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  • Long Term Norco Use-Liver Check?

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    Old 01-23-2011, 09:38 AM   #1
    a1234567
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    Long Term Norco Use-Liver Check?

    I have fibromyalgia. Ever since late last summer I have been on painkillers daily for chronic lower back, hip, and joint pain. Before that I took them as needed (usually just a few times a month) following ankle surgeries with long recoveries.

    I take 10-325s--usually two at once and then another later on if the pain persists. I am 24 years old. I am trying to lower and get off them, however, I am in a lot of pain so at this point I'd rather have a better quality of life. I am worried about my liver though. I am under 1000mg of acetominophen/day, but still. Should I have a test done to check that it's okay? Has anyone done anything like that?

     
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    Old 01-23-2011, 02:10 PM   #2
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    Re: Long Term Norco Use-Liver Check?

    I take about 4-6 10/325 percocets a day and I asked my doctor for a liver enzyme test. Even though it is within the limits, my dad died of chronic liver failure and I'm worried about my predisposition to liver problems. I would prefer to take plain oxycodone without the tylenol, but my doc insists on the percocet, so I oblige. I'm getting my liver panel done in a couple weeks. If it comes out normal, I'll stop worrying about it.

     
    Old 01-23-2011, 02:26 PM   #3
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    Re: Long Term Norco Use-Liver Check?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Toonces1 View Post
    I take about 4-6 10/325 percocets a day and I asked my doctor for a liver enzyme test. Even though it is within the limits, my dad died of chronic liver failure and I'm worried about my predisposition to liver problems. I would prefer to take plain oxycodone without the tylenol, but my doc insists on the percocet, so I oblige. I'm getting my liver panel done in a couple weeks. If it comes out normal, I'll stop worrying about it.
    Yeah, I got ya.. I hate how tylenol has to be added and that doctors find these "safer". Is it just a blood test? How long have you been on them?

     
    Old 01-23-2011, 08:58 PM   #4
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    Re: Long Term Norco Use-Liver Check?

    My doc does blood labs every 4 months, just because of the amount on narcotics I take and I've been on pain management medds for 11 years....so it's a normal part of life for me. Any Doc, PM or otherwise, worth their salt, will do blood labs at least twice a year to keep tabs on any potential problems.

    Kat

     
    Old 01-24-2011, 03:11 AM   #5
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    Re: Long Term Norco Use-Liver Check?

    A test wont hurt, but the chances of 1000mg of acetaminophen causing a problem in an otherwise healthy young person are somewhat less than a 747 crashing into your bedroom.

    There is a lot of uninformed hysteria out there about acetaminophen - many millions of people take 4000mg per day every day for literaly years without any problem.


    If you want to take some insurance, the dietary supplement n-acetyl cystine protects the liver from toxic doseages of acetaminophen, by providing an extra source of gulthalidone (sp?)
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    Last edited by jonnstar; 01-24-2011 at 03:17 AM.

     
    Old 01-24-2011, 04:14 AM   #6
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    Re: Long Term Norco Use-Liver Check?

    Anyone who takes Tylenol daily in any amount needs to get their liver enzymes checked at least twice a year preferably every 3-4 months. After only about a year and a half of taking 3-4 (3 for most of that) 7.5/325 tylenol a day I have elevated liver enzymes and have been taken off Tylenol for good. Even if we get the liver enzymes back to normal it's now another off limits med for me. Tylenol is one of the most liver toxic medications there is. Get it checked, it a quick blood test, doesn't even have to be fasting.

    Tigg.

     
    Old 01-24-2011, 10:34 AM   #7
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    Re: Long Term Norco Use-Liver Check?

    Why take a chance when there are so many options that are APAP-Free?

     
    Old 01-24-2011, 11:30 AM   #8
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    Re: Long Term Norco Use-Liver Check?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tiggertoo2174 View Post
    Anyone who takes Tylenol daily in any amount needs to get their liver enzymes checked at least twice a year preferably every 3-4 months. After only about a year and a half of taking 3-4 (3 for most of that) 7.5/325 tylenol a day I have elevated liver enzymes and have been taken off Tylenol for good. Even if we get the liver enzymes back to normal it's now another off limits med for me. Tylenol is one of the most liver toxic medications there is. Get it checked, it a quick blood test, doesn't even have to be fasting.

    Tigg.
    Okay. I am going to ask my doctor about this liver enzyme test.

     
    Old 01-24-2011, 11:31 AM   #9
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    Re: Long Term Norco Use-Liver Check?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Isotope View Post
    Why take a chance when there are so many options that are APAP-Free?
    What would be a similar alternative to taking 30mg of hydrocodone daily? I am also on Lyrica (150mg/2x day. All this does is lower pain over time. Does nothing for breakthough pain), and Xanax (.5 or .75 nightly to help me sleep).

     
    Old 01-24-2011, 01:14 PM   #10
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    Re: Long Term Norco Use-Liver Check?

    Well-

    30mgs of Hydrocodone is a modest amount.

    Equivalent (Approximate) doses would be:

    15-20mgs of Morphine
    8-10mgs of Oxycodone
    4-6mgs of Hydromorphone
    2-4mgs of Oxymorphone

    ~

     
    Old 01-24-2011, 01:26 PM   #11
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    Re: Long Term Norco Use-Liver Check?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Isotope View Post
    Well-

    30mgs of Hydrocodone is a modest amount.

    Equivalent (Approximate) doses would be:

    15-20mgs of Morphine
    8-10mgs of Oxycodone
    4-6mgs of Hydromorphone
    2-4mgs of Oxymorphone

    ~
    Okay, thanks for the info. Doctors are so hesitant to prescribe painkillers to begin with, I don't even know if mine would be up for changing anything..

     
    Old 01-24-2011, 10:25 PM   #12
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    Re: Long Term Norco Use-Liver Check?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tiggertoo2174 View Post
    Anyone who takes Tylenol daily in any amount needs to get their liver enzymes checked at least twice a year preferably every 3-4 months. After only about a year and a half of taking 3-4 (3 for most of that) 7.5/325 tylenol a day I have elevated liver enzymes and have been taken off Tylenol for good. Even if we get the liver enzymes back to normal it's now another off limits med for me. Tylenol is one of the most liver toxic medications there is. Get it checked, it a quick blood test, doesn't even have to be fasting.

    Tigg.
    Why every 3-4 months? you could be dead in that time, why not every week?
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    Old 01-25-2011, 06:56 PM   #13
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    Re: Long Term Norco Use-Liver Check?

    We probably have to agree to disagree on this one....Doctors just treat the dangers differently. I also have kidney issues so that plays into why my doc does it every 4 months...but she would do it twice a year regardless. One thing we have to remember, excessive acetaminophen use is not something you would surprisingly drop dead from, it would be a build up of toxins, and I'm pretty sure one would notice symptoms and signs.

     
    Old 01-25-2011, 07:37 PM   #14
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    Re: Long Term Norco Use-Liver Check?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by katlin09 View Post
    We probably have to agree to disagree on this one....Doctors just treat the dangers differently. I also have kidney issues so that plays into why my doc does it every 4 months...but she would do it twice a year regardless. One thing we have to remember, excessive acetaminophen use is not something you would surprisingly drop dead from, it would be a build up of toxins, and I'm pretty sure one would notice symptoms and signs.
    While this is true, if you permanently damage your liver, there is no turning back. You can't do any type of dialysis with liver failure, when it's done, it's done. So, you could OD on tylenol and not die right away, but if you did major permanent damage to your liver, it would be a slow, really awful death. The good thing is that the liver can regenerate-to a point. There is a point, however, where the damage is too much and the liver beings to stop working. You don't ever want to reach that point because there's no turning back, except for a transplant. IMO, taking massive amounts of tylenol is not even close to being worth the mild pain-relieving effects is may have for some people.

     
    Old 01-26-2011, 03:46 PM   #15
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    Re: Long Term Norco Use-Liver Check?

    One realy easy way to set your mind at rest is to take a capsule of n-acetyl-cystine every day - this is what hospitals use to treat acetaminophen overdoseage, it protects the liver from acetaminophen.

    As part of my pain programme i take 4000mg of APAP every day, and have done for over 10 years, i also tace a 600mg cap of NAC and have never had any issues.

    Acetaminophen 4000mg/day is recomended as the basic pain releif programe for many chronic pain conditions, eg osteoarthritis, and many millions of patients around the world take that dose daily for years at a time, the reelative risk at 4000mg/day si extremely low. Most of the risk is where someone is already taking acetaminophen for pain releif, then gets a cold and takes a course of Dristan or Theraflu, also with APAP in it, you get the idea, they double up for 3 or 4 days and find them selves in serious trouble.

    My mother was a pharmacist, and once discivered a patient was taking a prescription LA APAP product (Panadol Osteo), some generic acetaminophen she had brought in the supermarket, and also a cold and flu remedy containing acetaminophen. She told her to stop at once and head right for the hospital ER
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