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Pain Med,s

Posts: 10
Joined: Feb 2010

Hello everyone I hope this finds you all well. I have a question if anyone can help.Is there any such thing as to much pain killers.They have my husband on fentanyl patch and he has oxycodone for break thru pain now they just gave him morphine to take also it just seems like to much to me.

micktissue's picture
Posts: 430
Joined: Dec 2009

So sorry your husband is going through such a hard time. Did the Drs prescribe the meds as palliative care? If so then you and your husband are the ones who really get to decide what is too much. If not, then get on the horn ASAP with is Dr and ask them directly.

Because the Drs have said there is nothing more they can do (you posted that in a separate thread), they may just be prescribing the meds as a quality of life issue rather than curative. Does you husband have any follow up appointments? What have you been told about his prognosis/condition?

All our thoughts are with you and your husband.



Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2010

Hello a good quetion for me to think about as i have stuggled with the pills and so forth. I now have my meds given to me by the people im closest with not that its hard to get hooked its hard to come off!mt doctors say it a tough road for them also getting us off happy to chat anytime im 90 days post chemo and radiation and my head tells me that my pain is worse than it is!

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

I am not sure where your husband is in his treatment or who your doctors are, you might want a second opinion I suggest http://www.cancercenter.com/about-us.cfm at the lease talk to someone there and see if they can help

Take care

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Ann, it is certainly not unusual, especially following surgery, to be given a pain management diet that includes the fentanyl patch along with oxycontin and others. I know that your husband's current regimen sounds might familiar to me.

The thing is, his doctors probably understand that pain management is critical to maintaining the will to fight, to endure treatment. It DOES need to be regulated properly, of course, but it is fundamental, in my opinion, to keeping on keeping on. I have had two surgeries for cancer, radiation treatment, chemotherapy on two different occasions, and even a debilitating staph infection following my second surgery, and the only time I ever felt like giving up was when I found the pain unbearable.

Following my first surgery, I made every effort to quit the patch and the other drugs as soon as possible, fearing, like many, that I might become addicted if I stayed with the program. My doctors advised me that they do not worry so much about people who NEED pain meds becoming addicted.

I would suggest, as others have, that if your husband's doctors are not on the same page with respect to the meds he has been provided, they need to be at once. If that is already the case, I would then suggest that you go with the program until such time as you see these meds adversely affecting his quality of life.

Depending on his treatment, his health, his prognosis, balancing pain meds against quality of life can indeed become an issue.

Take care,


stevenl's picture
Posts: 587
Joined: Jan 2010

Although I have not started my rads or chemo yet, my RO did tell me that there may be an additional need for other narcotics other than what he has already prescribed during my treatment. He also stated what Joe said, that he was not worried about addiction so much in someone who needs the meds. He said that one would in time want to return to normal control of their life. Taking meds is not being in control of ones own life. So I would monitor him because you know him and and hopefully in a short while he will not require as much medication as he is on now. Hang in there and keep hope.


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Like so many on here have stated, pain meds are very helpful with pain management. I also believe that more than likely everyone wants to get better and off of as much as possible.

I know that I have had more than my shared prescribed and many were on top of each other depending on the purpose and conditions of why they might be needed.

I had active prescriptions for liquid hydrocodone, oxycontin, percocet, xanax, and roxanol (liquid morphine sulfate). Though I had no occasion to need any of those all at the same time. I do know there were instances where a few might have over lapped. Such as Xanax when I first started having radiation and was having anxiety problems initially wearing the dreaded mask. If I were having pain at that same time, I'd take a Percocet, and or at times the liquid hydrocodone for fluid intake.

I couldn't stand the morphine, it made me nauseaus and didn't do anything for my pain. So usually I'd dissolve Percocets to relieve throat pain. I dissolved them because I couldn't swallow the pills, and since my taste was screwed up that didn't matter either, LOL.

I still have quite a collection, but haven't used anything since a month or so post radiation.


Kent Cass
Posts: 1898
Joined: Nov 2009

I was undiagnosed Primary NPC, 15 months ago. Little over a year ago I began 31 full head and neck rad sessions, with two 96-hour sessions getting Cisplatin and Flourouracil pumped into me, during weeks #1 and 4. At the end of the first week- my mouth became a trainwreck.

Ann, I've been more open than most any others in regards to prescrip help in making it thru it all. My Onco told me the first office visit I had with her that I'd be on morph- she knew where I was going. And, I did use it, after my daily rad sessions, in weeks 2 and 3; and, when the going got so tough that I couldn't even go thru the rads in weeks 5 and 6 (spent 4 days in a hospital in week #6, and with morph). Magic mouthwash was with me on the entire journey. And, I used a 1/2-tab of Xanax every weekday before the rad session, and another 1/2-tab in the evening when thoughts of the day to follow crept into my mind. And, yes, during the times of treatment when I was not using the morph, I was using the Vicodin. I'm now a 15-month survivor, Ann. The last of the morph I had was flushed down the stool, and stopping use of the Xanax was never an issue with me. The only other med for pain and suffering I had was the Vicodin, and stoppage of it's use was the only struggle I had. All told, Ann- I did what was necessary to get me to where I now am, and I have no regrets for the med help I used.

You have to be the judge on the med matter, based on how things are going. I cannot advise beyond what I have, here, stated. Everybody is different. Play it as it lays, Ann. The thing one has to always keep in mind is to take one hurdle at a time. First, one must get over that first hurdle.

All of our prayers are with you...Believe.


Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2008

It may not be "too much" as it takes alot of meds to kill so much pain.Be from my experience becoming addicted to fyntenal and then trying to get off, the withdrawl, was very trying.And also remember pain meds de-hydrate so miralax or some other OTC meds. are needed to stop constipation.I ended up in the ER after not being informed by my docs or nurses at the cancer center I went to.They all assumed some-one else had told me.
Good Luck

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