Medication, abdominal adhesions and liver function

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2016
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/31/2016 2:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi I'm asking about long term use of strong opiates causing damage to the liver. I have had many abdominal surgeries and I have scar tissue(adhesions) that are wrapped around my liver and it is stuck down on to other organs. Firstly does anyone know anything about adhesions around the liver? I haven't drank for about 12 years at all but take huge quantities of morphine based painkillers such as bupronorphine, tramodol, dihydrocodeine, diazepam, baclofen are the main ones.
I've not had any liver tests but have been taking these kinds of drugs and also liquid morphine for nearly 15 years. They're all prescribed and I don't abuse them but I've been reading how to help my health and liver function is often mentioned. Can someone please give me their opinion as to whether this amount of drugs could damage the liver and in what ways? Is there anything I should be doing. Any advice very gratefully received thank you

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Oct 2010
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   Posted 1/31/2016 9:06 AM (GMT -7)   

I am not a doctor, but found a good article by the National Institute of Health:


Mama Lama
MamaLama, Forum moderator - Hepatitis
Partner received liver transplant (May 1, 2011) FL
Hep C 1a Treatment - Sovaldi/Olysio (March - May 2014)
Undetected since week 4. Undetected 12 weeks post treatment.

ppm guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 1118
   Posted 1/31/2016 11:58 AM (GMT -7)   
ask your dr to run lft blood test.

my wife had 2 major abdominal surgeries. scar tissue wrapped her bowel, repro organs, and uyrinary tract. she was on IV dilaudid, methadone and ativan.
her drs main concern was kidney function, and Illeus.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2016
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 1/31/2016 6:32 PM (GMT -7)   
MamaLama, excellent article...thanks for posting.

vampira, if you haven't already...please read the article linked above by MamaLama.
It offers a ton of solid info without wasting your time and will help to allay any fears you have of "opiate-induced" liver damage. In prescribed dosages, opiates generally are well tolerated and not hard on a liver. I have seen quite a few patients on what would typically be seen as very high doses of opiates and they have done remarkably well.

There are of course, potential problems with chronic opiate use and constipation is chief among them, but it sounds like you're doing well and have been for some time.
I'm not really seeing where you're on huge doses and just to be clear, diazepam (a benzodiazepine) and baclofen (antispastic agent/muscle relaxant) are not opiates.
Plus the drugs like buprinorphine and tramadol fall into a category called "partial agonists". This means that when these partial agonists bind to the specific mu receptor (one of the opiate receptors) they cause much less excitation of the other words it causes a weakened response. Interestingly, Buprinorphine is not only used to treat pain, it's actually very effective in treating opiate addiction and withdrawal.
I don't know how long you've been on this specific regimen, but currently in medical practice you will often see rotation of various opiates when patients have increased difficulty wth pain control or in managing more severe side effects. With respect to the 3 "opiate" receptors mentioned in the article linked above, this "rotation therapy" can be very effective.

Almost all abdominal adhesions are the result of abdominal surgery...plain and simple and of all those patients who undergo abdominal surgery...93% will develop adhesions. The good news is that in the majority of cases, adhesions do not cause problems
Adhesions are scar tissue and result from cutting (includes cutting with electro-surgical instrumentation), manipulation (both manually and with instruments), exposure (drying out), contact with foreign material such as sterile gauze, towels and failure to properly evacuate blood, blood clots and other tissues. Also surgical time plays a role, the longer the surgery, the greater exposure you have.
You can also develop adhesions from infections and even from things such as radiation treatments, etc.

The best way to prevent complications is to follow a good bowel regimen and stay regular. Adherence to a healthy, nutritious diet is essential for both your bowels and your liver.
My wife and I try to eat healthy, organic foods as much as least for things we eat frequently. But we really try to stay away from the processed junk...the more processed the worse it is.
Man, that stuff will kill your liver and you.

Sorry to run on for so long...but
Hope this helps,



2013 / Diagnosed and successfully treated for hep c geno 1b with Telaprevir, Interferon and Ribavirin...treatment duration 24 weeks.
Retired CRNA (aka nurse anesthetist)...approx 35 years experience in the ER and anesthesia.
Exposure was likely a bloody needle stick from a known hep b patient in 1977. Hep B never progressed to the chronic own, healthy immune system crushed it.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 2072
   Posted 1/31/2016 6:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Jeez, I've been concerned about cross addiction for a year or so. Ambien and Lexapro (prescribed). I'm a alcoholic and toasted my liver after 30 years due to it, Alcohol addiction that is. Did various other drugs over those years of self experimenting (non-prescribed). Sober now for a few years other than ambien and lexapro. I look back on my past often, I don't want to be the person I was. We can't always, or truth be known ever change what was. We can only move ahead and insist to ourselves we improve once we reach the point we realize we are screwed. Just my thought's and no moral high ground intended. "We" means us the acknowledged addict.

When I look back on why (Feeling sorry for myself..... It happens to all of us to some extent). I know I'm hardwired in my brain to go,go,go. Like the energizer bunny my brain doesn't stop when my body says Quit!!!! I'm no doctor, but I'm more than happy (Sarcasm), As painfully proven to write my own prescription for those years with liquor, etc. It unwound me and I'd pass out (sleep peacefully), for a few hours and "Good time Ziff" was ready for 10-12 hours or longer iron work. No harm, no fowl, Alcohol is legal and consumption at work wasn't needed as long as I got my reward eventually for that days wage and I bullheadedly demanded that over everything. Hindsight's a BIT_H ain't it. I can only improve or die. I know better and lesson with addiction well learned. I somewhat enjoy life's aspects as oppose to death. Future ain't bright in a hole. Move on it must be then?

So try to sum this up Ziff??? Vampira ask. Forgive me I do rattle on as I've been told. Wait...wait... wait. You nor I have anything of greater importance. Very important to reflect, Look at one's options I think... Yessiree. Addiction can ruin our chances of a future potential smile. From a loved one or a dear friend. We have business to attend you and I. Question authority or consultation of every manner. Yourself included. Answers are sometimes in the question we ask. Dag-blasted David Carrotdean, grasshopper, Kung-fu and TV Land. Still gets me all soft and mushy. Yeah... I'm not much help but can be somewhat amusing around here. Hey they's gotta be one in every bunch? If it ain't your neighbor it's probably you. I like my neighbor on the west side of my pen.
Great advice as always from Carol and bary.


Post Edited By Moderator (themiz) : 2/2/2016 6:17:16 AM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 2072
   Posted 1/31/2016 7:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Barry (Ppm Guy), Dilaudid? Haven't heard that one in awhile. Seen a good fella go to rest home shooting that stuff. Hope ya don't mind me mentioning it. Just got that memory still lurking, Wished I hadn't viewed him to this day. Brilliant fella always vegetative on couch Booted up slobbering. Much preferred to shell he was in a suit, pasty, grim look. Children, ex-wife carrying on what a waste. Feel sure he thought the same about me when I got sick.

Believe Neil Younge said sumtin bout needle and the damage done. Here's wishing you and the wife best.

"The truth will set you free, but not before it pisses you off."

ppm guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 1118
   Posted 1/31/2016 7:32 PM (GMT -7)   
no problem!!!
my wife lived a much better life after using a sub-q line with cadd pump. it gave her .25 mg dilaudid every 20 minutes, and she wore it in a fanny pak. it gave her much more quality life.
being opiate tolerant, and using therapeutic doses, are key
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