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This whole pain management business is off the hook. I've been in pain management for about 10 months. Doc took me off the hydrocodone/acetaminophen - 10/325mg 3/daily, and put me on Oxycontin. The last thing I wanted in my life was addiction. The doc says that the long acting pill forms are better for chronic pain, and the short acting form of hydrocodone won't work any more after a while. I say “OK.” He then says, “With the prescription of this narcotic there’s also the risk of addiction. I have to say that.” Again, I say, “OK.” Boy, he wasn’t kidding.

I'm naive and have never been to pain management. I just dealt with the pain since I wrecked my car when I was 21 years old and put myself in a wheelchair. I’ve always been in pain since, but over the years the rods in my back just became unbearable.

Giving a quick run down of my pain killing history; I start out with hydrocodone/acetaminophen 10/325 three/daily, and away I go. All is well until I ask my general practitioner for muscle relaxants for leg spasms. She sends me to pain management. As I said above, he suggests long acting hardcore drugs, and I tell him I'm scared to death to become addicted. He said that after being on hydrocodone for about 2 years, you're probably already somewhat dependent. Maybe so, but I could stop taking them and still sleep at night. I went along with it. My pain is pretty bad and I was hoping for better relief. The hydrocodone/acetaminophen weren’t working like they used to. In hindsight, I should have requested a different type of short acting medication to alternate with. I could have used oxycodone/acetaminophen one month, then hydrocodone/acetaminophen the next month, or even codeine sometimes, and so on.

I take his advice and go with the Oxycontin. After a couple months of tweaking, we finally settle on 30mg 3 times a day or 90mg a day. All is well for a few months. Then I start feeling highs and lows from the drug. I mean mood swings. I realize that the drug is what makes me feel better and worse. It turns into taking more pills than prescribed. The next thing I know, I'm realizing it’s out of control. I stopped the Oxycontin cold turkey and threw the rest down the toilet. I had to bust through the withdrawals. Then I brought him my written prescription that I didn't refill and told him I can't take this stuff any more, and told him what happened.

I took 1 ½ hydrocodone/acetaminophen 10/325mg w/ a muscle relaxant every 6 hours to get through the Oxycontin withdrawals. I've been through a lot in my life, and that first week without Oxycontin was one of the worst weeks I can remember in a long time. Anyway, I got through it. When I told the doctor how I did it, he panicked and told me that I'm not allowed to have any narcotics. I can understand his concern, so get me off them. I suggest injections for the pain to see if they help. Even though I don’t have soft tissue pain, I figured I’d give the injections a try. My pain is bone/steel rod related. No cortisone will work on that type of pain. I’m thinking he’ll wean me off the short acting narcotics since I’m over the Oxycontin by this time. Nope.

All after saying he can’t give me narcotics anymore the doc goes on a roll. The doc offers me Suboxone for the PAIN, or Duragesic Patches (Fentanyl) 50mcg or any of the other hardcore drugs that mess with your brain, as long as it was a long acting type narcotic. I could have asked for Oxycontin again and he probably would have given it to me! By the way, Fentanyl is more potent than any of those other narcotics. Dosages are measured in micrograms not milligrams like the others. Insane! He just won’t give me the short acting narcotic that still works for me. He's supposed to be a reputable pain management doctor too. What are these guys deliberately trying to get you hooked on the heavy stuff so you have no choice but to keep going to them? I decide on the Suboxone for the pain. Basically, you take your first Suboxone 24 hours after your last dose of narcotic. At that time your withdrawals are getting pretty bad, and you’re ready to eat nails. If you take the Suboxone too soon it will block the narcotics in your system and make you feel like crud. So I pushed through the first 24 hours. It wasn’t too bad, considering I was only on hydro/acet & muscle relaxants, and taking them on a strict 6 hour schedule. Now I'm on the Suboxone for pain, not addiction treatment, and I turned down the Fentanyl. Even though the Suboxone doesn't do much for the pain, it's better than nothing. Since he won't give me short acting narcotics, I'm stuck on this Suboxone 16mg/daily and I won't do anything stronger, even though I could if I chose to. Does that make any sense?

Now I'm reading that this Suboxone will be hard as hell to get off. I’m to the point where I would rather deal with the pain than with all these heavy drugs. Give me my 10/325 Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen w/ a muscle relaxant for my leg spasms and send me off. The doctor won't do it. How did he come to the conclusion I can't have any short acting narcotics when it was the Oxycontin that got me into this mess in the first place? Don’t get me wrong I don’t blame a drug for my abusing it, but I never had any problem with the hydro/acet before. Granted, there were times when I took more than I was prescribed, but it had to be a bad day of pain for me to do that. Nor did I ever feel like I couldn’t live without a hydro/acet pill. Oxycontin plays heavy with your brain. Sure, it kills the pain, but it also affects your thoughts, emotions, general mood, makes you think you can’t live without it, and you don’t care. In my opinion, that stuff is pure evil. The doc must not get a big enough kick back for prescribing little short acting drugs as he does for the big name brand “brain frying” meds. He wants to give me more injections since the first round didn’t work. This sucks. I told him so, and I'm going to tell him so again.

People; don't let these doctors push their meds on you unless you're going to die. By all means take the heavy stuff if you're terminally ill, otherwise, DON'T! Take short acting narcotics and suck up as much of the pain as possible. Unless you really think the heavy narcotics are worth it.

Good luck everyone……………PainfulDude

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Hi Paindude,
I'm really sorry to hear your story. Mine is pretty much the opposite - I was crushed by heavy equipment when I was 17 and after years of going to docs and getting the hydro/apap and muscle relaxer routine, I started self medicating. I won't say how because it's too easy and I don't want to give kids a lesson on how to score opium.

Anyway, after a while my wife was concerned about my use and I went to a psychiatrist who put me on Suboxone, which, as you know, does little for pain. I'm not worried about dependence since I'll be on some sort of opiate for the rest of my life - unless some miracle drug/cure happens. I'm going to ask my Pain doc about methadone. I've heard it works very well for long term pain patients. Of course, the withdrawals are awful, but they are with any opiate.

It's just odd. I read your post and thought "Man, I wish I could get Oxycontin or whatever so this pain will go away

Good luck
J
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same thing has happened to me. I was on hydrocodone for pain 7.5/500 four times a day. They put me on methadone because i was having really bad acid reflux on the hyrdocodone, methadone didn't work for me at all and just made me very nauseated. I switched back to the hydrocodone and it didnt' work anymore. From his point he put me on oxycontin 20 mg's 3 times a day. I started taking up to four a day because it seemed like they wouldn't last long enough. Four a day seemed to do the trick. Anyways of course i ran out and now i'm on day 4 without any pain meds and doing a lot better. i can think clearer and i feel good. It has been hell coming off of it. cold sweats, restless legs, no appetite, i also quit smoking the same day. so this is by far the hardest thing physically and mentally i've ever done.
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How in the world can you be on Suboxone and fentanly? The doc really did this...or did I read this wrong.
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I'm in the suboxone not working for my pain predicament. I don't know how to find a legit pain specialist who knows how to deal with medications. How did you guys find yours? Any advice?
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I was on hydrocodone on month and oxycodone the next for several years after I ruptured four discs in my back while in Iraq. The surgery they did wasn't successful. To make a long very long story short. I began over taking my meds (abusing them). It got to the point where I would go find them "elsewhere" because I was running out to early. Well, I had finally had enough of being high all the time and broke, and still in sever pain. I went to my doc, and he of course placed me in rehab. The rehab doc put me on Suboxone which I have been taking ever since. It helped me greatly get through all the opiate withdrawals. It is also a wonderful pain management drug for me. I still have pain, but its pain that I can live with, and it dosent interfere with my life. I dont know how long yall have been taking the suboxone, but give it a chance if you haven't already. It took about three months of being on it to really get my pain under control. Well I hope Ive helped at least one person with this post.
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Wow, a lot of the posts on here are really helpful and I'm glad to hear that so many o fyou were successful in getting off these drugs and kicking the habit. I know it must have been very tough for you so I'm proud of each and every one of you. Do any of you have any lessons that you've learned that you'd like to share or maybe tips or tricks for someone trying to come off this? Thanks!
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Hey ... if any of you folks can get past the terribly negative connotations - Methadone is the way to go. It is the best pain reliever available, and was developed by scientists who were very motivated to do the best job they could. Don't get caught up in the connection between heroin etc. Licensing is not an issue in the U.S. however it is in Canada. Pursue it and don't give up - we all have the right to pain relief with being turned into iatrogenic junkies.

Michael
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Im sorry to tell you that if you dont want to be on hard drugs, Suboxone is the last drug you want to be on, the active opiate in suboxone is far stronger than oxycodone in oxycontin, buprenorphine is one of the strongest opiates in the world, people dont think it is because itr doesnt get many people high because of it antagonist properties but trust me you would of been better off staying on the oxycontin, at least the W/D from oxycontin is short, suboxone you will be in W/D for months, its a maintenance drug like methadone and has a long half-life which means it takes a lot longer to get out of your system. I realize you are in pain but you also said you dont want to be hooked, well with suboxone or methadone you are gonna be hooked beyond belief, trust me. Stay with the short acting drugs or even oxycontin.
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Hi there, I think that this information is pretty helpful. I actually aws given the option of taking or the other and I went with oxys and I am glad that I did. Thanks for this really informational post!
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I am so confused. I live with severe chronic pain and i have been on morphine, oxycontin and fentanyl, along with lorcets etc. Well after severe constipation led to emergency surgery I was taken off my morphine. I had to find a pain management dr and I did. He wants to start me on Suboxone for chronic pain. I have had a hard time finding any research on this drug being used for pain management. So im confused. I don't want to go back on oxy as it made me too zombie like..but im scared suboxone wont help my pain. Plus it sounds like the withdrawl is bad. I know how bad oxy withdrawl is, and I don't know if i want to start suboxone knowing the withdrawl lasts for months. Maybe methadone is the way to go? I dont think my husband would like that, since it has a negative connotation with heroin. Any Advice?

Thanks,
Inpayne!
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whats up everyone. i am in a predicament and trying to find a solution. i have bad athritis from a dislocated shoulder and , believe it or not , suffer everyday with chronic pain. doc prescribes me hyrdo 10mg, 750mg acet. and it helps for the first week but after that week it does nothing for my pain. i have consulted with a local orthopedic surgean and will eventually have to go in for surgery, but i just got a promotion so i am gonna wait as long as i can before asking off. anyway thats why i have been taking the only pain med i have found that helps, methadone. so i start getting it from a family member and here we are 2 years later. i, like everyone else got tired of all the hassle that comes with not having a presciption, so i did some research on suboxone and decided to try it. local doc was more then happy to put me on it, says its the best alternative. don't get me wrong it really helped with the cravings and all but it's not helping with the pain. i have went thru all the steps to get a doctor to refer me to a pain management. there is only one doctor locally that can prescribe the only medicine that i have found so far that helps me the most, methadone...but he is only seeing suboxone patients therefore will only write me suboxone. i believe theres alot of money in that drug and thats why the doctors are more than willing to prescribe it. so, i started takin it (suboxone) at the beginning of march and have to see the doc again at the first of april. i was more than willing to atleast try it but i know it's not the route i want to take. i've pretty much decided to tell my doc i would rather try pain management. so if theres anyone that reads this and has any suggestions, feel free to enlighten me. i believe if a patient has found something that comforts them and helps them cope with everyday pain, the doctor should be just as willing to write a script for it as he would suboxone, right?
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The reason your doctor wanted you on longer acting pain killers was to reduce the addiction chances. Short acting ones get you hooked quickly due to high.. low learning by reward center in the brain...

a practicing doc
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I have to deal everyday with severe chronic pain. What I have is a product of genetics and it affects my spine, all joints and feet. I was told I have non-variant RA,Fores tier's Disease, a form of OA, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue.... Every joint, every vertebrate is being pinched or cut off by bony over growth. you talk about referred pain....the other morning I awoke with severe pain in the outer portion of my ears....they were hot and I couldn't touch them.

I can't sleep at night, every time I move I wake up and have gripping pain with the movement of each joint. Dr's have tried over the years to manage the pain with Vioxx, Celebrax, Tylenol #3, and nothing worked. As a matter of fact, my doctor insisted I take more celebrex than was recommended, she refused to give me anything else for pain.....This was a disaster, as the anti-inflammatories ate away the sphincter muscle to my stomach and because of the lack of one, I suffered from GERD so bad that it came out my nose every night; I had to have my stomach wrapped around my esophagus.... keeps the gerd from coming up to my mouth. I am no longer able to take anti-inflamatories.

Later I moved and found a good Rhumatologist and he believed I should be on Oxycontin.....I told him no way, I was too afraid of addiction. He told me the problems I had needed this medication, but still I said no.

The chronic pain caused me mental anguish as well. I had no quality of life, I had to take a deep breath just to place my two feet flat on the floor. My eyes burned and light hurt them, because everything in my body reacted to the elements around me.... I felt hopeless!
I started to see a doctor for pain management and therapy for the psychological impact the pain had on my life. It got to a point that sleep was no escape. I was placed on pain patches, but you can only use 3 a day and I had too many places that needed help; I was in a pick and choose situation.....which joint was screaming the most!

After seeing this doc for 6 months, he suggested Sub-oxone; Again it was a medication that had a stigma attached to it. I refused it for a while and after 9 months I agreed to try it. First I had 2mg and then went to 4 mg three times a day. MY Goodness, for the first time in 20 years of suffering, I was pain free. I could get up in the morning feeling refreshed, not hung over, no constipation, and I was happy to start my day. I was back to doing gardening, house work and having wonderful conversations with my husband. My husband told me, it's nice to have you back! He was so upset over the years because I was fading away and I was far to young for that.

I was on suboxone for 2 years, and because my doctor left pain management to work with Veteran's, I'm having a hard time finding someone who could help me, using suboxone. I never suffered withdrawal symptoms while I was coming off of it, but I did start loosing the best quality of life I had in ages. I am now back to square one, patches all over my body and once again, because of the pain, light hurst my eyes, I hate to have to put my feet on the floor and anything I do sets my joints into a major flare up! My quaility of life is suffering a huge set back.

I wish all pain managent doctors would stop being so foolish and fearful about treating their patients with this medication. It truly helps with severe chronic pain and it allows people to have a better quality of life. I've tried to tell my self that it's a bad drug....but where do we get our opinions from, mostly doctors who want to inject the spine over and over again with big dollar signs attached! The other kicker....I can't take steroids, they make me sick and I can't sit or lie still for a minute.

I know this medication helped and I never became addicted to it.....it gave me my life back, and now I'm angry I was put into a position because my doctor decided to take a totally different career path. I feel he abondoned me and his other patients and placed me back in painful limbo.
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Wow, so many people with complaints on Sub-oxone? I was on it for almost a year and a half, 4 mgs TID PRN, but I found that I needed only 2 mg's in the am and 4 mg's at night. I had respect for this medication and proceeded using it with caution! I had a long discussion with my "LIGIT" pain management doc regarding my fears of narcs. I think I finally agreed to let him use it on me after I had seen another pain specialist who actually went into my spinal space with steroids. First of all the steroids into the spine don't last very long....very expensive and I hate the idea that someone is compromising a sterile closed system. Screw up in my spinal space and I'm crippled the rest of my life; Eventually this doctor agreed that I shouldn't have these injections again because of a negative reaction to the steroids! So I went back and agreed to try the "sub-oxone."

I believe I may have had a little withdrawal, was a bit shaky and nudge for about a week. I was so hung up about taking this drug that I tried to stop cold turkey.....you just can't do that! Perhaps my best observation of my own situation made me understand that you must back off slowly. Because I've lived with pain so long, I need to have self control and I'm a determined person, so I weened myself off this stuff over a couple of months. Our bodies will react to any abrupt change, and coming off potent drugs suddenly will throw the body into a temper tantrum; gradual reduction, with a physican's assistance will over a period of time prevent this.

I understand, that in my state some docs were taken out in hand cuffs from their practices by DEA agents....That the DEA was actually checking out the pharmacy's for docs who wrote Rx's for scheduled narcs. This really disturbs me, as those who truly need pain relief have to worry about those who are taking illegal drugs, placing all of us under the scrutiny of doctors and the Government....looking at all pain patients as subject to deceive!!!! This is why those of us who comply by the law are so afraid of the medications that have the potential to help us....We don't want to be thrown into a pile and labeled "USERS."

I learned to respect my medications by fully communicating with my specialist their affects on my body and my pain. I believe it was a good thing for me to fear the medication, understand the complications, ask questions and make myself a part of the team that won my relief. It's not just sub-oxone I needed to respect, but it is any and all medications that are prescribed to me.

My pain specialist was not only in pain management, but a therapist as well. I found out later, by his speaking with me about different medications for pain, he determined I didn't have an addictive personality. Knowing I didn't have an addictive personality, I was able to trust myself. Do I think this is right for others...I don't know, but it couldn't hurt. I do know one thing, I want a good quality of life when I start off each and every day. I pray I will never trade my quality of life for a drug inducted stupor; this is not a good trade. I will proceed with caution while finding peace for myself and my family.


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