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How Much and What Kind of Pain Medication Do You Take???

idlehunters's picture
idlehunters
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi Guys!

Just wondering what you all take for pain....how much...how often..and do you fear addiction? Sometimes I think I take too much and darn...I don't wanna get addicted....but dang, I don't wanna hurt either. How do you all feel about this?

Jennie

WinneyPooh's picture
WinneyPooh
Posts: 318
Joined: Jul 2009

Jennie, i stuggle with this also, i know i can get anything i want from my oncologist all i have to do is ask, i feel like when i do they might think i am a druggie, But when i feel pain from things related to this cancer, i really find it hard just to put it out of my mind its like a naggging pain, that just won't leave, it will wake you up at night and nagg at you, so do i take pain med, eys, I take loratabs mostly because they don't put me to sleep and i only take them when i can't put the pain out of my mind, as far ad addtion I don't think you can get addicted if you have real pain and only take as directed. I perfer no pain, but with all the surgery and stuff we just have to deal with it as best as we can.

live, laugh, love
Winnie

WinneyPooh's picture
WinneyPooh
Posts: 318
Joined: Jul 2009

Jennie, i stuggle with this also, i know i can get anything i want from my oncologist all i have to do is ask, i feel like when i do they might think i am a druggie, But when i feel pain from things related to this cancer, i really find it hard just to put it out of my mind its like a naggging pain, that just won't leave, it will wake you up at night and nagg at you, so do i take pain med, eys, I take loratabs mostly because they don't put me to sleep and i only take them when i can't put the pain out of my mind, as far ad addtion I don't think you can get addicted if you have real pain and only take as directed. I perfer no pain, but with all the surgery and stuff we just have to deal with it as best as we can.

live, laugh, love
Winnie

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Sorry to hear about your pain.

I was on pain medication from September until about a month ago to cope with pain in my sacrum and nerve pain related to it. I was on Hydromorphone, Gabapentin, and Naproxyn. I was probably on the morphine for about 5 months. It really did the job and didn't leave me too fuzzy. I gradually reduced the dose and am now totally off pain killers.

I've been told that with morphine as long as it is used for pain you will not become addicted. I had no problem stopping.

Any chance you could find your way to a "pain clinic". I hear they can be very helpful.

Is that Bambi on your wall?

TTFN... Rob; in Vancouver

Kerry S's picture
Kerry S
Posts: 607
Joined: Dec 2009

Being a former drunk, I have to be very careful as mine is an addictive body/mind. It has a nasty track record.

I take percocet. I have taken as much as 8 500mg a day. My brain thinks it is good S#$%. Now I break the 500mg tabs in half and take it 3 to 4 times a month. One full tab does bring the old buzz back to the brain and not in a good way. My wife says it is better to kill the dull nerve pain than the risk. I feel I have been able to control the use of it.

The good draw back is it constipates the hell out of me. That helps me avoid it.

coloCan
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

so don't worry about addiction. Once out of hospital, I was on percocet and lowest dose of Fentanyl painpatch and now nothing..If you have pain, take something for it; that should be one less thing to fret about as you should be able to alleviate it.......steve

RickMurtagh's picture
RickMurtagh
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2010

supposedly a morphine derivative, but SOOOOOO much better, at least in my case. Not sure of the amounts, but much less than in the hospital - taking nothing but showers for pain and discomfort now!

dorookie
Posts: 1736
Joined: Jul 2007

I struggle with this everyday. I believe I am addicted to painkillers, not in a getting a high from them but a physical addiction. I was taking them during treatment for the past 2 years (Oxycotin and Oxycodone) at one time I was up to about 80mg a day, still not that bad. Remember I never took them to get high it was for pain. Well after the chemo stopped I then started having the back pain problems (which might be subsiding, keeping my fingers crossed, have had a few good days) I am now taking just about 15-20mg a day. I have the 10 mg prescribed to me, and I brake them in half. I am attempting to go off of them completely but prime example, I went to bed last night around 10, I wasn't in pain much today so I only took 2 halves that equal 10mg, well I went to bed and took a Xanax thinking that I could sleep through the night without feeling like I am jonesing(sp) well didn't work 1 am it woke me up.

I know I think I am crazy too, to have such withdrawals with only being on such a low dose, I dont care what anyone says, it happens and its happening to me, and I am scared. I know I need to take a long weekend and take strong meds to sleep to get over the withdrawals. BTW my pain doc says that withdrawals wont kill you, my response to her was they may not kill you but they make you wish you were dead. Now this is just my experience, and I have never ever taken any kind of drugs, so I guess I am considered a lite weight.

So My advise would to be careful, if you dont need them, dont take them. Maybe you will be one of the lucky ones and have no problem at all stopping them. Good Luck..

Beth

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4911
Joined: May 2005

I take oxycodone, just about 2 a day. I do NOT worry about being addicted, that is the very last thing on my mind. I worry more about having to put up with pain when there is no need to. Cancer and chemo are enough to deal with on a daily basis, why throw chronic surgical pain into the mix for no reason? That is how I look at it.

Jennie, looking at your photo you are hardly an "Idle Hunter".
BTW: Nice rack!
;-)

ittapp's picture
ittapp
Posts: 385
Joined: Jun 2009

What kind of pain are we talking about? I have pain in my liver, back and feel like I am 90 years old in the morning. I take two to four percocets throughout the day. It is real pain and I feel like if I am addicted well so be it. I do not feel that I am but the pain is to much to deal with in my opinion. Patti

geotina's picture
geotina
Posts: 2121
Joined: Oct 2009

Gosh I am sorry you guys are in pain almost every day. Guess George is lucky, we had the pain medicine prescriptions filled but since he came home from the hospital after resection on 4/8/09, he has not taken one of them. Knock wood, hope it continues. Tina

idlehunters's picture
idlehunters
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

Thanks for all the input. It helps to see what you are all dealing with on a daily basis and I can relate to the views you have posted. thank you so much.

Jen

PS..... I am so glad you like my "rack" Phil..... LOL

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

I have been very fortunate in that, other than a burning pain for a short time in my liver when I was first on chemo, I have not ever had any cancer related pain (even though I now have a rectal tumor, four liver tumors, and too many tumors in my lungs to even count). The only prescription pain meds I've taken in the 2-1/2 yrs since dx was for a couple of weeks following my liver resection in 5/08(which has been my only surgery). Not saying that to boast- just that I'm realizing how very fortunate I've been to not have pain from cancer. I DO take ibuprofen and more recently aspirin for joint pain and on and off back pain. The joint pain was almost immobilizing on some days during chemo and while on interferon, but right now (as I'm not on any treatment) it's limited to my knees and left big toe joint (which had started bothering me a couple of yrs before I was dx).
I can understand though, how it would be scary to feel like you are dependent upon pain meds (which is why I stopped taking them after the liver surgery pretty quickly)- you don't want to become addicted, but you don't want to hurt either- very understandable. I don't know if maybe an answer is to not always take them routinely, but take less or even none a day here and a day there when you're able. Also, maybe periodically changing the type of pain meds used would be helpful- something to ask your dr. about.

Lisa

Sharon57
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2009

My husband uses a 50 mg Fentanyl pain patch--he started having bad cramping about a month ago, and it has really done the trick.

ADKer's picture
ADKer
Posts: 150
Joined: Aug 2008

I am fortunate not to need any pain meds right now but after my surgeries, I took whatever was necessary to avoid pain. The liver surgery was particularly difficult because they had a hard time waking me up after the surgery and became STINGY with the pain meds. Whatever else I may have to do, I do not intend to do pain on this journey. I have mostly used percocet; Fortunately, I hate it because it makes me a little bit delusional.

johnsfo's picture
johnsfo
Posts: 47
Joined: Oct 2009

I take very large doses of pain meds because the sacral pain is severe and chronic. My doctors have pointed out a useful distinction between addiction and physical dependence. Taking narcotics regularly will cause physical dependence. That is, you will develop a tolerance to the drugs and need to increase the doses to maintain the same pain relieving effect, and you will experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking them suddenly.

That is not addiction. Addiction includes all of the above but also refers to psychological dependence on the narcotic "high." If you're taking the drugs appropriately for pain, you probably do not experience any opioid euphoria. I don't; the only good feeling I get from them is pain relief. So addiction, a word laden with social stigmas, is unlikely to happen when taking any dose of narcotics for legitimate pain relief.

One doc compared taking narcotics for pain to taking insulin for diabetes. Once you start, you will become dependent and you can't stop without help from your docs. Taken for appropriate reasons, they improve the quality of your life.

John

dorookie
Posts: 1736
Joined: Jul 2007

this is what I am struggling with. Because I am now taking such a low dose, my doctor seems to think it should be a walk in the park to just stop taking them (have been on them for almost 3 years now). That is not the case. I have tried so many times to stop even though I am still in a lot of pain due to my back problem. I attempt to go to sleep taking xanax and not taking the pain pill in hopes that I can sleep through the night, no such luck, the withdrawals wake me up, they are nasty, and I will then take half a pill just to ease them and try to get some more sleep. Yes I am still in pain from my back, but I would rather be off the drugs and find another way to deal with the pain if that is possible. Guess I need a better doctor. I struggle with the social stigma of feeling like I am an addict, my Girlfriend says what you are saying that my body is dependent on them and I am not an addict. Having the job I have I just cant be taking them, and I have failed so many times trying to stop on my own. Like I said I am at such a low dose, I think the doc thinks I am making this crap up, I feel hurt, lost and it totally consumes my thoughts. I feel hopeless....

Beth

HollyID's picture
HollyID
Posts: 951
Joined: Dec 2009

John, very well said.

Addiction vs. cancer. Hmmmmmmmm....

When my dad was on his death bed, I found out my mother was not giving my dad his full dose of methadone. I wasn't sure if he couldn't swallow it or what, so when I asked my mom about it, she said she didn't want him to become addicted to it. Really, my dad was NOT going to recover from this. He was hours from death and I could tell he was hurting because of his movements and the sounds he was making. I gave him a full dose and was happy that it helped. Then, I didn't want to lecture my mother, but told her dad was not going to become addicted to his meds. He won't have enough time to be addicted.

I just wanted him out of pain or at least as pain free as possible.

addiction and cancer.... it's a hard line, but when it warrants pain relief... don't be afraid of taking something.

zenmonk
Posts: 198
Joined: Nov 2009

Its a good question, and as for the issue of pain management it could support a discussion board all its own. I take pain meds, oxycodone for fast and oxycontin for slow. My doctors have come to the conclusion that I may never be off pain meds. Just too much remodeling done on my body, scar tissue adhesions and the such. The bottom line to me is productivity. These medicines allow me to be a productive member of society. If not I would be at home in bed suffering. As far as stopping, its no joke. The dr's can bring you off slowly but it's still terrible from what I hear.

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

this is an excellent discussion....after my liver re-sections I would take percocet but only for a couple of days because i found it made me nauseous and it is constipating.

For my five year battle I have been taking 1 mg of lorazapam at night and now my doc wants me off that....she says it is addicting and I am sure I am addicted but I just don't care. Some nights i break them if half and take .5mg of the drug and I have never had any desire to increase this. she recently started me on an antidepressant called trazadone as a repalcement but that drug made me light head, gave me severe stomach pain and I was awake most of the night.

don't know what to do

mags

coloCan
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

I take 1mg nightly also, sometime 1 1/2 and even 2 mg but every now and then I try to sleep with no pills just for the heck of it and it seems to work tho I don't/can't go more than two days.But even with the pill(s), I usually sleep no more than a few hours at a time, rearely up to five hours in a row.......Don't even think I dream any more....steve

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

that is exactly what my GP asked me to do Steve....just skip one night a week.....you are a clever boy...I get anxious just thinking about it because I just suppose I won't sleep :)

mags

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

I was taking 1mg every night for sleeping as well, but started noticing I was building up a tolerance. I like how much it helps me when the anxiety starts creeping in and it just wasn't working anymore. Plus, I was noticing being tired during the day more so. I stopped taking Ativan and switched to melatonin. I don't fall asleep as quickly, but I'm getting good sleep and I'm not tired during the day. I'm even not taking the melatonin every night either. I still get up a time or two in the night, but I don't worry about it cause I have no daytime tiredness. I figure I'm getting what I need! I've contemplated getting a regular sleeping pill, but I'm going to see how this routine does for me for now.
mary

dorookie
Posts: 1736
Joined: Jul 2007

the Melatonin really works for me too. Have lots of problems falling asleep, it takes about 20 minutes but it works and I usually sleep very well. However if I dont take enough of the pain pills, nothing can keep me asleep, I wake up in a sweet and body aches, its horrible and I am totally scared to death to stop all together.

Today I didnt take any pills, and around noon I took half a .5 xanax that worked, and then tonight I took a long term oxycotin 10 mg, and that didnt seem to help, took a melatonin and no luck so now I just took half of a oxycodone and waiting for it to kick in so I can go to sleep. I am currently in Austin TX in a hotel, detailled up here to work at a different facility, and tomorrow the second in command of the Department of Homeland Security (number 2 guy under Obama) is visiting my facility in the morning and here I am not able to sleep....YIKES... Okay I am totally rambling..

What was I talking about...LOL

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

I am tired during the day too....I don't think we can get melatonin legally in canada...like to give it a whirl

mags

dorookie
Posts: 1736
Joined: Jul 2007

I wonder if I could mail you some? Do you think I would go to jail for that?

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

Dearest Beth....we can't have you going off to jail for a little melatonin but so brave of you to offer....teheheh

I'll pick some up when we go to New York for the opera in May

hugs mags

NBTXGIRL's picture
NBTXGIRL
Posts: 31
Joined: Aug 2009

My house is a virtual pharmacy of pain meds, so much so that I lock them up. When I asked the onc. about addiction, he told me that was the last thing I needed to worry about with his condition. He explained there is absolutely no reason for him to be in pain at this point. So here is the list: Fentanyl patch 100mg every 72 hrs, Percocet 10/325mg as needed, Dilaudid 4mg as needed, Neurotin 100mg three times a day, Utram 50mg, twice a day.

dorookie
Posts: 1736
Joined: Jul 2007

Your list is just like mine. My partner takes Fentanyl patch 100mg every 72 hrs, dilaudid twice a day.

I take Neurotin 300mg 3 times a day, and I am weaning off the oxycotin and oxycodone. I think we have some Ultram as well.

My ONC said the samething to me about not worring about the addiction of the pain meds. But now I worry....But I am working at getting off of them all together..

Beth

NBTXGIRL's picture
NBTXGIRL
Posts: 31
Joined: Aug 2009

I know Beth, I am just grateful that Daddy's onc. is very proactive when it comes to pain control (mets to bones). He does not believe in his patients being in pain. Especially, when Daddy is just doing pallative care. We know there is nothing we (onc.) can do anymore to cure the cancer, but we can control the quality of his life and not allow him to be in pain. The really scary thing is, Daddy does not get loopy or fuzzy while on them and at one point he decided to stop taking them for a couple of months and had no withdraw effects. This is one strong willed man. The hosp. dr. hinted at three month survival when diagnosed over nine months ago. Daddy is not finished on this earth, so he is hanging in there as much as possible.

I hope your weening goes as well as our does, but I agree with your onc., don't be in pain if you don't have to. I wish for this day to be good for you. Kim

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

Last thing I'm worried about is addiction as well, I just take the meds to help me through the pain, especially during chemo, when my onc said the pain I will feel may be the chemo killing the tumors, and could be everywhere! I am on Oxycontin (80mg) and Oxycodone (15mg fast-release) and even though I'm supposed to take 3 oxy's a day, I only take one, since I'm not in that much pain where I feel I need all that in my system, and the oxycodone really do help, I have had this pain in my shoulder, pretty much around the shoulder blade area for a few weeks now, and it does help that pain, the onc thinks I pinched a nerve, but we'll see if anything else shows up on my scans I just took yesterday, I'll know next week. But, take the pills when you need them, I agree with everything JohnSF0 said, he said everything so well.

Hugsss!
~Donna

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