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Hydrocodone usage/long term affects?

Helllo everyone.  I am a 26 year old female who has had FMS since I was 18 most likely due to trauma (many surgeries on my pancreas as well as gallbladder removal etc in a short period of time-treated as an adult, though I'm a tiny girl).  At 16 when the pancreas problems began, I was given Demerol after every surgery (pill form) and through IV during every hospital visit.  At times I was given Meperidine instead, or Demerol and Phenergan.  At about 18, for the FMS, I was switched to Lortab (Hydrocodone) 5/500.  I am still to this day on Lortab 5/500, though since I was about 20, it has been no more than one 5/500 mg tablet per day to help me sleep through the pain.  Normally I take between 1/2 to 3/4 of a pill.  Additionally, I am on Celexa.  Thankfully, I do not have a problem with depression, but have been given Celexa since 16 years old when I started with stomach problems-in hopes of calming that down and now in hopes of lowering some of the FMS pain, apparently.  I am also on Nexium daily, as the FMS has given me pretty severe acid reflux.  Other than that, I will take a Xanax (.5mg) here and there (very seldom) to additionally help me get through a night of sleep-generally I only take 3/4 of that pill.  My doctor does a battery of blood tests once per year to make sure my body is handling everything ok.  

During my last visit, I was told that my white blood cell count was slightly low (followed by "nothing to worry about) and that my liver was 2 points above normal, but that what they look for is more like 40 to 80 points over normal as being a problem.  He told me that the Celexa is what would cause my liver function to be a bit off. I told him I didn't believe the Celexa benefited me in any way so I'd like to cut down and eventually get off of that.  He agreed that would be fine.   My question for you guys and girls is this...   How do you think being on 1 5/500mg tablet of Hydrocodone per day in conjunction with the Nexium (Every day) will affect my liver/kidney in the long run?  He has told me that such a small dose will NEVER cause me harm.  Somehow, I am not addicted to the Lortab and it continues to take a very tiny edge off of the pain so I am able to sleep somewhat better - there are days when i may have to take two, but that might happen 3 times a year. There are days when it doesn't work, but I rarely increase because I don't want to get in that habit-I'd rather be in the pain and have a bad night's sleep than damage my organs.  What are your opinions?  I started so young that I worry about the Acetaminophen (I also take a few Aleve, which I believe also contains aceto, during my period) long term/possibly for a life time.  I've never been a drinker-maybe out drinking once every two months and on those days I do not take any pain medication whatsoever.  I do not use any recreational drugs, either.  Also wondering if I should get a second opinion on the white blood count being somewhat low.  

Let me know what you guys think.  Sorry to be so verbose! First time posting in this forum and I'm interested in hearing what everyone has to say, from experience.  Thanks so much and  have a great weekend!
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Avatar universal
Thanks, I appreciate the response.  I've been on the Nexium for quite some time with none of those side effects, so I don't feel they apply.  

As far as the hydrocodone goes, I am aware of what it can cause with long term use, however what I am asking is for opinions with long term use as far as taking such a small amount per day, goes.  My doctor has said that there's nothing that will happen with long term use of such a small dose.  

Additionally, something i've been unclear about -- say someone takes hydrocodone for 15 years and then stops....being blood tested for all those 15 years with normal results.  After ten years of no use, is it possible to have residual effects?  ie- 15 years on lortab, no liver problems and no longer on Lortab. After 10 years off, liver problems start showing.  Would it or would it not have anything to do with the hydrocodone?  

Sorry for all of the questions, I am always confused.   I really wish my doctor would be ok with prescribing me something WITHOUT an APAP.  It'd really be great to be able to allow myself to take medication when I am in a lot of pain.  I don't allow myself to do it now, because I am young and want to keep my liver in great shape.  It's a shame that there is a medication out there for the purpose of pain relief, without destructive properties, and it won't be prescribed.  I feel through 10 years I've proven that I won't abuse a narcotic pain medication or anything for that matter - I would have been smoking weed on a daily basis and popping at least the maximum number of Lortab each day if that were the case.  I've proven that dependency isn't my thing but apparently that's not enough!

The interaction tool is definitely cool! Thanks for that one!

Any opinions?  How long have all of you been on your medications?  

Also, any opinions on the low white blood cell count?  

Thanks again!
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Avatar universal

Paragraph 6.4 - Postmarketing Experience


Long term effects of Hydrocodone


Drug Interactions (Nexium, Hydrocodone & Aleve)

As with any medication there are benefits and risks.  You could print out this information and take it to your physician with any concerns you may have.  Since medication effects people differently, it would be best to discuss this with someone who is familiar with your health condition.  

Take care and hope you have a good weekend too.
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