how often do you switch your pain medications and which would you recommend

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Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 12/4/2011 5:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been on the same pain medication for the last 7 years going against what my doctor wants. I take large doses of norco and valium as my primary pain relievers for my trigeminal neuralgia and crohns/colitis. since the age of 10 they were giving me daily demerol injections which lasted 8 years. I then went through many drugs which made me ill, percocet, regular morphine methadone, diladid, etc. and stayed with norco. My doctor has been advising me to take oxycodone 15mg/300 month for sometime but I have refused. My current meds are no longer working (I have a school aged child and cannot be zonked out which is why I am stubborn about this) I need a change. how often do you change your meds to keep them working and what do you think about the oxycodone change from norco? can I expect to be feeling badly for awhile? I should have switched years ago, I have been in constant pain for the last 3 months and have been nervous with all of the bad things you hear about oxycodone

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 1059
   Posted 12/4/2011 6:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been taking oxycodone 10mg three times a day or every 4 hours if really bad. I also take neurontin 200-300mg three times a day and amitriptyline 30mg at night. The first two weeks when starting on the oxycodone my GP started me off slow until body adjusted to the side effects. Only thing I got was feeling bit dopey and light headed, now I'm fine. Able to work and drive and feel fine on them. I seem to be lucky as can stop pain killers at any time if pain is ok. Some days when I am not working and just doind nothing at home will miss my lunchtime dose of oxycodone and it doesn't bother me, pain gradually gets worse and that reminds me to take the night time ones but don't get shakes or other things some people seem to get.

I don't know about the effects of changing from narco to oxycodone so ccannot comment on that. The above combo works for me so that pain, although it is still there, it is at a manageable level.
Crohn's, antiphospholipid syndrome, Crohn's arthritis, very low blood pressure, low kidney function, ezcema, asthma, ileostomy, numerous surgeries for abscessses & strictures. Humira - very bad permanent side effects incl joint pain, hair loss, fatigue & nreve damage. Azathioprine, immodium, simethicone, fludrocortisone, oxycodone, gabapentin, tramadol, amitriptyline, Folic acid, vit d & calcium.

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16787
   Posted 12/4/2011 6:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Equest, there really is no time limit so to speak on switching pain meds. Its more a matter of when they become less effective in controlling our pain, that is when we know its time to either increase the medication or move to something different. You are lucky to have lasted 7 years on one medication to control your pain. I would think when switching you to something new your dr would take into consideration your dose in order to keep your pain under control, rather than start you off on something lower. Have you talked to him/her about the conversion of these two medications?

I was on Norco at one time and did very well until it just stopped working. From there I went to 15mg of Oxycodone and I had no problem. But, keep in mind we all metabolize medications differently. I am not saying you will have a problem, but I would be at least be willing to try the change, otherwise you may miss out on something giving you relief, you will not know until you try it.

One thing I would like to point out to you is all studies have shown that people that suffer with chronic pain rarely become addicted to their medications. They may become tolerant to something, which is no differentthan becoming tolerant to say BP medications. Addiction is for those seeking drugs illegally and not using them as they were intended. People looking to get high and not have a medical condition. I have been on BP meds over 20 years and often have to switch because they become less effective after a period of time. My pain meds can do the same thing.

I saw in your other post about the drs wanting to do an injection into the scar tissue I believe from an old surgery. If you have lots of scar tissue or adhesions which is pretty common with surgeries, yes, that could very well be the source of your pain. Its worth trying the injection to see if you get some relief. At least the dr is trying to help, so many don't anymore. I have crohns and understand the horrible pain very well. I am really surprised you were not put in the hospital by your gi. When flares get that bad mine puts us in the hospital until we can get things under better control. Sure hate to see you suffer.

Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 12/4/2011 6:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I am Kathy, I also dont know anything about norco, valium I have a close relationship with, so I agree with the advice you have been given.  You cant listen to all the hype about oxycotin, oxycodone, etc. the media have played a huge part in making people scared.  As with any narcotic there is always the risk of dependency.  I truth if you (and by you I dont mean you specifically) take narcotic meds over long periods of time the truth is you are going to be dependent.  Dependent on the relief you can get, and the life you can live, because without my meds, I wouldnt and couldnt get out of the bed.
Just as a diabetic needs insulin, people with high blood pressure need there meds to live, so do all of of suffering from cp.  So take it slow, if you find yourself sick to your stomach, they can add phenegen, the generic is promethzine.  It have allways worked for me.  I of course havent been that kind of sick as I have been on narcotic meds over 15 years.  But they even work if I have an upset stomach for whatever reason.
As usual, I have babbled on longer than necessary, but as i said the advice you were already given, sounds very good to me.  Hang in there, it does get better.
Good luck and take care
degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, lumbar laminectomy july 1998 no help, rechargeable neurostimulator unit low right back w/lead wires to left side and right leg unit not working just sitting there.i am 57 years young in may will turn 58. i have 2 grown daughters, 25 and 29. i have 2 grandchildren, 9 year old grandaughter and 5 yr. old grandson

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1289
   Posted 12/5/2011 10:45 PM (GMT -6)   
i've been on percocets and now oxycodone (without the acetomenophen) for the past year and a half- i'm up to 6x15 mg a day. it works for the most part- the pain is managable so i can go to work and play with my daughter etc...there is definitely the dependence factor- but i went in with my eyes open- my pain doc told me it happens to everyone on long term narcotic pain mgmt. when the time comes to get off the meds we'll work on it as a team- my butt will deal with the misery but they'll be there to support me and help. but the plusses definitley outweigh the negatives. without the oxy i would not be able to get out of bed and function bc my gut hurts so bad everyday. i need to worry about that and then when the pain is resolved i'll figure out how to safely get off the pills.
37 year old male living in AZ. Diagnosed with Crohns at age of 15.
Currently on 20 mg prednisone. still taking Asacol. Done with Remicade- antibody level was over 8! Waiting for scope results to see about Humira or Cimzia.
In the middle of a bad flare now for 2's been one heck of a ride!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 12/5/2011 11:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Just for a little FYI...Norco is just another brand name for Vicodin. (acetaminophen and hydrocodone)
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