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Help! I'm worried about having pain meds reduced.

Hi!  I am new on this forum but have been reading prior posts the past week.  Trying to find support for my situation as I know others have dealt with it.  I'm being told by my PCP that I need to taper off my pain medications bc "they don't help with chronic pain".  I am willing to reduce them but I don't think it is fair she tells me what isn't working for me!  I am fused from T11-L3 & have metal rods inserted from a car accident many years ago.  I currently take Norco 10/325 (4/day) as well as the Fentanyl patch (currently at 25).  Any thoughts or inspiration would be greatly appreciated as I'm feeling overwhelmed and depressed about my life!  Thanks.
5 Responses
20803600 tn?1546262537
COMMUNITY LEADER
Jodie,
Most PM doctors are following the CDC  recommendation of not exceeding 120 mg of morphine equivalent dosing in treating chronic pain.
With the hysteria  of overdoses and too many doctors overprescribing, they are cutting back on almost all patients.
It might be worth talking to your doctor about perhaps switching you to something else long acting, rather than the fentayl.
Avatar universal
I don't think it's fair or right for any Dr to try and tell us what our pain levels are. The FDA and CDC are giving guidelines. That doesn't mean that every single patient should be on only a certain amount of mgs per day.
I would ask your Dr why she thinks you need to decrease your meds if they're working well for you. I would also ask her how it would benefit you to be in more pain which is going to effect your quality of life.
3 Comments
Remar, you are so right about Drs. telling pain patients how much medicine is "enough"!  I have tried every recommended alternative treatment with no relief.  If they could feel what we do on a daily basis I bet they would change their minds about prescribing meds!  We do not take them to get high but function.  It's sooooo frustrating.
I agree, Jodie. Prayers and support your way. I am going thru the same thing. I don't yet know if new pain practice will accept me-- need further testing, and have to wait a month. Very frustrating and stressful. I am having trouble coping, psychologically, because of all the stress I am going thru. I would like to see any member of the CDC/DEA go thru this trauma first, and then legislate... or better yet, just get out of the way of doctor-patient relationships!
Woundedwing-I'll be thinking about you and sending good vibes to you that the pain clinic will see you.  All of us deserve to be treated with dignity & respect not like criminals!  Most people who have chronic pain need some type of medication to function in their day to day lives.

I understand your stress and frustration.  Worrying if a Dr. will believe you have a legitimate medical issue is ridiculous!!
Avatar universal
Hi, Good answer, Remar! Except that today, what with the political hysteria, a lot of docs are being threatened with having their licenses taken away, so they feel that they have no choice. I also am being cut off, and am going to new pain management practice, tomorrow. I hope they have some answers! Pls. pray for me; thx.
7 Comments
The CDC recommendations are just that...recommendations. And they primarily are for GPs, or primary doctors.
There is a lot of hysteria out there, and the media is trying heroin overdoses and deaths related to heroin, multiple substance abuse deaths and odd to opiates.
Woundedwing, are you being cut off or reduced? What reason were you given for the cut off? Did you fail a urine test or pill count?
I am also going back to my PM tomorrow so was curious.
My doc was evidently threatened, but he won't tell me whether it was by a Medical board, the DEA, or what, directly (some things are private). He wrote a letter to all his patients... one had to read between the lines. You can tell he was scared. I have been on my stuff-- low dose-- but for 40 some years. He has no problem with what he was giving me-- it's the Powers that Be. I didn't fail anything... I am pain patient, not addict; I don't abuse. Nevertheless, because of political climate, I need to search for someone who is comfortable in prescribing what my doc used to prescribe. My doc is family medicine (PC); now, I need to go to speciality pain place. I think that anesthesiologists can get away with more, because of the CDC regulations. I am advocating/fighting on other boards, as well-- when I have the energy, time, and when I am having a relatively "good day". Thanks for asking.
Woundedwing,
I want suggesting you misuse/a use the meds. I hope that's not what you thought. Lots of people have been dismissed because of false failures and I was curious if you were among them.
The CDC/FDA/DEA seem to want GPs out of the pain treatment arena and in part, I can see why.
A lot of the current opiate abuse crisis was created by doctors/dentists giving out 6 months worth of vicoden/ percocet or benzo prescriptions without seeing a patient at all. Renewing scheduled meds for months or years.
Now, we are paying the price for that.
I hope your appt goes well tomorrow.
Like you, I have been dealing with CP for decades.
That first sentence was supposed to say...wasn't suggesting...
No offense taken. Just wanted to clarify. Good luck to both of us, and to all who are suffering.
Hysteria is exactly right!  People are dying from buying illegal drugs on the street.  My family doesn't even fully understand my situation.  They constantly ask if I'm feeling better.  NO, I never am going to be fixed or ok.  Just hope to be able to live the rest of my life without excruiating pain!
I agree Jodie65.  Every day my daughter & husband ask me if I am in pain.  It's been really bad since 2010.  I guess they don't believe me.  I have new Family practice doctor.  Big sign on his  office wall.  We will adjust your pain meds.   Pain management doesn't get along with the X-ray Imaging office, so I get the run around there too.   Hope some say you will feel better
Avatar universal
The Medical Insurance companies and Distributors are putting everyone into the same category regardless of the new law passed in July 2018, that states only acute care patients are to be limited in their pain medication. It was not suppose to affect chronic pain patients.  It is definitely political as with President Trump's wife, First Lady Melania Trump leading the march, the democrats are trying to sway the older chronic pain patient voters away from the republican side, trying to place the blame for removing chronic pain patients off of pain medication as being the fault of the conservatives.  This is working with some President Trump votes I personally have spoken to, who also have had their needed food stamps taken away even though they do qualify for both pain medications and food stamps.  It is always political, it is always about the money.  So many patients will either suffer with chronic pain, like myself included, having my pain medications reduced, with the goal of my pain doctor to remove me altogether, in the hopes of making me consent to very expensive invasive medical treatment under Medicare, that will ultimately cost the United States considerably more money than keeping patients caring for themselves, on pain medications.  I have a medical background personally so know that patients will end up being in extended care facilities at ages up to decades sooner than they would be had they remained on their pain medications.  The pain medications are the best treatment for the chronic pain sufferer because it allows us to continue with our activities of daily living to the best of our abilities.  The newer generation of Pharmacist, Physicians,  and those who have never had to deal with daily, debilitating pain have no idea of the daily, hourly, minute by minute pain we suffer day in and day out.  The only concern the public seems to care about is the fact the pain medication actually makes us feel better!  Because it has a mood elevator as a bonus, it must be cast aside because if others cannot use it for recreational purposes, then chronic pain patients must not need it either.  However, it is ok for the person with insomnia to take Seraquel daily, the number one abused drug , by the way.  So the DEA has a nice paycheck punishing the ones who desperately need to take pain medications, and the physicians who care for pain patients have all been made out to be criminals for doing what is in the bible of giving "strong drink" to those who suffer.  Those who take and sell drugs illegally will continue.  It is those who desperately need pain medications who will be left to die a slow agonizing, painful life, bedridden for the last many years of our lives to appease those who are ignorant to true pain sufferers.  Pain medication was put on this earth by God to ease the suffering.
20803600 tn?1546262537
COMMUNITY LEADER
Pain medications do NOT contain mood stabilizers/mood elevators. Opiates work by filling certain receptors in the brain, which allow a patient to perceive less pain.
No one including the federal govt forced anyone off food stamps. Food stamps and Medicaid are managed by states, funded by Federal tax money. Criteria for those programs is set by state govts. People were receiving them who should not have been, were above the financial caps set by individual states, did not meet the requirements, that's why people dropped off the program.
As far as pain meds go, in almost EVERY state, seeing a pain management doctor is the recommended doctor to manage long term chronic pain patients.
Primary care doctors were a huge part of how patients were able to get away for years with doctor shopping,  multiple prescribers, dentists, urgent cares and ERs ALL prescribing far too many opiates and benzos for things like ankle sprains, headaches, vague aches and pains, with no diagnosis, or further treatment. Writing prescriptions for 360 norco a month, with 5 refills for someone who said they sprained their ankle is what caused the problem we ALL face now.
I would stay away from using a primary doctor for treatment for chronic pain and find a pain management practice. People who use primary care doctors seem to find their doctors under more scrutiny, not just from the CDC, but pharmacists too and face problems trying to fill eventually.
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