Avatar universal


4 years ago I started hydrocodone / ib 7.5/200 3 times a day for pain caused by spinal stenosis. It helped allot but another side effect was relieving the moderate depression and anxiety I experienced for 20 years. Unfortunately anti depressants either don't work or have significant side effects. Xanax worked as a temporary relief from anxiety but my doctor wanted me to use Xanax only in an emergency - not a drug for long term use he said as the body gets used to it and unless increased incrementally the positive effects wear off.
Through exercise and four times a year shots in my hip a couple of Aleve now control most of my pain. I still take the hydrocodone at a dose of 7.5mg in the am and half that pill in the pm. ...not only for pain, however, but to relieve my depression. The drug keeps my low energy and depression at bay and that dose has worked now for 2 years. Has anyone heard of hydrocodone at this fairly low dose as an effective and safe anti depressant for some forms of the disease?
Could I be doing myself harm using a pain killer for depression? Since I don't have to increase the dose rather than being dependent on hydrocodone is it positively affecting my body chemistry to level out my depression? I'm 77 and in ok health.
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Avatar universal
In my own personal opinion, you're 77 years old, if the hydro helps you're depression and your doctor doesn't mind prescribing it for you, i wouldn't change a thing.
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710547 tn?1295446030
I feel very strongly that you are doing a great job managing your meds.  The fact that you are not increasing your dosage would seems to indicate that you aren't chasing a "high".  You are merely noticing that some depression and anxiety return after a time off of that very low dose of pain meds.  Psychotropic drugs have many side effects and can be more dangerous for some people than the very low dose of hydrocodone that you are on.

I am not a doctor, much less your doctor.  BUT, based on what you've said, I think you are wise to continue on the path that you're on.  It's working to control your current symptoms and would be predicted to do little long term harm.  Blessings, and best wishes to you.  Jan
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Avatar universal
people say it is a lot harder to give up anti-depressants than opiates. Worse wd's. I agree with your doc and you .. at this point what the ef is the downside?
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Avatar universal
Once I had my pain easing my Doc switched me to the lower dose 7.5 twice a day. That dose worked fine. Then he switched me to a 5.5 dose but I don't react well to Aceto so went back to the 7.5 in the am and half a pill in the pm.
To check its relationship to depression I stopped for a couple of weeks and had no wd symptoms but the lack of energy and anxiety returned slowly. my doc says the dose of hydro is mild and really cant hurt me...probably better than a strong anti depressant.
Can't see the downside...if hyudro helps and I don't need to increase the dose to keep me active (I retired with my wife to running a small horse farm) how is that med any different than cymbalta or an other anxiety or anti depressant?  Honest question, tho, or I wouldn't be on this forum.
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Avatar universal
well it's good advice from larry and i respect it.  However----it is really a different ballgame here larry and i am only 65 but do understand the issues related to aging.  Sooooo---get ready for some reaction here bc but i think if you are telling the truth and the whole truth about the hydrocodone use---and if you are feeling good and no big side effects---then please do not change a thing!!!    
   Larry it could kill him at this age to go thru any kind of wd's ok.
    BC----i can share more with you if you like so post back and let us know you are still breathing HA! (ya know---the age and all!).  Alright post back old man.   omhome
Helpful - 0
1551327 tn?1514045867
First off I give respect anyone who has made it 77 years.  I have only lived 33 and it has been a battle.

I will tell you the truth and see if this can be moved to the addiction forum.  If it does get move look for it under the Adddiction: Substance Abuse forum.

The truth is no it is not a good alternative for dealing with depression.  it does work, if it didn't there wouldn't be as many of us finding ourselves in the cycle of addiction.  I will say that I am glad you found this place and you will find a variety of advise and alot of support.  Coming off of pain medication is dangerous and painful.  You say you are in ok health but I would be afraid to tell you how to cdom off of them if you choose to.  If you were just taking the for physical pain, that would be different but the fact that you stated you were taking themfor emotional pain sends up a red flag.

Anyway with your age, sorry, I am not going to give too much advise as far as whether you should come off of them or not.  Listen to the advise of some of the "veterans" on here but consult your doctor if you decide to come off of these.  It is not an easy road and there is no magic answer.

Hang in there friend,

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