Discussions that mention vicodin

Pain Management board

Going from a vicodin every few days to Opana is one huge jump in medication. However, the Opana dose is very low, and this particular drug doesn't get processed well in the body so little of it gets to the bloodstream anyway. You should not experience any problems with the med being more potent, but trying it is the only way you'll know if it'll help the HAs.

Might as well give it a try. At least that way, if it doesn't work, you can advise the doc.

Hey 10sox, They are most likely trying to prevent rebound headaches that any short acting med can causes. Somtimes the tylenol alone is enouh to cause rebound headaches once it wears off. Unfortunately the price you pay for going from a couple vicodin per day as needed to opiates around the clock is physical dependence, not the same as addiction, but still a halthy price to pay for pain relief. The one thing we all have in common is that by useing long acting opiates, its inevatable that physical dependence develops from maintaing a flat level of opiates in our system. It may take weeks or even months but the time will come where not taking the med causes you to experience withdrawal.

You have to deccide is this a price your willing to pay to manage your headaches? Has everything else been tried before you go down that road? That's why it seems like a major leap from Vicodin PRN to opana around the clock.
Good luck, Dave
Thank you all so much for your responses. You have given me many things to think about. I am a little confused about the Opana. Many of you say it is a long-acting medicine....how is this different from the Vicodin I was taking? I took the first Opana 5mg yesterday and it only gave me relief for about 2 hours, then I was in pain again. Does Opana only really work if you take it around the clock?

Shoreline: I am sorry, I don't know how to use the quote function but I think you hit the nail right on the head about my headaches. Last year I was determined not to take the vicodin, so I was taking TONS of motrin, 800mg at at time when my back was at it's worst. I wasn't taking it every day, but here and there as needed. I started having what was later diagnosed as Rebound Migraine Morning Headaches. I would wake up with a headache and start to vomit for HOURS straight. It stopped taking the motrin and haven't had an episode in over a year. So, now I am not sure if it is the tylenol portion for the vicodin that is causing my headaches, or the vicodin itself.

Can someone please explain what the difference between vicodin and opana? I live in pain every single day, but my pain is the worst as the day goes on. I can usually make it until noon or 2pm before my pain is at a level where it needs medication. However if I am out and about then the pain does come earlier. If I were to go to a park or zoo with my children, I would be in SEVERE pain and not be able to make it more than a couple hours without pain medication.

Thanks again for all your help everyone.
Hey 10Sox, The difference between Opana and Vicodin is twofold. First, they are 2 different classes of drug. Vicodin is hydrocodone and Opana is oxymorphone. They are both narcotics, but have different properties. (I wish I could explain those properties better, but I'm still learning that part of it, even after several years as a pain patient)

The second difference is that Opana is what is called a long-acting (LA) med, which is time released. It starts out by delivering a certain percentage of the medication within the first hour of taking it and then releases the rest over a period of say 8-12 hours. (most LA meds do not last a full 12 hours, so it's more like 8 or for some, even 6) Vicodin is an instant release med, or short acting (SA) which delivers its full dose and lasts roughly 4-6 hours.

Most people who have chronic pain are prescribed both an LA med and a SA med for breakthrough (BT) pain. Even though the LA meds release over time, because people have to function and be active, there is almost always some amount of breakthrough pain. Some docs do not agree with that theory and feel that the LA meds alone are enough.

I hope that makes sense. I am having a bit of brain fog today, so if I confused you in any way, please let me know, OK? Take care, CMP/MM
Thank you for that information cmpgirl. However, I do have on other question if anyone can help me. I am on Opana NOT OpanaER. From what I've read online, Opana ER is long-acting, and Opana (not ER) is used for breakthrough pain and taken on a needed basis only. So, if this in fact is true, how does the Opana (not Opana ER) differ from Vicodin?

Also, I am slowly increasing my dosage of Neurontin. I am taking 600mg 3x a day. I am increasing to 900mg, 3x a day. Well last night I was on the couch with my husband watching TV and I was exhausted from the day. We had been out with the kids ALL day. I all of a sudden felt like I was going to pass out. I grabbed my head (not sure why, it didn't hurt) and I then I was fine. It almost felt like that feeling right before they sedate you. I am not sure what that was from? I took one 5mg Opana at 1pm and another at 5pm. This epidode happened around 10pm. Now I am so scared to drive with my kids in the car for fear of this happening again. I know I am a total worry wart (as my husband calls me), but could this be from the meds?

Hey 10sox,

First, I think the reason you were lightheaded/faint was probably due, in part, to meds. The other factor was more than likely that you were out and about all day, probably in the sun part of the time, and physically active.

Heat and increased activity can cause narcotic meds to metabolize more quickly, and you can get a bit lightheaded from this. I don't think you should worry too much, because it is also normal to have some side effect issues when you have had a recent increase in dose(s). This should go away in time, as your body gets used to the increase. You may want to cut back on the driving for a bit, just until you are more used to your new doses.

As far as the Opana vs. Opana ER, the main difference between each of them and Vicodin is still the same. Opana and Opana ER are oxymorphone. Vicodin is hydrocodone. (Opana and Vicodin being "brand names")

Both of them are opiates/opioids, but each one can target different pain receptors in the brain. While I'm beginning to understand the technical properties, I don't think I can explain them as well as some of the others here.

I do know there is one receptor that all narcotics target and that is called the mu receptor. There are 3 other receptors in the brain as well.... delta, kappa and I forget the fourth. Some meds target 2 receptors and some target 3 or all 4. Not sure at all which receptors these 2 specific meds target. (I think I dropped out of chemistry :D)

I hope this helps and didn't confuse you even more. If it did, please accept my apology. Maybe someone else with more knowledge than I, can explain it better. Take care, CMP/MM
Cmpgirl: thanks so much again for your response. You have me tons of information to look into. Unfortunately, science was not my best subject in college and I remember close to nothing.

I took the Opana yesterday afternoon and last night I had a HORRIBLE headache, worst than on the vicodin. Now I am afraid I cannot take any kind of narcotic pain med without having rebound headaches. I am a HUGE worry wart and worry about things before I even know for certain what is going on. My dear husband tries to calm me down and says we'll figure it out. I spoke to my aunt today and she told me migraines run in our family and she suffers from rebound headaches quite often. I guess I will see what happens with the Opana again today and if I get the same awful headache. Maybe it was just a coincidene. The only other option I know if is to take the meds around the clock so it never leaves my system. But I hate to do that if I don't actually need the med around the clock for pain management.

Thanks again for all the support.