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Pain pills
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Pain pills

I was diagnosed with RA last year after having several flare-ups that took me to the ER on every occasion with a cost of thousands of dollars and no diagnosis until I saw an RA doctor. She's a wonderful doctor and to keep my flare-ups manageable she gave me Lortabs and oxycontin and after several of each of these pills I have decided that I cannot take them any more as the side effects are too ugly. Besides OTC pills what do you all use for the extreme pain?
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469901_tn?1276567223
Wow!  That's serious pain medication.  I use Darvocet and Flexeril as needed.  So far, that is managing my pain.  How often were you taking the Lortab and Oxycontin?  It may take a bit to adjust to meds that are not as strong.  What meds are you taking to manage your RA?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, and thanks for your reply. The dr gave me about 20 of each to try and I have taken about 4 of each so far and I just can't handle the 'hangovers' after they wear off. I think that they must mess with my brain chemistry as I am bad tempered and nervous after about 4 hours of them being in my system. I think that they are in the opiate family and I need a new family :0) She put me on methotrexate, 5 pills weekly for the RA. What do you take?
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469901_tn?1276567223
LOL, if you're feeling that way, I think you need a new "family" too.  I can vouch for Darvocet and Flexeril only making me sleepy and slow.  If I need a muscle relaxer during the day when I am working, I take Zanaflex instead of Flexeril.  
When i was first diagnosed, they started me on Naproxen, Plaquenil, Omniprozole, darvocet and Flexeril.  When I did not respond to that combo, they added methotrexate, first in pill form and then I moved to injections because the pills made me as sick as the disease did.  After using the injections quite awhile, I quit for a bit so I could drink at some scheduled celebrations.  I felt so much better, I stayed off of methotrexate and am now able to control my condition without it.  From dx to effective treatment was a year, then a year on it and I have been holding steady off of the MTX for 9 months now.  
Are you taking folic acid?  It is very important to take that when you are on MTX.  I was so sick from MTX that, not only did I take folic acid, I also took Leukovoran exactly 24 hours after the injection.  It is an antidote to MTX.  I had to wait exactly 24 hrs so that the shot would have time to do what it needed to do.
What other meds do you take?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi again. I don't know if I could do without the methotrexate as the flare-ups are so debilitating and painful. It usually takes me 3 days to get through them. I do drink beer with the methotrexate (I'm English and it's an inbred thing) but try not to drink on the days that I take my pills. I don't seem to have any side effects from the methotrexate and I do take 800mg of folic acid every day and if I get a fever blister I'll take an extra one. I was having a problem with my hair getting thin and brittle so she put me on a 10 mg daily pill of minoxidil even 'tho my blood pressure is on the low side. She said that as long as I didn't get lightheaded and dizzy I would be okay. Other than that I don't take any other meds. My daughter is an OR nurse and she told me a long time ago to stop taking the OTC pain pills because of the liver damage. I also have degenerative disc disease and have had 4 back surgeries and now that the RA is in my spine I'm usually in some kind of pain every day and haven't been able to sleep on my back for about 10 years now. Walking does help a lot but it is so hot and humid here in Kansas that I can't get out as much as I would like to. Are you in Texas?
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469901_tn?1276567223
I can relate to hating to walk in the humidity!  I am in Texas and during the summer I am happy to walk in airconditioning, but that is about it.  If the methotrexate is helping you, I encourage you to stay on it.  I am ok without it and the side effects made me very ill so, for me, it was the right decision to come off of it.  Each of us are unique and so our treatments will vary.  We all share the affliction and the myriad of ways it can effect our lives.  I am glad you found us here and am enjoying sharing our experiences with each other.  So many people in our lives do not understand.  They can empathize, but they just don't know what we go through.
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