Pain Management Community
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1266954 tn?1270221125

Constant Pain from Osteoarthritis

For the past years, I have been taking 3-4 7.5/325 Vicodin per day for "total body osteoarthritis". I have tried NSAIDS, aspirin, and Ultram without any relief. Also, because of a previous HA, I want to avoid NSAIDS. When Vicodin was changed from Schedule III to II this year, my GP became more reluctant to continue my 3-4 pill per day "habit" due to regulatory pressure to wean patients completely off opiods of any strength. As a 69 yo heart and cancer survivor, I was finally able to function with the help of 30 mg of hydrocodone added to my 1300 mg of acetaminophen (4 tablets of Vicodin) and was very happy with the $8/month that my prescription cost. I am now trying to exist on 2 Vicodin per day of the 10/325 variety. I have had to choose the two times per day to relieve my pain as with the 4 tablets/day I was able to take one every 5 hours (7 AM, 12 Noon, 5 PM and 10 PM). Also, with this schedule (I work 40 hours per week), I was able to exercise every evening at the gym for 1.25 hours that consisted of a 1 hour stationary bike ride and some weights. With 2 pills per day, I have given up on the gym as the intermittent pain is intolerable. I get some relief from endorphins when leaving the gym, but this effect wears off in a few hours and I "pay for the exercise"! I am trying to persuade my GP to return me to 4 pills per day and am really resentful for the FDA ruling that has placed my prescription within Schedule II guidelines which requires monthly visits to my GP to "beg" for refills. I am thinking of requesting a pain medicine consult....any suggestions?
2 Responses
7721494 tn?1431631564
Well, you're not alone....


Because approx. 20% of the population lives with chronic pain and there are only 3500 pain specialists in the US, most people are treated by PCPs for chronic pain.

PCPs are not prepared to treat CP, and they are under the "chilling effect" of prescribers who write opioid analgesic scripts for chronic pain.

The chilling effect comes from state and federal regulators who have turned the "war on drugs" into a "war on doctors."

Even though you are on a very low dose of hydrocodone, you may need to see a pain specialist -- it's absurd, but that is life for pain patients in the US today.

This is a political situation -- the government is getting between you and your doctor vis-a-vis your pain management.

Study the situation and take political action.

Join the US Pain Foundation and other advocacy groups for pain patients.

You are not alone in this situation.

Avatar universal
The Pain Foundation site is wonderful. There is a great deal of information for people dealing with chronic pain. If you get the chance I would recommend checking it out.
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st. louis, MO
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