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Pain killers for sinus pain
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Pain killers for sinus pain

[I've posted this on the ENT forum but received no reply, this might be a more appropriate section, sorry for the cross post]

I've been taking Panadol for 3+ months straight since my sinus infection started. I was taking 2 to 4 pills each day. But it seems to be not helping me that much any more. The pain gets strong enough to interfere with my work - it's a desk job but the pain is distracting and I find it difficult to concentrate. I went to a pharmacist who didn't really understand me and was not of much help, and I called up my ENT specialist who told me to stay on Panadol and continue my antibiotics for a few more weeks.

I've tried some Ibuprofen, which helps much better, but the packet claims I should not take it for longer than 3 days! I need something more long term. I was thinking of taking some paracetamol + codeine, but I've heard some stories of addiction to codeine and damage to stomach lining even though there seem to be warnings about long term use on the box (!!!)

Does anyone know of a safe pain killer that I can take for a period of about a month that I can get without a prescription? Or should I be looking for a doctor that is willing to subscribe me stronger pain killers?
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Avatar_f_tn
I saw that you're from NZ.  The Panadol you have there is the same as our Tylenol in North America, or acetomenophen (APAP).  Can you buy codiene OTC in NZ?  If you can I would say that it probably wouldn't hurt to take it for a period of a month.  It's really only addictive if you start to take it for reasons other than pain, if you take more than prescribed, or if you start having problems with it.  That's a basic synopsis of addiction and it's more complicated than that, but just google addiction and it will tell you all the warning signs.
Apap can cause problems with the stomach lining and even liver or kidney failure if taken for too long (meaning years) or at too high doses.  At 2-4 a day you probably won't have a problem.
Ibuprofen says you can only take it for 3 days, but that is just a disclosure for them to protect themselves from lawsuits.  Some people are told to take it every day and do with no problem.
Something that might also be an option for you is Naproxen Sodium, marketed in the US as Aleve.  It works for a longer period of time and is an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen.
Generally you shouldn't need to see a Pain Management doctor for acute pain.  PM is really to help manage Chronic Pain or occasionally, high levels of acut (acute) pain.  I would recommend that you take what you can OTC and if nothing works OTC, then consult the doctor who treated your infection and see if they can give you something stronger.
Also, are you taking anything like psuedophedrine for your sinuses.  It can help if they are stuffy or painful.  I take some whenever I get a sinus headache.
I hope you find something that works for you.  Sinus pain is miserable, I know.
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Avatar_f_tn
I saw that you're from NZ.  The Panadol you have there is the same as our Tylenol in North America, or acetomenophen (APAP).  Can you buy codiene OTC in NZ?  If you can I would say that it probably wouldn't hurt to take it for a period of a month.  It's really only addictive if you start to take it for reasons other than pain, if you take more than prescribed, or if you start having problems with it.  That's a basic synopsis of addiction and it's more complicated than that, but just google addiction and it will tell you all the warning signs.
Apap can cause problems with the stomach lining and even liver or kidney failure if taken for too long (meaning years) or at too high doses.  At 2-4 a day you probably won't have a problem.
Ibuprofen says you can only take it for 3 days, but that is just a disclosure for them to protect themselves from lawsuits.  Some people are told to take it every day and do with no problem.
Something that might also be an option for you is Naproxen Sodium, marketed in the US as Aleve.  It works for a longer period of time and is an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen.
Generally you shouldn't need to see a Pain Management doctor for acute pain.  PM is really to help manage Chronic Pain or occasionally, high levels of acut (acute) pain.  I would recommend that you take what you can OTC and if nothing works OTC, then consult the doctor who treated your infection and see if they can give you something stronger.
Also, are you taking anything like psuedophedrine for your sinuses.  It can help if they are stuffy or painful.  I take some whenever I get a sinus headache.
I hope you find something that works for you.  Sinus pain is miserable, I know.
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356518_tn?1322267242
Hi,
I am sorry your dealing with this pain on a daily basis. My husband has very bad sinus infections and they are very painful. I would suggest that you ask your Doctor about something a little stronger. My hubby takes antibiotics and tramadol when he has the infections.
Tramadol or Ultram is a non narcotic that relieves pain. Jadedsweetheart has given you some excellent advice I just wanted to add too that if the ibuprofen helps then you can take it for pain. Aleve is a good alternative as you do not have to take as many pills as she suggested also.
Here in the US we have a product called Rid a pain which is Apap with a small dose of codeine in each tablet. I do not know if you can buy this over the counter like here in the US but you can check.
Before taking anything though please check with your Doctor.
I hope your feeling better soon:)
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547368_tn?1332173665
Hello Norsches,

Welcome to the Pain Mangement Forum. I am sorry to hear about the pain you are experiencing from a sinusitis. I have frequent bouts of it and can empathize.

It is concerning that after 3 months you still have sinusitis and even more concerning is the amount of pain you are experiencing. A sinusitis can be difficult to treat but is your PCP explaining why this is still on-going? Have you seen an Otolaryngologist (ENT Specialist)? If not I encourage you to see one.

I am not comfortable recommending specific medications so please consult with your local pharmacist for something OTC. If all OTC medications have proved ineffective in relieving your pain than please discuss this with your physician.

I hope you will soon be feeling better. Sinusitis is a nasty infection to endure for so many months. Best of luck to you.

Take Care,
~Tuck
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Avatar_m_tn
Yes, Panadol is paracetamol which is apparently known as acetaminophen in US. I didn't realise the brand didn't exist in USA! I've never heard of Naproxen, so it must be prescription only here.

Thanks for the comment, I think I will give codeine ago, it is available OTC.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for your comment, I've seen an ENT specialist a few weeks ago. He gave me more antibiotics for a longer period of time, but they've still had no effect on me after so long.
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547368_tn?1332173665
Hi Norm,

I am so sorry that the ATB (antibiotic) seem ineffective. Have changed the ATBs? I know that sometimes sinusitis an be very difficult to treat. In my opinion if it has been several months of unsuccessful treatment it may be time to look further.

Have you had a CT of your sinuses? If not I think I would request it. It just seems strange to me that this has gone so long and not responded to treatment. I'd want to be sure I had the right diagnosis.

Please don't think that I am saying that your diagnosis is not correct, I certainly am not Nor am I a physician or an expert. I would just want more answers to something that has gone on so long.

Have you sought a second opinion? I would want to ask another ENT if they had the same diagnosis. Whatever you decide I wish you the best. I hope you will let us know how you are doing. I will be very interested to hear how you are doing.

Peace
~Tuck
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Norm,

I'm sorry, too, that you are NOT getting the results that you had hoped for form your ATB's!!

I hope that you will consider Tuck's suggestion of getting a 2nd Opinion from another ENT. I think that it would benefit you to know for sure that you got the correct diagnosis.  I get sinus infections quite frequently and it REALLY concerns me that you are getting NO relief at all from the ATB's!!

PLEASE keep us updated on your condition as we are all CONCERNED about you. :)

I wish you the VERY best........Sherry
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for your reply. After a few idiot doctors who told me that I have the flu, I found a doctor who got me a CT scan, which showed almost all of the sinuses on my left side were completely blocked.

But it may be a good idea seeing another ENT, I'm not happy with the one I currently have, he is getting some basic facts wrong whenever I talk to him (such as what medication I've already tried and what I'm currently on...). I have thought about getting a different one, but I've started seeing a chiropractor. And even though I did not exactly have much faith in them before it seems that my sinuses are finally improving!

Over 3 months on antibiotics, and a few other things with not the slightest improvement. 1 visit to a chiropractor and my nose cleared within 10 minutes of him doing his thing. A few more visits and my pain had dramatically decreased. So I'll see how it goes.
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547368_tn?1332173665
I would not have thought a chiro would have worked...but as long as he is that's all that matters. Of course it may be the combination of the two.

I would still encourage you to see another ENT. Three months of treatment with no improvement is just not acceptable. They may be missing something.

I hope you 'll keep in touch.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi there,

  I'm from NZ too-Auckland to be precise, and I'm currently suffering from a really bad sinus infection as well. I can't imagine what it must be like to have one for over 3months tho!!!! I've had mine for around a week and its just horrible, the pain alone keeps me from sleeping at all-in fact it's 2am on a work night and I'm awake googling sinus infections!!!

  Anyway I've found that PANADEINE PLUS is quite effective in helping with the pain, they're 500mg paracetamol and 15mg of codiene per tablet. If yyou take them as directed you shouldnt have any problems with addiction even if you use them for several weeks, I've used them plenty over the years for various injuries.

  Hope that helps a bit and when you find a cure that works please let the rest of us know! ;p

Cheers
MJ
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