PAIN MANAGEMENT
COMMUNITY
Can doctors just stop prescribing pain medication to patients after yrs prescribed them?
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by Sparkytc, Nov 22, 2007
I have been diagnosed with lower lumbar degenerative disease back in 1997. Back then it was only classified as arthritis, I am now only 36 an back then 25 and I was given Motrin 800mg 3 times a day. This worked for a few years but working at jobs being on my feet 8-10 hours a day the medication was just not doing the job. I went to my primary Dr. who unfortunatly where I live is a small clinic with mostly residents who leave after a year or 2 having me to start all over with another who most always has a different opinion of what treatment is best. After 2+ years of trying multiple medications and being without insurance at the time I went through medications like Celebrex, Vioxx, Peroxicam, and every NSAID there was with little to no relief. Well I was eventually fired from my job due to the fact my productivity was showing decline do to back pain. I had 1 MRI done in 1998 an then another 4 yrs later at that point I was put on 7/325 mg Hydrocodone 3 times a day. This was amazing how much relief I had gotten after all these years. I still have been on the Motrin 800 for the past 12 yrs which they do nothing but following doctors orders. Last year I had been given a new Doctor/Resident and I asked if I could have a recent MRI done, she responded no because you have degenerative disease that its only going to show more degeneration why should the money be spent on it and continued to prescribe the medications. On July 5th I was in another vehicle motor accident adding upper back pain to my current condition so my doctor, at this time was a new resident, who had increased my hydrocodone to 6 at 10/650mg per day. After 2 months of this I felt this just was too much medication and spoke with her about some type of long acting 12 hour pain medication, She mentioned Methodone, I agreed with the methadone due to the fact it can also get me off or minimize the narcotics I was on and the Hydrocodone was dropped to 3 a day an given 2 methodone per day. 4 days later I started having memory loss, I was bloated and had huge red blotches all over my body. I was taken off the methodone immediatly. But instead of offering something to try an help me get off the narcotics she put me on MS Contin which in my opinion was yes may help with pain but not help me get off the narcotics. As of last week my 12 yr old daughter who is bipolar and now in a treatment facility for medication review had decided to run to the doctor an throw out a long tale of how I am not myself anymore an the medications have changed me. Even though my daughter stated to her that she is a pathalogical liar and lies constantly. The only reason I can think why she did this was because me an her mom had a large argument the night before because she wanted to go out with friends on a school nite an she threw a tantrum and eventually tried to jump out her 3rd floor window, I stopped her but was injured by getting kicked in the groin and abdomen but made calls to her therapist and was making appointments to get her into a Pediatric EMH program to get her help. The Doctor had child services take her and again she is getting the help she needs but after hearing a 12 yr olds story she called me in and proceeded to decare that I am officially to recieve no more narcotic medications ever again. She has even claimed that she is going to mark my charts in bold letters "NO NARCOTICS". This doctor wanted nothing to hear what I had to say about the incident believing my daughter 100%. have been on the Hydrocodone for over 5 yrs and the MS Contin for 3 months there are days I will admit I may take an extra 1 for a long day working outside an then other days I may take less but I guess my original question is...Is a doctor allowed to just stop you dead on all your medications just like that and not to offer you any help either finding a detox facility or any help...it has now been 7 days off my medication an I can barely get out of bed or I get woken up multiple times per night because of my back pain. I have tried every place that does inpatient or outpatient detox by use of Suboxome but all are full or not booking until January. This doctor has taken my home and my family an torn us apart an had made our lives just each day more an more stressful, I cant go running from ER to ER because that is wrong and I know I shouldnt but when my Doctor said if I dont get to a detox facility I could end up looking for heroin on the street. What kind of Doctor says that to a patient?
Are doctors allowed to stop narcotic medications immediatly even if I have a documented medical back problems? and who can I contact because of this.
Mike
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Member Comments (37)
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by Savas, Nov 22, 2007
You're in a very grey area here. As long as you don't die or suffer a stroke, of have a suicidal episode then the doctor can claim that by his medical opinion you were in no danger. If any of the above happened...then the doctor's judgement would be called into question and he would be punished/fined accordingly. Or not, if he can "cover *ss" effectively.

Sorry, this sounds harsh, but it's the facts of life. this country's methods of dealing with pharmaceuticals, heck, the whole health care issue, is in the toilet. it's no better than it was two centuries ago. I'm surprised they aren't torturing psych patients for being possessed of demons still. (Oh wait...depends on how you look at the treatment).

Okay, now that I've ranted :)  I'll say this;

Regardless of how you got to where you are, you have to take responsibility for what happens from here. These drugs will change you, if taken over time. After all, you're "dying" without them, right? Physically? And That's affecting your mental status too?

The best thing you can do is get your family to advocate for you, and contact whoever is the PA at the hospital/clinic you're going to.
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by Alexander66, Nov 22, 2007
I think that sounds very dangerous to your health.  Your in a very bad situation and I wish I knew just exactly who you should turn to for help.  Maybe go back to him or someone in his office explaining that if it is possible for you to get paion relief without narcotics that's great and you are all for it, but that you need help getting "safely" off them.  Your body is "shocked" to say the least with a sudden withdrawal.  I would threaten legal action if you suffer any ill consequences (heart attack, stroke etc. from the sudden withdrawal).   I take only a couple of lortab a day for chronic pain.  I take half of a 10 each time and usually spread it out every two hours during the day.  I have been on this for several years and have found that even with only 2-3 pills a day, if I spread it out to ever;y 3-4 hours my blood pressure rises into dangerous levels  (150/105).  My body is use to the sedation effect I suppose and it can not take the sudden change.

Good Luck,
Alexander
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by Sparkytc, Nov 22, 2007
I thank you for your comments as of now.. Just seems wrong in my book to stop meds then tell you to go to hell an deal with it. Thought doctors were here to help? The withdrawls are starting to get easier but the back pain is returned. I dont get how a doctor can not offer you any help even with a proven medical problem, I know I wanted off the narcotics but I also did not want the back pain to return. Now i am 1. in withdrawls 2. in real bad back pain and 3. stressed to the point I want to go out an find some drugs because of being afraid for my daughters heath and safety. Dont misunderstand just because I said I want to find drugs does not mean I am, just feel like it at this point. Does anyone know about a medicine called LAAM or Levo-Alpha Acetyl Methadol? Again being severly allergic to methadone I am trying to find an alternative that can be prescribed by a physician but not require a long wait like i am doing now trying to find a Suboxome provider?
228686_tn?1211558307
by Savas, Nov 22, 2007
I'm not familiar with that one. You have to remember that there's the equivalent of a war between doctors, insurance, and DEA over medical treatment in this country, heck, most of the world.

Also remember that there are some things doctors just can't help with. With your kind of pain, there's no way to medicate for it forever. Opiates aren't designed for long term use. Over years, the body adapts and they stop working. So if you could try another way of dealing with it, it would be best. Otherwise 5, 10, 15 years from now, you'll be on a methadone derivative that's not working anymore and being told they can't give you a working dose. Then where will you be?
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by Sparkytc, Nov 22, 2007
Problem is with degenerative disease in 5-15 years i am looking at anywhere from 1-5 surgeries. Almost all I spoke with who have this say the surgeries do not last more than 5 yrs before your back with pain an mobility problems. This scares me the most just because now i have probs standing for 30 minutes or more and I am not a sit down type of person. I have to move about or do things...My summers consist of gardening, pool maintenance and yard work...I have been out of work since i was terminated and what sucks about the employment issues in my state is you can be hired or fired at will with no reason...i tried sueing former job an only got unemployment for 30 weeks..thats it. I
Avatar_n_tn
by Sparkytc, Nov 22, 2007
Problem is with degenerative disease in 5-15 years i am looking at anywhere from 1-5 surgeries. Almost all I spoke with who have this say the surgeries do not last more than 5 yrs before your back with pain an mobility problems. This scares me the most just because now i have probs standing for 30 minutes or more and I am not a sit down type of person. I have to move about or do things...My summers consist of gardening, pool maintenance and yard work...I have been out of work since i was terminated and what sucks about the employment issues in my state is you can be hired or fired at will with no reason...i tried sueing former job an only got unemployment for 30 weeks..thats it. I just dont want to be immobile not able to move about or my worst fear not being able to do things an spend time with my daughter. There has to be options out there but why is it that no one is willing to point me in a proper direction...note a proper direction that works...I need to sleep, thinking of all this just makes my head spin. all the money put into this states medical facilities an so on an not one person can help make this issue go away or at least help with it.
228686_tn?1211558307
by Savas, Nov 22, 2007
I hear what your saying. Using western medicine has left me with pins and rods in my leg and a non stop pain that won't ever go away. Until I looked into other ways of dealing with it than western medicine...well, I'd still be walking with a cane now.
   Maybe the pain your in is just too great to overcome in any way. But where does that leave you? At least if you try to find other ways, it may lead to something positive. I think this is one of the hardest things for a western/american attitude person to get around idea wise (was for me). I'm not saying run right out and join a tibetan monastery  (!), but at least consider the possibility.

The alternative is to spend all your time gonig to clinics and doctors and being treated like shite, a criminal, a misbehaving child. Havbing your freedoms and rights stripped away because of an addiction to a drug.
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by lexigirl, Nov 23, 2007
Nothing surprises nowadays. My uncle has been on Vicodin for 17 years for the same back problems you have. He had surgery which DIDN'T help him in any way. The surgeon who did it told him he wanted my uncle off of the pain meds for good. He told his primary doctor what was said and his doctor said he was not taking him off the Vicodin because nobody should be in pain daily. Which I personally think more doctors should feel this way instead of being scared. But it's like a double edged sword also. Some people like myself get addicted so it could go either way.

As usual I went way into left field.

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by notmenow!, Nov 23, 2007
Welcome to the forum. I am sorry to hear of your current dilemma. Yes your doctor has the right to fire you as a patient at anytime during the coarse of treatment. It sounds as if there may be more to the story. Well lets forget about the fact that your DR. let you go, there is nothing that you can do about it know, She must have received info from somewhere, Where you picking up your Rx early.
I cant believe in a city as big as NYC that you can't find another DR to treat you with suboxone, You went on line at www.suboxone.com pick the site in bold letters, This site has a physician locator on it based on zip code. There must be several zip codes in NYC and then there is always CT. In fact it is only a short train ride away, or a quick ride down 95 or the Merrit Parkway. NYC there has to be at least 500 suboxone MD. If they have been prescribing for over 1 year the 35 patient limit does not apply to then. They may now take a treat up to 100 suboxone patients as allowed by law.
Your former physician do decide on your future care regarding narcotics as you could have an accident which would require pain relief if you should ever need it. Who does she think she is the Governor of N.Y. or what? What kind of M.D., is she anyway There must be 10,000 M.D. in the N.Y. City area.!
Then again you are more than halfway through detox what did  you think about holding out and giving sober life a try if you realy can get by without another 3 days without hydrocodone. Contact the www.suboxone.com website and use the physician locator this DR. is not does not have that kind of power unless your on medicare and she files a grievance with your medicare intermediary Good Luck New York------------------NOAH
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