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PLEASE HELP!! pain pills and cancer pain.

Forums Caregiver Community PLEASE HELP!! pain pills and cancer pain.

  • Post
    djpayn
    Participant

    Hi. I know that posting late on a friday afternoon wont get the best response time, but I feel I am in need of more opinions before I speak with my doctors on monday morning.

    I am a melanoma patient, who has been on various pain medicine regimens for a few years for various cancer pain issues.

    Every 6 to 8 months, my doctors change my meds because I am so afraid of dependency and addiction.

    In the past my meds have been: morphine, oxy (codone and contin), dilaudid, fentanyl, methadone, etc….

    Hi. I know that posting late on a friday afternoon wont get the best response time, but I feel I am in need of more opinions before I speak with my doctors on monday morning.

    I am a melanoma patient, who has been on various pain medicine regimens for a few years for various cancer pain issues.

    Every 6 to 8 months, my doctors change my meds because I am so afraid of dependency and addiction.

    In the past my meds have been: morphine, oxy (codone and contin), dilaudid, fentanyl, methadone, etc….

    You name it and I have been on it basically.   I have been on my current meds for about 3 months and have begun to feel they are not working properly. I feel my pain more often and more intense, I get wierd muscle cramps and spasms, I get anxious and have headaches alot too.

    Today I realised I may be dependent upon my current meds  and that my body has adjusted itself to the amount of medicine and is essentially "craving" more.

    What I am wondering is if anyone else on this board has experienced this and what, if anything, did you do?

    I dont know if I can live without any meds, as the pains I experience can be quite debilitating. As it is, my energy levels have gone down the toilet in the past years.

    Any advice or help would be so incredibly appreciated, I cannot even begin to say thank you!

    I have appointments scheduled with my pain management team the second week of March, but will be calling them if any of these issues get any worse.

    And just in case I forgot to mention before, all of the side effects I listed DO go away after I take another dose of my medicine.

    I know there are alot of people on this board with more knowledge than me, as well as nurses and caregivers who have dealt with this sort of thing.

    Please help me by responding if you can.

    Thank you.

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  • Replies
      LynnLuc
      Participant

      I don't know what stage you are at..but at Stage IV, addiction should be the least of your worries-when you get to NED they can  wean you off. Perhaps you can talk with your pain management team and ask if they can change your medication to something less habit forming.

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      LynnLuc
      Participant

      I don't know what stage you are at..but at Stage IV, addiction should be the least of your worries-when you get to NED they can  wean you off. Perhaps you can talk with your pain management team and ask if they can change your medication to something less habit forming.

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      Amy Busby
      Participant

      As a stage 4 patient my first concern is staying alive, 2nd is staying comfortable so I can enjoy my life.  It's a fine line between knocked out vs. pain free & coherent  But that's the line I worry about not addiction.  If you have constant pain and therefore need the medicine to control the pain you're not dependant on the drugs you're a rational person who understands If A then B reasoning.  Suffering for the sake of suffering is needless and does no one any good.  Now if you're a person who is not in pain and takes drugs to escape reality or get a high off the mind altering benefits then those are the people who are addicts.

      Your body can become accustomed to drugs and need higher dosages.  Your disease can also prorgess causing higher doses needed.

      I can't offer recommendations for any regiments it sounds like you've been around the block.  But I think you need to let these notions of addiction and such go.  Meds are neither good nor bad only effective or ineffective.  So ask the pain specialists for guidence on what to take & how much.  If it's not enough then it's not enough.

      Love,

      Amy

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      Amy Busby
      Participant

      As a stage 4 patient my first concern is staying alive, 2nd is staying comfortable so I can enjoy my life.  It's a fine line between knocked out vs. pain free & coherent  But that's the line I worry about not addiction.  If you have constant pain and therefore need the medicine to control the pain you're not dependant on the drugs you're a rational person who understands If A then B reasoning.  Suffering for the sake of suffering is needless and does no one any good.  Now if you're a person who is not in pain and takes drugs to escape reality or get a high off the mind altering benefits then those are the people who are addicts.

      Your body can become accustomed to drugs and need higher dosages.  Your disease can also prorgess causing higher doses needed.

      I can't offer recommendations for any regiments it sounds like you've been around the block.  But I think you need to let these notions of addiction and such go.  Meds are neither good nor bad only effective or ineffective.  So ask the pain specialists for guidence on what to take & how much.  If it's not enough then it's not enough.

      Love,

      Amy

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        Carmon in NM
        Participant

        I agree with you completely, Amy!

        I resisted going to opiate pain meds too then had a long talk with my PCP doctor who originally diagnosed me. He told me the whole point was to keep me strong and active so that I not only enjoy life but I can take on any new surgery or treatment that comes up. He said once we get through all of this, he can help me get off of it if I no longer need it. That made sense to me and I now take what I need before it gets bad.

        Carmon in NM – Stage IV since 6/2010 with brain and adrenal mets

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        Vermont_Donna
        Participant

        Hi,

        I too am on pain meds, for cancer related surgical wounds that have not healed (almost 9 months now) on my lower leg. I get withdrawel symptoms after about 3 to 4 hours (dopesick my eldest son says) but also thats when I feel the throbbing leg pain come back too. I take Oxcy 20's twice a day, 12 hours apart, and then oxcydones 5/325 for breakthrough pain. I find that I can take one of the oxcy 5/325 like every 4 hours, sometimes two. You have to watch the tylenol levels, no more that 4000 mg in 24 hours so I am under that. It is amazing how the symptoms abate when you take the drug again, but at this point I consider myself NOT ADDICTED like a drug addict, but I am dependent, BUT I have real pain. None of my medical team, including my general practitioner who prescribes the drugs, my oncologist, and my pain doctor are concerned with the dependent aspect, and when the time comes to wean myself off, we will do that together.

        I dont have any other advice but just know that you shouldnt feel guilty about taking pain meds. Nor should you take more than what they prescribe…you need to honestly tell them your pain levels and have them adjust your doses. You dont want to have toxic buildup/doses that your liver etc cant tolerate or it harms you.

        Vermont_Donna

        stage 3a, stable after 4 infusions of Ipi

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        Amy Busby
        Participant

        Another option is to use fentynol patches for pain and then rely on the oxy or 5/325s for breakthrough every 4 hours.  That plan is working fairly well for me I have some lee way to go up in the dosage on the patch if necessary – that way it's not too much of an acetomenaphen burden on my liver (already full of melanoma).

        A

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        Amy Busby
        Participant

        Another option is to use fentynol patches for pain and then rely on the oxy or 5/325s for breakthrough every 4 hours.  That plan is working fairly well for me I have some lee way to go up in the dosage on the patch if necessary – that way it's not too much of an acetomenaphen burden on my liver (already full of melanoma).

        A

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        Amy Busby
        Participant

        Another option is to use fentynol patches for pain and then rely on the oxy or 5/325s for breakthrough every 4 hours.  That plan is working fairly well for me I have some lee way to go up in the dosage on the patch if necessary – that way it's not too much of an acetomenaphen burden on my liver (already full of melanoma).

        A

        Loading spinner
        Amy Busby
        Participant

        Another option is to use fentynol patches for pain and then rely on the oxy or 5/325s for breakthrough every 4 hours.  That plan is working fairly well for me I have some lee way to go up in the dosage on the patch if necessary – that way it's not too much of an acetomenaphen burden on my liver (already full of melanoma).

        A

        Loading spinner
        Amy Busby
        Participant

        Another option is to use fentynol patches for pain and then rely on the oxy or 5/325s for breakthrough every 4 hours.  That plan is working fairly well for me I have some lee way to go up in the dosage on the patch if necessary – that way it's not too much of an acetomenaphen burden on my liver (already full of melanoma).

        A

        Loading spinner
        Amy Busby
        Participant

        Another option is to use fentynol patches for pain and then rely on the oxy or 5/325s for breakthrough every 4 hours.  That plan is working fairly well for me I have some lee way to go up in the dosage on the patch if necessary – that way it's not too much of an acetomenaphen burden on my liver (already full of melanoma).

        A

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        Vermont_Donna
        Participant

        Hi,

        I too am on pain meds, for cancer related surgical wounds that have not healed (almost 9 months now) on my lower leg. I get withdrawel symptoms after about 3 to 4 hours (dopesick my eldest son says) but also thats when I feel the throbbing leg pain come back too. I take Oxcy 20's twice a day, 12 hours apart, and then oxcydones 5/325 for breakthrough pain. I find that I can take one of the oxcy 5/325 like every 4 hours, sometimes two. You have to watch the tylenol levels, no more that 4000 mg in 24 hours so I am under that. It is amazing how the symptoms abate when you take the drug again, but at this point I consider myself NOT ADDICTED like a drug addict, but I am dependent, BUT I have real pain. None of my medical team, including my general practitioner who prescribes the drugs, my oncologist, and my pain doctor are concerned with the dependent aspect, and when the time comes to wean myself off, we will do that together.

        I dont have any other advice but just know that you shouldnt feel guilty about taking pain meds. Nor should you take more than what they prescribe…you need to honestly tell them your pain levels and have them adjust your doses. You dont want to have toxic buildup/doses that your liver etc cant tolerate or it harms you.

        Vermont_Donna

        stage 3a, stable after 4 infusions of Ipi

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        Carmon in NM
        Participant

        I agree with you completely, Amy!

        I resisted going to opiate pain meds too then had a long talk with my PCP doctor who originally diagnosed me. He told me the whole point was to keep me strong and active so that I not only enjoy life but I can take on any new surgery or treatment that comes up. He said once we get through all of this, he can help me get off of it if I no longer need it. That made sense to me and I now take what I need before it gets bad.

        Carmon in NM – Stage IV since 6/2010 with brain and adrenal mets

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