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Avatar universal

pain med side effects

Hello to you all!!
   My previous pcp began treating my chronic back pain in 1999. After falling down the stairs in October 0f 2000, I broke both lower bones in my left leg and had to have surgery. That same year in July, I decided to go through rehab in order to find out what my true pain level might be.I found the pain to be tolerable - so I stayed off the ocycotin. I said all that in order to say this: about 10 days ago I injured my lower back once more. It felt like a huge rubber band snapped. I decided to rest my back in the hope it wouldn't get better on it's own. No such luck. I saw my pcp on 3-13 and she asked me what I wanted to do about the pain. I hadn't a clue - and I although I had no desire to go back on narcotics after all this time - she prescribed me something called, nucynta. It doesn't stop the pain entirely but it helps considerably ... however the side effects are rather aggravating. My heart beats much faster, it interferes with my sleep, and I have insomnia already! I also get quite warm/flushed and nauseous. The worst of the symptoms is the itching. There is no part of me that doesn't itch, despite taking benedryl. I was hoping that it would stop ... no such luck. I finally called my physicians office and left a brief message about what was happening. I guess I'm worried that she will prescribe me something else -- something that doesn't make me itch, but something that won't control my pain as well as this med does.  Do you (all) believe that the itching will only get worse? Also, does anyone have a suggestion regarding what med('s) could mask this pain - without the itching of course. Thank you for taking the time to read this post and respond ... it is most appreciated!! Take care ... :-)
14 Responses
Avatar universal
Ive heard that some people c
Avatar universal
Sorry pressed the wrong button my phone. Complain of itching as a side effect of narcotics. I personally have never experienced it. I haven't heard of the med you are currently taking, I don't know anything about it. I would see if they could find something else for you to try. Maybe something you took before the oxi that worked for you in the past. I hope you get to feeling better. Chronic pain is terrible, I suffer with it in my back and neck.
Avatar universal
Hi Ginger!
   The medication nucynta is also known as tapentadol. I certainly had never heard of it myself either. It's supposedly used to treat moderate to severe pain. I don't think this med is THAT good - but it could just be me. What seems to relieve other peoples pain, just doesn't do the same for me. Plus I'm allergic to darvon, demerol, vicodin, even aspirin ... and the list just keeps growing. Frustrating. It doesn't look as though I am going to hear from my doctor today. What's the point of people leaving messages if no one is going to check to see if they have any? Grrrrrr.
   I am so-o sorry that you have to suffer from chronic pain as well. I hope that you have an understanding doctor. I had a real 'dufus' before the doctor I have currently. Even though I would tell him that it always felt like someone had kicked me ih the back - he would just ignore my pain. He didn't want me on pain meds and I didn't really wish to be on them either - but sometimes there aren't many options left. Thank you for writing to me and you take care of yourself Ginger! Bye for now ...             Slenderthread
Avatar universal
Usually starting a new medication....it takes a few weeks to a month to really give it a good try. It's meant to build up in your system.

The initial dosing is 50mg twice daily, tirated up to a tolerable level.

Then it can be raised to 100mg or 150mg twice a day for a therapeutic level.

Unless you are having emergent symptoms like closing your throat....the itching itself can go away after a few weeks. You can also ask about takng an antihistimine like Benadryl....

So...you may need to be patient to let the Dr. tirate you up slowly the wa he is supposed to.

Many people have found great help relief with this medication....I hope it works for you!!!
363110 tn?1340924019
My back pain was caused by a fall down the stairs 3 1/2 years ago but the doctors can't find anything conclusive on Xrays or other tests even though my pain gets to the point where I can't pick my kids up....

I've been on Nucynta for awhile and at first it made me incredibly tired and I couldn't concentrate on anything, now it helps when I absolutely need it but I do not want to be on narcotic pain meds myself.

It does cause some itching with me. All narcotic pain meds do that to me and the more I take the worse it'll get but I don't break out really bad.

Normally I deal with insomnia myself because of the pain.
With the Nucynta it helps me some but isn't that great..... I just went to pain mgmt and he wants me to start physical therapy since the spinal shots didn't work. my PCP is the one that started me on Nucynta....
1855076 tn?1337118903
Everyone is different as far as what works for pain control and what side effects they experience.  Nucynta is relatively new and isn't used much here.  It's been used in Europe for a very long time.  I've been on just about every medication over the past five years (except methadone) and didn't have great luck.  I am sensitive to medications and it was hard finding something to help the pain with the least side effects.

I was put on Nucynta in January and I've written several posts about my experience with it.  My pain management doctor had not had any patients on Nucynta but had heard good things about it at conferences.  I was open to trying it.  I had extreme side effects to the point that I had to come off it.  They told me initially (doctor and pharmacist) that this med can take two weeks to metabolize in your body.  They also aren't a hundred percent sure how this med works.  It stays in your central nervous system longer than other pain killers.  I will say that it was the best pain relief I had for my nerve pain.  I had been on 75 mcg Fentanyl every 48 hours plus 45 mg of oxycodone every 4 hours as well as Cymbalta and Clonidine for nerve pain with not much relief.

Since I've come off it, I've not had a return of the nerve pain and it's really changed my life.  BUT the 11 days I was on it were horrific.  I've had lots of side effects with medications but nothing as severe and extreme as these.  There is something in this med that definitely ramps you up.  In 11 days the most I got for sleep was 20 minutes a night, and never at one time.  I've never felt like that before.  The side effects got worse by the day.

I'm interested in seeing how other people respond to this medication.  Usually I prefer medications (any, antibiotics, etc.) that have been around for a long time and that all the side effects and withdrawals, etc. are known.

If you feel like this isn't a good medication for you, definitely get in touch with your doctor as soon as you can ... no use in going through the weekend with something that's not helping your pain or causing bad side effects.
Avatar universal
I wanted to thank you for responding to my my concern(s). I have posted in the past and have had no one answer. Perhaps my problems weren't interesting eough! :-)  In any case, thank you  for all your information on nucynta. The itching has eased up considerably already ... I am no longer having the hot 'flashes' or the feeling of nausea any longer. It's a relief, believe me! This med has most definitely brought my pain under control ... otherwise I wouldn't be able to sit long enough to write anything. I have to be careful on the stairs because the nucynta does make me a bit whoozy - but that is a 'price' I can pay for relief. The pain isn't entirely gone, but it is so much better! I wish I hadn't called my doctor's office ... who knows what she may do because I complained about the itching. We shall see.
                                              ~ Take care! ~
Avatar universal
Hi there Mark -
   Since you took the time to leave a message for me, I wanted to thank you
most sincerely for making the effort! I am so sorry for what you are going through. When I fell down the stairs in 2007, I broke both bones in my lower leg. It wasn't a simple break either. I had to have surgery and was stuck in the hospital for a week, what fun!
   I know what it is like to have x-rays,etc. show nothing dramatic going on in your back, although the pain 'says' something quite the opposite. I know it's frustrating and rather depressing - because your life isn't your life as you used to know it. I had the injections also ... they did nothing for me either. I haven't had a problem with sleeping; it could be that I take several different meds at bedtime to make me tired. I suffer from insomnia, but so far the nucynta hasn't interfered with my sleep, something I am most thankful for!
   Your Dr. has referred you to physical therapy ... you'll have to keep in touch and tell me/us how that is working out for you, okay? Personally, I think sending people to chiropractors would help patients more ... but most insurance coverage doesn't allow for it, which is unfortunate. I will be thinking good thoughts for your therapy! Until next time,         Stacy
Avatar universal
Hey there Mary!
   Wow, your body really hated nucynta didn't it?? I'm glad this medication isn't brand new, but it doesn't exactly fill me with confidence when Dr.'s say they don't "know how it works.." During the first 72 hours, when I took the nucynta I had hot flashes, the itching (of course,) my heart raced and I had some trouble actually getting to bed. My body was telling me one thing and my brain the other. It also makes me feel grouchy and intense about things. Knowing that, I just try to be careful with whatever I say so my husband doesn't become a casualty of my med issues!
   Since I left a message at my pcp's on Thursday, I know she's aware that I was having issues. Now the itching has pretty much stopped - so I don't know if she will leave me on nucynta or change me to something else. I can't imagine what she could put me on that would help the pain as much as this does. I don't want to be on anything with acetaminaphen in it. Since my back 'blew out' in 99,' I have been on percocet, morphine and oxycotin. When I finally got myself off everything, the pain was better, but I was (am) still limited with what I can do. Ten days ago I reinjured my lower back ... that's when my Dr. gave me this med. The front desk gal had to call around to find out who actually carried it because my pharmacy did not. My Dr. said: ".. let's just see how this works for you .." Well, so far so good. I don't know if this is something she is planning to keep me on, who knows.
  It's time to get out of this chair and give my back a break. Thank you for all your info. I really appreciate you sharing so much! Take care Mary ...
1855076 tn?1337118903
Even though I had terrible side effects, I'm glad I stuck it out in one way, though I wouldn't want to go through it again.  I am still  having significantly less nerve pain and what nerve pain I do have is confined to my hand, whereas before the pain went into my wrist and at times up to the elbow.  This is the first time in years that I've had this kind of relief.  Everything is easier to do (like driving) though I still have weakness but that's to be expected.

I hope you get continued relief from Nucynta and I hope you'll let us know how things go!
Avatar universal
For whatever reason, my pcp never called me back. Since she is in practice alone - I understand that she is very busy. She takes alot of time with each patient during their office visits.
As far as the nucynta ... I stopped taking the benedryl because (for some reason) the itching stopped over the weekend. I'm grateful for that, believe me! The nucynta IS helping my lower back pain. It doesn't take care of it entirely ... but it's a whole lot better than what it was!
Also, I need to know if it's my imagination, but I am eating more than I usually do. Plus I have been eating sweets! Has anyone ever heard of pain meds causing cravings like this? It goes without saying that I cannot afford to gain weight. That would only put more stress on my back.
You all take care - I am keeping you in my prayers!        Slenderthread ...  
1855076 tn?1337118903
Glad you're getting some pain relief.  When I was put on Fentanyl, I had a really bad craving for sweets.  At that time, I was very conscious of what I ate and went to the gym nearly every day but the Fentanyl really changed my tastes.
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