EXTREME PAIN after quitting hydrocodone, will it reduce?
I have been taking Lortabs for about four years, started on four 10/500s after changing from tramadol to lortab. Last year I wanted to start reducing so in August I was down to three 5/500s per day, since then I was able to get to two 5/500s per day but I just couldn't get down any further without becoming so antsy I wanted to scream. I used to get withdrawal symptoms between doses which is the main contributing factor for my desire to quit.
Anyway, I quit from the two per day cold turkey and I am on Day 6. Day one and two were pretty bad with w/d symptoms but by day three they were much more bearable. However, on day three my pain level shot from about four to nine. Every day since day three I am in horrible pain.
I expected more pain obviously since I wouldn't have the pain killers but this is horrible, I can't stand it. Is it possible that something happened while I was on the drugs but didn't realize it until I got off? Could my problem have greatly worsened without my knowledge or is this something that is typical since my body is not used to handling pain in this way?
I have searched and searched but it's hard to find what I'm looking for with the keywords Hydrone and Pain. From what I've read of other people's symptoms I get that they have had pain as well but I haven't seen anyone post that the pain was so horribly unbearable, they just state that they have bad pain.
In case it is of any importance I have a torn labrum in my hip and have been diagnosed with Bursitis and ITB syndrome.
Many times we get rebound pain after we quit using. This usually decreases with time but sometimes that isnt always the case either. The meds do cover up other issues. I would give it a couple days if possible and see. Soaking in the tub does help. Ibuprofen is also helpful. Keep us posted on how you are feeling.
Is there any way you can talk to your doctor about this? I do believe there are some people with chronic painful conditions that will need to be in pain management their whole lives but I'm not familiar with your conditions.
I can only tell you that for me I believe I was having rebound pain and was in partial withdrawal while still on the hydros because my body was use to the dosage and wanted more but I wouldn't give it more so I do believe that intensified my pain. Now that I'm off the pain is nowhere near what I imagined it would be. For you it seems the complete opposite.
I did yoga to strengthen my core for a whole year before I stopped my meds, I get massage regularly, chiro when I can tolerate it. I take motrin, use aspercreme, breathing and visualization to try to deal with it. I live on heating pads some days. Everyone is different and everyone's body responds differently.
I would really encourage you to speak with your doctor and convey to him your desire to narcotic free but manage your conditions - if you don't have a doctor who you can work with try to find one.
Pain management definitely has its place just not for me. There is also a pain management forum on this site, perhaps you could post there and receive some further feedback.
I'm really sorry you are going through this - it is no fun for sure. I hope you find relief.
On day 3 I said I was going to wait two weeks and see what happens. There is no way I will make it that long so I'm going to wait one week (from when the pain started). I am also prescribed Methocarbamol (Robaxin) and Naproxen which I think covers the NSAID use of Ibuprofen but I still took some yesterday. It's hard to tell if it worked because I took them when I got home from work and went straight onto a heating pad.
Funny you mention you live on a heating pad some days. That's the only thing that seems to dull the pain. I have literally laid on the heating pad every hour that I am home, as soon as I get up I start to get horrible pains again, the heat seems to mask it. The problem is when I'm at work, I can't use a heating pad there. I can definitely talk to my doctor but I have a doctor that seems to just shrug everything off (I switched and got the same thing so I'm thinking I'm out of luck in my area). I figured if I didn't wait a week or two before talking to him he would just tell me "Oh it will go away, just give it time". I was thinking of switching to a new doctor again to see if I could luck out and get one who cares about his job.
I haven't had very many good experiences with doctors. I was diagnosed while in the military and while I bounced around base to base each doctor did the same thing (MRI and XRay) and just said I had tendonitus. Finally I got a doctor who was sick of me complaining and sent me on an Ortho consult. That guy was great, he ran all sorts of different tests and finally found the underlying cause (Labral tear) from an Arthrogram. (MRI with dye injection)
I guess I'll wait the week and see what happens, this is driving me crazy though.
My doctor gave me Flector patches which have NSAID in them to apply every 12 hours as needed. They really seem to help. I have really bad back problems and have been hurting since being off the pills. I put one of those on and take some ibuprophen and I am ususally ok. Being that you were only taking 2 a day, if you needed them, that is not extreme.
I am a chronic pain sufferer and felt the same when i stopped using the opiates as well.
While you are taking these pain meds, one of the benefits is that you get back some mobility, so it only stands to reason that you will cause further degradation/damage to the area's that were originally causing your pain in the first place- hips, backs, Knee's etc.
Like it or not, opiates are the only effective meds for many people, and despite their downfalls, ie physical addiction, it's a price worth paying if they increase your mobility and quality of life. Quitting opiates just for the sake of quitting because they are opiates isn't always the right choice.
Pain management should always include switching to different formulations of opiate drugs rather than staying on one type and increasing the dosage as your tolerance increases and they become less effective. This way you can keep your dosage down (and costs) and have maximum pain control.
The physical addiction to opiate drugs is just part of the package, and not worth worrying about if you have greatly improved the other aspects of your life. What do you gain by quitting your pain meds if you return to being stuck in bed and miserable with pain to the point nobody can stand being around you?
The only reason a person should quit taking opiate pain meds is if they never needed them in the fist place, which unfortunately is 99% of the people taking them, they were given them for minor and short term injuries such as a broken arm,leg, finger, and toes, and minor surgeries. The level of pain from these injuries doesn't warrant an opiate prescription. This however is where most opiate addiction problems originate from.
People with chronic pain however, need long term/lifetime pain management, and what is often lacking in this field is opiate management where the drugs effectiveness is monitoring regularly, and patients are switched to different formulations when the one they are taking begins to loose effectiveness, and drug tolerance is developing.
The heating pad definitely has a place, but you have to be careful not to over do it. It feels a lot better than ice though! Ice therapy is more effective reducing the inflammation that causes increased pain. It quickly reduces the heat that builds up in the injured tissue and helps prevent further injury and swelling. Generally I use heat to limber up and get things moving, then ice to control swelling and the pain. After you get those painful areas cooled down, You can use a bit of heat to relax and loosen up those areas.
If you have ever watched horse racing, you'll see that when they are working a horse and it starts favouring a leg, they stop and quickly cool down the area by rubbing it down with ice water. The horse then walks as if nothing ever happened. By rapidly cooling down the tissue, it prevents damage and swelling overheating causes. When the horse is put back in the stable, they wrap the leg to keep it a bit warmer to relax it. The is a chemical explanation for all this if you want to look a bit further into this.
I definitely understand. I stopped opiates cold turkey because it seemed to take more and more to get relief. However, that was in November and my pain has gotten a lot worse. I don't want to take them and I haven't but I may need to talk to my doctor. I go to PT twice a week and get trigger point injections which helps but now I find myself going straight to bed with a heating pad as soon as I get home from work. Not the kind of life I want and not fair to hubby and son. I have two compressed discs, bone spurs, and calcification of the nerves in my neck. Dang, I hate this but know you aren't alone, OP.
P.S. I also have torn and worn hip joints/Labrum. There isn't much that helps with the pain . Laying on either side for any length of time is extremely painful. Ice doesn't do much for that either . If you are a good candidate for the procedure, a hip replacement is your best answer. I know a lot of people that have had them, and they all say the relief from that pain is well worth it.
Thanks for the responses, this has given me a lot to think about. I'll see what my doctor thinks. The main reason I wanted to stop was I hated the withdrawal symptoms I would get between doses. I had to take a pill just to feel normal otherwise I would get restless.
Luckily I didn't need as many pills as some posters I have read. I am sure if I gave in to those withdrawal symptoms I would be right there with them taking 10 to 20 a day but I just wouldn't feel right doing that (plus I'm only alotted so many and I can't afford, nor do I want to get involved in, buying from the street). I guess one thing I can take from this is that I don't have a very addictive tendency, I quit smoking years ago with very little problem.
I was offered arthroscopic surgery, however, at the time I was not in much pain unless I walked or stood for a while so I decided it wasn't worth the risk as I was only 19 at the time. When the pain worsened they put me on the pain pills and with those the pain never worsened to the point that I thought about surgery. Maybe, if I want to quit, I will have to do surgery.
I will speak with my doctor and see what he thinks or offers. Thanks again for all of the suggestions and support.
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