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Delayed Hydrocodone withdraw?
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Delayed Hydrocodone withdraw?

I have been taking 20-25mg of Hydrocodone 2 times a day for 3-4 months for back pain.  I was told to stop taking them in preparation for my back surgery.  That was Wed, it was not until Friday that I began to feel any effects.  Today is Sat and I feel like I am smack dab in the middle of them now, but I keep reading that they get worse.

Just (just?) headache, achy muscles, diarrhea, and an overall "I feel like crap" feeling.  I of course had this problem on a weekend so the surgeon that I am seeing will not be available until Tuesday, the day of my surgery.  

I was just wondering if I should expect to be having these symptoms 3 days from now, and if so will it keep them from doing the surgery since I will be under general anesthesia.

28 Comments Post a Comment
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1855076_tn?1337118903
Certainly sounds like withdrawal.  For some people, they feel withdrawal within hours of stopping and others can go for 24 hours or more.  Is there a doctor covering you can speak to?  I can't imagine having surgery in the midst of withdrawals.  Not sure why they would want you to stop your pain meds before surgery??? Won't you be on some after your surgery?  I had nine surgeries and was never told to stop my pain medications prior.  Even the day of when you have the "nothing by mouth after midnight" rule, I was always told to take my medications with a sip of water.  They usually titrated my medications up a bit after a surgery.  Only thing I had to stop was my Advil, since it thins your blood.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the quick response; this is my first surgery, and never had stopped for more than a day or so before, so never had a chance to detox.  Honestly had no idea what was happening until I started Googeling then called a "Dial a nurse" line.  

I have never had a health problem before, but I know his business hours are M-F but he is in surgery Monday and Tuesday.  I am in the US and its around 8PM here, but I will call and see if there is someone I can talk to.  Thanks for the quick suggestion.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Exactly WHO told you to stop the pain med??  I have neve never never heard of anything like that except for Asa and Motrin and other blood thinners!

This is going to make you dehydrated which may cause a rise in body temp and with a fever the doctors may not want to do surgery. UGH!!    

I know what I would be doing RIGHT NOW!  LOL

As Mary suggested, call the doctor on call and tell him you need to take that med...RIGHT NOW!
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1855076_tn?1337118903
Vicki knows what she's talking about.  She was a great help to me with all sorts of things ... She's my angel/hero :)  There has to be someone covering no matter what the hour.  Leave the message with the answering service and whoever is covering should get back to you pretty quickly.  And best of luck with your back surgery and your recovery.
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Avatar_f_tn
(((((MARY)))))

seriously...I can't think of ANY reason why you should stop the pain meds before your surgery...Can you?
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Avatar_m_tn
I am waiting for someone to call me back, I left a message.  
The letter I got said to stop taking them do that they will work better after the surgery.  

The hardest part by far is that I have a bottle full of Vicodin sitting in my medicine cabinet and I know it will make this crap stop.  But, I am tired of being in pain, don't want to do anything that will push back my surgery date.
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1855076_tn?1337118903
If you don't hear back from the doctor on call within 45 minutes, call again.  Did the letter specifically say that?  That stopping them for a few days like this they'll work better after your surgery?  That just doesn't make sense to me.

It ticks me off so much with these doctors/surgeons and pain meds and not being responsible to their patients.  My understanding is that you aren't abusing your meds and are just physically dependent, right?

Make sure you're getting plenty of fluids while you're waiting for the callback.
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Avatar_f_tn
Taking the pain med will not delay your surgery but being sick just might. I think it's very irresponsible of that office to give that instruction! I don't even believe its true!  You've taken them for four months not YEARS!  Jesus!

I just can't believe they gave you that instruction. I'm glad you left a message for the doctor. Now that he knows how sick you've been, maybe they'll change that stupid letter!!  

I'm so sorry you've gone through all of this...and I know what I would do if this were me... ;)
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Avatar_f_tn
Mary is reading my mind or vice versa!!  HAHA!

Okay Mary...what am I thinking NOW?  LOL
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Avatar_m_tn
No, I have been taking them as prescribed.  Up until 3 weeks ago I was told to take 10mg up to 4 times a day as needed.  True I have been stacking them (2 in the morning 2 at night), but 2 weeks ago he told me to start taking 2 a day instead of 4.  Didnt notice a thing really, just that it didn't help the pain as much, but it was to be expected.  

For a while (first week) I some times took 3 a day, but once i got used to it, 2 a day seemed to work OK as long as I didn't do much.
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1855076_tn?1337118903
Vicki, I'm thinking what you're thinking and I'd do the same thing!

Omega, this really sounds so ridiculous to me.  I don't know you or your health history and I'm no surgeon, but I've had 9 surgeries and never once did they ever tell me to stop my meds.  No doctor in his right mind would put a patient through withdrawal (as long as the patient is being compliant with their medications, as you are.)

Have you heard back yet?  What symptoms are you having?  
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Avatar_m_tn
Yeah I just got off the phone with her.  (A PA) She said that it could be withdrawl (withdrawal) or it could be viral but there is no way of knowing.  Because he stepped me down to 20mg 3 weeks ago she thinks its most likely viral.  

She told me i could take 2 500mg tylenol twice a day for the fever/sweating, and that should reduce the symptoms of both viral and withdraw.  hehe ready for the irony?  The only tyelnol in the house has hydrocodone in it :P  Don't really feel up to driving, and I am guessing it wouldn't really help that much anyway.  
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Avatar_f_tn
VIRAL??  The PA said that? OMG!  And..."there's no way of telling".   Unbelievable!!

I'm guessing you're just gonna have to take the tylenol you have there...right?
;)
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1855076_tn?1337118903
You're right.  The Tylenol won't do anything for your symptoms.  And could it be viral?  Maybe.  But not likely.

You have no idea how ticked off I am ... I want to call the PA and ask her what their thought process is behind this?  It makes no sense.

I'd call again in the morning and see if someone different was on or even if it was the same person and flat-out say, "Is it okay to take one of my pills because I really feel terrible."

Hot showers/bath may help you feel better, ease the muscle aches.  I can't emphasize enough how important it is to keep drinking ... clear fluids are usually best but whatever appeals to you is fine.  I sometimes found a cup of tea would help my stomach.  I also did great with white grape juice.  (I once went into withdrawal without knowing what it was early in my pain management.  They forgot to mail my script.  They had always told me I'd never go into withdrawal because I had real pain.  Never bothered to explain dependence to me!)

I personally feel what's being done here is negligent and borders on malpractice.
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Avatar_f_tn
UhOh...Mary is mad!!

So, yes, have some tea with one of those tylenols you have and I'm sure you'll feel a lot better. Then, a nice hot bath, comfy clothes, and a good movie.  Do that..
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1855076_tn?1337118903
I don't get mad often!! But you're right, I am.

Omega, Vicki gave you excellent advice about taking "that" Tyelnol and making yourself feel better.  Trust me, she knows her stuff!  She's been on this forum for a very long time and would never endanger anyone with bad advice.  She is always very cautious about what she tells people.

You'll be feeling better in 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.  You'll get a good night's sleep and you'll be in much better shape for your surgery.
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Avatar_m_tn
I will call again tomorrow and ask, I honestly don't know what to think.  All I know right now is Ugh :P.  

But I am thankful I didn't get it as bad as some of the people on the forum, it sounds like its scary powerful stuff.  I always thought it was like smoking "You just have to want to quit" so I never really worried much about being addicted.  This is way worse than smoking though, as I am sure most of the people here know. :P  

I am really praying I dont get the "second stage symptoms" I keep readin about, because the first time I throw up, I will be taking a pill hehe.  I dont do puking well, 30 years old still makes me feel like 5 year old kid crying in mom's bathroom.

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Avatar_m_tn
If I take "that" tylenol wont it just happen again tomorrow?  My only real fear is that if I do take it, the doc does the surgery, and I have a gaping hole in my back and an underdose of pain meds.
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Avatar_f_tn
You'll probabably throw up at any second so maybe you should take one right now...OKAY?
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Avatar_f_tn
Then I guess you'd have to take it everyday which is only threedays and that couldn't affect your surgery and the post op pain med will still work and if it doesn't they'll have to give you something stronge and I CANNOT believe that THEY are putting you through all of this!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
Just popped the pill.  7.5mg tablets, they are old.  Says they are good for a year though, so...here's to that.  

Thanks for your time and consern.  I will let you guys know how the talk with the other doc goes tomorrow.

P.S.  It was the "You will probably start throwing up any minutes" line that got me, oh how I hate throwing up.  :P
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Avatar_f_tn
That was a good decision you came to...just in the nick of time too!  The vomiting would have hit at any time...most likely...

Let us know how you're doing. I'll check on you tomorrow but I KNOW you'll be GOOD!
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3688816_tn?1358478897
I was scheduled for a major surgery and they told me to flush my system and make sure nothing was in it as a precaution for anesthesia but i called my dr and told her how i was feeling and i got the ok to take 1 of my pills so id feel better. I agree with the above advise to take ur tylenol it cant hurt just dont take too much. I hope u feel better and all goes well for u!!!
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1855076_tn?1337118903
Thank God you took that.  Omega, there is a very big difference between being dependent and addicted. And pain meds are powerful and can grab people before they know it.  But these meds are necessary for real pain.  I always had vomiting with withdrawals and it would always get out of control and I'd wind up in the ER on an IV.  Now, I was dependent and not addicted but I went too fast on my taper at times and didn't listen to people that knew better than I did (like my friend Vicki :)

Now that you're more comfortable, take your normal dose and don't let the withdrawal start again because that is worse for your system.  Yo-yo-ing takes a toll on your body.

@Maria, not sure what kind of surgery you had, but I was never told anything like that for any of my surgeries (9) or any time any of my family had surgery.

Omega, let us know how things are going.  And if by chance, you get another fool telling you to not take your meds, ask them why and let them know you know you're experiencing withdrawal and not a virus!  Remember THEY work for YOU..
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1855076_tn?1337118903
Just checking in to see how you're doing today??  Hope you're feeling okay.  Just remember to stay on course and not let yourself slip back into withdrawal.  I understand your fear about the upcoming surgery and not having your pain under control.  But just remember if what they start you on for pain control isn't working, just call them and they'll adjust your dosage or give you something else.

After one of my surgeries, they decided to give me Dilaudid for the pain. I had never been on that and figured it would be fine.  I had a nerve block so when I went home I didn't feel anything (felt very strange with my whole arm being "dead.")  That night the nerve block wore off and the Diluadid was like eating an M&M.  I called my pain management doctor and she first said take one more.  Still nothing.  She worked with me and eventually changed the medication late at night.  She worked with the pharmacy to make sure I got what was necessary for the pain.

You'll be fine post-surgery pain-wise and if you have any trouble, don't wait to call.  There are lots of options post-surgery to keep your pain under control.

Just curious if you'll be admitted or if it's day surgery?
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Avatar_m_tn
Just an update:  Ended up sleeping most of the day, then having to deal with work stuff, haven’t been around sorry.
I  got a hold of the PA I talked to last night and told her that I took the pain meds.  She said I did the right thing (Thanks all).  She said I could take one today (And I did) then call the surgeon tomorrow morning and let him know.  
The surgery is a discectomy of the L3 and L4, and the L4 and L5.  I was pulling something on to a truck and it stopped, and fell on me at work.  They said I should be out only  a few hours after the surgery is over if all goes well with the general anesthesia.  Because I smoked up until a week ago they want to keep me a little longer and make sure my lungs are fully clear before the release me.
I will post tomorrow morning and let you know how the talk with the surgeon goes.  Rally hoping that I will not have to postpone it, but if so I guess it’s better than going through detox on the operating table.  
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1855076_tn?1337118903
I'm glad they told you to take the med!!!  All the best with your surgery.  Let us know how things go!
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Avatar_m_tn
Just wanted to drop in say thanks to everyone for their help.  Out of surgery and talked to the doc's nurse about weening off pain meds.  Right now I'm taking 2 5/325 Percocet every 4 hours for pain (Yes, it worries me a lot, but damn I didn't expect as much pain as I have).  
As much as my back hurt, my leg doesn't hurt at all anymore, so really happy about that.

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone again.  Was totally unsure of what to do and everyone here was a big help.
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