muscle relaxants

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heatmiser
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Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 1671
   Posted 11/2/2010 7:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I take darvocet for the chronic joint pain I have associated with my crohn's disease. This week I've been having bad lower back pain for no apparent reason. My doc didn't want to give me more darvocet ( take 3 per day) so she put me on flexeril only at night. Which means during the day I get nothing extra. It's been over a week that I've been in pain, and I'm having to add ibuprofen (which I'm not supposed to take because of the cd) and I'm taking an extra flexeril during the day. It takes hours to get the pain to a tolerable level. I'm waiting for a call from the doc right now, but curious to know if anyone takes muscle relaxants during the day without problems? I don't understand why she wants me to take them only at night. She mentioned drowsiness/dizziness but I still need more help with this pain, and feel like she's going to think I'm drug seeking or something.

I just don't think I should have to be at a 7 or 8 pain level for hours on end each day. I can't really function this way very well. Any suggestions?

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 11/3/2010 12:11 AM (GMT -6)   

 

     Dear HM,

    I highly recommend Baclofen. It is strong though. It is very good for chronic pain. My dosage had to be slowly increased. It took me a few weeks to get up to the right dose / times per day.

~~>  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baclofen

~~> "... A very beneficial property of baclofen is that tolerance does not seem to occur to any significant degree — baclofen retains its therapeutic anti-spasmodic effects even after many years of continued use. However, oral dosage must be carefully regulated...."

    Also, as a side note, you might want to look more into the true cause of your back pain. It could be something more is going on.

 *hugg*
  dani


TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

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White Beard
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3702
   Posted 11/3/2010 11:00 PM (GMT -6)   
heatmiser

If you are having a problem with muscle spasms, then I would have to agree with dani, Baclofen has been a real Godsend for me! I suffer from severe muscle spasms, and I get them every where, and Baclofen was the only thing effective at stopping them! I did have to be titrated up and I take 30 mg every 8 hours, and it really has taken care of and controlled the spasms! As a side affect it also helps in controlling my pain Anyway I have been on it for quite some time now, (several years) and it has helped me allot!

Good Luck to YOU!

White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

ReactiveConstellationNE
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 11/4/2010 12:48 AM (GMT -6)   
I hate to be the one to say this, but Darvocet/Darvon (Propoxyphene) has virtually no more effect on pain than aspirin does. Some OTC pain medications (notably naproxen and ibuprofen) may actually be *more* effective than Propoxyphene, and have less side effects (propoxyphene can cause problems with thinking, mood, more dizziness than other opioids, just to name a few....and can actually be toxic, whereas most other opiates are basically harmless except for physical dependence/withdrawal and secondary effects on the immune system that we're just starting to understand because of their complexity, and the fact that it's not actually the opiate that impacts the immune system -- it's the secondary effect of downregulating your natural endorphins which are important immune & tissue healing regulators).


I know that psychologically it can be nice to know that you have *something* rather than nothing....but Propoxyphene is what I call a "cop-out drug." Docs generally give it to you because either:

1) They don't realize how useless it is, and simply consider it the "lowest/weakest option on the pain med ladder," therefore a good place to start or a good way of avoiding being seen as prescribing "the strong stuff." In other words, they give it to you because it suits their purposes far more than it is likely to best the best option for your needs.

2) They know exactly how useless it is, and that's why they prescribe it....because they want to shut you up by giving you something that is technically an opiate, but "won't look as bad on paper" if other doctors or law enforcement, the media, etc. ever have reason to look over your records.

In either case, it's a cop-out. The only real reason for prescribing something like propoxyphene over substantially more effective but still non-Schedule-II opioids such as Tramadol, Nucynta, Codeine, or Hydrocodone is because the doctor wants to cover their own backside and/or trick you into thinking you're being given an effective pain medication when you aren't.

Heck, even Sched. 3/4 meds versus Sched. 2 is very much debatable on many levels as to whether the patient's best interests or politics and self-centered covering of the doctor's own posterior are the motivation for choosing one over the other. Opiate dependence is opiate dependence, the differences between dependency on the various opiates are shades of gray at most -- and I speak from extensive experience here, something I know many of you are no strangers to either.

As for Baclofen....my own experiences with it were mixed at best. Gave me severe headaches, something I've read is quite common. Didn't help much either, certainly not compared to Soma (Carisoprodol)....but my doc won't prescribe Soma because it's another one of those meds that has gotten bad press, and although he has some misunderstandings of the science behind Carisoprodol, I have elected to choose my battles and haven't corrected him.

Still, it could be worth looking into and trying. Many have reported success with it....and as Dani mentioned, it has the wonderful attribute of not being too dependency/tolerance-forming. That's a rarity with actual effective medications; anything that is both effective (while being free enough of side effects to be worth it) and non- or only mildly dependency-forming is solid gold in my book.

Do let us know how things work out for you! I hope the information above about Propoxyphene (which you should, as always, back up with your own research; don't take my word for it!) is useful. It wasn't meant to be pointlessly negative.
Conditions: Reactive Arthritis (AKA Reiter Syndrome), Crohn's Disease, Chronic Pelvic Inflammatory Syndrome, Sacroiliitis, Costochondritis, As Yet Unknown MS-Like Relapsing/Remitting Neuropathy, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Medications: Currently not that many are taken daily, but there are many at my disposal for part-time use. Low dose pain medication, after years at high doses. Working on innovative ways of taking lesser-known pharmaceuticals and non-prescription supplements to maximum benefit.

ReactiveConstellationNE
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 11/4/2010 12:59 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm not surprised that Flexeril isn't working for you. It tends to barely make a dent in my bad episodes of back spasms. Soma (Carisoprodol) is the only thing that really worked for me; and even that was relatively mild in effect. A distant second would be Valium (diazepam), and I'm not a big fan of benzodiazepines. They form tolerance/dependence rapidly and the withdrawal, though I'm fortunate never to have experienced thanks to my carefully managing my rare usage of them, is among the worst from any drug. The descriptions I've read make opiate withdrawal look like a walk in the park on a sunny spring day. The sleeplessness and anxiety alone sound awful.

I hate to say it, but when it comes to back spasms, often the only real solutions are time and the basics: just enough activity without straining or risking further injury....gentle stretching, possibly certain types of yoga stretch that I've learned over the years which are very effective if you get your technique dialed in.....epsom salt baths and topical magnesium oil combined with oral magnesium supplementation can help the muscles relax naturally and without causing what I call "tectonic worsening"......

Which is when a muscle relaxer, notably this happens to me with Tizanidine (brand name Skelaxin), causes an initial relaxation, often overnight, but then the next day the spasms are even worse. It's like relaxing the "wrong" muscles makes the imbalance of pressure and tension in the back even worse, sort of like messing with the pressure on a fault line can cause even worse earthquakes rather than relieving the pressure like it should; it just worsens the imbalance of the big picture.

GABA (an amino acid, often the pathway for many muscle relaxers) can be helpful here in higher doses. It's very mild when taken on its own (though L-Theanine can boost its activity), but basically "dials down" the intensity of your nervous system's electrochemical signaling so that your muscles aren't so overloaded with signals to tighten up. It may also help slightly with the pain.

Turmeric (and piperine to act as a booster) can help with the inflammation component. It is generally easy to digest, even for those with digestive issues (in fact it can even help them), but take it slowly at first if this is your first experimentation with turmeric just in case. Turmeric can generally replace the ibuprofen without the GI side effects, and in my experience works better than any NSAID whether OTC or prescription.

Again, hope this helps. You may know some of this already, but it's on the list of things that immediately come to mind when I hear of problems along the lines of what you've described.
Conditions: Reactive Arthritis (AKA Reiter Syndrome), Crohn's Disease, Chronic Pelvic Inflammatory Syndrome, Sacroiliitis, Costochondritis, As Yet Unknown MS-Like Relapsing/Remitting Neuropathy, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Medications: Currently not that many are taken daily, but there are many at my disposal for part-time use. Low dose pain medication, after years at high doses. Working on innovative ways of taking lesser-known pharmaceuticals and non-prescription supplements to maximum benefit.

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 11/4/2010 1:51 PM (GMT -6)   
 
  Soma
 
 
   "....Soma is a muscle relaxer that works by blocking pain sensations between the nerves and the brain."
 
  Baclofen
 
 
   "...Baclofen is a muscle relaxer and an antispastic agent."
 
 
 
    Additionally...
 
   Relofen (aka Nabumetone) (aka GABA) is an NSAID
 
 
   "...Relafen belongs to a group of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain...."
 
     In the end follow your doctors advise. If you have been asked to take a muscle relaxer it is because you and your physician have come to the decision together.  The benefits / risks have been weighed and it is in your best intrest to do so. Uncontrolled chronic spasims can do quite a bit of damamge to your body if left untreated. The subsequant inflammation that follows does considerable damage as well. :-)
 
*hugg*
  dani

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

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