Hello and Welcome!
Excuse my tardy response. Are you still monitoring our site? I'll be short for fear you are not - if you are please let us know.
Yes it is "normal" that a new physician will change medications - especially when you are on an opiate. This new opiate-phobic climate has many a unjustly frightened practitioner choosing not to treat with opiates. Without going into detail I will tell you that the DEA and other government agencies are monitoring our physicians. They red flag those that they feel are over prescribing opiates. Obviously with good documentation and responsible prescribing it is not causing as many issues for responsible physicians than we are lead to believe.
The government would like to see no opiates RX except in extreme urgent or end of life situations. The War on Drugs has become the War on Chronic Pain Patients!
I understand your concerns with the possible side effects of the medications your new neurologist suggested. I would have them also.
You may do better with a PMP (Pain Management Physician) or a different Neurologist.
I look forward to hearing more from you - and hope you are still active. We can discuss this in more detail.