Hydrocodone - Not To Overdo It!

Michael Says:

I was put on Hydrocodone for 3 years due to a stroke I had. My pain is coming from the brain. The PM'S started me off with 5-325. No results on the pain. Then they increased the dose 7.5-325. Some relief but not much in order to have a quality of life. Then they increased it to 10-325 90 per month. In the wee hours of the morning I would wake up with pain, so I was cutting one in half, leaving me short of pills for the month. So they increased it to 120. I got to where I was taking too many and the PM discharged me for a breach of contract.

Then I found another PM. Same thing happened, but this time instead of discharging me they put me on week to week basis - 21 pills a week. I had to visit the doctor's office once a week and then take the script to my pharmacy. Once I proved I could be trusted they now have had me on Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen 10-325 (90 a month) for the past 3 months. I still have my moments but it's not like it was before. I asked for an increase to 20 a month but they say I need to prove to them. By the way, the pain is coming from the right arm and hand, no blood circulation. Do not want to lose this PM.

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David Says:

Hi Michael,

Sorry to hear about your situation. In light of the so called opioid epidemic going on, I'm beginning to think that the reason patients feel the need to take more, is simply due to drug manufacturers creating weaker medication and not necessarily because you're chasing an effect (which is the way law makers see it). Truth is, real pain patients are just seeking pain relief and 'chasing relief', not a high. But with increasingly inferior medication, it gives law makers a reason to justify their point of view, watching things play out in this manner and not realizing that less effective medication equates to more frequent dosing. I feel that within that last decade or so, the quality of pain medication has gone from a 10 to a 4, to help cut down on production expenses while retaining profit margins. There's a better way for doctors to police their patients than restricting medication (without knowing who abuses and who doesn't). Better quality medication = less abuse and more adherence to standard dosing protocols. Does anyone else agree?

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Terri Says:

Hi Michael, I think maybe u should move to Colorado and be on the medical cannabis because I have a close friend that has a head injury from a horse fall and he uses the stuff just before bedtime. He cannot function without it but it does work. The only thing is it can make u hungry at times but at least he can still drive without all that intense pain. When he got hurt he broke his neck clear down to his legs and he had to learn how to walk all over again and talk, everything. He spent 2 yrs in a Dallas hospital but he is living and he doesn't use pain pills to keep him going. Just thought I would mention that...

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NotADrugAddict Says:

First, my heart goes out to you. Clearly, the amount of medication you’re on is not enough to treat your pain, and give you substantial quality of life. This is not your fault, I want you to know. Under normal circumstances with any other drug, the doctor would review treatment and increase your dosage. You’re no where near the maximum in morphine equivalent and the issue with narcotics and opioids is that our bodily tolerance tends to increase quicker than some other drugs. The doctor should be considering this instead of treating you like an addict mismanaging their Rx. But getting aome doctors to see their own area for opportunity is too much like the right thing to do.

I’m not a doctor but I’ve been in pain management for over 3 years, spine curvature, degenerative spine disease, herniated discs, and spinal nerve compression with severe sciatic nerve and back pain...not to even mention the arthritis in my neck and migraines. Needless to say, Hydrocodone does nothing for me as I’m not opioid naive and have a bit of a tolerance. I always take as prescribed and I’m not a recreational drug user.

Suffice it to say, as one patient to another, I would ask the doctor to consider other medication options. The Hydrocodone is immediate release medication; which, means it works fast and almost immediately, but unfortunately doesn’t last long enough to carry you to the next dosage. Trust me I know. And now with your body becoming more tolerant, I’m sure it doesn’t work as well anymore. I personally would request an ER, or extended relief medication, like a low dose of Oxycotin with maybe Percocet, same medicine different form, 10/325 3xs a day for breakthrough pain.

This issue is that of the doctor and unfortunately you end up paying the price in pain. But they should’ve been considered your tolerance level and trying a different medication. Over the years I’ve had to change medication a few times when I had become so tolerant that it didn’t work well, if at all.

With the Fake War on Opioids doctors and pharmacists alike are afraid to prescribe the necessary pain medicines to give people quality of life back and it’s sad. Any knowledgeable doctor would know that the likelihood of you overdosing taking meds as prescribed and not potentiating it or mixing other drugs is unlikely as you’re not opioid naive, and long as the doctor has prescribed you according to the least amount necessary to treat your pain.

So, ask the doctor to consider an extended release option and something for breakthrough pain because the ER is not going to work right away where it immediately hits your pain.

Good luck to you as we fight this fight. It’s such a shame we’re being treated this way because of recreational drug use. It’s also a shame on our government that instead of crackdowns more on street operations they are making like difficult for those of us with legitimate illnesses and real pain.

I wish you well.


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Billybob Says:

Re: David (# 1) Expand Referenced Message

As for what you say is correct and until we can make big pharmacy to give us the amount that is correct, dea has a 20% leeway so instead of 10mg it's 8mg or less. Who polices them? I'm 60 and I remember the meds in the old days were correct. The word they use is generic. We need to cut the different drug companies down to maybe 5. One for each medication. Of course some are more readily used than others but others are cheaper to make, and Mike, I'm like you. My pm kick me out because I was on oxygen. Hope we hear from you.

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w john Says:

Re: David (# 1) Expand Referenced Message

Quality of the medications, especially the generics, have fallen off tremendously. Not only are they less potent in quality but they are made with garbage inert ingredients. You are correct in posting that people could tend to take a larger dose than prescribed to attempt to get pain relief when all that needed to be done is just leave the quality alone and that would probably cure the problem. As I have posted in several earlier posts, I have spoken to two Pharmacists from two different MAJOR pharmacies and both of them told me that they are receiving many complaints on these new reformulated generics and BOTH of them recommended that I ask my Doctor to write NO GENERICS on the prescription as they have received very few complaints on the name brand. Other factors go into asking for the name brand. They are the strength that is written for generics can be, for a 7.5 hydrocodone for example, as low as 6.0 in strength. Plus generic ingredients are of poor quality. When you make a product worse it seems to me that all you do is make them unpalatable and ineffective. I am trying to get my health insurance to cover the name brand now. I will let you know how that works out. Btw, with my insurance there is no "bridge" 30 day prescription allowed. I must go through their pre-approval process first to get them to pay for it.

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Handytim Says:

Re: David (# 1) Expand Referenced Message

You're lucky to get anything for pain. I LIVE IN DELAWARE. A PAIN SPECIALIST MIGHT PRESCRIBE, BUT MOST OTHER DOCS DONT. A surgeon might prescribe for ninety days but then u get cut off.

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DR TIM Says:


At the beginning of your note you state that you have post stroke centralized pain from the brain. The TX for that is not opioids it is an anticonvulsant like gabapentin. Later you say that your pain is from poor circulation for which the primary treatment might be a blood thinning agent, not opioids. You say you are prescribed 21 pills a week, then say that you are trying to increase your dose to 20 a month. ? Dr. Tim

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Narcissticme Says:

DR TIM (# 5) --

Sounds like he took a few extra and got the Vicodin chit chat syndrome aka getting high. Sounds like he needs to have a more managed pain management plan.

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NotADrugAddict (# 2) --

My mother is 75 years old and has been through 27 surgeries. Most of her pain is from several spinal fusions on her back, three knee replacements (after a MRSA infection in the first knee replacement, they had to replace one knee again), and surgeries on both arms from a car accident in 1997. My mother can barely walk without help and has been on Hydrocodone for many YEARS --until this past year when the doctors in PA decided to send her to "pain management" which had NEVER done ANYTHING to help her. They KNOW she needs her medication just to function since she's full of inflammation and has, literally, nothing in her back but, they make her go to a clinic full of drug abusers and recovering addicts in their 20s which makes her feel terrible. My mother is not, nor has she ever been, a drug addict. The despicable treatment she receives at the hands of the so-called "doctors" in PA is unethical at best. I fail to comprehend how anyone would classify and elderly woman, who NEEDS her medication just to function, with 20 something losers who abuse drugs. This is a crime. It really is. There are DECENT people who NEED relief from their pain in order to work (unlike the freeloading druggies on Welfare) but are being denied the help they need because of some brainless, Liberal so-called "war on opioids". UM, read the Press Enterprise from Bloomsburg, PA. You will see, EVERY DAY, young dirtbags getting arrested in traffic stops and also possessing Hydrocodone and other illegal drugs. EVERY DAY! WHERE DO THEY GET THEM IF DOCTORS ARE, SUPPOSEDLY, NO LONGER WRITING SCRIPTS FOR THEM? SEE, It's the same thing as guns. You can, SUPPOSEDLY, take them away from people, yet, the scumbags ALWAYS, ALWAYS end up with them anyway. HOW?? PROOF that this "war on opioids" is PURE BS!!

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BiggerBrat Says:

DR TIM (# 5) --

Doctors are scared to death of state attorney generals in these opioid cases. My doctor told me a long time ago he was afraid I would become addicted if he put me on opioids. I explained that at my age that shouldn't be a problem and I did not care if I became addicted. Addiction isn't the problem with opioids, ABUSE is the problem. My current doctor asked me on a scale of 1 - 10 what my pain is. I told her if I could instantly transfer my pain to her she would probably go into shock and die. My tolerance to pain is such if I cut myself I don't realize it until I see blood because the other pain I feel is so overwhelming. Opioids give me a quality of life I otherwise wouldn't have. I nearly died several times not being able to get sufficient sleep and was awake 7 days with intense pain.I've been on opioids for a long, long time now and I do NOT abuse them. I can only get one month at a time and each month I have pills left over because I make myself endure pain during the day hours and try to keep busy during periods of pain. I was on gabapentin for a while and I don't recommend it at all. All I wanted to do was sleep all the time and had no life. Funny thing, just last night I was talking to a friend that was on gabapentin and quit for the very same reason I got off gabapentin. I am now able to control the pain with the opioid Rx I get and occasional help from 5 mg Ambien. Sleep is a major component of pain control. Michael Jackson ended up dead because sleep was so elusive. I know people that get Rx opioids and abuse them and generally run out before the end of the month. They self-medicate which is a big part of the problem. As far as an "opioid crisis" I don't see it. We have a drug abuse crisis that we've had for a very long time. The thing that pisses me off is these people trying to make recreational marijuana use legal are the same ones saying there's an opioid crisis. While not everyone that uses recreational marijuana will go on to become a hard drug addict, you can be pretty much assured hardcore drug addicts started out on marijuana. I don't think laying the groundwork for young people to become drug addicts is something the government should be doing. I've never consumed marijuana or did any drugs outside of what my doctors have prescribed. I don't have an opioid problem and people that follow the Rx directions to alleviate pain and have some quality of life don't either.

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Terri Says:

Re: CUTTHECRAP (# 9) Expand Referenced Message

Hi. Pain management doesn't help, it just makes the Dr's look big but they don't give ya anything for what you are feeling. Some don't even listen and here in Colorado they don't give u anything for pain unless u wish to become a smoker and take medical cannabis and I don't wish to be stoned all the time so I just bite the bullet and suffer with it. I broke my ankles back in 01 and before that I had a bad horse fall in '97 and asked for pain relief and got nothing. So this pain management to me is a waste of time and its for the Dr's to keep tabs on what you are using. I wish we had the Dr's from way back when they cared about ya and not what they are making out of ya. Now Texas cares about ya.

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NotADrugAddict Says:

Re: Terri (# 11) Expand Referenced Message

This may, or may not help but CBD oil is used medicinally for pain. It’s not enough for me but my situation is pretty severe, but I’ve heard others say it works wonders for them and the good part is that you don’t have to smoke it and it doesn’t make you feel high, or “stoned”, because there is not THC in the oil.

Best of luck to you. I wish you the best but most of all a quality and pain-free life.

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ED Says:

Hi Mike, I have been on pain killer for many years. I have chronic back pain and need a lot just so I can make it through the day. I am now on a 100 mg fentanyl patch and 6 10-325 oxycodone a day. I was on a much stronger amount of pain medicine when oxycontin was not hard to get. I had a doctor say to me I should not be vertical. The thing is I could be normal except I did for a sleep a lot. That stopped about 5 years ago. It is was your body can take and you can function while on it. If you take more at one time during the month you just take less another time and suffer. I do not understand why that pm discharged you. As long as you are not going out on the streets craving for pain meds. Good luck because I know how hard is to control pain. I am still in pain with what I am taking now.

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NotADrugAddict Says:

Re: CUTTHECRAP (# 9) Expand Referenced Message

Oh my heart pangs for you and your mother. I’m actually in PM now, and my doctor says I wouldn’t be a good candidate for back surgery, because there’s not surgery to fix all of my issues, and because i have keloidal skin. Yet, many other doctors are willing to cut me open and perform some guinea pig type of surgery, but I’m glad I have a doctor who was honest with me and told me I will simple just be on the oxycodone and gabapentin for the rest of my life. I’ve accepted that, but initially I was hoping for a surgery and a cure. Even after I heard the horror stories of people being in worse pain or developing other issues. I was so desperate to be out of pain and get my life back, and even with odds stacked against me, I was willing to take a chance with surgery and hope for the best for me. Maybe I will be fine and cured I thought and hoped. Glad I didn’t and know better now.

As mentioned, I’m currently in PM for three years now, and while my state still allow for narcotic medications it has not been without issue and judgement from other doctors and even pharmacists trying to advise me of what I need and don’t, thinking they know what’s better for me than my doctor of three years. Speaking of whom, I’d you ever move to GA I know an awesome and sympathetic doctor who in his younger years was once a PM patient as well. Now he helps others and he’s not a pill mill. He’s legit. I will pass his information to you if I knew how.

Before going into PM I was on Social Security Disability as I had to quit work because my pain was so crazy and torturous I went on Short Term then Long Term disability because most days I couldn’t do something as simple as getting out of bed or brushing my hair. My significant other, at times, had to bath me and even wipe my bum after going to the toilet. Going into PM was literally my lifesaver and the best thing I ever did. Despite my PCP recommending PM every visit it took me years to go while ruining my tummy on NSAIDS, 80”mg IB because I was afraid of “drugs” and didn’t take narcotics at the time. The first time I took my Rx’d meds I was out of pain and walking around in about 15 minutes. I hated I spent 20 years working on this ulcer refusing stronger meds.

I went from having no quality of life and spent most my days in bed watching life go past through my window, to getting off disability, getting a great job in my career field, finishing grad school, REPEAT; Finishing GRAD SCHOOL!!!! ....and starting my own business in addition to my full-time career. Yes, all of that. A new me.

I wouldn’t be honest if I acted as if this pseudowar on opioids, and recent and possible future legislation against opioids, didn’t have me scared s***less. I was literally just waiting to die. Now, I’ve accomplished and am accomplishing so much, I have so many plans for my life, I am fearful of what’s going to happen to me after the Trump Administration finishes f***ing me raw with no Vaseline.

I don’t want to go back on disability. I don’t want to become bedridden again. I don’t want to lose everything I’ve fought and worked so hard to gain in the last few years.

I spent 20 years of my life in pain before finally going into PM. And some of my back issues are due to poor aging but also when I was 12 I fell the equivalent of three stories from a tree. I was a bit of a tomboy, so this was a norm for me. Including playing tackle football with the boys on concrete roads. If it hadn’t been for the fact that I hit almost every branch and limb coming down in that tree, I wouldn’t be here today to have this conversation with you.

I’m scared for all of us. And the saddest part of it all is I feel we have no allies. No one is on our side. Who’s going to fight for us?

Take care of yourself and mama. I wish you well. Good luck.


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Vince Says:

I was on narcotics, among other things, for ten years. It was the other things like Lyrics and Topamax which gave me brain damage. The biggest problem with narcotics is that after a while your body's dependency is so great after four hours you can't be sure if your pain is really back or it's just your body begging for the opioid so here's what you can do. Get some Meat on before the stinking FDA makes it illegal. Don't take your medicine. Allow yourself to begin to feel withdraw symptoms then take 4 grams of K. It will quench your body's dependency while not giving you a narcotic. Do that for a day or two and then you'll see where your pain level really is. Good luck!

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Michael Says:

Vince (# 13) --

What is 4 grams of K ? I believe what you're saying about the 4 hour deal. That's what is happening to me. Thanks

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BOB Says:

Re: DR TIM (# 7) Expand Referenced Message

Well dr. Tim how much pain have you lived with? I will be 80 years old in september. I had polio in 1938 when I was 11 months old. I don't remember a day that I didn't walk without pain. I had surgery that were experiments that might work to help me and others. Im paying for these surgeries. Have had pinning of my right leg in the growth centers so my left leg would grow and be same length as my right leg but it didn't work. Also have had 11 back surgeries and inj's, fusions of my foot and ankle etc. I also gave blood and bone marrow that would help get a vaccine to stop polio. Now I worked in radiology for 25 years and seen many doctors that were using drugs and booze and not showing up for work. Do you think all those old bastards in congress and house aren't using drugs? Why don't they drug test them? Along with doctors. All doctors do today is talk to their computers. A patient doesn't even know if he knows what your saying. Fear of the government. Remember, pain is real and cures are not. I took advil for years until the pain got so bad I started to take norco for 25 years and worked everyday and never got into trouble. Now I had post polio syndrome which a lot of doctors don't even know what it is. There is no cure for it. Due to my medical problems and aging my pain is getting worse everyday. I never abused the use of norco and only took it when needed. Doctors took an oath to help people not to fear the government. The government thinks by taken norco from me will drive me to marijuana because of the taxes they get. Why not all doctors man up and fight for their patients not uncle crook. I could say a lot more like gay people and priest abused us. The nurses never believe us and would say they are trying to make you feel good. It took 50 years to believe us. But the aclu stepped in gave them all the rights they need to keep doing it. So man up doctor and help people like me. So think before you condemn others. We're not all addicts, we're sick people.

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PS Says:

Re: Billybob (# 4) Expand Referenced Message


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