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1794671 tn?1338798991

Pregnant and on Norco

I have posted in other communities before regarding my recent changes from being chronic pain sufferer to pregnant chronic pain sufferer and now I am going to be making the change from Pregnant Chronic Pain sufferer to Mother with chronic pain in the next 7 hours.

I have been taking norco throughout my pregnancy because I felt like taking just my breakthrough meds was better then taking it with Morphine, and also better then taking nothing and being unable to function as a human being. My dr was not in agreeance, she throught I should stay on the morphine because of withdrawals but I convinced her that if they got to any point where I was uncomfortable I would take it but I was unable to persevere and just take my norco. Well, My pain got out of control and I was taking 12 norco a day, pretty much the MAX dose for tylenol and since I have been on it for 4 years I didnt suffer any hepatotoxicity. I personally feel like compared to longterm higher strength opiates hydrocodone will give my baby a chance to be born not addicted,

My dr was so nice she actually made me feel like she cared about me and my pain. She was so sweet and the first thing she told me was how much she admired me for being a fighter and so strong for being diabetic and being able to smile even though I have so many probelms. This really made me feel like she cared about me. One thing she said I Will NEVER forget is that the best way to care for the baby is to care for the mommy, and when I can't function or live normally then he will not be healthy. This really made me feel like she cared even more!

She prescribed me the pain meds through this whole pregnancy and now I am going to have him via c-section tomorrow morning and I am really scared. I have spoken with a couple AMAZING women on here that shared their stories of either thir children being born while taking the same meds or even more and their babies had no withdrawals, or some women that took less and their babies turned out to unfortunately have some problems. But no matter what they spoke with me and shared their story and that to me was the best therapy that I could have, to have the truth and be able to know there are women like me or simular.

So that is the purpose of my post. I wanted to share that I have been on pain meds and now about to have my son and I plan to share what the outcome is. I plan to be very honest too and not hide any details becuase that is one thing I never see on here.. I always have seen posts of women asking "Help! I am on pain meds and pregnant" but in the end of the post there was no conclusion to the story. I feel like maybe I could share that.

The major thing I want to get across is that no matter who you are, or where you are from, or what medications you are taking and you feel like you are safely taking them, YOU ALWAYS NEED TO TELL YOUR DOCTOR! There is NO reason to hide it! They are there for you and your child not there to persecute you! Remember that you can always ask for a second opinion if you feel like you are being mistreated, but also you need to let go and trust a dr sometimes especially one that you have been with a long time. Never keep anything from yuor dr and if on pain medication DO NOT SELF MEDICATE and always TALK WITH THEM ABOUT TAPERING if you feel like you are taking too much. Some poeple would say this is universal knowledge but no, some women DO NOT know this and it helps to reassure this is something important.

Not everyone is christian, or apostolic, catholic, pentecostal, or Jewish, or WHATEVER! But I would like to ask everyone that reads this to say a prayer for the health of me and my son. In 7 hours he will be born and I pray that he will suffer no pain or discomfort that is put on by me, and that he has no issues with his blood sugar due to my uncontrollable diabetes.

Thanks again, and I look forward to posting my story further to help anyone even if it one woman that gets something from this I would like to help in some way to give back because I was helped so much by a couple of amazing women on here, they know who they are, and to any future women that would feel depression or anxiety due to chronic pain and pregnancy, you are NOT alone!!
23 Responses
1794671 tn?1338798991
I had my son 5 days ago.. I was discharged 2 days after surgery because I was healing well and was walking around right after surgery. I was hoping to be able to bring my son home but was readily prepared to have him in NICU due to diabetic issues. He also had a problem due to a different blood type than me? Not sure sbout it but it caused him to need to be on antibiotics for 7 days and he is coming home in 2 days after the I.V. is out. He is doing absolutely great now!! But anyhoo... this summs it up, sort of. Thanks.

My son was born 7 lbs 1 ounce
No withdrawals
His blood sugars dropped low and he needed to be monitored for respiratory distress due to the insulin in his system and me giving birth at 38 weeks.
My Dr told me that the entire surgery was complicated due to extreme amounts of scar tissue and inflammation, the anesthesiologist couldn't do a spinal due to inflammation in my back and inflammation there also they did a spinal/epidural combo.
It was very stressful and painful to know how much my body is messed up, the anesthesiologist thought I had been in a car accident or had back surgery because it was so messed up. she could not get the needle through it was scraping so much bone and tissue, GROSS!
I am glad to have my son, I wish I could have been more healthy throughout so I could have went "fuller" term but it would have been risky.

My dr said that being diabetic it causes a fetus to develop slower causng my sons lungs to be around a week less developed. He is doing great now though and it was hard to not be able to BF but I had an excellent DR that was really caring for not only my son but me also. Really Good Dr. I think that is the best thing to do not only in this situaiton but all situations is to find a dr you feel comfortable with... Almost makes me want to get pregnant again so I can keep her as my primary dr lol.... ALMOST.

I know no one really comments on things like this but anyone who kept me in their prayers and thoughts during this hard tmes I cannot tell you how appreciative I am because this is a great  reaction to a horrible pregnancy. I will try to post a picture of him, he looks just like his DADDY.. so handsome.

Thnks agn every1!!!! .
Avatar universal
Congratulations on your son!....

I hope that he gets to come home in the two days as scheduled....

There are always pluses and minuses when deciding to be on any type of medication and being pregnant...and it's a totally personal decision as what is good for one person may not be for another...So I don't think there is a right or wrong...(Unless we were talking about someone who was an actual drug addict and that would be horrible)...

But this is not the case for you or for most people...

I hope that you can start getting better care for your diabetes...and as I mentioned before....For Diabetic Neuropathy....there are great nerve pain meds that are meant specifically for that...Lyrica, Neurontin, and Cymbalta to name a few...

Norco or other opiates are not the standard medicines for this...It may help temporarily as a narcotic is just meant to 'dull' the pain and make our brains just not care as much...

But they aren't targeted to help with nerve pain...Just like a muscle relaxer does a different job than an opiate...etc...

I do wish you and your baby well and he gets stronger and healthier each day...
82861 tn?1333457511
Congratulations!  Glad to hear everything is fine and hope you can now find something that will work better for your pain.
1794671 tn?1338798991
My son is home today. He is doing great.. the last two days he was doing good but they had to monitor him. I think the biggest mistake I made if anything was havig him before 39 weeks but my dr said it was a good decision. I think that being diabetic caused his lungs to take a little longer to develop, or at least that is what my Dr's are saying. Either way I feel like everything went very well.

Norco does a lot to help my pain. It helps more then oxycontin, oxycodone, morphine or anything else that is an opiate, I think mostly the thought of being imprisoned by a drug that would take months to get off makes me more against taking it. I have heard soooo many people saying that those are really hard to get off of. And I am talking about people that need it for pain and end up deciding not to take it anymore.. not people suffering with addiction. I would rather not go down that road. In my opinion if the norco helps, which it does very well, why take something worse. I do however want to try the non narcotic medication like Lyrica, but fro what my dr told me my insurance doesn't cover it but I am paying for the norco anyways so it doesn't matter. I don't know how expensive it is tho. I am not scared of change but the thought of going from one opiate to another doesn't make sense... My pain is everywhere now my back legs arms and neck... I feel like without pain medication I would be in pain all day everyday. Who lives like that??? I want to try something else but neurontin didn't help and the dr's that work closely with me, or did before, said that the damage was really bad and being pregnant made my entire body inflamed. I got the best two little kids out of it though! And It is worth it! I would do it all over again and again!!

I hope there will soon be a generic Lyrica lol but I am willing to try something new, I am too smart and educated to be stuck on medications that inhibit your mind for the rest of my life. Assuming I would live that long on them..

I appreciate all your best wishes and grateful for your prayers! Gotta feed my lil popps now, but being in this community through this pregnancy was the best support really, and anyone that comes into contact with you women is really lucky to have your friendship and advice!
547368 tn?1440545385
Congrats on your new Miracle.... and that's just what every baby is in my opinion, a Miracle.

I also want to thank you for sharing your experience.  This forums has seen several Chronic Pain patients that are pregnant or want to have children. Most have shared a similar story, successful pain management and healthy babies. Again, Thank you for sharing yours.

Most of us with Chronic Pain chose to take opiates over debilitating pain and a life not worth living. "Eductated" ppl can and do function well on opiates, so don't be hard on yourself. If you require them to function there is no shame in that.... and your education will not be wasted.

Again congrats on the Miracle!! Hug him every chance you can!!

1331804 tn?1336870958
Congratulations!  I know you must in heaven right now with your little one.  Despite the extreme tiredness from waking up multiple times in the morning, I miss that age.  My son is 5 now, still a fun age but I reminisce on the days when he was just learning to roll over, then crawl, and then walk.  I was taking codeine during my pregnancy as I also had chronic pain during that time as well.  I didn't take much of it and instead went out on short term disability part time 6 months before term and full time 3 months before term.  The sciatica worsened and I could barely walk 6 months into my pregnancy.  For me, I decided to not up my meds but I also had to luxury to stay at home earlier than typical versus having to work late into my term.  My baby was very healthy with a apagar score of 9.  And, I also have read many success stories such as yours from women that took a higher dose of opioid medication than myself and had healthy babies.  I think it depends on the circumstances in each situation as in many cases severe uncontrolled pain can cause pre-term labor which can be much worse than the effects from taking opioid medication to suppress the pain during pregnancy.

I was going to recommend that you try neurontin as they do have a generic of that (i.e., gabapentin) but I saw later in your post you wrote that it wasn't helpful for your pain.  What dose were you taking?  Did you know the dosing can go all the way up to 3600 mg per day?  So, if the dose you were taking was a small percentage of the max dose, it could have just not been strong enough for the pain you have.  Even with an increased dose of neurontin, I still think you would have some residual pain that the norcos would be helpful for.  I don't know if you have read any papers from Forrest Tennant, MD but he avocates for the use of opioid medication in extremely high doses in cases of intractable pain.  Trigemal neuralgia is one of those painful intractable conditions.  It is also a nerve disorder but the pain tends to flat line at a 9 or 10 on the pain scale and stays there all day unless high doses of opioid medication is used (in other words, the pain makes you want to blow your head off all day).  I know diabetic neuralgia can be very painful too so I am glad the norco is working for your pain but I am concerned about your intake of tylenol per day as this can be very straining on the liver over time even if you aren't taking 4,000 mg per day.  My new doctor understands this and knows that I have been taking 2000-2200 mg of tylenol per day by taking the percocet for breakthrough pain.  He said that is too high and that we need to get my tylenol intake down.  I am assuming the norcos have 325 mg of tylenol in each tablet?  

As Tuckamore said, taking a stronger opioid will not make you less "educated".  Did your doctor tell you that?  If so, it is propaganda that he/she is feeding you that is not true. I work full time in the engineering field and I have been on stronger meds for awhile now and I function just as I did before switching to stronger opioids.  There is a new medication coming out probably not for the next 5 years (unfortunately) but it is same opioid medicine you take from the norcos, hydrocodone, but it is in extended release form and without tylenol.  But they are just starting the clinical trials right now so it will be awhile before it hits the consumer market.  I believe the brand name is Zohydro.  Keep an eye on it.  That way you can add in the tylenol yourself if needed for pain versus it being built into each norco pill at such a high dose.  Something to think about.

Anyways, congrats x2!!  :)

1794671 tn?1338798991
Thanks everyone. I appreciate everyone's comments =) I think the dose I was on for the neurontin was really low like 300 mg tablets 3 times a day. I get really bad pain my hands and wrists when I work with them a lot, and now it is coming back tenfold since my lil guy is here. It is carpal tunnel which is pretty much nerve pain, and it radiates up my arms to my neck so it isn't just "wear a splint at night" type thing lol

I think my dr kinda was making me feel like maybe if I were to try to keep myself busy and in school to become something I want to was fueled by me always confinding in her how depressing it was to always have to take a pill, always have to expect pain, she was not only a good dr but a good listener and when she told me that I think she was kinda trying to help me figure out ways to climb out of the depressing realization that I might have to take painkillers and that maybe keeping myself busy with more school or a job might help. I got realy depressed during my pregnancy and I know it is normal to feel that way when you are creating life and taking pain meds, but it was mentally tiring to go through that much stress and fear. I feel much better now because he is A-OK and healthy, but I felt like there had to be something else for me. I don't like being forced to do or take something and sometimes I feel like if I don't take norco or ANY meds, I will not be able to live normally. That is something that makes me just want to break down and cry.. Like how did I get dealt this hand so early in life? I try not to think of it because it really is just crappy but I am doing everything I can to make sure I give my kids a good life and that is all that makes me happy =) thanks again everyone and I will post more on how my pain management is working out I am going to try Lyrica soon and I am hoping it works well for my pain.
1794671 tn?1338798991
Just realized I said tablets LOL I meant capsules
1794671 tn?1338798991
I didn't meant like I am too smart to be on them like that I meant like some pain medications that they try to put me on are crazy strong! Like fentanyl was waaaay too much and so was oxycontin. I felt high as a kite! I just feel normal and pain free on norco, mostly because I have been on it for soooo long though. I think I do remember feeling some euphoria when I first started on them but it was nowhere near like it was on these other ones.

My dr talked to me about taking the norco and she was primarily concerned with the tylenol and that it might not be healthy taking them long term. I don't really get it either.. you would think that my tolerance would go up but it actually has stayed at this amount for the pst 2 years. I think it is the mentality that some days I can't be completely pain free and some days it is so bad I just have to take the full dose. Some days I take 10 some days it is 9 or 12. But the fact that I can micro-manage my pain level, along with the Dr's help makes me feel way more in control. I might have some control issues.. (my husband doesn't need to know this HA)

I didn't mean to try to say people cannot be educated while on pain medication I just meant some pain meds are a lot stronger then others and are not for some people. I mean one pill is not good for everyone it is better to find what works best for you.
1331804 tn?1336870958
I didn't mean that some medications were too strong for educated people to be on.  I instead meant that stronger pain medications won't degrade your intelligence or make you "stupid".  

Most if not all of the opioids that are stronger have a "break-in" period where you may feel spacey or in a brain fog but it goes away within a month or two.  How long did you try the stronger opioids before you decided they weren't for you?  

I think your doctor made a huge leap from norcos to oxycontin or fentanyl.  The hydrocodone is norco is the one of the weaker mu opioid agonist medications, falling in a similar category as Codeine and Tramadol.  Morphine is slightly weaker than oxycontin and might be a good choice to try for your pain.  Long acting pain meds don't cause euphoria or a "high" for very long but they will keep your pain levels down consistently over the day and then you could take your norco for breakthrough pain but you would probably only need 3 or 4 norcos at the most given the right strength of a long acting med.  I just started a new strong opioid and I am quickly stabilizing on the medication such that I don't have as much fog as I did when I first took it a couple of days ago and within a week, I know the new medication will work without bringing fog.  I did not feel any euphoria starting the stronger opioid as long acting opioids typically don't give you that feeling if you have been another opioid for an extended period of time, which you have.  

I am trying not to push you to try a stronger opioid but your tylenol intake is extremely high.  The max per day is 4,000 mg and they are lowering that limit.  My doctor freaked out when I told him I was taking up to 2,200 mg.  "They" (the pharmaceutical company) don't know what is a safe amount of tylenol to take long term.  Taking 12 norco in one day maxes out the tylenol you can take in one day before you start destroying your liver.  I am not telling you what to do just expressing concern as you can't live without a liver and not everyone is able to get a liver transplant.  So, I just want you to really think about your norco intake and the impact it can have on your overall health 5, 10 , or 15 years or more from now.  You are very young to start a lifetime intake of the max dosage of tylenol or even a dosage of > 2,000 mg per day.  I hope your doctor is doing regular blood tests to check your liver enzymes.  

Wishing you the best always.

1794671 tn?1338798991
through my pregnancy I experienced really bad pain in my back and legs so that was why they gave me the fentanyl and oxycontin to try. The main reason I didn't want to take it while pregnant is that norco is a lower opiate so if my child had withdrawals, thank god he didn't, they would have lasted only days instead of weeks-with him having to be weened in the NICU. That was my choice, and my ob/gyn. I tried ms contin a couple years back but it did nothing for my pain and after a year on it I decided to stop (9 months ago when I found out I was pregnant) and I question why I was even on it to begi with. I did have some withdrawals from stopping cold turkey but it wasn't really bad. I was lucky not to have any pain during the withdrawal period either so that also made me wonder what help it actually  did.

A LOT of people have their opinions on what pain medication is for exact pain problems. It just really makes people very distraught that norco helps my pain for some reason. I have posteed elsewhere and some people get REALLY irritated that I am on norco for my pain and should be on something else. I don't understand why, well I understand that their pain works maybe for the listd medications that it is for but neurontin and tramadol and other meds didn't work for me as well as norco, and the other higher pain meds just made me feel loopy or didnt help at all, just raised my tolerance. I don't know why my nerve pain is so bad, I wish I had thousands to seek a second opinion and find out what realy is the problem because literally everyone I talk to says that diabetic neuropathy doesn't require norco.. yet my pain is so bad regular mediations don't help. So while I understand that the textbook meds for DN is one thing, but it doesn't work for me and maybe I was misdiagnosed. All I know is the pain is daily, and it was almost 15 times worse while pregnant. Both times.

I realize ou are not one of these people I was just sharin thoughts. I think it is great that people like you understand where I am coming from, I think there was a miscommunication somehow. That tends to happen a lot when tone of voice is taken out of the equation and we just read words on a screen lol I appreciate and thank you for the words of encouragement and helping me out, or even responding. Shows that you care which is a great trait among people in the world that don't care about the fellow man anymore. I really like this site and hope to find more people like you guys =)

Thanks again and best wishes to everyone!
Avatar universal
We are concerned...as should your Dr. that you take up to 12 a day of Norco....that is the big issue...

It's actually very surprising that a Dr. would even allow this and write it on the prescription..I've never seen more than 8 a day max on any short term medication...ESPECIALLY with acetaminophen in the mix...

Also..this medicine is not used for long term pain..It is only meant for acute pain...and either short term after a surgery or procedure...or used as a breakthrough medication with a chronic pain patient...

And unless you are prescribed 360 Norcos per month...then taking 12 some days and a lot less other days...this is going to make controlling your pain even harder...

The laws have changed in many states this year about long term use of short acting medications...

As well as the type of pain that you have is normally controlled by nerve pain medication...You keep saying that your nerve pain is really bad...As I've written before....if someone has nerve pain...then specific nerve pain medication is the best choice...Lyrica, Neurontin or Cymbalta...These are used and meant to be tirated up to certain amounts...As well as giving them appropriate time to work which can take a month or so..

The reason 12 Norcos work for you...is that in that amount...any opiate is going to make you 'not care as much 'about your pain...but it's not actually helping to treat the nerve pain whatsoever..

It's like someone with inflammation....an opiate is not the right medicine...and anti-inflammatory is what helps..

Same thing with muscle pain...muscle relaxers are the choice...

Opiates are meant to be just one small piece of the puzzle...combined with other medications that are non opiate as well as other modalities used to help lessend the pain..

I'm trying to say that it's unlikely any Dr. will continue to prescribe that amount of Norco long term...so that is why I was suggesting getting into the right type of DR. and looking at a better plan of pain management...

Just trying to offer some thoughts...

1794671 tn?1338798991
It has worked well this far along. To me, 3 norco is the equivalent to 2 vicodin to a normal person with normal tolerance. The amount of norco is not based on how it treats my pain, but how much I have grown to tolerate it. If I were to completely stop for a month, 2 vicodin would treat my pain just as 3 norco would. It is unfortunate that I am on this much but like I said some days I can get through with only taking 8 then some days I have to take more. I understand the PM method and textbook method for treating pain, and that there should be long term then breakthrough pain management, but I want to try something that like you said "is specified for nerve pain" like cymbalta and lyrica, I have repeatedly said this over and over through this post lol I keep saying it. My insurance doesn't cover it and I need to pay for it and I want to try it yes, but the nerve pain or fibromyalgia pain, or whatever pain that is in my body persists even while I am on those medications I need to take something. I have a 4 year old and a newborn baby boy. They are the main reason why I want to stop taking so much tylenol because I don't want to be on dialysis at a early age or be dying young becasue of this.. I want to be able to control my pain while being able to live close to normally. I said this before and I will say it again.. what works for one person may not work for another.. I have not tried lyrica or cymbalta, but I have tried neurontin and naproxen and they helped none. The norco does not put me in a "IDC" state of mind it actually helps the pain, it masks it of course just like any other opiate but what the heck am I supposed to do? To me, if I am in pain so bad I will want to stop the pain.. I am not a masochist I don't like pain. I can endure small amounts.. but not a lot. I know you don't understand and you might think I am wrong and not smart for this choice but the ob/gyn and primary dr I have right now agree it was fine and even though you may not prescribe your patients that much there are some dr's that would because they see and understand the amount of pain involved in the situation. I am not a typical scenario I know but sometimes things are not always what they seem. Just like it was hard for poeple to believe that taking that much while pregnant was better then taking methadone or suboxone, it turned out great in the end my son suffered no withdrawals and he didnt have t spend 3 weeks in the NICU on morphine weening off of it. So maybe you would prefer to have things different, it is not the same for everyone.

I am not really sure if you are a pharmacist, a doctor, or just someone that researched the crap out of norco and other medications but you seem to have a very strong opinion on the fact that I take this instead of a non opiate. I apologize for any disagreement you might have but we may have to agree to disagree because regardless of me being on lyrica or cymbalta the fact remains I will most likely have to keep taking norco for breakthrough pain. It is funny you should mention that it is for acute pain, sometimes I feel like my pain is chronicly acute lol Meaning that I get days where the pain feels like I broke my arm.. and there are days where it is small throbbing pain and I won't need that much. Lyrica should be great though so I am looking forward to trying that soon. But whenever people say norco is for acute pain man I just wish I could take the pain I have that day and give it to them and have them experience it and not take the norco.. I have been on morphine and it didnt reduce the amount of norco I took I will was taking 12 norco a day when it was really really bad. The norco helps with the strong pain better then being on mscontin and norco. It by itself has proven to be much better then being on long term and norco.

I appreciate your thoughts very much but would also appreciate some understand from my point of view as you have offered none. I understand where you are coming from and appreciate the information, but sometimes it is best to try to put yourself in someone elses shoes and try to not label them as a 'textbook scenario' and more like a person, a person who needs to be understood and not put on what everyone else is on even though it hasn't worked.
1331804 tn?1336870958
I understand what you are saying about the effectiveness of the norco but I am curious as to what dosages you were on when you were taking the morphine and also the fentanyl and oxycontin.  Additionally, the dosage of the gabapentin would been helpful information as well.  From taking a look at the dosages, many of us can gauge whether or not your dosages were truly at therapeutic levels or if they were simply in the starter dose range.  

For pain such as yours, 3 or 4 titrations of a long acting medicine is not abnormal.  If this was not done, there is no way you can say for certain that those meds won't work for you pain.

As I said before, not trying to nag you just trying to show that I care.  If the tylenol in the norco damages your liver, there is no dialysis for that!  That is for kidney failure.  If you liver begins to fail, you are immediately considered to have a terminal illness and eventually you will die if you don't get a liver transplant.  There are class action lawsuits galore out there due to so many people being terminally injured or had to have a liver transplant due to injury from Tylenol.  Tylenol is not bad but taking too much of it is bad and I think 8-12 pills of norco a day is too much simply because of the tylenol binded in it.  Sticking with a short acting opioid medication is fine but there are others out there that don't contain tylenol such as roxicodone.  

Don't you want to be around for your children through a good portion of their adult lives?  Before automatically assuming I am attacking you through this post, consider researching more about tylenol.  For folks with chronic pain taking an opioid medication that contains tylenol over the long term should not take more than 2,000 mg per day.

You will find that some doctors truly believe that you will be okay for a lifetime on the max dosage of tylenol per day and other doctors think the exact opposite.  I have experienced both kinds of these doctors.  Not everything they say is for the greater good for you, the patient.  The combo meds with tylenol aren't as "hot" as roxicodone or other IR opioid meds without tylenol such that doctors would rather put a patient on something long term that could very well be damaging their liver just so that they don't have to risk losing their medical license given an investigation by the DEA.  Many doctor's fear of this is unfounded as the patients they are treating with opioids have legitimate pain with a well documented diagnosis.  

Norco is simply hydrocodone and acetaminophen.  There is hydrocodone and aspirin.  There is hydrocodone and ibuprofen.  The latter two can irritate your stomach over the long term but this complication can be addressed without a liver transplant.  Additionally if you damage your liver slightly versus severly damaging it, you could potentially have issues with pain control as you won't have a choice but to stop taking the Norco.  Once you have signs of liver failure, doctors won't continue to prescribe the medication for you as they would be at great risk of losing their medical license and being sued for continually to afflict damage after being made aware that the patient has liver damage or failure.  All opioids are processed by the liver in some way and you could have worsening liver problems from continuing to take opioids for pain after the liver damage is done.  There is no undo button for liver damage or failure.  Something to think about and then only YOU can make a decision to keep taking the norco or to try some other medicine that has less risks.

Lastly, weathergirl brought up a good point regarding medications for pain.  Taking one type of med at any given time has a lesser chance of providing sustainable benefits.  I take an anti-depressant, Gabapentin, short and long acting opioid formulations, a benzodiazepine, a muscle relaxer, and a low dose of Aleve to manage my pain everyday.  Each type of medication helps about 5-10%, when they are added together they give me 75% - 90% pain relief with the actual amount of pain relief varying throughout the day.  So the key is to add medications not switch them out and if they aren't working ask the doctor to increase the medication 3 or 4 times to a therapeutic level before making the determination that they are ineffective.

I wish you and your family the very best.

Avatar universal
I actually was pregnant when I had back surgery to remove a 40% herniated disc, which is almost unheard of. I could no longer feel my foot, and had no reflexes. I could not lift mu heel, step on my tippy toes, at all. But I was only.2 weeks, no one would have been able to tell.  When I found out I was pregnant I freaked out because all the meds, but dr. said if there were a problem I wouldnt still be pregnant. Luckily, I was over post op pain, and the surgery.successfully rid me of pain. Pregnancy caused me some sciatica, but all I took were lidocaine patches.

Now I have 3 more discs, and arthritis from the scar tissue of surgery. I take morphine and fentanyl and dilaudid. I assumed I could not get pregnant until I was off the meds. I had no idea dr.s allowed it. So, there is no added difficulty in conveoving?
Avatar universal
Nope...not a Pharmacist....just a person who has dealt with chronic pain for over 10 years...and happens to be best friends with her PM DR...we actually go out for lunch, coffee, I spend time with he and his family...

So...I have happened to learn a lot about PM.....but not a Dr. by any stretch of the imagination....lol...

The part that keeps confusing me is you say that 3 Norco is the equivalent to 2 Vicoden in a 'regular' person...

Norco and Vicoden are the exact same medication....the only difference may be the amount of Acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol) that is added in that particular pill....

But a 5mg Norco is exactly the same as a 5mg Vicoden in reference to the opiate which is hydrocodone....

And...I am not 'against you' taking an opiate...I am only saying two things...

One...that unless you are prescribed 360 pills per month of Norco....(prescription to take 12 pills a day).....then you are most likely taking 12 some days...and then less other days....This is going to make it much harder to control your pain each day...as well as increase your tolerance to this a LOT faster than taking a long term medication....

I was also saying that laws are changing...and that most Dr.s are moving away from prescribing short acting medications for a chronic condition...They will only do this if the SA medication is for your breakthrough pain...

And yes...it is unusual for a Dr. to prescribe 12 of those a day...8 is usually the maximum....But again...if your Dr. has written that on the prescription and knows that you do this...that is between you all...I was only saying that another Dr. will not likely be ok with doing that...

The other thing was that you should be taking a nerve pain medication in addition to the opiate...as this is what YOU say is your primary pain...Nerve pain.....

It's not my opinion...it's a fact that opiates are not meant for nerve pain....So...I would think that you would want to take the medication that would actually help lessen the nerve pain...not just mask the pain....

The opiate would then be your breakthrough medication....with the Gabapentin being your primary med...Again...many people tirate that up to 3600mg...

All I'm saying is that pain management is SO MUCH more than just trying to mask the pain with an opiate each day...and when someone is up to 12 a day trying to do this....this is where finding other modalities to use ALONG with this is the preferred medicine....

As well as doing things like injections, nerve blocks, acupuncture, aqua therapy, counseling, and all the other things I have mentioned...

Then...the opiate is only needed perhaps once or twice a day as you are using other things that are made to help the nerve pain....

Hey...it's just suggestions and thoughts...obviously everything is between you and your Dr....not people on the message boards....

I do wish you well in whatever they choose to help you manage your pain...and hope that wonderful baby is doing well!
Avatar universal
And my fingers type too fast and without the edit feature on here...doh!!!...

Vicodin...with an i...not an e as I accidentally typed.....silly Weathergirl!!:)
1794671 tn?1338798991
How does that not amke sense to you?? lol If I were normal, no chronic pain, then a vicodin would relieve pain very well. Now that I have chronic pain and had it for the past 4 years, 3 norco does the same thing as that one vicodin did back when I didn't have chronic pain.

Why do you dissect and over analyze every word I say it is getting annoying. If you were to calm down and TRY to understand me you might get what I am saying better and not have to question every little word I say.

As far as your relationship with your Dr, that is great. I am glad and happy for you. That is healthy and normal. It is. I hope you continue to have a good relationship like that, and I have the same with my dr's. I actually don't have a pain management dr yet because of my insurance switch and it doesn't cover it, so I have to just see a primary care dr... it ***** but I have no other choice.

and WOW!!! 10 years!!! I actually commend you for being able to go that long and still have such a positive outlook on life and have such a great personality. I hope it never changes you. Sometimes I get really bitter and angry that I have pain and I don't know why really.. I never had any accidents or surgeries that went bad.. I honestly get PISSED!! I don't know why me.. But I get over it. It usually only lasts a couple minutes lol

If you don't mind me asking, what medications are you on? what did you start out on? Are you on opiates; and have you had to up the doses in the last 10 years since you have obviously had your tolerance get higher IF you are on opiates.. How do YOU deal with the mental part of chronic pain?

I hope you dont have sort of resentment towards me for any topic of discussion because you are kind if argumentative, and while opinions are welcomed, you seem to keep over-analyizing every little thing i say. the most confusing part is since you have a great friendship with ur dr and know so much how do u not understand the whole tolerance example i gave about norco and vicodin??  

1794671 tn?1338798991
Hey, I am sorry about all your pain and problems. I think it is great u were able to get rid of the pain tho! When u are pregnant and on pain medications, or suffering chronic pain, you need to have an ob/gyn that you can talk to about it and be honest with no matter what. If you feel like you can't be honest an tell your ob dr and your pm dr knows maybe have him/her call over and talk to her or find a ob/gyn that u can b comfortable with. luckily i had a good ob/gyn and she understood my situation and so did my high risk dr. I was completely honest. Obviously the best thing for a pregnant woman is to take nothing buut prenatal vitamins but women with chronic pain have t a little harder then "normal pain-free" women. I say nornal because to be in this amount of pain daily is completely unnormal.. in case anyone was curious why i say normal... but i hope that helped you.. I don't know what conveoving means =/
1794671 tn?1338798991
Oh yes, I agree about the 12 being too many also. That is why I continuously keep saying over and over and over again that I want to try lyrica or something simular. I just don't want to go any higher on the opiate ladder.

And also, while pregnant I definitely did not want to take anything different or change my medicine and risk losing my son. I didn't want any hihger opiates mainly because he would be born addicted almost definitely. He was born not addicted THANK THE LORD! but still no reason for any woman to take it while pregnant she should always consult her dr for the best way to deal with chronic pain.

But most importantly, I was given the fentanyl patch and it didn't work, they refused to do a nerve block also because I was pregnant, and there were other dr's that recommended that I stay on what I am on and not switch while pregnant becuase of the changes it would cause and may cause a miscarriage or pre-term labor. If I wasn't preg, then I would understand why you keep going on about how I should be on something else, and I keep telling you that I agree, but it was not the right path for me wile pregnant. Like everyone said above "hope you find pain management that works best for you" becuase I was really only taking the norco and it was so high of a dose.

I feel like the decision that my dr made was a good one my son was born not addicted and he is home and healthy sleeping rihgt next to me. Where if I was on fentanyl or soemthnig stronger I would have not have him right now he would still be in the hospital. I am only saying that the path me and my dr chose was good for me. Now that I have him I can start to get on something that will work better and I can get off so many norco per day and hopefully it will help my pain, The norco every day was working for a long time and I felt like it was good but the past year has been frustrating and my pain got excruciatingly worse so I feel like it is time to try something else. But as far as the 12 per day it was as needed and not a definite dose of exactly 12 per day. I didn't refill anything early most times it was a couple days later.. and I would have a couple left before even going to fill... But that was what written on my bottle was 2-3 every 4-6 hours as needed. My pain was really bad. Through the years it has gotten really bad and I am starting to realize that I do need to me on some sort of management and stop living in denial that one day I will feel normal again.

Normal meaning like I felt before I experienced nerve and muscle pain in my body.
Avatar universal
Thank you for all the advice. I've been watching this conversation and hoping it would relieve my worries. I'm 3 months pregnant and have been diagnosed with an un cure able stomach condition that leaves me in pain everyday. I've been on norco for about 3 years and this pregnancy was a surprise. Good surprise. Lol. My dr and ob decided that it would be better for me to stay on norco instead of being in constant pain. Before being pregnant I was prescribed 8 norcos a day and now I'm down to 4-5 a day, but I am so concerned and feel this overwhelming feeling of guilt. I'm worried I'm doing harm and feel horrible, but the pain is so unbearable most days. Can someone please reassure me. I know that you can't make miracle promises, just some friendly advice. I can't sleep sometimes cuz my mind is running crazy with fear..thank you
How did everything turn out? Was the baby ok after? And if you don't mind were you on them until birth? And what  dosage ?
7721494 tn?1431631564
Lisa, I read this thread  -- do you realize this conversation was finished over 2 years ago?

I couldn't help but notice that the original poster of the thread kept defending her decision to use the Norco during pregnancy. It seemed that she felt her opiate use was being challenged, when in fact her correspondents were trying to caution her against swallowing so much acetaminophen / paracetamol (APAP).

Norco tablets contain 500mg of APAP, and 5mg (or 10 mg) of hydrocodone. In 12 Norco tablets there are 6 grams of APAP and 60 mg of hydrocodone.

Research has shown that people who swallow more than 4g of APAP in a day  tend to develop permanent, irreversible damage to liver cells.

Now, you don't say exactly what it is about your Norco Rx that keeps you up nights, but I'll guess that you're more concerned about the hyrdocodone component of those 4-5 Norco tablets, than you are about the acetaminophen content, but from my perspective, you  have very little to worry about.

Before I go any further, please understand that I am not a licensed physician, and acquired my knowledge of pregnancy indirectly -- by witnessing my wife's three pregnancies during our time as young parents.

Opiate withdrawal can be uncomfortable. A good pain doctor can help manage your baby's withdrawal symptoms and avoid that discomfort so that your baby does not suffer. You'd be smart to set this up early, so that the medication for weaning your baby off hydrocodone is available at birth.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy pregnancy.
Avatar universal
I am 12 weeks pregnant and nobody will give me my medication which is 10mg norco. I am so frustrated. Any advice? I want my baby but can't bear this pain for 7 more months.
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