Hi, I deal with chronic pain every day and have a good bit of personal experience with that line of meds as a result.
My dr. has a personal bias against oxycontin. Don't know why. But he let me try it at first and I didn't like how I felt. Besides, it made me itch.
So, for four years (and a bit) I have been on daily doses of MS Contin. It's morphene. I take 3 mg three times daily.
Whether you take MS or oxy the contin part means it's time released. It gives a fairly steady level of pain relief over the distance of the dose. For me that's about 8 hours. Maybe, give or take. Anyway -- yes, you do develop a physical dependence on the medication. I would hesitate to call it addiction. That implies something emotional. The dependence means you won't be able to skip doses if you have been taking it steadily for a time. And if you want to stop taking it, you will have to wean off the drug slowly and it may take a while.
That being said, I will tell you my personal belief: it is not worth worrying about "addiction" if it keeps you from getting pain relief. If you have constant pain, or even a lot of pain pretty often, life loses it's luster. Simple activities become very difficult. There is nothing wrong with taking medication that will alleviate your pain. It is not setting you up for an addiction that will have you prowling dark alleyways looking for drugs. If you work with your physician, narcotics can help you relegate pain to a minor role in your life. If anything, most physicians tend to under treat pain. So find what works for you. Don't be afraid. Do pay attention to your body and listen to what it tells you. Don't stop taking any medication suddenly unless your physician tells you it's safe to do so.
And mostly, remember that I'm not a medical person, just somebody who lives with pain every day. Keep me posted about your progress. I do care. I will be more than glad to listen and share experiences with you.
I haven't taken oxycontin but I am currently taking methadone and using the skin patches. I am sorry you didn't want to try the patches they have the longest pain coverage of all narcotics they last 3 days give or take.
Please don't let anyone talk you out of using the medication. If you are going to be taking oxycontin then you have been taking other pain medications for awhile now. I know I felt such a huge difference when I was started on methadone. When my pain doctor added the patch to the methadone I had a huge improvement in my pain levels.
Sorry, yes I didn't mean to convince otherwise. I take Oxycontin, I do not consider myself addicted, I do bekieve that I am dependent on the releif it gives me, and I would have to wean off carefully with a Dr's guidance.
My DIL is addicted....she does prowl dark alleys trying to get the med. I used to have to count my pills before and after she visited (I had to have hubby hide them and dole them out to me, as she was stealing them from me. She has actually lost custody of my (2) grandbabies due to her addiction, and my son must raise them alone.
So although I take them I do think every should be aware of the risks and make their own educated decision.
Sorry - I am just angry about what this drug has done to my son's family...my youngest grandbaby was born addicted due to her actions!
Thanks everyone for the feedback, I feel for all of you and understand how horrid chronic pain is - but strongly believe that sharing experiences helps...
Stephanie - I also know people who abuse prescription drugs and it makes me angry too - one guy I know gets his prescriptions free, highest rate benefit and sits drinking in the pub for about 8 hours a day, constantly popping his pills, moaning that he has no money - I wonder why!
I've been stupid to myself for refusing to take the pain meds I need as I've had problems finding one that I can take - the nurse on my pain rehab programme told me off and making it clear that with my health I should be taking them to improve my quality of life. Apparently although docs don't like prescribing this particular drug, probably because of its use on the black market, it is useful for people like me who can't take other meds.
All I need is something to let me get some sleep as the pain at night is so bad. My GP has only given me a low dose (5mg) and not many tablets initially as they want to monitor me closely. My chemist didn't have them in stock, so I picked them up today and hopefully I will be able to get a proper night's sleep!
Most of what I have heard about the possibility of addiction is that if you take them as directed and are taking them for 'real' pain, you won't get addicted. I started out with a perscription of 2 a day but only took one at night. After about a year, I took one in the morning and noticed some needed pain relief during the day. Now after about 2 1/2 - 3 years I'm on 2 a day steady and occaisionally 3 a day as my pain gets worse. (Hopefully some nerve pain medication will help that). I'm very careful about how many I take and my doctor has responded by letting me tell her how many pills I need everytime I'm there. The perscription never has a refill on it, which is fine with me.
Pain patches are sticky patches that distribute Lidoderm directly to a place where you have pain. I use them occaisionally when I only hurt in one place and its a hard pain. That way I don't have to take a Vicodin. Unfortunately my insurance won't cover them as I don't have the "correct" diagnosis and they are $10 a patch. They are the only thing I've found that will take care of sciatic pain.
Addiction isn't a true problem for people using the meds as prescribed. Your body may become dependant but an addiction. I used the patch for a year and due to insurance I had to switch to MS Contin which doesn't work as good. Hopefully I can go back to the patch on my next appointment. I will have to check and see what my co-pay will be.
The pain patch that most are talking about is Duragesic (fentanyl-generic) They are applied usually every three days and give a constant dose of pain control. They are a lifesaver for some, I never had a problem with drowsiness or a high feeling just wonderful relief.
There are 2 types of patches used for pain. One is the Lidoderm which has Lidocaine in it, it basically "numbs" the area where the patch covers. I use them when my hips are bad and I can't sleep. They are worn 12 hours on and 12 hours off. This one does NOT contain narcotics.
The other patch is the Duragesic aka Fentanyl and it is a narcotic. In fact it is a very strong narcotic but it is wonderful. I am definitely dependent on the fentanyl patch and would have to be switched to another medication and then weaned down if my pain ever goes away.
There are 2 classes of Narcotic Pain Medications. I forget the actual "number" attached to each group.
One group has the weaker narcotics and they generally need to be taken every 4 hours. Darvocet, Vicodin, Norco, Hydrocodone, Lorcet ....
The second group has the stonger narcotics. They are "controlled" substances and patients are never given refills for them ( at least not in the USA). They are rarely used as the first narcotic for a patient with pain. Patients should be opiate dependent before starting at this level. These medications are often longer acting than the meds in group one. Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Percocet, Fentanyl Patch, Methadone, Morphine, Avinza , MS contin....
The medications I listed above are sometimes the exact same narcotic that has different names at different strengths and when combined with other meds like Tylenol, Acetaminophen , there are different names for this in the UK and Australia and ...