My name is Beth, I'm 27 years old, live in Wash. D.C. area, and have been dealing with chronic R-sided LBP for 3 years. I've been reading these boards for a while, but decided to take the plunge into posting. Long story turned short: I have 3 "bad" discs (L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1) and we're not sure definitively which is causing my pain. I have tried PT, meds, chiropractor, had 2 discograms, 5 MRI's, an endoscopic discectomy July 2007 (on L4/5) and an IDET procedure (on L3/4) just last week, 1/25/08 (I am home recovering, and return to work 2/4). So that's my basic info.
My medication history goes a little something like this. In the very beginning meds were prescribed by my primary care doc. About 2 months in I saw an orthopedist, and was under his care (and he prescribed meds) up until December of last year, when I finally saw a GOOD PM doc.
Vicodin: this was the drug I was originally prescribed for pain. One pill took the pain away completely for a long time. Then, 1 pill took the pain away, but for less time. Then 1 pill only minimized the pain. Then 1 pill didn't work at all, so we increased my dose to 2 pills, which worked for a good long while, but as they all seem to, eventually stopped working.
Percocet: Afer the Vicodin stopped working, I was prescribed Percocet 5/325mg. Same thing: 1 pill worked, then didn't, then 2 worked for a long time, then didn't, then 3 made no difference, then 4 worked for a while, then all of a sudden I was taking 6 at a time, which worked for a while, but soon hardly made any difference at all.
Neurontin: I was put on this initially by the doc who did my ESI's that didn't work & then maintained on it by my ortho. This drug was quite effective, though I could never really tell, until I accidentally forgot to get a new script and ran out over the weekend. Oh, boy! After that I had a much softer spot for it in my heart, as I knew it was working, even though I couldn't necessarily tell, b/c I was still in pain (but I was in FAR WORSE pain without!).
Lyrica: Neurontin was switched to Lyrica after about a year. I find it to be the same & work as well. I currently take 75mg, 4 times per day.
Avinza: When I finally found my great PM doc just 7 weeks ago, he wanted me on a long-acting drug, so put me on Avinza. We are STILL trying to get the right dosing, but we're close (at 150mg it's working pretty well). I actually really like this drug, b/c I don't know it's working, and it doesn't really affect me at all (make me tired, or "high"). The bummer: my insurance has denied coverage for it. So.... on Monday we will begin the switch to Fentanyl. I'm not sure how I'll like it in comparison - I've never tried it.
Elavil: My PM doc also put me on Elavil. Pre-Elavil I was sleeping maybe 3-4 hours/night, WITH OTC sleeping pills. After starting Elavil, I've slept full nights ever since. It is a saviour when it comes to sleep.
Roxicodone: After IDET, my doc put me on this instead of Percocet b/c he was concerned about Tylenol. Problem is, oxycodone in general isn't helping my pain anymore. I think I'm immune. He gave me 15m, but said I could take 2 after I told him 1 did nothing. Even 2 don't do anything. If I take 2 and then another 1 an hour later, I'll fall asleep, but it doesn't help my pain.
Anyway, that's me. If you've made it to the end, thank you :) I look forward to helping & being helped. This is such a great resource. Take care & I wish everyone less pain in the future!