Discussions that mention tylenol

Back Problems board

Hi there. I have sciatica pain in left leg (bottome half and foot - big toe). Pain is worse at night - haven't had more than 3 - 4 hours sleep in a row for weeks. I'm taking tylenol-3 (and tonite tried advil as well ) but nothing seems to work. Did stretches, icepacks, heatpads, what else can i do. Sleeping on side, with pillow between legs and under stomach (to support my back). I'm seeing chiropractor and physio. I can't believe how long this is taking for the pain to go away. I also take sleep meds for depression - which aren't working and is really starting to wear me down.

Should I stop the tyl-3 (worried about liver since I also drink daily), or should I get better pain killers from my doctor?

Sorry to hear about your sleeping troubles. Trying to sleep with sciatica is no fun at all.

One thing that really helped me get to sleep was Flexeril, which is a muscle relaxer but really worked at making me drowsy. I would NOT stop taking the Tylenol until your doctor does a liver function test, which just involves leaving some body fluids at the office. Most people can take 4 doses of tylenol a day and be Ok - even over a long period of time - but, depending on how much you drink, your result may be different.

Depression meds in my experience don't really do much to help you sleep - for me it's the opposite.

In my experience, the long acting pain relievers like T3 and Morphine Sulfate didn't do all that much for the nerve pain. I got much better relief from short acting/acute pain meds like Vicodin. Actually, when I was at my worst they did help take the edge off enough to sleep.

Are you looking at surgery? Have you had an MRI done to see what's going on?

Take Care and Good luck,
Hi Gwenny, I'm sorry, it seems like you've already tried my suggestions. I really sympathize with you b/c I've had severe sciatica where I couldnt sleep either. I couldnt sit, stand, or lay down. Actually laying down was even worse for me one time. I contemplated putting pillows all around and trying to sleep standing in a small closet it got that bad. I've tried the heat, ice, different positions, I have all kinds of body pillows for use with back problems and none of them worked. If you need to take something thats over the counter, it would be better to take ibuprofen or aleve, rather than tylenol b/c the first 2 are anti-inflammatories. However, in my experience nothing over the counter did anything for sciatica. And neither did percocet and vicoprofen only muted the pain slightly after taking it for a while. You might want to see a spine specialist or a pain management doctor. I wish I could offer you some other advice but I've found nothing that really helps either. I only get relief once I have an ESI.
Gwenny- First of all, the worst thing you can do is take Tylenol with alcohol. Tylenol pretty much can be taken with anything EXCEPT ALCOHOL. These two just don't mix. I don't know if you have these two products in Canada, but BIOFREEZE-comes in a spray and roll on(which I preferred) and SALONPAS-patches which you put over the painful areas worked for me when my sciatica went down my legs before my fusion. These two products especially helped me to sleep @ night. Don't take SALONPAS if you are allergic to ASPIRIN. Hope you can find these. Here, they are found over the counter @ any drug store......Vaneerraa
Thanks for all your input. I will definitely look into getting some BIOFREEZE - sounds like it will really help my pain and we do have it in Canada. For sleeping at nite, I'll talk more to my doctor since my t3 perscription is almost out anyway. I drink about 2glasses of wine a day and am currently taking 60mg tylenol-3 with cod 3x a day.
My DR will only send me for xray or mri after 3months of no improvement and are not considering surgery at this point, since it's only been 2 1/2 weeks.
I'm also going for physio and chiro 3x a week, so hopefully I'll see some improvements soon.

ps..this is a really great message board! lots of useful info and kind support.

Thanks again...Gwenny