new member has questions about pain meds.

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/20/2011 5:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Had  a question about being on oxycotin 40mg's ER  for a few months, along with  oxycodone 15mg's 1 to 2 every 4 hours no more than 8 a day.  My insurance cut us off cause i didn't make the monthly payment.  I am a veteran and injured my back while in iraq.  So i went to the VA and they don't carry oxycotin cause it's so expensive.  They prescribed me with morphine sulfate ER.  I keep hearing that it doesn't compare to oxycotin that is not as strong.  I haven't received it yet so just wondering what should i expect taking the morphine?  Thanks.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 11/20/2011 10:11 PM (GMT -6)   
"Strength" of medication is somewhat a relative concept since medications effect people differently. While there are conversion tables that doctors can use that say 30mg of medication "X" is equivalent to 5mg of medication "Y" it really all comes down to what works for the individual.

I have been on both oxycontin and morphine and for me the morphine provided better pain control, both in the amount of pain controlled and the duration the med lasted, than the oxy ever thought about, and I was on what the charts considered equivalent dosages.

The only real advice I can give you is to forget what people are telling you about medications and give it a try with an open mind.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 11/21/2011 1:01 AM (GMT -6)   

First - welcome to the board. Sorry you are having to switch medications - especially if what you were using was working. But I've had to do the same because of insurance many a time.

I agree w/ Jim's post.... you could give 20 people the same medication, and you'll get 20 different experiences.

I've been on almost all of the opiod medications. I am currently on morphine as my long-lasting med and I just switched from oxycodone to dilaudid for my breakthrough. I rotate my BT meds to help decrease tolerance.

For me, the morphine provides the most consistent pain control w/ the least amount of side effects.

So - again - I'm w/ Jim. I would give the medication a fair try w/ an open mind. Keep in mind that it can take some time when transitioning from one medication to another.

I wish you luck! --Tina

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 11/21/2011 3:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Windygoose~

And welcome to the CP forum and HealingWell! I'm going to have to jump on board with the others about trying the morphine. I was on oxycontin for many years and each year it was harder and harder to fight the insurance company to get it. The copay went up and up until I just can't handle it any more. (several of mine with through the roof this year and added together it would have been over $500 per month increase in just the copays!)

I had tried morphine before and didn't care for it...likely because it was hard for me to get used to it. But last January I had no choice but to use it and I'm doing OK with it. I still hurt, but nothing like I would without it. Most of us are here because we'll likely live with pain our entire lives so we need to find something that gives us some quality to our years. I have my morphine dose where it works the best for me with breakthrough meds too.

Best of luck and please keep us posted!
Moderator on the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain forums
Fibromyalgia, IDDM. UC, , Osteoarthritis and others slowly meandering their way through.
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest...Benjamin Franklin

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 615
   Posted 11/21/2011 6:17 PM (GMT -6)   
windygoose...I have to say I agree with the rest. I first started on oxy but I then got a pain doc and she put me on morph. I take morph long lasting an also break thru, now like the others say this does not take the pain completly away but helps us have some quality of life. I hope this helps somewhat and I hope it goes smoothly for you. Best of luck and keep us posted.

Take care, Amy

Chronic pain, fibro, mild depression and nerve pain

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9661
   Posted 11/21/2011 8:42 PM (GMT -6)   
As the other said, it's worth a shot at trying this medicine with hopes it
can work good for you...many well wishes and God Bless for being a hero in
you military service...Salute you...keep us posted on how your doing...
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25355
   Posted 11/21/2011 11:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I am on the combination of a morphine patch and Loratabs. Right now, its controlling 80% of my pain most days. It will vary so much from person to person, their tolerance, side effects, etc. Takes a good and caring doctor to help work with you in getting the right balance of meds. I was on the Oxy for a short period (less than a month), it did nothing for me or the pain, so the doc put me back on the Loratabs which had been pretty effective the previous 2 years.

Good luck as you sort out your situation.

David in SC
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
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Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
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Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/10

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 11/22/2011 1:44 AM (GMT -6)   
It's definitely a personal thing, how your body reacts to each individual med - also with regard to side effects. I'm on Oxy and IR oxycodone for breakthrough, and it helps me as much as anything does - and is fairly tolerable. Morphine on the other hand - it does give me some pain relief but leaves me a sweaty, nauseated, vomiting wreck. I can always tell if I've been given morph in a pre-med before surgery for example, because I'm always much sicker with an anaesthetic than if I don't have it.

CRPS since 1999, diagnosed in 2005 and since spread to full body, spasms, dystonia & contractures, gastroparesis, orthostatic hypotension,bradycardia/tachycardia, bone spurs, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoporosis, osteopenia.

On Oxycontin/Endone, Topamax, Mobic, Magnesium, Florinef, Midodrine, Somac, Cipramil. Have SCS, intrathecal pump with baclofen & bupivacaine and doing physio

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/25/2011 3:49 AM (GMT -6)   
As others have said it's a very personal thing. People tend to say that OxyContin is stronger, but for me it's the opposite.

I'm currently on 90mg Avinza (one of the Morphine Sulfate ER brands) which has been working very well for me. Intiially I was on a 100mg (2x50mg) of another brand, and doctor briefly tried switching me to OxyContin 80mg since the other brand was on recall for some reason. Most would say it should be quite a bit stronger than Morphine - I felt absolutely miserable. It honestly felt like I was witdhrawing. I tried sticking with it for a couple days, but it just got unbearable. I called my doctor and told him "I don't know what's going on, but I can't function on this. I'm taking the maximum amount of breakthrough I'm allowed to take, and I just can't bear it." He immediately wrote me a script for 90mg Avinza, and I started feeling better once that started taking effect. I don't know how much Oxy I would need to get the same level of pain relief.

BTW - I'm not sure if the Morphine Sulfate is a cost issue. At least in my case, the cost was pretty much the same (around $400 copays for both iirc). My father is actually Chief of Staff at the VA where he works - he has personally authorized some very expensive procedures and scripts that other insurance companies have refused, simply because he feels that our veterans deserve the absolute best they can get. I'm sorry that they apparently don't give the same standard at your local VA, but I hope the treatment you get ends up working. Thank you for your service by the way :)

Post Edited (terraphantm) : 11/25/2011 2:53:59 AM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 11/25/2011 1:37 PM (GMT -6)   
At the risk of sounding like a broken record I can really only repeat what others have said. In my case I did try morphine at one time but found I got little to no relief from it. I had wanted to try it because a friend is on it and said it worked very well for him. So goes to show you just how different everyone can be. Anyway give it try and have an open mind about it. Keep in mind that some meds take awhile to really get worked into your system. Anyway that's my 2 cents worth. I wish you all the best and hope things work out great. Keep in touch and let us know how things are going. Take care.
Chronic Back Pain, Anxiety, A little Depression, Left foot problems...foot growing in length and big toe growing out sideways, Osteoporosis,11 surgeries total..right foot twice, right knee 3 times, right elbow, throat/neck, spinal fusion, left elbow, left knee, currently deciding on whether to have surgery on left foot.
Meds: Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Clonazapam
Birthday July 18th
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