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Chronic Pain and Pregnancy
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Chronic Pain and Pregnancy

I wanted to post this in case any woman out there is or will be searching for information about Chronic Pain and Pregnancy.  I know I'm not the first woman to become pregnant while going through CP, and I won't be the last.  There is little information out there about Pain Medication and Pregnancy, and there is a lot of misinformation.  I found a great study done by Doctors about Medication and Pregnancy.
If you are pregnant and wondering if you should continue your Pain Medication, Benzodiazepine, Anti-Depressant, etc.  You need to get to your doctor, a Geneticist, or a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist as soon as you can.  Also, do not stop taking anything cold turkey.  Withdrawls can cause miscarriage.  Taper what you can until you see the Specialist who has prescribed your medication.  In many cases, they may not continue to see you because of the pregnancy.  Please seek out another doctor who will see you.  
As far as benzodiazepines go, it's best to taper those in the first trimester, at least.  Those are generally a pregnancy class D and not safe unless absolutely neccessary.
What I have found about most pain medications is that they are usually a pregnancy class C.  Obviously, not safe unless neccessary, either, but more safe than benzodiazepines.
It's not impossible to deal with Chronic or even Acute Pain while pregnant, it is difficult sometimes, but not impossible.  Please seek out the Pre-natal care you need.  If you are concerned about your medication and seeking information, you are already being a good mother by trying to inform yourself.
I will try to follow this thread if it goes dormant long after I post it and someone finds this years later.  I don't know if that will be too easy when my little one is born.  I just want to provide hope and information to someone in the present and future.
Obviously, if you are taking medication that you don't need and are addicted, you need to seek help for the addiction.  I won't go into difference between opiate dependence and opiate addiction.  I think most people know which of those they are.  No medication is safe to take if you are taking it to get high.  Pregnant or not, but especially if you are pregnant.  There's nothing wrong with getting help for the addiction, and you are not any less of a person if you need to get help.  

Here is the study:
http://www.anesthesia-analgesia.org/content/85/5/1074.full.pdf
I have tagged as many of the medications I can think of for pain and others that may concern a pregnant woman.  I know I didn't cover nearly all of them.  I have also made a journal post with more about myself and this study.
Best wishes to anyone suffering with CP and pregnant.
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15 Comments Post a Comment
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Jaded - What a great idea you had to post this for ANYONE that might be pregnant and finds herself in the same prediction that you are in.  This could be VERY beneficial for many women that become pregnant.  

IF anyone would know about this it is you and EVERYTHING that you have been through. You are DEFINITELY the EXPERT in this field here on MH.  I have seen you experience EVERY conceivable thing that you could POSSIBLY go through during your Pregnancy so far.

I'm hoping and Praying that NOW everything will slow down and you WILL find a WONDERFUL Doctor that can carry you through to term and deliver a Beautiful and Healthy Baby Girl!!  Also, Praying that you will have an EASY and SAFE Delivery and not have to worry about anything EXCEPT raising you Amazing Children!!!

I'm VERY PROUD of you and ALL that you have done. You are a Wonderful Mom and Wife and should be VERY Proud of yourself in the gracious way that you have handled EVERY hurdle that you have encountered. I'm VERY proud to count you as ONE of My Adopted Daughters on MH!!!!!

You are always very thoughtful and kind and you have just proven this once again.!!

Good Job, Sweetie........Mama Sherry
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Avatar_f_tn
Aww.  Thanks, Mama Sherry.  You almost made me tear up.  I'm not through the woods yet and have a ways to go, but I'm taking it one day at a time.  
I do hope that if I can help someone else through this, then it will at least not be all suffering for the sake of suffering.  
Thank you again. :)  You are always so sweet.
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547368_tn?1332173665
Sherry said it well and I second her post. Even I, a non-pregnant chronic pain sufferer followed your link and read it. I learned so much.

How very thoughtful of you to think of others. You are so correct there is a lot of mis-information out there. Indeed most, no all expectant mothers I have known suffer with acute or chronic pain during their pregnancy simply because their physicians refused to prescribe them anything.

When my friend was pregnant she fractured her ankle severely, a spiral type of fracture. She was given just a few tablets of the smallest dose of codeine for pain.  The fracture took longer than expected to heal. She was in agony for months. Had she had this information it may have made a difference.

So bless you. If this information reaches just one expectant mother in pain it will be very worthwhile.

Thank you for making a difference.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you, Tuck.  I am touched. :)  I never thought this would be a cause I would take up, but as neccessity breeds ingenuity, here we are.  
I've heard a spiral fracture is the worst!  I know a nurse who got a spiral fracture in her leg when she slipped on the ice outside the hospital, and she had to be hospitalized for a short time.  
I threw in the acute pain part of it somewhat as an afterthought, but then I remembered all of the women here in the Pregnancy Forums who have expressed concern when they've needed to take hydrocodone or the like for dental pain or other pain and to someone who's never or rarely taken these medications, it's very scary in pregnancy.  I was extremely concerned when I first found out about the pregnancy and was shocked when the geneticist told me everything would be okay.  
I realized that I forgot to tag Fentanyl previously, so hopefully posting the word here will bring it up in a good search of Pregnancy and Fentanyl.
Thank you both for your encouragement. :)
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1375159_tn?1311691944
Thank you so much for posting this. I want to have a baby, and you're right--there is little information about CP and pregnancy on the internet. I have spoken with my doctor about it, and my doctor said that it will be fine to take my medication during the entire pregnancy.

I will have to see some specialists that my doctor will recommend of course, but it is doable. I'm very happy about that. I am aware that there are risks, but I want a family and I (and my doctors) know that I will not be able to do it without medication.

There are many misconceptions about CP and pregnancy. Many people think that a CP patient can't take their narcotic pain medications while pregnant.

Also, I feel as though people look down on women who do take medicine to control pain while pregnant, and it infuriates me SO MUCH!

So, thank you for posting this.

Hugs,

Flower
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495284_tn?1333897642
Hi, i am one of CL's from the Substance Abuse forum and one of the members here was gracious enough to point one of our members to your thread.  We have mothers who come to our forum scared and feeling all alone.  We always tell them to consult their doctors first and to not go cold turkey.  Thank you for taking the time to post this.  The baby's safety is the No.1 priority~~~~~~sara
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Avatar_f_tn
Flower-  You were very smart to talk to your doctor FIRST.  I have heard that is the number one thing to do when you have CP and are considering pregnancy.  I had always thought I would like to have surgery before having another child and I had no idea that the meds were safe to take.  
I really hope you get to expand your family soon!  

Dominosarah-  Wow, I am so glad that someone was already helped by anything I've posted.  I know that no matter what the case, educating ourselves about our medications and how they affect the baby is so important.  As is knowing that we're not alone in this whole thing.
Thank you for your encouragement.
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495284_tn?1333897642
If it is okay with you i would like to send some of the mothers to look at your journal and the info you have when the situation arises.  The info is just so valuable.  What a good day this has turned out to be!!  Thank you again~~~~~~~sara
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Absolutely, it's okay with me!  I'm honored.  Thank you!
I don't have a lot of information yet, just what I've posted here, but I will be adding more.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Thankyou  Sara and also Jaded for sending me here and the invaluable info. I did have ongoing pain following a ceasarean (spinal) and two bouts of pnuemonia (pneumonia) after which I found myself addicted to codeine (my dose never increased but was started by dr at 2 x 30 mg tabs every 6 to 8 hrs for a period of 8 weeks). After this time I found I was addicted and stayed on 2x 30mg tabs twice a day to stop withdrawal symptoms for 3 years as being a mum I just couldn't find the strength to go through withdrawal. Now finding myself pregnant while still on this medication, I am currently on 37 mg codeine per day after tapering very slowly..still feel uncomfortable and these forums are a great help and support..so thankyou
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Avatar_f_tn
I commend you for tapering yourself off slowly and safely!  It's so great that you told your doctors and they are helping you.  It can be hard to get doctors to understand sometimes.
I love these forums, too.  They really are great for support and just to know we aren't alone in all these different medical situations we all find ourselves in.  
The pregnancy forums are great, too.  I'm due in December, but they are doing a scheduled C-section a week before the due date because I have some brain aneurysms.  
I'm sorry that you're not feeling good tapering off.  My doctor recently lowered my dose by a lot and it's been hard to deal with.  I also posted some of my story on my journal on my profile.  Feel free to read and comment.  
Best wishes on the tapering!
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495284_tn?1333897642
Thank you from the bottom of my heart~~~~~~sara
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you all for your information...
WOW! Boy did I think I was alone.  I had spinal fusion from L3-S5 in 2009.  I am 39, and have always wanted another child (I have an 8 and a 9 yr old). I have been suffering from CP for over 8 years now.  I am still taking pain medication and thought my doctor would tell me I am crazy for wanting to go through another pregnancy.  
This gives me hope, and has broadened my ideas about expanding my beautiful family.
Thank you for sharing all of your stories.
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1794671_tn?1338798991
Hi, I am on Norco and I am type 1 juvenile Diabetic. My high risk Dr said he didn't see any reason why I needed to suffer through any pain, but to get down to a level where it would be tolerable. I was on A REALLY HIGH DOSE of 12 a day.. now I am on 6 and I am 25 weeks pregnant. So I am hoping the pain doesn't get any worse so I can keep managing the weening (which has been fine, nothing serious) to a lower dose of maybe 3 or 4, or maybe less! I am just praying the pain stays away. I have nerve pain in my arms and neck from the diabetes and carpal tunnel, it is partially neuropathy also. I was worried because my Dr said that the norco is a regimen and that if I go off the pain might not come back right away but when it does it will take days for the norco to work efficiently that is why it is a regimen. I dunno... But This post was about a year ago and I didn't quite understand your position and maybe you could enlighten me if you ended up having a baby while on the medication and what happened? Was everything alright? Thanks for letting me get that out and reading my post =)
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Avatar_f_tn
I was in a bad accident and as a result have had many surgeries and now there is nothing else they can do except medicate me.  I have always dreamed of being pregnant and about being a mom but with my extreme cp and all the medication I am on, I just thought it is impossible.  I am willing to do whatever I can to have a baby, if it can't happen then we will try to adopt. Does anyone know anything about methadone and being pregnant.  I want a family so bad and would suffer through anything to have a child but then I heard that going untreated can cause issues too. Any info would be great, I am going to see a OB but I like to hear from women who have experienced it.  Thank you
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