Discussions that mention vicodin

Back Problems board

hmmmm, what have I tried? Wellllll, I started on Ibuprofen and was taking appx 2400mg a day. But, tapered that a little. My doc gave me a script for Vicodin 500mg for when I traveled, cause my pain was more intense then. But, when my neck and back started getting worse, I started taking that. One night, I took one of my Vicodiin 500's, that didn't help, tried a Bextra 10mg, that didn't help, then tried one of my hubby's Vicodin 650mg, and THAT didn't help. I was up til five am that day.
Saw my doc, she said obviously I needed something stronger. So, she gave me Percocet, 325mg. It was fine for a while, but then I started getting sick, since I thought at the time that it was the percocet, she switched me to Lortabs, but I threw up off those too. SO THEN we tried Ultracet, which does NOTHING. I figured out it wasn't the meds making me sick, I was constipated. So my vicodin is gone, I am now using the lortabs. I have so many scripts, I am trying to use one up at a time. DOn't think that is good for you, but no different than switching pain meds a hundred times. So, the Lortab, Percocet and Vicodin take the edge off, but I have learned, they never take away nerve pain. That is just another whole world, as I am now learning. Anyhoo, that is my medication log for the day:)
I hope you find something that works. I hurt right now, and don't know what to do about it, but will figure something out.
Studies have proven that people with true chronic pain rarely become addicted to pain medication in the sense that someone who doesn't have pain does, in fact it has been shown that less than 3% ever become addicted.

You can have tolerance levels in which medications have to be adjusted but this is normal for anyone on medications daily, not just those with CP. You can also be dependant on medications, dependance is not the same as addiction. Dependant is when your body is used to a certain level of medications and will go through withdrawals without the medication or a severe onset of pain will occur.

Many individuals who are CP patients who think they are addicted are not, addiction is the need to take more than required or to get high from the medication not to stop the pain and live a normal life. Addicts often doctor shop getting various medications from many doctors. Addicts will buy illegal narcotics off the street someone who is dependant will not.

There's a huge confusion between the two and most individuals just assume that dependance means addiction, it doesn't. What it boils down to is what are you using the medication for and are you abusing it. Abuse is addiction flat out.

Pain meds are not for everyone, some folks pain isn't at a high enough level to need them or some folks just totally object and that is OK too, it is up to the individual to decide what is best for them overall.

As far as the Avinza, the nausea and vomiting most likely would have subsided over time but because it wasn't working at all anyhow I can clearly see why you'd not want to take it. I know I wouldn't if it wasn't working.
Anyhow. I take morphine and vicodin for BT as well as flexeril. I've had CP since I was 10, I am now 38. It has only been recent that I've seen a true PM for my back and various other problems I seem to face. Prior to that I was taking Darvocet for years, and I mean years, nearly 15 because I wasn't aware of a PM and that's all I was offered by the rhuemy outside of times when I have had surgery.

Stormy I sure hope your hope your surgery does work out for you, I know it's so frustrating to be in chronic pain
Would you call an insulin dependent diabetic, an addict? They need their medicine.
I believe it's one thing to be dependent, and another to be addicted.
I'm on Kadian, Topamax, Elavil and Vicodin(for breakthrough pain). I have nerve pain at L5/S1. I've had a discectomy (5 yrs ago) and re-ruptured my disc. I also get nerve root injections on a regular basis. If my Pain Management Dr thought I was an addict, I wouldn't be in his clinic. Pain meds are not the only meds that you need to titrate off. Many meds require you to decrease your dose slowly over time, same with narcotics.
This is my opinion. Barbara :

dependent/habituation: tolerance to the effects of a drug acquired through continued use: compare ADDICTION

Addiction:compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.
[QUOTE=20 yrs in]Well I believe I taken just about all of them over the past 20 years and have ended up taking methadone for the past 7 years now. It works great for pain with out all the usual opiate side effects. The non opiates had way to many side effects and really didn't do much for the pain.

Oh Ken, I tried methadone for a few months and couldn't take enough to reduce my pain (I got to 15mg/day) but I couldn't stay awake. I was sleeping 15 hours a day, and then nodding off in the middle of a conversation on top of that. It also wreaked havoc with my BP. I normally have HTN, and it was dropping to 80/50. Me, being the genious that I am, stopped the methadone cold turkey. I thought the vicodin might cover it. I was OK for 3 days, however on the 4th nite I woke up thinking someone had beat me with a baseball bat. It was a week before I could see my PM Dr, so I was a week in pain and no sleep. I was lucky that I didn't have any other withdrawal problems. ~Barbara~
[QUOTE=injured betty]So, benzo, addicts or not? Any of you who think that pain pills are not an addiction should wander over to the pain board. There are a lot of people there who started out where you are.

I've been a member of the Pain board a long time and they don't say much different from what I described. I won't argue your point as it seems moot, we do all have our own opinions for various reasons and I can respect that.

Yes we can go through withdrawls but this does not define one as an addict. I've even gone through them recently when my medications got all messed up, that doesn't define me as an addict.
There's a distinct difference between dependance and addiction but it appears it is difficult for some to understand or define that.

At any rate here's what I was referring to in terms of addiction vs. dependance vs. tolerance. Of course most of the information is nothing we aren't already aware of but it is what my doctor and many others are telling patients with CP. It's about the best information I can offer in terms of how I and many others understand it. If one chooses to believe that anyone is an addict because they need to take narcotics to have normalacy in their life that is their choice but it doesn't always mean it is the correct answer.

I have bolded the area's I have tried to explain, hope that helps you to understand how I percieve it, again, it doesn't mean I am correct either.
Can addiction happen? Yes, but the percentage really is small due to how the medication works in regards to our pain receptors.

Opioids (narcotics) are medications that work like morphine. There are many drugs in this class. Examples of some include methadone, demerol, percocets, vicodin, oxycodone, and heroin. Opioids bind to a variety of different receptors on nerve cells in the CNS (central nervous system) and elsewhere in the body, leading to pain relief as well as the various side effects. Different opioids have different affinities for the various receptors and their subclasses on different cells, and this gives each opioid a unique blend of various responses (pain relief and side effects). They cause pain relief by decreasing pain impulses and sensations after binding to the nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain. They also can cause many side effects including sedation, respiratory depression, nausea, constipation, and sometimes mental status changes by affecting other nerve cells in the body.

Unfortunately, over time, nerve cells become accustomed to the effects of the opioids, and therefore, over time, opioids will have less of an effect in decreasing pain impulses and sensations. This is called Tolerance; the body becomes somewhat tolerant to the effects of the opioids. This develops in everybody who takes opioids chronically. A patient may find that the medication will not seem to work as well as it did in the beginning. This is to be expected. Even though they will develop tolerance, it will not be complete, and the medications will always give them some relief. There may be times when they may feel that the medications are not helping them at all. I’m sure that if they were to stop taking them for a day, their pain would worsen. The main point of this is that with the use of opioids, the goal is only partial relief, NOT complete relief, since the latter is unattainable due to the development of tolerance.

There is no treatment to prevent the development of tolerance. Increasing the dose of opioids to counteract tolerance will only subsequently increase the level of tolerance. The body will re-adjust to the new higher dose of opioid, and the degree of pain relief will ultimately be no better than that previously achieved with the lower dose of that opioid.

Opioids are the main medications used for the treatment of acute, severe pain, such as experienced following surgery, bone fractures, or any other severe injuries. If a patient already has a high tolerance to opioids, they will not work well or not at all using standard doses, if and when a patient needs them to treat severe, acute pain. Therefore, it is important for a patient to minimize the use of their opioids, to minimize their development of tolerance, so as to preserve the ability of their body to respond to opioids for pain relief should they experience severe, acute pain.

Addiction is the craving of opioids for reasons other than pain relief, and is different from tolerance. With time, everybody develops some degree of tolerance, but only a small fraction of patients become addicted to or abuse opioid medications.

Withdrawal occurs when a patient, who is taking a large quantity of opioids, suddenly stops taking them. With taking opioids chronically, the body becomes accustomed to a high level of them, and when this level suddenly drops, various different cells in the body respond, and this results in withdrawal symptoms. Examples of some symptoms include diarrhea, tachycardia, and anxiety. Most patients are only using relatively low doses of opioids, and if they would stop them suddenly, they probably wouldn’t have any withdrawal symptoms at all, or if they did, they would be very mild. Increasing pain would be a greater problem

I hope that clarifies my point of view.
Aloha All,

I really wished that I had gotten into this discussion a little earlier, maybe then I could have been a little more creative....but noooo, so here goes nothing. Please do not take any of this personally this is only my opinion.

Man…this thread has really taken on a life of it’s own here, and, I must say that it is out of control. But discussion is good. I say once again that this is only my opinion and two cents mind you, so take it with a grain of salt people.

I recently stopped taking Avinza cold turkey and went through some hellish withdrawal symptoms, I am still taking 3 Vicodin and 1800mg of Neurontin (morontin…that’s funny) a day. I don’t consider myself to be an addict, although I would probably get an argument from some of you that I am…so be it. This is obviously a very emotional issue for a lot of you. Personally I am just not in to dealing with the pain all day and I find it difficult not to take something for the pain, if that labels me an addict I can live with that.

As I stated before, discussion is all healthy and good, however, in my opinion, there is a lot of misinformation and outright falsities (dosages, taking timed release long acting meds on an as needed basis, etc. etc.) in a lot of the posts that I read. I am not going to go into a point by point debate on what I feel is not true because you all seem to feel very strongly about your individual opinions and to argue with you about it would more than likely prove to be quite futile. I refer to the original title of the thread as being “What are us back problem people taking for meds?” and then I see that it just starts festering from there, i.e. addicts, lowlifes, holistic medicine and text from the JAMA. There are going to be a lot of people (newbies in particular) who will read this thread and become extremely confused and disheartened by a lot of the opinions and unfounded accounts of whether or not we are all addicts, or whether or not they will become (heaven forbid…hush, hush) an addict for taking pain medication for PAIN!

One thing that I do agree with is that we are all different, different shapes and sizes, different types and tolerances to pain, and there are hundreds of ways to help us deal with pain, be it meds, PT, aqua therapy, holistic medicine, etc. etc. That’s what I thought this thread was about when I first saw it, it turned out to be quite a different animal altogether. It all boils down to a quality of life issue (to me anyway) as has been stated in many many other posts and threads. If one is able to deal with their pain and function normally as normal can be without meds…more power to them, if one needs to take meds to deal with their pain that’s ok too (I am certainly not going to call them an addict).

Some doctors get it and some don’t, I swear by my PM doctor. An internist, or family doctor (PCP) and even your surgeon is probably not your best choice to help you deal with your pain, don’t get me wrong, they will pull their rx pad out as quick as the PM doctor, but a PM doctor does pain and is familiar with…well…pain! It’s not really advisable to adjust long acting pain meds by yourself either, or take them as needed, the reason should be fairly obvious. Even BT pain meds should be taken on a regular basis as directed by your doctor, because if you wait until you’re in pain it’s pretty much too late, but then of course you may be considered an addict if you're constantly taking these FDA approved and regulated, doctor prescribed and monitored pain medications that were prescribed for PAIN! I agree with the others, if you’re taking these meds for anything other than PAIN! You probably are an addict and should seek help immediately, otherwise, follow you’re doctor’s instructions and if tolerated, make the best of these meds and enjoy life the best you can, hopefully with less PAIN! Because of these meds. I guess that I got most of it out of my system now and will leave it at that, because, basically...well, I am starting to get a little emotional now and could probably go on for a couple more pages, but won't. Good Luck to you all.


P.S. No animals were harmed during the course of this writing.
I have tried, Flexiril and Skelaxin....which of course are both muscle relaxers, neither did anything except make me feel really funny, almost like a out of body feeling...and sleepy...groggy........Was on Keppra... it didn't do anything for the pain, and made me loopy and sleepy, and seemed to make my head hurt.... Then on Neurontin....it gave me horrible headaches and my blood pressure increased.. so they took me off it....of course I felt sleepy most of the time when taking it, and it didnt do anything for my pain.....Was also at one point tried on Ultracet. 500mg.... it didnt touch my pain..... Now my PM Doc has perscribed a drug called Zonegran... it works on the same line as the Keppra, and Neurontin.....and from the beginning I have been taking 5/500mg Vicodin 1-2 tablets every 6 hrs... as needed for pain...... I really dont know how much the Vicodin does for my pain, because it knockes me out, so then I don't think about the pain... obviously....but of course my doctor told me thats the whole basic idea of the Vicodin, it doesnt actually work to relieve the pain, it works in your mind, to basically make you not think about the pain...So hopefully one day we can all find what works for us... and we can all be pain free...Take Care... :angel:
I have taken so many different meds with different effects. I've taken Darvocet, Percocet, Oxycontin, and Fentanyl patches. After having a Neurostimulator implant surgical removed they gave me a script of Dilaudid. I now take 2 to 3 of Dilaudid daily about every 6 hours, Neurontin 300 mg 3 times per day, 1 Celebrex and 1 Flexeril a day. The Dilaudid seems to be the only thing that helps the pain or at least forget the pain. They tell me that most of these meds should make me drowsy, but they have always had the reverse effect on me. I am sure I will have withdrawals when I finally get off of Dilaudid, but right now I really don't care. It helps me deal with the pain and have some quality of life. At least I can work from home in a recliner from a laptop. I am a computer programmer, so the driving an hour into work and sitting at a desk is impossible.

I hope to get the ADRs for multiple discs in the near future, but that probably won't fix the permanent nerve damage. I may be living with that pain forever.

When I was on the Fentanyl patches the adhesives really got to my skin. It also made me very forgetful. When getting off these patches I had extreme withdrawals for 2 to 3 weeks and it felt like I had the flu. I took Vicodin at that time, but it didn't seem to help with the withdrawals.

Good luck to all in dealing with your pain in whatever way works for you. We are all different and must do what is best for us. :D
Hi, my story is a fresh one, I guess I am a PM Newbie! I am a long distance runner, 45 y/o, and I was 3 miles into the Vermont 100 mile run last July when my left hip and lower back started radiating intense pain down left leg. I put up with it to mile 44 before dropping out. Since then, I have been on the PM rollercoaster, taking Ibuprofen 800mgs (which did nothing), then oral cortisone, which worked about a week, then injections, (3 in 2 months) then vicodin (maximum doses 12 hours of the day) and on Nov. 8th had an epidural block. It has taken down the pain level a few notches, which I am grateful for, but I still have a feeling "something is very wrong" in there, even when the pain level is good. I am starting my running again, but will only continue running if pain is tolerable. If not I will back off. It isn't worth it.
Aloha Cardinal,

Don’t apologize, that didn’t sound like a ramble to me, it’s always good to hear from you, besides, that’s what we’re here for. I just made my nine-month post-op anniversary and I am still unable to go through my days with out my 3 Vicodin and 2400mg of Neurontin a day. I have tried to taper off of the Vicodin but have so far been unable to deal with the pain. I am very sorry to hear that you are having other health issues on top of chronic pain, and then to get screwed by the health system is just like salt that stays in your wounds. That sucks!

I am glad to hear that you have dreams, that’s ironic, because just before I came to read some posts and found that this one was resurrected, I just finished downloading a song from one of my favorite bands and it was “Dreams" by The Allman Brothers Band (w/Duane), this is because I have dreams I’ll never see, but I still do have some dreams left, just not the same ones that I used to have. I will also pray for you. Please, even if you want to call it rambling, ramble on some more. Aloha!

I am currently on 10/325 norco every 4 hours and 800mg skelaxin every six.
i am fours weeks out of third back surgery in one year. This being a two level fusion front/back with bone graft.
Addicted or not I had three stress fractures in my back and the last two years have been hell even with pain meds.
I do not and have never had the high described with percocets/vicodin or the norco or morphine so many talk about.I also have never taken more then the prescribed amount. When the pain has been to bad to handle I go to the er and let the skilled docs handle pain control.

Bottom line is until this injury I have ten surgeries for various ailments and spinal meningitis, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel kidny stones 11 times to name a little history and never took much pain meds because I feared them.Once my back when totally bust that wasnt an option. I can honestly say if you have chosen the path of no pain meds you are lucky enough to not have hit the pain levels alot of us have. You may have pain but you aren't at a mind losing level yet. Thank god for that and be very careful how you judge others and throw out opinions. Many people are not as strong minded and let others opinion make decisions for them. I think its great that some dont need them and even if you hear from God that those of us do are addicts you know it is a touchy subject for some(not me I know my body)therefore lets not get into this verbal sparing. We are here to uplift and support each other in ANY way we can. Even if that means keeping our opinions or god given enlightments to ourselves.
Good luck to all with increased quaLITY OF LIFE
lISA :angel: