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Oxycodone and Fibro
21 Replies
eggandi - July 31

I have suffered from fibro for going on 35 years....I am currently taking Arthrotec 50mg twice a day....and Gabapentin 300mg three times daily.....but not doing the Dr. recently suggested Oxycodone. 5mg.. two at a substitute as kidney failure may be a future concern...I am also diabetic. I have the RX but need a bit more input for those in the know. Spoke with my family regarding this...we have a young friend who was put on it a few years ago for a broken back and he is now an addict. I have read the two posts which I have found very consoling....but I am very cautious about starting.....the dosage increase is my first concern...and also the side effects...any advise would be so helpful in making this decision.


January - August 2

I'm not sure how you define addict? Are you addicted to your diabetes meds? Needing highly effective pain medicine to treat pain is not being an addict, and don't let anybody label you with something that is a dirty word. Anybody who needs any drug every day could be called "addicted" to that drug. Therefore, we are a nation of people addicted to cholesterol meds, blood pressure pills and antidepressants.


If you have round the clock pain, you might need round the clock dosing of small amounts to stay comfortable. I'm not a doctor, but I do have some experience with this. In my opinion, your doc suggested a normal (but large) dose at night. If you are new to this medication, that dose might knock you out (which is why he prescribed it at night, it will put you to sleep). But it's probably more than you need. And what do you do during the day with your pain? You will feel pain when the oxycodone wears off (unless it's extended release for 24 hours??) I think you could spread those two tablets over a 24 hour period and get significant pain relief.

If I were you I would NOT start with 10 mg (the 2 tablets, the dose he says to take at bedtime). Start with 1/2 of one 5 mg tablet. (I recommend cuticle clippers to cut tablets up.) Take it around noon on a weekend when you can stay home and stay awake, and see if it helps you. If you get sleepy or nauseous in an hour, it's a more than adequate dose for now. You might be able to just take 1/3 of a tablet. If it doesn't help your pain, cut off a little bit more and take it, so you are now up to 3/4 of a tablet. Write down what you take, how you feel, and when your pain comes back. That will let you know how often you need to dose yourself. Experiment to find out what works. You may do just fine with a small dose, or you may need 5 mg or 7.5 mg.

10 mg is a normally prescribed dose, but for many of us, it's much more than we need - especially when you are just starting this drug. Everyone reacts differently. You will have to see what works for you. Take enough to be comfortable, but not so much that you are out of it and falling asleep. If you have not had a problem with addictions to alcohol or other substances in the past, and if there's no history of addiction in your family, you will probably be able to control the dose yourself. Yes, after you've been taking it a while, you will be dependent on the medication. I don't think that is addiction, and don't let anyone call you that.

Research has been done, you can google about opiate medications. In the 80s, the medical books for professionals stated that opiate drugs were THE BEST option for people with pain. Since the pharmaceutical companies have invented neurotransmitter drugs like Neurontin and the antidepressants, they have influenced the research and the treatment of pain, so newer research studies will say things like opiate drugs CAUSE pain. It used to be considered a rare condition, and I believe it still is rare. If YOU are the patient in pain, you know how ineffective these "newer" drugs are against serious pain. Maybe they work for "imaginary" pain - they don't work for real pain. Just my opinion. Opiates work well. Check with your doctor about keeping your dosage low and experimenting to find the correct dose. Eventually over time, you will build up tolerance, and you will need to increase the dose, but you can do it in very small increments. It's best to keep it as low as you can. Hope this helps you...



I totally agree with the "Addict" comment. I take Norco 10mg 4 times a day. I don't care what anyone says about my pain med intake! Opiates work for me!!!


January - December 25

Hi inpain - thanks for your input. I know a good number of people who quietly take opiates, and are afraid to tell anyone because of that dirty word "addict." Yet, for many people, the best pain relief with the fewest side effects is obtained from opiates. As long as you can keep the dose low, and use them responsibly, I think they are a good option.

And, in my opinion, having been there myself, I can't imagine anything more addictive than Cymbalta! Getting off that was absolutely horrible and took a very long time. The only thing worse was staying on it!



Yeah, I am not ashamed to tell people I have to take pain meds. Unless they are in our shoes, they do not have ANY idea how it is to live with Firbo. I am a single momma, who works 32.5 hours a week. I was on Morphine for over 3 years. Went from 120, down to 901, down to 60 and then my doctor changed to Norco. I do wake up with a lot of pain and wish they would give me some type of breakthru med. And let me tell you, Morphine withdrawal was the ABSOLUTE worst! They should have weaned me down and they didn't! I was pissed! But anyways, I take my meds everyday and anyone who doesn't like it, can step off! lol


January - December 26

Hi Inpain - Amen! I don't know how you would manage all you have to do without some medication. I take as little as possible, but I need something for pain on busy days. I think it is horrible that there's so much drug company pressure to switch everyone over to neurotransmitter drugs. For me, they were a nightmare. The worst things I've ever been on, they made me very, very sick. I quit cold turkey and had horrible symptoms that tapered off over 2 or 3 years - which, I'm sure, is why most people can't stop taking them. At LAST, I feel normal again!

I've never taken morphine, so can't imagine what the withdrawals are like. But yes, I would imagine you should have been weaned down! That is horrible that you had to go through it cold.

Not sure what kind of pain kicks in overnight for you, but if it's specific as opposed to generalized, have you tried Lidocaine patches? They last for about 12 hours, enough to go all night and then some. The main problem is getting them to adhere. I found that if I put some hand sanitizer gel on my skin, it helped to glue the patch on, and then I "set" it with a heating pad. I have serious back pain - and, for me, Lidocaine works well.



My pain specialist was absolutely insane for not weaning me all the way down. They switched me to Morphine when my 4x750 vics weren't working. I would wake up in IMMENSE ammount of pain. The Morphine was 12 hour pain relief. But now, I am doing the Norco 10mg and I do like them. I still wake up in pain even though I take a Muscle Relaxer every night. It sucks bad. They also found a compressed disc in my back.. Which is another reason they give me the pain meds. Most of my pain is localized in my back. I haven't ever thought about the lidocaine patches. Huh, Thanks for the advice. I will ask my doc about that.... I do have the pain everywhere a LOT, but a MAJORITY is right in the lower back. It is killer! I have even thought about going on Disability. I have TONS of anxiety too. I take Klonopin when needed. Which I end up taking mostly every day... Sometimes I just feel like, WHY ME. Why Did I get this???? Thank GOD I have a great support system and this forum. I will be on here more now that I have a good computer at home as well. Thanks again January. I hope things are going good for you. I know I am EXHAUSTED from Christmas. It will take my body a cpl of weeks to go back to normal!


January - December 28

Hi inpain - the worst pain I have is due to lower back problems, like you. Lidocaine patches are a god-send. It's not a controlled substance, just something similar to the novocaine you get at the dentist's office. An anesthetic that sinks in through your skin and goes into the bloodstream. Hope you can give them a try! Might help you get through the night.

I don't know how are doing everything - you're lucky to have a good support system. Maybe you should think about disability. I WISH I had filed years ago when my doctor suggested it. On the other hand, I think it's good to keep going as long as you can. You have to decide what's right for you.

Have a nice New Year, and hope you can rest up after the holidays! : )



I sure will give them a try! I go to see my pain specialist every 3 months for my refill of Norco. SO, I will ask him then about the patch. For my back pain, it is the compressed disc which he would like me to either get an electrical stimulator inplanted or have surgery. I am ONLY 30 yeras old. I FEEL like I am 70 years old! But I am DEFINITELY not ready to have any type of surgery on my back. With the Fibro, it would take so long to heal... Fibro makes everything worse! Yeah, I am trying to work until I cannot anymore. I should get FMLA though. SO then on days like today, when I feel like giving up and the pain is so bad I am popping pain pills like candy, I can stay at home and rest. I think sometimes I push myself too far. Which isn't good either.. I hope you have a Nice New years too! Take care and we will keep in touch Jan. From day one, you have always been a great person to talk to!


January - December 28

I've heard that chorus "Surgery" from every spine specialist I went to. (Well, that's how they make a living!) Oddly, I ran into so many people that had disastrous results from back surgery, that I decided not to do it - not even cortisone injections. I hope I can stand the pain as I get older, but almost everyone I talked to said "don't do it" because it made them worse, not better. Some wound up paralyzed. Some had repeat surgeries. Almost everyone (not all, but most of the folks I talked to) came out with much worse pain. If you have surgery, it's possible you'll get some contamination in the site, and an infection in the spinal cord can easily spread to the brain. Hard to treat! Am I glad I said no to all those offers of cortisone shots, now that the news has come out the medicine was contaminated with fungus! So many innocent people who agreed to cortisone shots came down with serious infections.

And yeah, I have to laugh - sounds like you've got the fibro personality!! You push yourself til you drop! Seems like most of us just don't know when to quit! LOL

Thanks for the nice words and the New Year's wishes! This year was a bit of a strain, so I'm glad to kiss it goodbye! Hope we all have a WARM winter and a nice 2013!

And Jocelyn, if you're out there, miss you, too!



That is what I have heard too! The surgeries dont work and why would I put myself through that? I don't want to have the Electric Stimulator implanted either. My pain specialist tried to tell me that he will not give me the pain meds forever.. Well, I don't see why he cannot just do what I want! I tried the steriod injection and WOW. It was freaking HORRIBLE. I had a HUGE BUMP and bruise from the injection site. It irritated the FIBRO and I was out of work and in HORRIBLE pain for over 4 days.. It was SO not cool. My specialist asked if we can do it again as he knows where the bad disc is now. I said HELL NO. lol, there is NO WAY I will do that again... I def have the Fibro personality! I work and work and it just drives me nuts... I feel like I HAVE to do it. It is hard for me to say no too... Not sure if you ever felt that way..


January - January 4

Wow, sorry you had such an awful time with the cortisone shot! I'll file your story in my memory with the rest of them. I read lots of bad reviews about shots online (this, after a spine specialist again suggested them - he actually told me, "no they don't hurt!") LOL! To be fair, the reviews weren't ALL bad - but from what I read, over 50% had a rough time.

Since they had all the trouble with cortisone shots being contaminated with fungus, I am glad I said no! The contamination issue has happened more than once. The medication for treating fungal infections is pretty nasty - if the infection is in the spine and brain, it can kill you. Not worth the risk for short term pain relief MAYBE.

Hmm… Shouldn't your specialist have known where the bad disc was before he started poking you with needles? An MRI would clearly show it. So he didn't diagnose you right the first time? I'd be having second thoughts...

Yes, the fibro personality is definitely me - sheer exhaustion keeps me from doing it now! It is hard to say no - especially when you were always "there." People get put off and think you don't like them. They don't understand "chronic illness"... oh, you're not over that YET?? I just have to keep explaining.

Hope you're having a good week!



Yeah, the shot didn't work for me. And thank GOD is was prior to that contaminated shots.. It was very sad all the people that lost their lives due to that...

The odd thing, ALL of my MRIS showed clean. ALL OF THEM. It was the weirdest thing in the world. That is why he decided to do that provocative test which did show the problem. I honestly thought he was crazy when he kept telling me that MRIS aren't always right and blah blah. Then he does this test, and shows me the XRAYS and yeah, my disc is horrible. However, I may have to get a second opinion just due to him trying to force me to get that electri stimulator OR have that back surgery. I don't want to do either. I feel like this is my life and my body so I should be the one making the decision. And right now, I just want to continue to take my pain meds until I cannot handle it. THEN we will look at what needs to be done. I am so tired of doctors trying to tell US how WE feel and what WE should do. They aren't in our bodies so they have NO CLUE!!!

It is VERY hard to have Fibro. Especially since people cannot PHYSICALLY see the pain we feel. I have lost "so called Friends" due to this. They say I don't want to hang out, or I am just ignoring them. They don't understand. I tell my close friends when they don't get it, they need to go online and look! Read about it. And sometimes they still don't understand. So, I make sure they know, if I say I don't feel good, I DO NOT FEEL GOOD. That is the bottom line...

Hope this forum finds you doing well. Fibro is kicking my butt lately. And I start a new job, a better job on the 27th of this month... I hope that goes well!!!


January - January 12

Hi, InPain - Great news that you got a nicer job! Hope you have a little rest-up time before you start?

I'm shocked your MRI showed nothing in your back. I injured my back repeatedly from childhood… of course it caught up with me, the pain got worse. My doctor sent me for several CAT scans, which showed not much of anything. Then I saw an ad on TV for a new place that did sitting MRIs - they said they picked up problems other tests missed because they scan you while you are sitting, not lying down. Therefore if your spine doesn't line up properly, or you have bulging disks, it shows up better. So I went there, and wow! Clear as day, there it all was, my lower back was a mess! When I looked at the CAT scans against the MRIs, the CATs were like fuzzy, blurry pictures - the MRIs were clear and in focus. No mistaking what was wrong! I wonder sometimes if different places have inferior equipment, or if they don't process their films correctly. Kind of infuriating to think that my insurance (and I) paid a LOT for useless CAT scans over the years! I really was hurting, but the CAT scans were "inconclusive."

I read several years ago there was a new treatment for herniated disks - if you only have one, it might be worth checking out (and a second opinion is always good, as long as you don't tell them what the first opinion was!) It was a while ago, but if I remember correctly, the new procedure involved inserting a needle into the disk and heating it - this somehow stimulated a natural regrowth of tissue in the area, to provide the cushioning that is lost when a disk herniates. It was still surgery, but a LOT less invasive than regular surgery. Worth googling to see if there's anything even newer available.

And I so agree with you. It's my body, I should have the say as to how much I want done to it, and how much I can endure! There's this crazy war on pain medicine - but so many other treatments and drugs are worse (in my opinion). If they can't CURE you, and they MIGHT make you worse, then what's the point?

Something has been kicking my butt for the last few months too! One thing after another, minor viral stuff, and a lot of fatigue and joint pain. Thank god I got a high dose flu shot - everybody around here is coughing - I heard on the news tonight we are almost to the point of a real epidemic. I think I've had a touch of flu several times, but nothing bad because I got the shot.

Hope your new job works out really well for you! Great start to the New Year. Wishing you the best with it!


Renee Gnesi - January 12

I agree with what you say about being an addict. It is a shame that so many people are discouraged from taking what works because they are being told this. I take 10mg Norco (generic: Hydrocodone). On a rare day, I can go most of the day without it. Some days I need 1-1/2 of these. I told both my primary & pain specialist I was doing this, and they just wrote it down in my records. Neither told me it wasn't a good idea.


January - January 18

Renee - thanks for your comment. If managed properly and used responsibly, these drugs specifically treat pain, and come with a lot less nasty side effects than the psychiatric drugs that are being foisted on people lately. I hope these drugs stay on the market - and sometimes I wonder if they will. Of course, the drug companies make a LOT more money from the newer patented drugs than they do from the older ones - which are simpler and safer in general. If they disappear, we will all be forced to take psychiatric meds - I had a very bad time with them, and they did NOT relieve pain, at least not for me. In fact, I believe they caused me to develop more pain - they made my muscles tense up.

I am not advocating denying the psychiatric or anticonvulsant drugs to people who find them effective. I do think we should be given options to choose what works the best for us, we have different types of pain - narcotics should not be demonized, and nobody should be called nasty names for taking them responsibly. Glad you are doing well and able to manage your pain so you can get through the day.


Renee Gnesi - January 19

I saw an article in January's Reader's Digest that a mother invented a Neurolumen... a combination TENS & Laser unit which eliminated her daughter's severe pain (she was hit by a car). I am hoping that this will be the 'cure' for our pain. For a home unit, it is currently $1,500. But it is new & I can remember when TENS units were really expensive. Wish I could at least TRY it. I live with my TENS on almost all the time, and when I remember to put them on, the Liderderm patches. Then there are days like today when nothing seemed to help. I also found Goalistics, an on-line pain support/management program that looks hopeful. The goal of this website is to help people deal with the mental/emotional issues that make pain worse, which is what someone like me needs a lot more than a antipsychotic drug (which I used to be on). Meanwhile, what makes the pain in my body so much worse is fear for my future & I continuously meet other people who deal with as much pain & more than I do. Finally started my own little 'group'. At least one person who is having a better day will have something encouraging for someone else who is not. Hope everyone reading this will start feeling better, soon!!!!



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