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Avatar universal

What's the least toxic narcotic?

I am currently taking Peginterferon,Ribavirin,and Incivek.I can't stand the side effects.At 1 1/2 months of treatment,I went for a viral load test.This will determine whether or not I stay on the meds.I await the results.Most doctors want to give hydrocodine for the symptoms.While it is effective,by the time you take enough to put a dent in the side effects.you've taken a toxic level of acetaminophine.I've seen a lot of research saying that methadone is best for side effects,doesn't effect the antivirals,and seems(it is difficult to get conclusive statements on this last one)to damage the liver the least.Any thoughts?
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1751426 tn?1399007484
Just want to add that nsaids, tylenol, aspirin would have been moot since I already took naproxen and T3's prior to even starting tx.  I wouldn't have called my tx experience "flu like" unless you feel like you've been hit by a truck and broke out in a fever.  My doctor prescribed oxycodone 5 mg prn and even then it was a rough go.  Its better to go without narcotics but childbirth is also better without them and quite a few of us needed help with that just saying.
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317787 tn?1473358451
I agree...you do what you have to do to get through the tx.

I have to say with the trial I went through, I would have liked flu like symptoms instead of the muscle rigors I had.
Maybe I was one of the lucky ones.

Now that I am cured I do feel like one of the lucky ones.
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Avatar universal
Hi I just came across this thread, just want to say this treatment is riddled with side effects there is nothing you can take to alleviate your misery, yeah sure you can get stoned, pop pain killers and lessen them but this treatment is a commitment to being miserable ,I took nothing during my 48 wks except meds for physical ailments (rash,fever,rectal ect) I even got stoned once and was so blown out of my mind and paranoid, I started hyperventilating with my anemia and thought I was gonna pass out. What really got me through was commiting myself to getting my eyes off my woes and helping others with theirs like on forums like this,I also wore out a Netflix acct. by watching comedies,funny movies ect. They say laughter is the best medicine...and I agree! Just want to highlight,there is no cure to the misery of these drugs! just finding what works for you to make it bearable so you can get through...good luck to you
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Avatar universal
I guess I missed that part.
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Avatar universal
Yup, that is what I said...Mark
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Avatar universal
Also, I wasn't saying that they didn't have those symptoms, just that they use the term to describe gut problems, that is all...Mark
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Avatar universal
In my experience, most people that say "flu like symptoms" are talking about their gut I have probably had more people say that to me than most, because I was a working street Paramedic in a major metropolitan FD for 22 years. Almost everyone that said that to me was clutching their stomach. That is why I say that most people don't really know what it means. By the way, there is no such thing as "the stomach flu" in science...Mark...Mark
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Avatar universal
"Flu like symptoms", sounds right to me, I seem to remember having those symptoms off and on during treatment.
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Avatar universal

Flu Symptoms & Severity
Influenza Symptoms

Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

    Fever* or feeling feverish/chills  
    Cough
    Sore throat
    Runny or stuffy nose
    Muscle or body aches
    Headaches
    Fatigue (tiredness)
    Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

See: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/symptoms.htm

Common signs and symptoms of the flu include:

    Fever over 100 F (38 C)
    Aching muscles, especially in your back, arms and legs
    Chills and sweats
    Headache
    Dry cough
    Fatigue and weakness
    Nasal congestion

See:http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/influenza/DS00081/DSECTION=symptoms


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Avatar universal
I think that the term "Flu like symptoms" is so wrong. What most people, and many heath care professionals, don't seem to realize is that influenza is a respiratory illness. Things like coughs, difficulty breathing and phlegm are true "flu like symptoms". Most people that use this term are referring to gastrointestinal symptoms, like diarrhea. I guess that the language is what the people make it, so it's ok...Mark
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317787 tn?1473358451
I just remembered, I had severe pain during my first tx, it was called rigors or something like that.  That was when I was told I could take up to 2000 mg of tylenol, well that did not help at all.  Sorry I was trying to be PC.

When I responded earlier I was trying to help but forgot about my first experience.  I had awful muscles pains. I was working and could not work.

With all due respect "flu like" symptoms was the biggest lie I was told

My Hep Doc would not help, I had to go to my regular doctor, she gave me muscle relaxers and you are right hydrocodone.  Then I was given neurontin.  As my GP said, whatever I had to do to get through the tx.
Thank you Hector for jogging my memory,

If you are having horrible pain like that then yes, I would say the methadone would work and that you will have to wean yourself off after
I had recently been involved with someone who is addicted.  I apologize for coming from that point of view.  I guess I need to watch that.

Acting Brand New gave you the best information
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317787 tn?1473358451
Hi I was trying to help the OP answer the question. In an attempt to help I was telling him about a recent experience.  Not my experience on tx.
I was so sick on tx, nothing like that would have helped me :)
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446474 tn?1446347682
As Will said narcotics are not to be used for pain during hepatitis C treatment.

What type of pain do you have?
Most persons who treat with current hepatitis C treatments experience "flu-like symptoms" not moderate to moderate servere pain which is what opiates are for. Narcotics taken over time cause physical and mental dependency. The cure is worse than the original problem.

Hydrocodone (hydrocodine) is a opioid (narcotic) derived from codeine and thebaine. Hydrocodone (hydrocodine) is indicated for the relief of moderate to moderately severe pain.

Methadone treats moderate to severe pain and is also used together with medical supervision and counseling to treat narcotic drug addiction or to help control withdrawal symptoms in patients being treated for narcotic drug addiction. This medicine is a narcotic pain reliever. It is not to be used for the side effects of hepatitis C treatment.

Depending upon the stage of your liver disease you should only take over the counter analgesics such as Tylenol, ibuprofen, Naproxen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) for aches and pains. If you have cirrhosis you should only take Tylenol up to a max dosage of 2 gram per day to avoid liver damage. Other drugs can cause life-threatening complications.

Your doctor or your research has given you much false information about the proper treatment of hepatitis C. You should find a doctor who is knowledgeable and experienced in treating patients with hepatitis C. Usually a gastroenterologist or hepatologist. Not being treated properly can lead to treatment failure which will mean you will have to do treatment all over again and it is always easier to cure hepatitis C during the first treatment then when you are treatment experinced.

Good luck.
Hector
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Avatar universal
LOL I am a big smoker and i was wondering about that.
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163305 tn?1333668571
I personally avoid all narcotics. They make me crazy.
Pot, not a narcotic but extremely helpful in many ways medicinal, including being a muscle relaxer helped me more than anything else during tx.

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Avatar universal
Yeah, I figured that, not a problem...Mark
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4113881 tn?1415850276
I didn't mean to address that post to you...it was meant for the OP.
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4113881 tn?1415850276
Heres a study that I feel is relevant to your question. It was done for pain management in regards to cirrhotic patients. It talks about various narcotic pain medications and there toxicity in relation to your liver and kidneys. It also addresses methadone as you mentioned above. I will post the title, small excerpt, and link to the full study.

Pain Management in the Cirrhotic Patient: The Clinical Challenge

If opiates are required for pain control, lower doses and/or longer intervals between doses are needed to minimize risks.4,40 Hydromorphone and fentanyl may be the better choices. Careful follow-up is required to check for signs of sedation, constipation (a risk for precipitating encephalopathy), and early encephalopathy. Any sign of these complications necessitates immediate discontinuation of the opiate.

Methadone is well-absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and has high oral bioavailability, corresponding with low hepatic extraction. It undergoes considerable biotransformation in the liver. Although no prospective studies have assessed the safety of methadone in patients with hepatic dysfunction, 11 patients with alcoholic cirrhosis were noted to have disposition parameters similar to those in healthy participants, suggesting that usual methadone maintenance dosages are likely safe in patients with advanced liver disease.4,38

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2861975/
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Avatar universal
Yup, that was the best for me. In AZ HCV is a qualifying illness for a medical pot card. For once the politicos got something right...Mark
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96938 tn?1189799858

During treatments I used a variety of OTC meds; aspirin, tylenol, aleve etc.  But the best that I found for the spectrum of treament relief was marijuana.  Personal choice but it seemed to help the me most.
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Avatar universal
.A few points about your post:

.At 1 1/2 months of treatment,I went for a viral load test.This will determine whether or not I stay on the meds
------------------------------
This is not usually the point in time that a desicion is made to  cont. or cease tx


.Most doctors want to give hydrocodine for the symptoms.
-------------------------------
This is not correct...most  pyhsicians knowlegable with treating HCV would treat the variable of symptoms as they arise by other methods .


.I've seen a lot of research saying that methadone is best for side effects,
--------------------------------------
I have never once heard this. and doubt this is correct ,however if you could post all the reasearch you read so we could possibly have a look at this would be appreciated

As far as your question about what medication is best to take  while doing therapy  this should be  discussed thouroughly with a doctor that is "knowlegable " treating HCV' and I might suggest that one that says automatically to take "hydrocodone " may not  be so conversant with HCV therapy

Good luck...
Will




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Avatar universal
Truthfully. I don't know how anyone can take a narcotic while on treatment. The triple therapy had me so plugged up that if I had added a narcotic to the mix, I would have exploded. That is just me of course...Mark
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317787 tn?1473358451
Hi Vicodin the brand version has changed their formulation to reduce the tylenol.  I found that out recently when I asked for the brand of 5/500 and was told there was no brand, only a generic.
I came home to type what happened to brand Vicodin and found out.
So, I called my doctor to request the brand with the much lower tylenol.
I don't know if you really want or need to start on methadone.  That is something that would be in your system 24/7 and would then require detox.  Of course the choice is yours.  I would just want to take something when I don't feel well vs all the time. There is an oxycodone with no tylenol.
Methadone is a very good pain reliever I know people who are on it and people here who treated and were on it.  It did help, it is just that normally a doctor will try other pain meds first before going on to methadone.
Good luck
Hang in there, it does get better.
Take care
Dee
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