I just have to ask the pain med question...please indulge me...

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 11/6/2007 8:48 AM (GMT -7)   
How many out there are on pain meds, and if so, what kind?  
How much trouble have you had getting pain meds?  Do you get them from your gastro or from your primary?
How many believe pain meds should never be taken for CD because it
doesn't help?
How many of you worry about becoming drug addicts and/or being percieved as just whiny, drug seekers?
Just curious...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 1986
   Posted 11/6/2007 9:14 AM (GMT -7)   
I take pain meds if I need them, and my GI will give them to me if I tell him I need them.

I don't see any reason why a person shouldn't take pain meds for CD with the caveate that you and your doctor know the source or are willing to find the source of the pain. You don't want to take pain meds and not treat whatever's causing it, if it can be treated.

I do believe that pain is just a symptom of something (usually) serious going on. In the past, if I had pain, it usually meant an inflammatory obstruction and/or fistulas and abscesses. It meant trying new medication protocols to control it or in the end surgery if nothing else could.

Today I'm going in for a CT scan with and without contrast (oral and injected) and then an MRI with contrast. I'm doing this because a few weeks ago I had unexplained abdominal pain. My doctor gave me pain meds, and got the ball rolling for my insurance to approve the tests. My pain has dissipated for the most part now, I'm not on the pain meds anymore, but my doctor feels we should still investigate.

I do not believe that pain should be "lived with" because you have CD. I feel that you should do everything in your power to find out what's causing it, and try to fix it, whether that means changing meds or surgery. This, however is my personal opinion based on the history of MY disease.
49 years old, Crohn's Disease   
Six resection surgeries, permanent ostomy, adverse reactions to Remicadeback on 6MP for maintenance, hoping for a long remission from this last surgery. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 3042
   Posted 11/6/2007 9:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi I also take pain meds. my Gi doctor gets them for me.
Hi, I am teddybearweiser, I am a male.
I was diagnosed with crohns disease when i was admitted to the hospital
in 1992, in Jan of 1993 I was back in the hospital for surgery for my crohns. I had part of my right colon resectioned with ilecolonstomy.
 My GI doctor has me on Asacol, Dicyclomine,Imuran,Celebrex and Remicade. B-12 injection once a month.
My Internest doctor has me on Lisnopril-HTCZ and Folic Acid. Diagnosed
with Osteoarthritis July 2007

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 200
   Posted 11/6/2007 9:22 AM (GMT -7)   
I take pain meds when i really need them, but my GI doctor will not give them to me. I have used pain clinics in the past. My pcp will also give me pain meds if I ask for them.
22 year old female
Crohn's Disease (diagnosed 2006) taking Humira & Pentasa
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Anxiety Disorder
Psoriatic Arthritis
Using Darvocet & Lortab for Pain
Tigan for nausea

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3200
   Posted 11/6/2007 9:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Like Judy said, pain is a symptom, not a diagnosis. However if your diagnosis includes constant pain, then we have to treat
that, the same way we treat other symptoms. I've been taking pain meds for the best part of 4 years. I need them not only
for crohn's, but for some of the spin off problems I have developed along with the disease. Never once have I worried about
addiction, 1, I think at my age (56) if I am indeed addicted, then oh well I can't see at this point my symptoms changing, so
I'll never have to be without them, BTW I'm talking about my other problems not crohn's. 2 in all that time , my dosage has
never altered, I've never attempted to take more or want more. I take them for my pain nothing more, nothing less.
My doctor has been the most sympathetic person, and in the past has offered me stronger pain meds, as she calls it
"quality of life", but I've refused. I want quality, not a foggy haze.
My opinion is, that if these particular drugs were not used on the streets, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation....

Too many years with CD
Two bowel resections, several obstructions.

Laughter is the brush that sweeps the cobwebs from our hearts

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 11/6/2007 10:26 AM (GMT -7)   
I get my pain meds from my GI. That's the only way I can get through the day with the flare-up I'm in right now.
26 year old female  diagnosed with severe Crohn's in Sept. 2007-suspected that I've had it for at least 3 yrs; diagnosed with anemia Aug. 2007. Currently taking Pentasa 500mg/8x daily; Entocort 3mg/3x daily; Percocet/Ultram for pain; Protonix 40mg---was on Flagyl/Cipro for two weeks,(a few weeks ago), was supposed to be on it for three weeks but the cramping and diarrhea it caused made me stop
Now on Prednisone 40mg, stopped Entocort while on pred.
Ferrous Sulfate 325mg/daily for anemia

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 11/6/2007 10:36 AM (GMT -7)   
I try to tough the pain out awhile before I take pain medication. I only use them when I need them. My GI doctor will give them, but he doesn't want me using them so much that the pain is masked all of the time. I agree. I don't want the meds to hide the pain so that I never know if I'm really hurting.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 11/6/2007 10:42 AM (GMT -7)   
my GI wont give them to me at all :(

Said it would do more harm than good but looking at everyone elses post I think I need to ask another doctor.
Diagnosed with UC 8 years ago
Asacol / 12 per day
Canasa / 1 per day
Rowasa / 1 per day
Prednizone / 40 MG Day( finished taper!!!)
Azathioprine / 100 MG Day
Levaquin 1 per day
Flogyl 1 per day
Diagnosed with Crohn's 6/26/2007

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 11/6/2007 10:46 AM (GMT -7)   
dunny2 -
You couldn't have said it better!  I'm in exactly the same boat, at age 49.  I have peripheral neuropathy, facial mylagsia, knee joint pain, hip pain, and for some reason, constant, lower left sided pain.   Chronic anemia and b12 deficient too.  I'm very, very controlling with my pain meds - I take Neurontin, Vicodin and Ultram ER.  I've been on the same dosages for a couple of years now - never want more - have also refused stronger pain meds because I don't want to be moving 'up the chain' at my age.  Also, my work is mentally taxing, so I must be able to think clearly.  Oddly enough, I don't get a 'buzz' from these pain medicines - they just allow me to move, walk, stay awake, think, etc...
I've never had a gastro who will prescribe pain meds, but my primary physician will, and I thank her for it every day.   But I do worry that some day, she'll stop prescribing them for me and I know it's hard to find a doctor that will prescribe these types of drugs long term because they worry about losing their licenses.   It's a shame, because it truly is a 'quality of life' issue for people who have chronic pain that is not going to go away.

Mormor Vicky
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 684
   Posted 11/6/2007 10:53 AM (GMT -7)   
I was on pain meds but not directly because of my Crohn's. I had terrible joint pain but my CD is in remission. I will only take pain meds when absolutely necessary. I'm now on an anti-depressant that helps tremendously with chronic pain.
Vicky / 47 years old
DX'd with Crohn's during a resection August 2006
DX'd with Steriod induced Diabetes November 2006
Considered in Clinical remission but have minor signs of disease activity
Daughter (26) also has Crohn's since she was 12.
Currently on 4000mg of Pentasa only for Crohn's
No longer able to take 6-MP because of Bone-Marrow Suppression
Cymbalta, Metformin, Lipitor

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 598
   Posted 11/6/2007 3:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I was told by my gi office that they expect primary care to treat pain. That seems kind of weird to me if it was the gi office who made the diagnosis. What if your primary doesn't agree? You have to find another pcp?

Does anyone's rheumatologist prescribe pain medication? It seems to me that it is often the case that no one will assume responsibility for this disease.

I'm not on any pain meds right now but sure could use some for my feet. My primary NP prescribed tramadol. It appeared to raise my blood pressure and before I could tough it out to know for sure I got on zoloft and both can't be taken.
10 years, many tests, 3 gi doctors, Pentasa 1000mg 3x day
diovan, simvastatin and now trying good ol' zoloft

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 11/6/2007 5:27 PM (GMT -7)   

I have been on pain meds for about 5 years now, started with darvocet & hydocodone 7.5

given to me by my gastro,and have progressed up now to oxycodone 20 mg and hydrocodone

10 mg for breakthrew pain, now given to me by my rheumy, as i have been dxed with fibromyalgia

this past year.  I just let him do my pain managment now rather than get meds from different dr's.

I have to admit I have a great Gastro (Shout out to Dr. Thomas Eckert :) and a great Rheumy

(Shout out to Dr. Henry Davis :) and have never really had to suffer and suck it up as it pains

me to see some of you do.  BTW, I think is BS.  But getting these meds have their drawbacks as

well......... here is a example.

I suffer with migraines and have 4 different meds to take to kick them, but I had one that could

not be kicked, and had to go to the ER which I have done quite a few times.  I go and update

my med list and they ask what I am wanting..... duh..... I tell them I need a shot of what they

gave the previous time, cause it worked.  Mind you my BP was 156/124 (Heart attack stage or

Stroke maybe) and the actual Dr. came in and told me that I would get no narcotic from there

and if that was my intention then I should forget it.  Well BP's don't lie and can't be faked ppl,

and I told him nastily, give me whatever they could as long as the migraine went away, but I

did remind them that I wasn't supposed to take nsaid's as I have CD, so to do what they could.

He was just nasty, and made me feel like a junkie, just because I do take strong pain meds,

whick had no bearing on the migraine.  That is the down side to them, I guess from my perspec

-tive anyway.

You should talk to your dr's, both if need be, and tell them that you feel it is your right to be

treated for the pain as well as the DD.  One goes right along with the other and maked it hard

to function beyond it.  I did suffer for a few years and finally had to ask for treatment.  And

pain meds are better than a cork...... they play double duty.... no pain and less "D".  Win/Win


Good luck !

W/F Age 35, Southern Indiana Married w/ 2 Kids ,
DX with CD in early 1990's.....also Depression, Anxiety, Reflux, Migraines, Bladder Spasms, Asthma,Cronic Pain, COPD w/ Cronic Broncitis, Cronic Cough Syndrome, Cronic Nausea, recently dx'd with Fibromylgia and bursitis
 Currently on no meds for CD(have tried all current meds & nothing works), but 22 others for the rest.  2 Resections, 1998/2003. 7 hospital stays in 2 years
Count Your Blessings.....

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 11/12/2007 7:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Here is my frustration. My rhumatologist is left dealing with my pain problelms. I have CD and Scleroderma and terrible joint pain as well as acute gut pain with flair ups. So when I went to her recently to tell her that after 5 years on vicodin I told her I needed a stronger pain reliever, she give me more Zoloft and less vicodin! And then this weekend, and CD flair! GI will not precripibe anything unless I am in the hospital! FRUSTRATING! Any advice is welcome!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4384
   Posted 11/12/2007 3:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm a social worker (NO medical training) But as I understand it, we actually have seratonin receptors in our gut, so the antidepressants do seem to help some folks with chronic pain. So maybe she really thought the increased Zoloft would help. I'm so sorry to hear you have both CD and Scleroderma....clearly your pain is quite real. You need doctors who believe you and support you....if that is not the case, then maybe you need a new doc. Good luck
48 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's Sept-Oct. 2007

Glad Bag
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 699
   Posted 11/12/2007 4:14 PM (GMT -7)   
interesting question....

"How many believe pain meds should never be taken for CD because it
doesn't help?"

help what? help cure you? they won't do that....help you get thru a tough day? hell yeah they will do that.

Will requiring prescriptions for pain meds make a quote unquote "normie" be made to feel like a drug addict when asking for refills or prescriptions? most of the time....

Should that matter....what's more painful, having people wonder why you need the stuff, or feeling less physical discomfort? The answer seems easy, just ignore the judgements and keep asking till you get what you need right? that's what I have learned to do, but In my opinion, mental anguish can be so much harder to deal with than physical pain, so many of us would rather deal with more pain, than deal with asking for more and getting rejected or given a hard time.

I myself don't have a hard time getting the vicodin i need from my GI doc. He has occasionally over the last 15 years had to ask if I still need as much as I was taking at times, and I then tapered down if I didn't really need it. Sometimes though I know I take it because I feel better then not taking it, not because I am in total pain....does that make me an addict? who cares, i have to deal with holes in guts right? i deserve a little help!

just my thoughts.....
"All we need is love....love is all we need"

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 11/12/2007 4:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, I was able to speak with Dr's nurse today and explain my problem. So I will be able to trade new prescriptions in for old prescriptions. (If that makes sense.) Meaning, I am going to give the Zoloft increase a definate try for the chronic pain and I will have the vicodin for the acute pain. I feel much better now. I am sure many of you know what it is like to be sticken with unbearable pain in the middle of a store or somewhere away from home (or even at home for that matter), and then you have to try and get it together to find the restroom and drive home etc. I've had CD for 20 yrs, been hosp. countless times, two obstructions recently, but luckily, no surgery.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 11/12/2007 4:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Glad Bag, you are so right. We should not be made to feel like second class citizens just because we need our meds to feel normal. I challenge a "normie" to suffer through ONE CD attack! The irony for me is, all over my GI's office are plastered posters saying, "if you are in pain please tell you provider, no one should have to suffer...", yet my dr. is more than happy to let someone else do the prescribing! No, I will not justify my medication use, I know I am responsible, I know I need it to get through the day and I that God for them. I spend too many days lying onthe bathroom floor sweating and crying before I became brave enough to stand up for myself and ask for what I needed to get through the day. You are right, we have to live with the holes in our guts and we need to make the best of it!  

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 565
   Posted 11/12/2007 4:36 PM (GMT -7)   
my gi had no problem giving me vicodin. i felt funny taking it at first, cause i was worried about ddependency but there are some days where i have no idea how i would have gotten through my days without vicodin. i am talking, can't even stand up or breath cause the pain is so bad though. i usually try and wait it out but i have had 2 vicodin days.
.: stephanie :.
32 y/o female diagnosed 8/8/7 with crohn's of the terminal ileum w/ stricture/scarring
currently taking 15mg prednisone (getting there!), 4000mg pentasa daily & vicodin for pain

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 11/13/2007 4:24 AM (GMT -7)   
i take Amytriptolene(sp?). It seems to help me sleep thru any gut pains as well as joint pains and i take it just as needed. My GI dr gave it to me.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 3932
   Posted 11/13/2007 8:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Currently, I'm on Lyrica ( partly to help sleep) & Tramadol (Ultram) for pain. Also, I'm taking Celebrex for the ongoing arthritis & back pain.
Background: CD of course, but it is in remission mostly. CD related arthritis plus Osteoarthritis. There are a couple of disc issues due to the Osteo..
I use a Pain Clinic to get my medication. They also have supplied a couple of Physical therapy devices to help with the back..
I never ask GIs for pain meds, most are afraid to use them.
No I don't worry about addiction, people in moderate to severe pain on a chronic basis rarely become addicted. Oh we have dependancy issues, but a knowledeable doctor knows how to taper dosages to correct that.
As for being a whiner? When I was in college, I had a lung collapse while riding my bike. I rode home & rode it off & on for about 5 days before they found the problem when I went to Hospital for tests. Also, I suffered hellishly for years with the CD because I initially believed narcotics hurt IBD patients. Yeah, I'm a whiner.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2003
Total Posts : 267
   Posted 11/13/2007 12:06 PM (GMT -7)   
I am on two pain medications given to me by my primary care doc.   He monitors my useage carefully, reviews them with me when we meet, etc.   That way I can get the medication I need and he feels okay with writing the prescriptions I need.  You should never be made to feel like you are begging for pain med nono  as long as you use them as prescribed.     I am on them for GI pain as well as severe migraines - my neuro and gastro docs are horrible about giving them to me.  My primary doc knows me best too.
Complete Hysterectomy 1991 due to Endo
Migraines - bad ones!! Ow.
Save a life - adopt a shelter dog!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 11/13/2007 1:26 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree with several posts here that it isn't fair that the primary doctor is stuck prescribing the pain med's because the specialists won't.  I'm very lucky to have a great primary dr too, but I just don't get why a gastro or a rheumy won't treat the pain - that seems very selfish of them to me.
DX: mild to moderate Crohn's for 34 years
Additional benefits: chronic anemia, B12 deficient, peripheral neuropathy, facial mylagsia, joint pain, underactive thyriod
Current meds: Colozal, Nexium, Entocort, Flagyl, steriod cream, monthly B12 injections, Neurontin, Synthroid, Effexor ER, pain meds as needed

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 11/13/2007 1:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm in the same boat as most of you.  My GI doesn't do the pain pills, my pcp does.  I'm lucky in that my nurse practioner believes in cabinet medicines, ones that I should have on hand in case of CD or Fibromylgia issues.  She RXes be Ultracet for pain (its the baby of prescription pain stuff, not too strong) and flexeril for a muscle relaxant (good for the fibro pain).

Mormor Vicky
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 684
   Posted 11/13/2007 2:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Just a little information.
I've had joint pain for years. I didn't realize it was from Crohn's until I was diagnosed last year.  My back has been terrible along with my knees and ankles.  After finding arthritis in my back last year my PCP started prescribing Hydrocodone.  I only took it when I really needed it and usually before or after I was at the YMCA.  Stressing about other issues my doctor thought it might be a good idea to start me on cymbalta to see if it would help with not only GAD (general anxiety disorder) and the chronic pain I was having.  Would you believe that the very first day after starting my ankles and knees felt 1000% times better.  I could get out of the car at work without having to slowly rise and I could get up steps with no problem.  I was amazed.  I haven't had to take hydrocodone since and that was in July.
When I started suffering from tail bone pain I was concerned that it was really worse then it felt because the cymbalta was masking some of the pain.  My doctor told me that anti-depressants relieve chronic pain but does nothing for acute pain.  What I'm gathering from that is, it helps alleviate constant pain but anything that is out of the ordinary doesn't get masked.  Does that make sense?

Happy Birthday to Me!!!   yeah tongue yeah tongue

Vicky / 47 years old
DX'd with Crohn's during a resection August 2006
DX'd with Steriod induced Diabetes November 2006
Considered in Clinical remission but have minor signs of disease activity
Daughter (26) also has Crohn's since she was 12.
Currently on 4000mg of Pentasa only for Crohn's
No longer able to take 6-MP because of Bone-Marrow Suppression
Cymbalta, Metformin, Lipitor

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 11/13/2007 2:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Happy B-Day Vicky! I hope you have a wonderful day!
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

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