MS contin and Norco question

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 4/23/2012 6:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I am prescribed norco 10/325 and MS contin 30mg for a bunch of things going on right now, pain related obviously.

It wasn't until just recently(past friday) that I was put on the MS contin. I was put on this medication b/c the norco wasn't lasting longer than a couple-few hours. Somehow even though I read the MS contin is much stronger, it doesn't work even as well as the norco do. I'm having surgery on friday and have been having intolerable neck pain, even after taking the MS contin and 1 norco.

So my question is, is it possible that my body reacts better to codeine than morphine? Should I be taking something stronger after surgery? Is there an extended release codeine type drug? Should I ask for something different, even a different class of meds like gabapentin?

I'm just trying to figure out why the MS contin isn't working and I don't like the short action of norco b/c I'm always taking pills then. I really would just like to take 1 thing if possible that I can take once maybe twice. I'm scared for post op b/c I'm worried I'm going to be in a world of pain since 30mg of morphine isn't even cutting it.

Thanks in advance for any/all advice

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 4/23/2012 7:11 PM (GMT -6)   
When you say it doesn't work as well...may I ask what pain level you are getting down to after taking these meds?

Just FYI but Norco is not Codeine...It is Hydrocodone....

Also....what other things do you daily (weekly/monthly) to help lessen your pain? Such as exercise, aqua therapy, PT, yoga/stretching, TENS unit, injections, massage, acupuncture, ice, heat, counseling, CBT, eating healthy, not smoking...

As well are you prescribed a muscle relaxer and a nerve pain medication? How about an antidepressant or sleep medicine?

The key with starting a new medication is that the Dr. prescribes a low dose first so that you can get past any side effects as well as make sure there aren't any allergic reactions....

And with a long acting aren't going to "feel" instant pain relief like you do with the Norco or any short acting medication...

So, many people who are starting a long acting med for the first time don't think it's working well as they are so used to the short acting feeling of pain relief...

It's meant to slowly release medicine through the 8-12 hours....So that there is a small dip in pain levels...It's not meant to get you to pain free.

But it's also crucial to have a comprehensive plan that includes other non narcotics and many of the modalities I listed...

They are all building blocks....One or two of them on their own will not lower your pain to negligible....But all/many of them all added together will get you to a decent level...

I live with a pain level of 5-7 depending on the day and activity..This is with 5 different medications and most of the things I listed I do daily/weekly/monthly.

A new medicine should be given at least a month with possible tweaks in dosage to really see if it works as intended..

And with your upcoming surgery on Friday....your Dr. most likely will not want to change around the medications right now...

After this....then you can reasses with the Dr...

Good luck...
SB and "the pup who snores loudly" 
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha")) 
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005 
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Oct 2006

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 4/23/2012 8:15 PM (GMT -6)   
For relief I have tried hot compress, cold compress, massage, chiro, massage therapy, all kinds of supplements(fish oil, magnesium/cal/zinc, etc), daily stretches, hot baths, I exercise regularly(when I can), eat very healthy, and take zoloft and wellbutrin and xanax. I don't smoke, drink, do drugs, eat a lot of processed foods, and drink a good amount of water. No soda, take out, etc. If I haven't tried all of these things I definitely wouldn't be on pain medication. It's just the only thing that's moderately helped.

I understand the extended release isn't instant. However, though most of the other pain is brought down to a 4-5 from an 8-9 the neck pain, eye pain, and facial pain is maybe somewhat dulled but not by much. I'm a full time student and I've been unable to even look at type for more than an hour. I'm not expecting to be pain free just pain free enough to do homework, sleep, or perform some tasks a normal person would.

The problem I have is a cracked tooth for the past 2 months, an impacted wisdom tooth severely close to the nerve, and an undiagnosed "autoimmune" condition. I'm just afraid the neck and facial pain is an abscess or something. I have to have surgery first so we can rule the dental stuff out from the other symptoms. I think I'm going crazy b/c of the pain. It's making me super irritable, frustrated, and almost depressed.

I appreciate the advice

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 4/23/2012 10:05 PM (GMT -6)   
You should call your doctor and try to get seen, so you can go over your medicines before and after surgery...
Is it dental surgery your having? maybe asks your dentist what would be good for pain and then go
and talk that over with your doctor...Tart cherry juice can help with some pain, just start on it slowly 1/4 cup per day and at night as it
can make you sleepy...ginger can help with some pain...but best thing you can do is talk this over with your doctor and let him/her know the pain control needs to be better for your surgery...
Many many well wishes...Hope things get striaghten out for you (sorry for typos)
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...
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