
    ~ So far MS Contin works excellent. Pain level 0 to 1 for 8-10 hours
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    Old 08-24-2003, 06:53 AM   #7
    avogadro
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    Thanks. I took 2 of the 15mg last night. That seemed to offer some help. I was a little worried about taking too much but it was either that or go to the ER and I did not want to put my child through that. I feel so bad about that. He has had to see me go thorugh all this. And, I'm a single mom and I don't have help from his dad. I'm worried he is going to grow up to think this is normal for adults. He is going to be a hyprocondriac (sp?) or something. I try to act normal and "hide" it as best as possible from him but there are times when I just can't.

    I go to the PM doctor tomorrow. I'm afraid to tell him that I took more than he had prescribed. My previous doctor made me feel like an addict when I called for my normal refills - not early or anything. When I found this new doctor (he is PM), I was so amazed to finally feel like he understood that this pain was real and caused by a true injury. He was the first one that did an MRI and actually found the disk problems, dind't just say "go to PT and call me in 2 weeks".

    Anyway, I took 2 this morning and I'll see how the day goes. I got up early to take them so they would have time to kick in and I could get out of the house and take my son to church. I hope it works so he can see mommy have a "normal" day.

    Thanks for listening. I'm really glad that I have found this board!



     
    Old 08-24-2003, 12:39 PM   #8
    HockeyCrystal
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    avogadro,
    I don't know that I'd tell my doc that I took more than prescribed, but perhaps you should just tell him, that you aren't getting hardly any relief at all from the amount he prescribed, and ask what he thinks you guys should do, that way he is the one making the offers and decisions on what to do instead of asking "will you up my dose?" or whatever. Just a suggestion! Hope you get help from him!

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    Old 08-24-2003, 06:11 PM   #9
    Autumn Angel
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    I agree with Crystal depending on how well you know this doc I wouldnt tell him. I would just tell him the 15 mg twice a day isnt touching your pain and you want to try 30mg twice a day and see what he does. He might even have you take 30mg twice a day and 15mg in the middle somewhere.
    I was on Oxycontin before the price killed me and I had to go off it. I started off on 10mg twice a day and I might as well be poppin Tic Tacs lol.
    Then my doc put me on 20mg twice a day after a couple months it wasnt lasting like it should so he kept the 20mg twice a day and added a 10mg in the middle. Plus I had Percocet 5mg 1 tab 4 times a day as needed. I didnt have to take them 4 times a day all the time but I am sure glad I had them when I needed them.
    I am now on just the percocet because all the long acting meds which I should be on for CP arent covered and I cant afford them right now. I take 6 percs a day...2 tabs when I wake up...1 tab around 1pm...1 around 3 pm and 2 tabs at bedtime..sometimes I can get away with one but not often. I hope your doc ajusts your dosage as you need it so you can function for you and your child. God Bless and best of luck tomorrow plz keep is posted.
    Autumn.

     
    Old 08-24-2003, 06:33 PM   #10
    avogadro
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    Thanks to everyone! I have been taking the 30mg's twice per day, well, just starting last night! It does not seem to really "get" the pain. I can feel some relief and some effects like a little fuzzy headed. But, the vicodin worked MUCH better at actually stopping the pain. Or, maybe just making it so I didn't care. I'm really surprised at the difference in the effects of the medicine. I expected this to work better and it just doesn't.

    I will see what the doctor tells me tomorrow. Thanks for the advice, I will not tell him about doubling his dose. I think the patch he had mentioned might work better for me with the digestive issues.

    By the way, has anyone ever had a friend ask for meds? I was talking to a woman I would consider a good friend yesterday and made the mistake (as I now know) of telling her about the new medication. I was a passenger in her car for the accident that started all of this. A few hours later, she was knocking on my door and asking me if her boyfriend could "borrow" some pills from me!!! I COULD NOT believe what I was hearing. There is no way I would do that and I couldn't believe she had asked! Anyone else experience this?

     
    Old 08-24-2003, 07:11 PM   #11
    Autumn Angel
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    Yup sure have...and I bet you a dollar to a Donut he wasnt in pain either. You didnt give him any did you? Because once you give out that one pill watch how quickly it becomes a habit. I dont know what your friends are like but I thought I knew one of my friends well too untill I started noticing pills missing from my bottle. So keep them on you at all times not in your cupboard or bathroom medicine chest when you have company. Just telling you this from experience it sucks to run out early and you didnt even take the darn pills that made you run out early.
    If the MS contin 30mg isnt working for you...you might want to try Oxycontin it is stronger than the MS contin and worked great for me. I started off at 10mg but if you are on 30mg of Ms contin you might want to try 20mg of Oxycontin. Good luck on all this Girl I will be praying for you Oh and I just re read the last part of your post "her boyfriend wanted to borrow SOME PILLS from you"?? Well obviously he knew they were Morphine and he would have only needed one 12 hour pill for pain and he wanted to "borrow" "some" well that right there tells me he wanted them for the buzz right? Hope you said NO and continue to say no just tell them the Pm doc counts your pills to make sure you are taking them right and you cant give any out or you would be in big trouble. Take care.
    Your friend
    Autumn.


    [This message has been edited by Autumn Angel (edited 08-24-2003).]

     
    Old 08-24-2003, 07:23 PM   #12
    avogadro
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    OH NO!! I did NOT give him any. The friend is OK, I have never been impressed by the boyfriend. I know why he wanted them and it is NOT going to happen. I was just disappointed that she would have even asked for him.

     
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