best otc pain meds?

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kyle Nelson
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Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 1/30/2010 5:16 PM (GMT -6)   
my GI won't prescribe me anything for pain. I think that this is ridiculous. I am in a good deal of pain most days of the week, and without some sort of pain reliever, I get very little done. I struggle through most days, being a student and all. Anyway, according to my GI, pain medication is just masking the crohn's and isn't doing anything to cure it. I understand this, but that doesn't change the fact that the pain I experience seriously limits my activity. Anyway, what have you guys found works best for pain? Anything OTC? I have had great pain relief in the past with either vicodin or tylenol 3. I know that there is nothing OTC that would mimic the pain relief of an opiate, but I am kinda at the end of my rope now, and I know that I can't take ibuprofen.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 205
   Posted 1/30/2010 5:41 PM (GMT -6)   
OTC pain meds are really limited for us. I just stick with Tylenol.

Is your GI concerned about providing you with opiates or against ALL pain meds? My GI won't prescribe me opiates, but has prescribed another med, called Levsid/Levbid for spasm pains.
CD since July 2007 - prenatal vitamins + extra vit. D, vit. C and iron, fish/flax oil, probiotics

Following excellent Omega-3 diet as per James Scala's 'The New Eating Right for the Bad Gut' - got me out of a flare.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 1/30/2010 5:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I feel for you. My daughter found herself in a similar situation when she switched GI doctors. The old one gave her plenty of pain meds but the new one said he didn't like them. My daughter is an athlete and doesn't like to be forced to take them to function and eat either but there are times when it is inhumane for someone in that much pain to not have something. Her primary care referred her to a pain management doctor and she had what she needed quickly. I don't think she even needed a referral once she got there but it may have sped up the process. Good luck.

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Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 1/30/2010 5:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Here's a complete list of recommended OTC painkillers: acetaminophen. That's it. NSAIDs can irritate the GI tract. I hear ya though -- I've been in so much pain that acetaminophen might as well have been candy. I asked my gastro for painkillers (the vast majority of which are narcotics) but he declined, fearing slowing/stopping the GI tract. Many people around here have recommended seeing a pain management specialist. Or maybe your PCP will oblige. During my first flare other types of doctors prescribed me dilaudid and man was that awesome at totally blocking all pain, and I didn't have any side-effects either, or GI tract problems.

That's silly what your gastro said -- of course painkillers mask pain! I don't expect them to cure toothaches either, but man do they allow you to focus on other things.
Cimzia, Asacol

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 205
   Posted 1/30/2010 6:47 PM (GMT -6)   
GDen said...
Here's a complete list of recommended OTC painkillers: acetaminophen.

I'll have to remember that line. I almost choked on my sandwich.
CD since July 2007 - prenatal vitamins + extra vit. D, vit. C and iron, fish/flax oil, probiotics

Following excellent Omega-3 diet as per James Scala's 'The New Eating Right for the Bad Gut' - got me out of a flare.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 1/30/2010 9:35 PM (GMT -6)   
the OTC has been answered. you might try cimetidine if it is available in liquid form. also simethicone is antigas, both of these offer pain relief albeit indirectly and are OTC. regarding the opiate, that was not completely addressed here as medications such as Lomotil (has some opiate similarity but not opiate per se) as it contains diphenoxylate (which is an opioid agonist) and does slow the bowel and also offer some mild pain relief (as the atropine portion is an anticholinergic, nerve type blocker) , and overall it can be somewhat addicting. Then theres the opioid antagonist receptor, (sort of opposite to prescribing opiate) , which is Naltrexone, see low dose for use to treat crohns. So your doctor has simply complicated the issue by masking his own response with what is likely his reluctance to prescribe the 'pain med' to which you describe and you received an incomplete answer. As far as I know there is no cure and this becomes what is best in the long term to alleviate symptoms. What is his present regimen?

kyle Nelson
Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 1/30/2010 10:43 PM (GMT -6)   
entocort for full 8 weeks. 4 weeks after starting entocort begin imuran regimen. continue w/ imuran indefinitely after dc-ing the entocort.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 212
   Posted 1/30/2010 11:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hyoscyamine? not sure if I spelled that right. makes you tired tho.

  • medchrt1
    Veteran Member

    Date Joined Sep 2005
    Total Posts : 517
       Posted 1/30/2010 11:50 PM (GMT -6)   
    He is using a cortisol (entocort) to downregulate the proinflammatory proteins (which is likely the bacteria problems in the first place or the fact the inflammation has led to further leaky gut) which has led more inflammation to occur. The benefit of antiinflammatory from the cortisol also has the affect of altering the glucose metabolism (cortisol is opposite of insulin).
    You can act by simply avoid the proinflammatory proteins in the first place by avoiding wheat protein and gluten, bacteria, yeast etc..
    The imuran will further depress the insulin by affecting the imidazole part. The imuran also breaks down to mercaptopurine which will then lower your immune system as well as your glycoprotein synthesis.
    So given the magnitude of these metabolic areas a small pain reliever seems to be a very small request. Thus the areas affected by these meds is overwhelmingly extensive for just reducing inflammation. Nevertheless this is the treatment that is used to reduce inflammation when inflammation is extreme.
    The uptake of glycoproteins (or allergens) is influenced by glucose (and also dependent of the terminating sugar part of the carb-protein chain). so if a glycoprotein is encountered in the bowel the more glucose you have the less uptake [emphasis added] of the glycoprotein. On the other hand if the imuran is targetting the mucous from within then this is after the fact of having consumed a glycoprotein or having encountered a similar looking allergen.
    *Medchrt, could you please respond to folks in laymens terms instead of these medical book like responses.  Remember we are just regular folks living with this darn disease.  Thanks for your understanding.

    Post Edited By Moderator (Nanners) : 1/31/2010 7:47:51 AM (GMT-7)

    Regular Member

    Date Joined Jan 2010
    Total Posts : 221
       Posted 1/31/2010 2:20 AM (GMT -6)   
    If your GI doc isn't comfortable dealing with your pain issues, then got to your GP or see a pain specialist. My GI doesn't prescribe pain meds. My GP will only give me 2 hydrocodone / vicodin a day as he doesn't want it to slow down my GI tract more than it is on the prednisone. With that said, I switched GPs when I was continuouilsy prescribed Toradol (contraindicated for Crohns!!!!) when I had a flare up which made it worse. If you are in too much pain, seek a doc who can help you. Period. You are the consumer. With that said, make sure you have a team that supports one another.
    Diagnosed with Crohn's 2004 via pill camera    Imuran (6MP) kicked into remission (along with modified diet) so went off in 2006.
    2009/2010 acute flare and hospitalization - put back on Imuran. Currently taking 55 mg prednisone.
    Current problem - protruding thrombosis hemorrhoid.

    Elite Member

    Date Joined Apr 2005
    Total Posts : 14995
       Posted 1/31/2010 9:45 AM (GMT -6)   
    I have to agree with Champagnekindofgal. GI docs are notarious for not giving out pain meds. I had to go to my family doctor to get them. I suggest you visit your family doc and discuss your pain issues. If the family doc will not help, ask for a referral to a pain mgmt doctor. Good luck!
    Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease & Anxiety/Panic
    Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
    *Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

    artist guy
    Veteran Member

    Date Joined Jan 2010
    Total Posts : 1373
       Posted 1/31/2010 11:39 AM (GMT -6)   
    my gi is the same as above, i go to my dr. for pain med's. gi for imuran and pred regimen, and sleep specialist for sleep med's

    artist guy

    Regular Member

    Date Joined Aug 2007
    Total Posts : 277
       Posted 1/31/2010 12:18 PM (GMT -6)   
    I go to an acupuncturist every week for pain relief from my crohn's and it's worked for me but it doesn't work for everyone. I agree with everyone on here though about the GI doctors not helping out with pain management. I go to my primary doctor for pain meds.
    Diagnosed: 08/03/07
    lamictal 200 mg/asacol 2 pills 3x day/imuran 100mg day
    Started humira 3/14/09.... pulled off due to migraine side effect. Dealt with migraine for 74 days and then it finally went away.

    Veteran Member

    Date Joined Apr 2005
    Total Posts : 3763
       Posted 1/31/2010 1:34 PM (GMT -6)   
    Seek a referral to a pain management clinic. GI doctors want to treat the Crohn's. They are only interested in the Crohn's and treating the pain that goes along with the disease just minimizes the symptoms so it masks their progress, so to speak. It really doesn't matter to them that it might take months or years to find the right medications to get a patient into remission and that means months or years of pain. They are doing their job, treating the Crohn's.

    Pain management doctors only want to treat your pain. They don't care where the pain comes from. They just want to find the pain medication that best suits the type of pain you are having and is most appropriate for you. They will treat you in a timely manner so that once you get a referral you shouldn't have to wait for an appointment for too long. Also they do careful monitoring to make sure that medication is use appropriately and minimize the chance of addiction, not dependence which is a whole other issue.

    CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
    Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!

    Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

    Regular Member

    Date Joined Jul 2009
    Total Posts : 83
       Posted 2/1/2010 1:50 PM (GMT -6)   
    My GI won't give me pain meds either, even when I am so crippled over I can hardly function at all. So I go to my PCP and get them, or from my rheumy. It feels a little like I'm going around the system but if you can't function, you can't function. Tylenol might as well be tic-tacs when I'm at my worst.
    **32 year old female; Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2001; diagnosis changed to Crohn's disease in 2009
    **Asacol (4000 mg daily), 6-MP (100 mg daily), Prednisone (30mg daily...for now), Nexium (40 mg daily), Flagyl (500 mg daily), Sulfasalazine (1000 mg daily), and getting ready to start Humira
    **Thankfully only two major flare-ups...2001 and 2009. Hoping to have another 8 years in between the next one (sadly, I do know there will be a next one).

    Regular Member

    Date Joined Mar 2009
    Total Posts : 50
       Posted 2/1/2010 6:57 PM (GMT -6)   
    I was in the same boat.  I tell my GI doctor all the time I'm in pain, and he won't prescribe anything.  Because it slows things down...blah...blah...blah.   So I went to my PCP, and I explained the situation.  I just couldn't function! Spent time too much time "mopeing" around from pain.  I also have gastroparesis on top of the Crohn's, so I swear I have double the pain.  He gave me hydrocodone (vicodin) and put me on Lexapro.  He said yes,vicodin willslow things down,but if you need it, you nedd it.  It is also proven that anti-depressants help people with crohnic pain.

    23/female/NJ/diagnosed at 16 with crohn's/diahnosed at 23 with gastroparesis
    pentasa/reglan/aciphex/folic acid/lexapro
    resection surgery in '05

    New Member

    Date Joined Sep 2012
    Total Posts : 2
       Posted 9/26/2012 12:21 AM (GMT -6)   
    Finding someone who will prescribe you with pain meds is a great idea... but I would like to give you some other things that worked for me.

    I like using the pain patches, and just sticking them all over my belly. You will find these OTC patches advertised for like arthritis, but I find they soothe me pretty good. Similar creams work well too, but stink more, get on my clothes, and go away faster.
    Making sure I balanced my water intake and eating fairly fibrous foods that didn't tear me up. If you can keep your bowel movements easy to come out without being too hard (pain from straining or even tearing through areas that are constricted) or watery (flies through you, and makes cramping worse), you will help your pain secondarily.
    Sometimes a heating pad will work, but like you said... you don't get anything done.
    If your GI doctor won't give you stuff for pain, but you still have pain... then it's obvious your Crohn's isn't controlled. Although I didn't want to, I ended up going on Remicaide treatments, and after 8 years of uncontrolled Crohn's pain, that finally worked (following surgery)! You might want to try talking to your doctor about more assertive therapies to TREAT Crohn's since that's the ultimate goal anyway.
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