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Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin Prescription Information

Updated on April 25, 2016

Note: The information provided in this article, and any subsequent questions and answers, are not intended to replace or substitute for the advice of your personal physician.

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WHY WRITE ABOUT THESE DRUGS?

Maybe the title of this article seems a bit strange to you. Why would I write about Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin information?For those who are only infrequently acquainted with pain, or who have never had to consider treatment with narcotics, these drugs may seem unimportant. Worse than that, they may conjure up in your mind stories about drug addiction and abuse, pharmacy robberies, and stolen prescription pads. But for those of us who work in pharmacies (I am a pharmacist), we are aware that questions about these 3 medications are an almost daily occurrence. I give, therefore, the following reasons for specifically writing about Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin:

1) They are very commonly prescribed narcotics for pain. If you have ever had major surgery or even dental work, suffered from bad back pain or headaches, had a serious and painful injury, or have a painful disease or condition like cancer or severe arthritis...you have heard of these drugs. You probably have a bottle of 1 or more of them in your cabinet right now.

2) They are frequently interchanged over time, and thus patients often wonder things like "What is the difference between Oxycontin and Percocet?" Maybe you were wondering that yourself. "Why did they tell me NOT to take Tylenol with Vicodin?" "How come my Oxycontin said 20mg but my Percocet just says 5mg?" Questions like this come up all the time. I would like to help you get some answers.

3) Due to the stigma and image created by the media, I believe many patients are reluctant to ask important questions about these medications. Some people are embarrassed by the fact that they need these pills. They have been made to feel, albeit unintentionally, that they are committing some sort of crime simply by taking Oxycontin, Percocet or Vicodin. You don't want anyone to find out. You are afraid what they might think. By writing about these drugs, hopefully I will be able to answer some of the questions which you may have been unable to ask.

If you are looking for information on FENTANYL CONTAINING prescription drugs, CLICK HERE.

NOTE: THESE MEDICATIONS CAN ONLY BE PRESCRIBED BY A DOCTOR

MORE REASONS TO WRITE ABOUT THESE MEDICATIONS

4) Information on these drugs is not as easy to come by as one might think. Many other prescription drugs have a whole website devoted to information about them. But for a variety of reasons, you will not find the manufacturers to provide any such website for information about these products. I won't go into all the reasons right here, but suffice it to say that doing your own research on these products is far from easy.

5)Finally, I have decided to write about Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin because they are powerful drugs which are dangerous if mis-used, and often have a variety of side effects even when used appropriately. I am grateful for the education and experience I have received as a pharmacist, and consider it a privilege and duty to pass along what I know to help patients use their medication safely and effectively.

The focus of this article will be on PRACTICAL INFORMATION. If you are a pharmacy or medical student, hoping that this article will help you cram for your pharmacology exam, you may be sorely disappointed. You will need to turn to your textbooks for information about the kinetics and mechanisms of these drugs. I want to focus upon REAL life, not the half-life (sorry, that was a bad joke that probably only the students will get...).

I will discuss each of these 3 products individually, and then provide some "Advice and Commentary" information at the end of each section. So, basically, this article looks like this:

I. Oxycontin Information

II. Percocet Information

III. Vicodin Information

OXYCONTIN

Oxycontin is a narcotic pain reliever manufactured by Purdue Pharmaceuticals and is indicated for moderate to severe persistent pain. Oxycontin is not used for pain on an "as needed" basis, but only for pain that needs regular (constant) treatment. In other words, your Oxycontin prescription should NEVER say something like "take as needed for pain." It is only used for pain management that requires regular (in this case every 12 hours) dosing.

  • Active Ingredient: Oxycodone. What is Oxycodone? Well, think of it as a sleeker and stronger version of codeine. It is a synthetic drug. Oxycodone is the ONLY active ingredient in Oxycontin. This is significant. There are other prescription narcotics for pain that contain oxycodonebut Oxycontin is the only "long acting" product with JUST oxycodone. There are, by the way, short-acting products that contain just oxycodone, like "Roxicodone" or "Oxy IR" for example.
  • Note: The fact that Oxycontin has only 1 ingredient is also a reason why dosages of Oxycontin can slowly, and under supervision by you doctor, be raised much higher than with other drugs like Percocet or Vicodin. These other drugs have acetaminophen (Tylenol) which limits the amount that can be safely taken in a single day.
  • Strengths Available: 10mg, 15mg, 20mg, 30mg, 40mg, 60mg, 80mg.
  • Schedule: Oxycontin is a Schedule II Controlled substance. The practical significance of this is that prescriptions for Oxycontin are subjected to more regulations and restrictions than other prescriptions. Schedule II substances have the highest potential for addiction or abuse, so they have to be managed carefully. For example, doctors cannot write refills on an Oxycontin prescription. You must obtain a new prescription every time. They may only be written for a 1 month supply in most circumstances. Additionally, prescriptions for Schedule II drugs need to be hand-written and cannot be phoned in except under special circumstances.
  • Dosing: Oxycontin is designed to be dosed every 12 hours. It is a "slow release" or "timed release" product. It is very important to NEVER break or crush an Oxycotin tablet, as this could cause a dangerous amount of oxycodone to enter your blood stream too quickly.
  • Generics: Oxycontin is not available generically at the moment. There have been some patent issues that have been contested, and there was a generic on the market for a short time. But presently only brand name Oxycontin is available. This product is quite expensive. Maybe your insurance covers it, and so this cost is somewhat hidden to you. But if you have to pay for it yourself, you may want to investigate other options, like immediate release oxycodone, which comes generically and is far more affordable.

General Commentary & Advice: Okay, so here are my thoughts on Oxycontin. Oxycontin is not evil. Yes, it has been the opportunity for some pretty scary stuff. Yes, it is sold on the streets and people use it inappropriately and unsafely. But these facts only remind us that good things can be turned to bad uses. Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.

I advise you to use the lowest effective dose, as this will make stopping the drug easier. Yes, if you do eventually stop taking Oxycontin, you will need to be slowly tapered down so as to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Remember, even caffeine can cause withdrawal symptoms.

Other OTC products for pain, like Tylenol or Advil, can generally be used with Oxycontin if necessary. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to be sure these will not interfere with anything else you are taking.

NEVER crush or chew Oxycontin. NEVER give Oxycontin to someone other than for whom it was prescribed. I don't mean to scare you, but someone who is not used to taking it could die from the same dose that you take safely. This is very serious. Don't do it. Not to mention, doing so is also illegal.

Stick with 1 local pharmacy. Hopping around to different pharmacies and filling prescriptions for Oxycontin looks suspicious. Not only that, but your prescription insurance plan might raise a fuss about this as well.

NEVER allow yourself to run out of Oxycontin before trying to obtain a new prescription. Always discuss with your doctor, or his/her office, exactly how you should obtain your next prescription. If possible, pick it up in person. If they mail it, just be sure you have it in time. Trying to persuade a covering physician to call you in an emergency Oxycontin prescription at 8:30PM at night will NOT be fun...and probably NOT successful.

Never wait until the last minute to fill your Oxycontin prescription. My advice: Have the prescription in your hand and get it filled exactly 5 days before you run out. Not 6 days. 5 days. If you will run out on the 30th of the month, then fill it on the 25th. Most insurance plans will allow you to fill it within 5 days of running out. Also, getting it filled 5 days early allows some "wiggle room" for issues like:

  1. the pharmacy runs out of your strength or..
  2. your insurance company rejects due to the need for prior approval or...
  3. your doctor forgot to write some critical piece of information on the prescription or...
  4. just about anything else!

Organize your medication in a pillbox. It is very easy to forget if you actually took your pill, especially if it is part of your daily routine. You must find some method to remember you took it, and a pill organizer is an easy and effective way to do so.

Finally, keep a pain diary. Write down some reflections on your pain levels every day. Bring this with you to the doctor. Your physician will be better able to help you manage your pain if you have something like this available to show them. Keep it brief and as objective as possible.

PERCOCET

Percocet is a prescription narcotic pain reliever manufactured by Endo Pharmaceuticals. Percocet is used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. Percocet is typically prescribed to treat "acute" (short-term) pain, although it is sometimes prescribed for chronic pain also. Percocet was originally approved for marketing in the U.S. by the FDA in 1976.

  • Active Ingredients: Percocet is a combination drug. It contains 2 active ingredients for pain: Oxycodone and Acetaminophen. Yes, oxycodone is exactly the same oxycodone which you find in Oxycontin (see above). Exactly the same ingredient. And the Acetominophen found in Percocet is exactly the same as you get in the local pharmacy, also known as Tylenol. Exactly the same. So is Percocet just like taking Oxycontin with Tylenol? Not exactly. The difference with Oxycontin is that it is a slow release formulation and dosed only every 12 hours. Percocet is an immediate release product, and is dosed more frequently.

Because Percocet has Acetaminophen (which becomes very dangerous to your liver at high dosages) it is important not to exceed the recommended amount of Percocet in any given day. This is very important! Also, be very careful to not take any other pain reliever that may also contain acetaminophen (like Tylenol, Exedrin, some cold and flu products). As a rule, you do not want to exceed 4,000mg of Acetaminophen per day. This works out to about 6-8 tablets of Percocet maximum per day, depending on the strength you take (see below). Overdosing with Acetaminophen is the second most common cause for liver failure requiring liver transplants in the U.S.A according to a medical review study in 2009.

  • Strengths Available: Percocet is available in the following 6 strengths. These are typically expressed in a way to show the amount of oxycodone on the left and the amount of acetaminophen on the right. Therefore 2.5/325 means 2.5mg of oxycodone per tablet and 325mg of acetaminophen per tablet.
  • 2.5/325
  • 5/325
  • 7.5/325
  • 7.5/500 [DISCONTINUED]
  • 10/325
  • 10/650 [DISCONTINUED]

By far the most frequently prescribed strength of Percocet is 5/325. It is so frequent, that doctors often forget to write the strength on the prescription, assuming that 5/325 is to be understood. However, the strength must be written on the prescription for it to be valid.

  • Schedule: Percocet, like Oxycontin, is a Schedule II Controlled Substance. All the same rules and regulations related to prescribing Schedule II drugs apply to Percocet as to Oxycontin. See the comments above, under Oxycontin, to review those details.
  • Dosing: The usual dosing for Percocet is 1 tablet every 6 hours. This can be adusted up to 2 tablets every 4-6 hours, as long as the total daily dose of Acetaminophen does not exceed 4 grams (4000mg). See the picture below for the dosing chart supplied by the manufacturer.

Percocet Maximum Daily Dose Chart

  • Generics: Unlike Oxycontin, Percocet is available generically. This makes Percocet generally far less expensive and possible a more affordable choice, especially if you do not have a prescription insurance plan. Because you will probably receive the generic Percocet from the pharmacy, you bottle will probably NOT say the word "Percocet" on it. Rather you will have the generic name written in some form or other. Here are some samples of what your generic prescription for Percocet might say for the "name" of your prescription:
  • Roxicet (a generic form of Percocet, manufactured by Roxane Labs in Columbus, OH)
  • Endocet (a generic form of Percocet made by Endo Pharmaceuticals. Yes...the same Endo Pharmaceuticals who make Percocet! Imagine that!)
  • Oxycodone/APAP (APAP is an abbreviation for acetaminophen. The abbreviation is actually derived from the chemical name for actetaminophen, which is N-Acetyl-Para-Amino-Phenol).
  • Side Effects: Percocet, like all narcotic pain relievers, may have certain side effects. Common side effects include lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, constipation and vomiting. Taking your Percocet with food may help reduce stomach irritation. Be sure to drink lots of water to help reduce constipation. An effective OTC remedy for constipation caused by narcotics is Senokot tablets. If you develop hives or a rash, stop your medication immediately and contact your doctor.

 

  • General Advice & Commentary:

Percocet is a powerful painkiller. Be aware that it is likely to cause significant drowsiness. Never drive while taking Percocet until you determine how drowsy it makes you. Never drink alcohol with Percocet, as the added effects of drowsiness and sedation can be dangerous. Also, beware taking other medications which also cause drowsiness, like some antihistamines.

Take your Percocet with food or milk to prevent stomach upset.

Be aware that your Percocet prescription does NOT have refills on it. Additional presciptions must be obtained directly from your doctor. They cannot, ordinarily, call in this prescription to your pharmacy. You must pick it up. Since Percocet is used for short term pain, you may not need additional refills. Be sure to discuss your need for another prescription with your doctor before you actually run out.

Never take more than the recommended dose. Never share your Percocet with someone else. This medication is strong enough to seriously harm someone for whom this medication is not appropriate.

VICODIN VS. NORCO. VS. LORTAB

For a comparison of 3 similar products see my article here:

Vicodin vs. Lortab vs. Norco

VICODIN

Vicodin is the last of our 3 pain relievers I will discuss in this article. Vicodin is used for moderate to moderately severe pain. It is a product of Abbott Pharmaceuticalslocated in Abbott Park, IL. Since it's approval by the FDA in 1984, Vicodin has risen to nearly "celebrity status" amongst pain killers in the U.S. However, the addictive potential of Vicodin has been highlighted by the real-life addiction problem of conservative talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, and the fictional TV character Dr. Gregory House.

  • Active Ingredients: Vicodin, like Percocet, is a combination pain reliever. Vicodin contains 2 ingredients: Hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is a powerful narcotic pain reliever, approximately equal in potency to oxycodone. Additionally, hydrocodone has also been shown to be effective as a cough suppressant, and is included in several prescription cough syups like Hycodan. Acetaminophen is the generic name for Tylenol, exactly the same Tylenol you buy on the shelf at your local pharmacy.
  • Strengths Available: Vicodin, as such, refers to one specific strength, which is 5mg of hydrocodone with 300mg of acetaminophen. On the prescription label this would look like 5/300mg. However, the makers of Vicodin also have provided 2 additional "Vicodin" varieties known as Vicodin ES and Vicodin HP. Here are the strengths of all three products:
  • Vicodin: 5/300
  • Vicodin ES: 7.5/300
  • Vicodin HP: 10/300


  • Schedule: As of October 2014, Vicodin (and all hydrocodone containing products) are now considered Schedule II, just like Percocet and Oxycontin.
  • Dosing: Like Percocet, Vicodin dosing is primarily limited by the amount of acetaminophen that can safely be taken in any given day. The typical dose for Vicodin is 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hours as needed, not to exceed 8 tablets in any given day. For the higher strengths (Vicodin ES and Vicodin HP) you want to keep it down to just 4-5 tablets per day.
  • Generics: Vicodin is available generically. When you bring in your prescription for Vicodin, what you will see on your bottle is probably something like this:

"Hydrocodone/APAP" or "Hydroco/APAP" or something along those lines.

This is the way the generic product is identified. If your bottle says "Vicodin" then you got the brand name product. Is the brand name more effective? No. There is no significant difference between the effectiveness of the generic and the brand. You don't need to pay more to have the word "vicodin" stamped on the pill. It really won't make it work any better.

  • Side Effects: Side effects from Vicodin include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, constipation, vomiting and mental clouding. Taking Vicodin with food or milk should help reduce the irritation to your stomach. More serious side effects like hives or a rash should be immediately addressed with your physician. Stop the medication if you develop a rash.
  • General Advice & Commentary: Okay, just a few things about Vicodin. I will focus on the practical stuff. Never take more than the recommended dose, and never take Vicodin with anything else that already has acetaminophen in it. Seriously. Liver failure is not funny, and acetaminophen overdose is far too common. Also, taking too many and then trying to get your refill early from the pharmacy is a pretty sure way to get yourself pegged as an abuser and a problem. If the Vicodin dose you were prescribed is not working to control your pain, talk to your doctor, don't just eat more pills. If pain is still a problem after taking Vicodin, you can safely use Ibuprofen (unless you have some other condition or medication that would forbid this) with Vicodin until you are able to talk about it with your MD.

As for refills, since Vicodin is now a Schedule II controlled substance, it cannot be refilled. A new prescription must be obtained for every filling of hydrocodone products.

Addiction. Yes, it is possible to become addicted to or dependent on Vicodin. If you have been on it regularly for any length of time, you will need to be slowly tapered off to avoid withdrawal symptoms. But just because you take it regularly, does not mean that you will become a narcotic abuser or criminal. It is strong medicine, but it is also very effective to reduce pain and improve the quality of life for those suffering acutely or chronically.

SOME FINAL THOUGHTS & ADVICE

ALCOHOL USE AND NARCOTICS: Is it safe to have a beer, a glass of wine, or some form of alcohol while taking these medications? Let me lay out the concerns and the issues for you:

#1) Alcohol, like narcotics, depresses the Central Nervous System (CNS). Think of your CNS as sort of like your electrical panel in your home, which controls all the electricity going into and through your house. Knock that out...and you are powerless. Your CNS controls things that you have really gotten used to over the years, like breathing, thinking, and the pumping of your heart. Now...you don't want these to stop. So how much additional CNS depression is safe? There is simply no practical way to answer that question. Will 1 sip kill you? Probably not. In the case of a chronic medication like Oxycontin, your body may develop enough tolerance to allow for an occasional drink. But you should be aware of these risks.

#2) Acetaminophen and Alcohol may not be a good combination for your liver. Notice I said "may not be." I am fully aware that the medical evidence seems to suggest that 1 or 2 drinks does not likely pose a threat to the liver of an otherwise healthy, non-alcoholic, individual who takes acetaminophen. Fine. If it were me, and I could, I would skip the Vicodin or Percocet if i intended to have a drink. I'm not laying down a law...just giving my advice.

#3) Driving. Don't do it. If you chose to have a drink, and you also are taking Oxycontin, Vicodin or Percocet...don't drive. Please. There is no way to know for sure you can safely operate a vehicle. Your life and the lives of others are at risk.

COST CONCERNS: Some strengths of Oxycontin are available generically, but not all. Generics of Percocet and Vicodin are available, but they may not be strong enough to manage your pain. One alternative, if cost is a problem, is to ask your doctor about OxyIR which is an "immediate release" formulation of oxycodone. You will need to take more pills, and need to take them more often, but the cost is substantially less. You might also talk to your doctor about switching to something different altogether, like a long-acting morphine product (e.g. MS Contin).

ADDICTION: Addiction to pain killers is not uncommon. In an ABC new report several years ago, Fred Berger, Medical Director of a Drug Rehab Center in CA was quoted as saying "What makes opioids — the class of common pain drugs like Oxycontin and Vicodin — effective pain relievers is also what makes them so highly addictive..."

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    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Excellent information for people with chronic conditions that must take pain medication. Great hub.

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      Jason Poquette 7 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Pamela99,

      Glad you found the information to be helpful. Thanks for the kind words.

      Blessings,

      Jason

    • profile image

      Barb 7 years ago

      WOW, this was GREAT information!! So much of this information addressed my concerns. Thank you so much!

    • pharmacist profile image
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      Jason Poquette 7 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Glad the information was helpful Barb! Thanks for the comment. Take care!

    • marketingplan profile image

      marketingplan 7 years ago from New Zealand

      A very good and well thought of hub. It's a resource I would share with others.

    • pharmacist profile image
      Author

      Jason Poquette 7 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      marketingplan,

      Thanks for reading and for the comment. Welcome to Hubpages!!

    • profile image

      Clarissa 7 years ago

      I would like to say thank you for sharing your information with us all who have to be on some of these narcotics for (pain). I have been on several pain relievers over the last 5 yrs, after having two back surgeries. The 1st, for a ruptured disc in my L5-S1 and the sugeron did not fuse it. After about four yrs again my disc ruptured at the L5-S1 only this time my main nerve tingled around the disc leaving me bedfast, for 8 mo's not being able to walk, stand, or sit up. I couldn't even roll myself over and was in constant 24 hr pain that was so unreal its hard to express as it was so unbearable as if lightening was going thru my veins. They thought i'd never walk again, thank God he raised me up to walk again! If only for 30 to 50 feet I'm not flat on my back. And I can only stand in one spot for only two mins, but I said all this because I seen your a believer in Christ Jesus as I am, and wanted to share that God still heals today. I know I still have severe problems from my spine down to my feet and I have been on pain medicines because I live with daily pain that is still quite severe. I was on on Percocet and got off them and got on the fentanyl patch 25 mcg, I still get the percocet but for emergancy back up in case the patch isn't enough but I am very well known to narcotics, and don't like to be on so much drugs to altar the mind so I only do the patch at its low dosage. I would like to get off the patch as I have some worrie about them, one they are known to cause people to die I hear from reports and 2, they cause mood swings, sweats, irratable, and would like to know how you suggest me to lower them to get off them, and would you suggest moraphene and what dosage I do not want to get hooked on it or any other drugs like I am these patches. But I know I have such severe pain that is constant I have to take a narcodics. Can you help?

      Thank you sincerely, CH~

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      Jason Poquette 7 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Clarissa,

      Thanks for reading and for your comments. In medicine, as with life, we sometimes must choose between the lesser of two evils. The patch has some risks, but deaths have been primarily due to intentional - or rarely - accidental overdosages. The other side effects you mention are a concern, however switching medications may not necessarily improve these. If low dose fentanyl is working, and your doctor believes it is safe for you, it may be something to try and stick with. You may also decide to get another doctor's opinion, which is always a good idea if possible. Alternative therapies, like chiropractic, may be another option to consider. Morphine carries many similar risks, and may actually be considered riskier for some people. You don't want to jump from the frying pan into the fire. I do sincerely hope that you can find a solution that improves your quality of life. Very glad to hear you have faith, and therefore the hope of a much better life to come. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful. Happy to answer any further questions you may have.

    • C Hoss profile image

      C Hoss 7 years ago from Kansas

      Well you helped me decide to stick with the fentanyl patch i've been on for five yrs, but still if I was to ever come off them can you share how to wein myself off them? Would I cut them in half or how would I go about getting off them? Thanks I appericiate your help~

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      Jason Poquette 7 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi C Hoss,

      They make a 12.5 mcg patch, so you would go to this strength. The patches cannot be cut, as it compromises the release mechanism. After going down to 12.5mcg every 3 days, you should be able to discontinue safely, but always check with your doctor. If withdrawl symptoms become a problem, they could give you a low dose prescription for a narcotic tablet, like vicodin, to help with the process. Then you can continue to taper off the pills. All of this, of course, should only be done with your doctor's direction. Best wishes!

    • profile image

      mountaingirl1995 7 years ago

      Hey! I have fibromyalgia and have been on Oxycontin for 3 yrs. I have some questions and would really appreciate any info/advice. Can OC cause a feeling of tightening or swelling of the throat? Secondly, can a patient develop an allergy to OC even though they have taken it for 3 years? Lastly, if I want to try to detox at home, would you recommend a taper or a cold turkey (I'm on 40mg OC/day) I would appreciate your help!!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 7 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Thank you for a great, well-written, plain and clear English article! (Now if only lawyers could learn plain English! LOL) My husband and I both take Vicodin in its generic 'clothing' (dosed as PRN) and now I understand how the numbers indicate the strength of each included medication.

      Now, I won't have any more problems trying to remember which is the more recent (stronger) prescription, since the date on the bottle is just the fill date, and not the original prescription date.

      I will follow you, and look for more articles like this one. Specifically, I wonder if you can address phenobarbitol?

      We have a cat with epilepsy, and she is on phenobarb to control her seizures. It, is, I gather, also a controlled substance, as I have to sign for her refills at the phamacy. However, I am allowed to phone in for a refill, and she only needs a new 'scrip from the veterinarian anually.

      (She is also on Valium, (or a similar-perhaphs generic?--labeled as Diazepam) which I get directly from the vet, but she is not allowed to carry the phenobarbitol..I have to go to a "people" pharmacy for that...I wonder why? We live in CA--maybe that is one of those state law things?)

    • mysterylady 89 profile image

      mysterylady 89 7 years ago from Florida

      You have written an excellent hub. It is well developed, easy to understand, and quite helpful. Thank you!

    • pharmacist profile image
      Author

      Jason Poquette 7 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Mountaingirl,

      Thanks for your kind words and good questions. I will try to answer them briefly. 1. Tightening or swelling of the throat is possible with many meds, including OC, and should be addressed with your MD. 2. Yes, you can develop an allergy after many years, however, it is not very common. Other possible causes would probably be looked into first. 3. Yes, definitely a tapering dose would be recommended, as scheduled by your MD.

      I sincerely hope you get the answers you are looking for. Thanks again for reading!!

    • pharmacist profile image
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      Jason Poquette 7 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      DzyMsLizzy,

      So glad the information is useful to you! Yes, plain and clear English is somewhat of an old language, hardly spoken any more! :)

      Each state has their own laws with respect to controlled substances, though there are some Federal Laws (e.g. the Federal Controlled Substance Act) that all states must be compliant with. Phenobarbital (Pb) is a controlled substance (schedule IV to be exact). It is, therefore, "less" controlled than say Percocet (schedule II) and Vicodin (schedule III). Valium is also schedule IV. I imagine the state also regulates what a Vet can carry in their office, so I am not surprised that they do not stock Valium. Again...thanks for reading and commenting!!

    • pharmacist profile image
      Author

      Jason Poquette 7 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      mysterylady,

      Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate the comments.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 7 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Thanks for your reply & clarifying that. (Although, it's actually the other way around.. the Vailum I do get from the vet--it's the Pb she's not allowed to stock) ;-)

      Thanks again!

    • blackhatworld profile image

      blackhatworld 7 years ago from Belize

      very nice and you got loads of information for the readers. thank you and good luck on your hubpages.

    • pharmacist profile image
      Author

      Jason Poquette 7 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      blackhatworld,

      Thanks for the compliment! Best wishes to you as well my friend.

    • profile image

      lil 7 years ago

      hi i live i austrlia i also have fibromyaliga and depression and anxiety im am on painadeine forte 8 tabs a day but find thay are not controlling my pain , only taking the edge off and making it possible to function but am always in alot of pain after everything i do , what would be the best way to tell my md tha they arent controlling my pain thank u

    • pharmacist profile image
      Author

      Jason Poquette 7 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi lil,

      Personally I think one of the best things you can do, to help talk with your doctor, is keep a pain journal. It is often far more effective at communicating our pain. You can use it to keep track of your meds too. A sample of such a journal is found here: http://www.healthinaging.org/public_education/pain...

    • profile image

      jasper420 6 years ago

      Thankyou so much for your info and persepective on theese drugs

    • pharmacist profile image
      Author

      Jason Poquette 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Jasper420,

      Thanks for reading and for your comments!

    • pharmacist profile image
      Author

      Jason Poquette 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Tired of pain,

      The law does not spell out exactly when a refill can be obtained. Insurance companies usually require you to wait until about 5 days before you run out, on a 30 day supply. Some doctors insist you wait until the last day so as to prevent any mis-use of the drug. On a 15 day supply, you probably need to wait until about 2 days before you run out to get it refilled at most pharmacies. That is just a guess, and would depend on insurance and possibly other issues. Hope that helps!

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      lisalan 6 years ago

      Hi, I have read all your posts and found it very informative. I have Fibromyalgia and take Lyrica, it has changed my life. I also take Cymbalta which is for depression and also FDA approved for Fibromyalgia. So my life got better from these medications until I fell this past winter. Other that these medications I rarely have used any narcotic pain medications. I went to my family doctor after an MRI showed 2 herniated discs at L4 and L5. He prescribed hydrocodone. Just a 2 week supply. I am not a reagular drinker. As a matter of fact I don't even drink every year...lol. Well, in that 2 weeks I had a friend that had a birthday party at a bar and I drank. I drank too much. I did not take my prescription on that day because I knew I was going to drink. My stomach hurt really bad after drinking for 2 days so I went to the ER. I was scared I had pancreatitis. Well I feel that honesty is the best policy and I told the attending physician I had drank heavily 2 days before. Well, my doctor understandably said he would not prescribe them any longer. I have had pain injections and that only worked for a short time and have been living in constant pain for months now. Sometimes the pain is so bad my legs will twitch and my left foots toes pull down in a painful cramp. I cant stand long I cant sit long and I cant sleep for more than a few hours because when I turn over I wake up. I have gone to the ER 3 times in the last 2 weeks and the doctor gave me a shot of tordol and when I said I was still in severe pain, every time they say... I'm not prescribing narcotics! I never asked for them, just help with my pain. Is there anything I can ask for that is not narcotic that can help severe pain? I am desperate. I can't stand the pain and fear I will not be able to go on like this much longer. Right now I take 800 mg of Ibuprofen and 2 extra strength Tylenol every 4 to 6 hours.

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      Jason Poquette 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      lisalan,

      Sorry for the delayed response. I have been on vacation and away from my computer. There are many non-narcotic options for pain like Lidoderm patches, Voltaren gel, Flector Patches, Celebrex, muscle relaxers, etc. However, it is impossible to say if they will be strong enough for your pain. If your previous doctor does not feel comfortable with prescribing them, then you may need to seek another specialist. The ER is not the best way to handle your pain episodes, as it is sometimes perceived as an attempt to avoid seeing a regular physician. Ask friends or find a local discussion board for advice about a good pain clinic near by. Best wishes!

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      Dawnna 6 years ago

      I found this to be very helpful, I currently take Darvocet as a long term pain med, I try not to take it at every turn because Im fearful of addiction. I suffered a Brain Anuerysm and as a result I have painful headaches so Im thankful for any info on this drug. I also take xanax which scares the heck out of me so I almost never take it help!

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      Jason Poquette 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Dawnna,

      Darvocet is a combination of propoxyphene and acetaminophen (aka Tylenol). Propoxyphene is a "weak" narcotic for pain. Addiction is possible, but less likely than with stronger narcotics. The greater concern is usually the Tylenol component. In Darvocet there is 650mg of Tylenol per tablet. That is a lot, and therefore it should be used sparingly (less than 6 tablets per day). Avoiding alcohol is also important while using Darvocet. Xanax can be addictive, but using it just occassionaly should be fine. Best wishes.

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      Veth 6 years ago

      I am recovering from foot surgery, have reduced my vicodin use quickly over the week. But today I must have overdone it. I tool a vicodin an hour ago and the pain won't stop; I need to sleep. How long do I have to wait to take one percocet (left over from my sciatca)?

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      Jason Poquette 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Veth,

      Its always best to check with your personal physician, as such questions which seem simple "could" be complicated by other factors unknown to me. But...if you are an otherwise healthy adult male and you took only 1 Vicodin, you could take 1 Percocet now. Otherwise, normally, best to wait 4 hours between doses. Hope the foot gets better!

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      Judicastro 6 years ago from birmingham, Alabama

      Very informative thank you. It has answered a lot of my questions.

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      Jason Poquette 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Judicastro,

      You're welcome. Thanks for reading!

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      Jillian Barclay 6 years ago from California, USA

      Thank you, Pharmacist! I take meds for a chronic pain condition. I am 57 years old and never experimented with drugs when I was young and now at my age feel so guilty about having to take narcotics. You have helped me feel less guilt about having an illness that requires the use of these medications. I keep a small notebook near my meds and whenever I take them, I write down the time and what was taken. It really helps so that I don't make any mistakes and would recommend this to others. Thank you again.

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      Jenna 6 years ago

      I just wanted to comment and say I really liked this piece you wrote. I know you wrote it several months ago but I have personally been dealing with the issue of being embarred and feeling ashamed because of the fact that I have been taking lorecet 10 for approx 5 years and I'm only (ust now turning 30 years old. I know deep down I need the medication but I feel horrible guilt every month I fill it and every time I take a dose. I suffered a massive stroke ans since the have horrible migrains and nausiating pain in vmy neck and shoulders. Believe it or not sometimes the vicodin doesn't even phase my pain but I feel and have too much resentment and guilt to take or try anything stronger!!! Again thanks for the information, nice knowing there are understanding and caring medical professionals out there. Jenna from Northern KY.

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      Jason Poquette 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Jenna,

      Thank you for the kind words. I am sorry to hear about your pain. Keep a careful log of your daily pain experiences and use this to discuss your needs with your doctor. You sound like a good patient, and I'm sure your doctor understands your situation. Hang in there. Let me know if I can help you.

      Very sincerely,

      Jason

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      Carol 6 years ago

      I have a question about Oxycontin. I am currently taking 30 mg of oxy 3 x per day and have been for 7 days. I don't like how I feel and have been panicking on it.(I have trouble with new meds) I want to go back on my compound vicodin medication which is a special compound my doc works with a pharmacy to make. It is a 20/80 per pill and is extended release.(20 mg of hydrocodone and 80 mg of tylenol) I take one of these every 6 hours 4 x a day. My question is how long do I have to be off the oxy before I can go back to my regular medicene? I have quite a bit of pain so I am of course hoping to get back to normal as soon as possible and am worrying about withdrawal from the oxy. I have a call into my doc but they take time to get back with us.....

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      Jason Poquette 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Carol,

      Oxycontin doses last about 12 hours. Therefore, normally speaking, a person could begin a different narcotic for pain at the time when the next dose of Oxycontin would have been due. Of course, this should always be done under the advice and direction of a physician. Withdrawl should not be an issue if Vicodin is replacing the Oxycontin. Hope it works out for you.

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      kerry 6 years ago

      Is it possible to develop an allergy to vicodin? I have been taking it off and on for low back and hip pain for about a year. I only need to take now when my cortisone shots wear off. shots last about 2 1/2 months, and i can get 3 a year. this last time my vicodin made me more itchy then usual. Then i have been getting hives in the pm about 2 hours after my evening dose. have also had occasional lip swell and cheek swelling.i have had vague itch with previous doses over the past year but not as bad as it is now. i do have a history with the hives/swelling (and digestive problems) which turned out to be a gluten intolerance. i have been gluten free for 2 years now and all the above things went away. right now the only thing different is i have been taking the vicodin for the last 9 days.

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      Jason Poquette 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Kerry,

      Allergies to medications can develop at almost any time. Your symptoms should be evaluated by your doctor. Given your history with allergies, it may require some testing to really get a good answer. Best wishes.

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      ad9488 6 years ago

      vicodin 5/500 2 of them every 4 hours ok I take about 6 a day one day I only took 4 and I have 8 left when can I refill. I had 60 10 days ago now 8.

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      Jason Poquette 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      HI ad9488,

      If the prescription has refills, it may be able to be filled now. Call the pharmacy to check. Best wishes!

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      brrrr in mn 6 years ago

      I really thank you for stating there are people who have pain,not everyone on these are drug abusers. I am a born again believer of Jesus & am so shamed about these stupid pills that trully do control my life. I was in a car acc in 04, the last almost 3 yrs now I've been on a series of meds. I hate it,but I have 3 little ones who need me to at least move around to help them,not to mention just life or other trials that show up. I know it didn't take long for my body to become addicted to the meds,I hate that part. I feel as if I'm serving 2 Gods. Right away in the morn I say oh great,here's the pain,instead of praising my Maker. They are needed & obviously God gave us wisdom how to create medicine,we just need to be the wise ones on how we use them. Thank you for letting others see,these are for pain management,not to get high. Thanks again! Cold mn

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      Jason Poquette 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      brrrrr in mn,

      You are not alone. And you are very welcome. May the Lord continue to give you grace to bear this trial, knowing always that His strength is made perfect in our weakness. He does, as you seem to understand, "nothing without cause" (Ez. 14:23). Blessings!

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      Scott Quick 6 years ago

      I have LDDD, CDDD, arthritis in my lower back and right knee & fibromylgia...and I can't even get my new Doctor to give me tramadol??? How are you people getting oxycotin with (just) fibromyalgia. Is it because of the state I live in (West Virginia)? 25 years of seeing doctors about my back pain, and I can't even get tramadol??? I hope my old Doctor hurries up and opens up his new office! Any suggestions on how to get medicine that actually works? They tell me about the addiction part and throw muscle relaxers and anti-inflamatories at me. They don't seem to care that they don't work and they have lots of side effects. Are they worried that the DEA are gonna take their license away for giving a person with all the above problems a narcotic? People with pain are treated horribly even with a diagnosis! I'm even afraid to ask for darvocet or a tylenol 3!

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      Jason Poquette 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Scott,

      Typically your best resources are friends/family in the area you live in for advice on a good doctor to see. Some are hesitant, but if you have a long history with pain and pain medications, you should be able to bring your records to your new doctor. If you have a good relationship with a local pharmacist, you may be able to get some advice from him/her about who to see.

      Best wishes!

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      Scott Quick 6 years ago

      Thanks, but family & friends thinks someone would be asking them "hey man, how can I score drugs!"

      As I say, a person with pain is treated as a street dealer. Just because a few of them choose to take "bio-flex" or whatever doesn't mean I choose that. It's my body and I choose the real thing after 25 years! I really do wish I could go to Walmart in the vitaman section then pick up some ibuprofen and get the help that I do from "real medicine", but it doesn't work! Besides, I chose Chiropractors & NOT taking anything that required a prescription for 20 of those years, but that kind of effort & NOT "pill shopping" got me nowhere & nothing.

      I really can't even imagine a Pharmacist helping me with a Doctor! That's why I think it must be different here in WV.

      Too many D.O.'s is another thing!

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      Scott Quick 6 years ago

      Sorry, but I didn't finish.

      I live a hop, skip & jump from the est Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and I'm really tired of DO's!!! I'll take an M.D. any ole day now.

      In your experience, are M.D.'s more 'sympathetic' than D.O.'s? I also think male doctors are more understinging about pain than female doctors.

      All of what I listed above PLUS more that hasn't been diagnosed yet and I had (and now have) a female D.O. start lecturing me about how the whole country is deficent of vitamen E???

      Holy God you gotta be kidding me!

      ...but thanks for listening & thanks for trying to help people. I wish there were more people like you.

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      Michelle 6 years ago

      Hi,

      I was reading mainly about the alcohol usage with percocet 5/325, I recently got certified, but don't know every cII rule, this patient came to our pharmacy (he is a regular of cII's) but he was really intoxicated, and he used his friends license to drop/pick up his percocet, my question is he was really drunk, to the point where I was a few feet away and he smelled like alcohol, but the pharmacist filled his percocet.......is that illegal? Because it didn't sit well with me...no license, and completely intoxicated...what should I do?

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      Michelle 6 years ago

      By the way you are excellent at explaining, I can tell you care and love to help people:) , we really do need a million more of you:) thank you

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      Jason Poquette 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Michelle,

      Very good question. I'm not sure I totally understand how/why he used a friend's license to fill his own Percocet. But as far as the pharmacists' responsibility toward an intoxicated patient...there is no easy answer. The is no law, per se, that forbids an intoxicated person from picking up a prescription. I know that sounds crazy. But if the pharmacist seeks to act on the assumption that they are legally drunk, and they are wrong, they could be in a lot of trouble. Personally, if I were in that situation, I would call the local police and let them handle it. I recommend all pharmacists have a good relationship with the local police department. They will help you many times in your career. But you do have to be careful. It is a hard call. Some diseases can make a person appear and/or smell drunk when they are not. Some pharmacies have policies about NOT involving the police due to concerns about a law suit. As you can imagine, it can get sticky quickly. A good relationship with our patients is important in these situations. We may need to just say at times..."can I talk to you, I think you may need some help?" The profession needs to return to being human again. But that is the topic for an entirely different article...

      Thanks again!

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      Catherine R. 6 years ago

      Dear Pharmacist,

      You are a man of faith, very intelligent and good-looking. Are you married? :-)

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      Michelle 6 years ago

      He used his friends license, because well he had an ignition interlock, (ignition interlock license) and he lost it completely, shortly after getting it. I know what you mean about assuming/lawsuits/cops but I felt a bit scared for the individual, anything can happen. thank you for your reply:)

      We have had a few pharmacists, but they hate our pharmacy:( but this pharmacist hands out "pills" like candy, everything from simvastatin to aricept to controls, and he wonders why our counts are off, I'm just trying to stay above water, to get enough experience and apply some place else, HE CREATES SO MUCH UNNECESSARY WORK FOR US AND TO TOP IT OFF HE WILL NOT LIFT A FINGER TO HELP...

      THANK U FOR LETTING ME VENT.

      AGAIN I APPRECIATE EVERYTHING:) btw I. Agree w/catherine r.

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      Jason Poquette 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Yes, I am VERY happily married. Thank you. :)

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      Michelle 6 years ago

      Lol I didn't mean the married part, I meant intelligent, I. Am, happy as well . But thanks for all ur advice.

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      Mologony 6 years ago

      Thank you for the great information. I have a quick question. For the past 2 months i've had horrible lower back pain that has kept me from getting sleep and working. This past Monday I got checked out by the family doctor and after not being able to find the cause of the pain he told me to send a physical therapist and in the meantime gave me 15 7.5mg vicodins and 21 Skellaxin 800mg for the pain. Didn't put any refills on it and i've been taking two vicodin a day just to get by... ANYWAYS, long story short I know that come Monday ill run out and once again be in pain... but dread calling to ask for a refill simply because I'm a young male asking for narcotics. Also, the physical therapy has been helping most definitely, but I still have great amount of pain during a work shift. HOW CAN I ASK FOR A REFILL WITHOUT HAVING TO FEEL LIKE IM BEING TREATED AS AN ADDICT? thank you!

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      Jason Poquette 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Mologony,

      My suggestion would be to call your GP back and ask to set up a "follow up" appointment to evaluate the physical therapy. Also, explain that the medication has been helpful, and ask if they would renew the prescription until your next appointment, at which point you could discuss discontinuing it if the PT is working. Neither you nor your doctor wants you hooked on them, so continue to use them sparingly. Best wishes!

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 6 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Very complete information on these medications for pain.

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      Jason Poquette 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      L.L. Woodward,

      Thanks for reading. I appreciate your comments. Best wishes!

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      dsmythe 6 years ago

      Excellent post! Many people I know are hooked on pain killers. It's very sad to see some of my best friends who I have known for ever be transformed into someone I don't even know. Kids think that prescription drugs are ok since they are being prescribed but they do not see the effects it has on people in the long run. It is a serious addiction and WILL take over your life if abused. Sorry for going on but this subject affects me as I've seen what it does to people. Thank you for posting this.

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      Jason Poquette 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      weezy,

      The quantity that can be dispensed of a Schedule II narcotic (like Percocet) is determined by State law. Each state has their own regulations that restrict how much may be dispensed. Typically...it is a 1 month supply. But there may also be restrictions on the number of tablets allowed per fill.

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      amtricia 6 years ago

      Thank you for your straightforward information. I have been taking Percocet 5/325 for a few months for neck pain caused by arthritic facet joints. I use ibuprofen during the day to manage the pain, but in the afternoon/evening I need to take the percocet in order to relieve the pain. My question is regarding withdrawal. Will taking one (and sometimes two) tablet per day cause withdrawal symptoms? I ran out of medication yesterday and have been nauseated all day today. I was not sure if I may have the stomach virus that my 2 year-old just had or if the percocet is the problem. Thank you!

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      Jason Poquette 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      amtricia,

      1-2 daily is a pretty low dose, but withdrawal symptoms are still possible if you have been on this for a while. Insomnia and tremors sometimes occur. Nausea could be a symptom, but could also be the virus. Hard to say. If it persists, see your doctor for sure.

      Best wishes!

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      Gary Lane 6 years ago

      Other than the obvious pain related symptoms, Why is my doctor telling me i have to come back every 30 days to get a refill of Hydrocodone/APAP 10/325 x 30, Is he just wanting the office visit money or is their a law stating this? I have asked several times wanting a month or 2 because am retired and travel a lot and this just grounds me to his office every month.

      Thanks for your time.

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      Jason Poquette 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Gary,

      State laws dictate some of the rules about Schedule III Narcotics (like the one you mention). Also, some doctor's do not feel comfortable putting refills on narcotics because they can easily get over-used and a patient may sometimes be unaware that they are taking too much. If I were you I would ask. Next time you see him/her ask if they could put a couple refills on the prescription because your schedule is going to be extra busy. Then just be sure not to use too many...and maybe they will do it again. :)

      Best wishes!

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      Eddie 6 years ago

      Thanks for the great info from a reliable source. I'm having orthoscopic knee surgery and they wrote a prescription for Vicodin. I took oxycodone after my shoulder surgery and it really messed with me and swore I would never take it again. That's why the Doc wrote for vicodin. Since it has Tylenol in it why wouldn't I just take extra strength Tylenol. It's easier on my stomach. Anyway thanks for the very useful info. Great site to have available for people.

      Eddie

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      Jason Poquette 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Eddie,

      Good question. You are right, Vicodin does have tylenol (acetaminophen) in it. The very same tylenol you can buy without a prescrition. BUT it also has 5mg of Hydrocodone in each tablet. This is a much more potent pain killer, in the narcotic family. If the Tylenol you buy without a prescription works for you...then use it. But just don't use it in addition to Vicodin, as that would be too much tylenol in your system. Take care!

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      Emma 6 years ago from Houston TX

      An educating and interesting hub that really exposed my knowledge to the things i have already forgotten.thanks for sharing this article.

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      Sonja Sheila 6 years ago from Germany

      Great Hub very useful information sharing..

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      Karen 6 years ago

      Hello

      This is great information but I do have a question that I have wanted answered for years and I am scared to ask my doctor or phamacist because of the stigma of being hooked on Oxycontin and Percocet. I have MS and my doctor gives me 100 pills/ 4 times a day. That would mean I am allowed to refill them after 25 days but on all of my prescriptions she says PLEASE REFILL EVERY 30 DAYS!. Why is it 30 days and not 25 when she knows I take it as prescribed?

      Thanks ever so much!

    • pharmacist profile image
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      Jason Poquette 6 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hello Karen,

      Well, your question is perfectly normal, and I don't have a good answer. It is possible that your doctor means you to take 1 tablet UP TO 4 times daily (in other words...he/she expects that SOME days you try to get by on 2-3 tablets). Thus...they expect you to make the 100 pills last 30 days. That would be make sense, and is likely what they mean. But I can't say for sure. If they truly expect you to take 4 a day...then the math is a bit off...and you shouldn't be afraid to ask about it.

      Best wishes!

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      scott 5 years ago

      Thank you sir for all the great info I am on 20mg oxycontin for cronic pain also vicodin10/660 i take one of each twice dalily and it has helped me so much because of the cost i get them thru a cvs mail in pharmacy and i get 90 day supply for less than even a 30 day supply thru my regular pharacy it has be twice now i have run out for a few days and boy am i misserable other than that i dont feel high on them or anything just that they take 95 % of my pain away and I thank God for them I just wanted people to know to check into the mail in Pharmacys you can get 90 day supplys if your doctor agrees it is nice not having to go every month plus like i said they are so much cheaper I praise God for men like you that answer questions for people other wise we just would not know Thank you so much Sir And May God truly bless you and your family Sir Sincerely scott

    • Richard83 profile image

      Richard83 5 years ago from West Virginia

      What a great piece you have here. I live in West Virginia. I see so many people that abuse these pills. They are constantly on the streets. But here is the catch. Those of us that need the medication can't get it because of this fact. My grandpa, whom is 76, broke his leg a few years ago. He basically has never took pills, other then tylenol. He went to the local ER, where he was written motrin. I know this is an inflamatory pill I believe. He endured the pain for the weekkend until he could go back to his regular doctor. This is just an example. I know the doctors have a constant worry everytime they write a script these days. I just can't see how they can get the blame if someone sells them or overdoses. As long as the paperwork is there to back the case study up, I can't see how they would be responsible for such events. Also, if you don't mind, do you know how I can retrieve pharmacy records from 1998? Sorry for the bother. Best regards, Richard.

    • profile image

      Kevin Motay 5 years ago

      All right.

      If god healed you, why did you need to bother the Doctors?

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      @ Scott - Thanks for the kind words brother.

      @ Richard83 - Most pharmacies keep their records pretty much forever, so you should be able to get them directly from the pharmacy.

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      Sun-Girl 5 years ago from Nigeria

      Excellent article which i found to be very informative.

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      Jersey  5 years ago

      Excellent article. I have a question you may be able to help me with. I don't even know where to find the laws. I take 7.5/325 perocet 4 times daily for chronic pain from my Crohns Disease from my GI doctor. I have been on this for almost 3 years now. I was also in a car accident recently and have torn ligaments in my right knee, back and neck pain. My pain managmentment doctor prescribed me perocet 10/325. I filled both the prescriptions at my local drugstore for 2 months. Today the pharmacist said I was doing something against federal law. I was angry and insulted. The perscriptions are for two different medical reasons. Depending on how active I am depends if I need to take the additional pills. How do I find out what my rights are? I am never high or abuse the medicine. I am fully functioning, driving, working and taking care of my 3 children. I know how understanding you are from your article but I still feel the need to explain myself. I would be bed-ridden if not for my medication. These medications are necessary for some of us.

    • profile image

      Jersey  5 years ago

      I guess I also should have mentioned that I know it sounds strange two different dosages of the same pain medication but as your article talks about, there are so many side affects and I don't have any with the percocet. So why would I want another pain medicine, risk side affects, just to have it called by a different name.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Jersey,

      My professional opinion is that 2 different Percocet prescriptions for 2 different strengths from 2 different doctors is a recipe for disaster. I do not believe it is "illegal" from a Federal Law perspective, however the pharmacist also has to comply with local State laws and also is responsible for overseeing all the prescribing issues and risks this involves.

      In my opinion you need to get 1 doctor to handle your Percocet needs. If they write for a 5mg prescription, then you could taper that up or down depending on your daily pain needs.

      Best wishes!

      Jason

    • profile image

      Jason K. 5 years ago

      Hello,

      I had a question in regards to a Vicodin prescription. My wife and I are leaving on a plane tomorrow and will be training for new jobs out of state for 3 weeks. She has gall bladder stones and we currently have a prescription for Vicodin that we will be taking with us in case she needs it. She still has 5 Vicodin from her last prescription but if she needs to fill the new script is it possible in another state?

      I wasn't sure if a pharmacist at a chain drug store would fill an out of state script for Vicodin or not. Thanks in advance!

      Jason K.

    • pharmacist profile image
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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Jason K,

      Most states allow for the filling of out-of-state prescriptions for vicodin. Here are some tips. 1) If you usually go to a chain, try to go to that same chain to fill your vicodin. They will see your records and know this is something you fill regularly. 2) Drop the prescription off early in the day and explain that you understand they may need to call to verify it. 3) Have an ID and your insurance card.

      Best wishes!

    • profile image

      Rick P 5 years ago

      Thanks for the good information. Your time and energy is much appreciated. I have been a bit of a social drinker for most my adult life. However recently a beer (even looking at a cold one--No Kidding) makes my stomach turn. I mean I get 3/4's sick having just a sip of a drink. Easy fix, just do not drink at all. Do not need it. But have you ever heard of such a thing?I have been taking a narcotic for back pain for about 5 years. Now taking 240mg/day of Oxcontin. What do you think? Am i heading down a dead end street. Still have some pain but I know that is on the higher end of pain medication. Ever heard of not being able to look at something and get a bit ill? Unbelieveable but true. What do you think?

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Rick,

      Happy to provide the info.

      I'm not a doctor, and so I cannot really begin to assess the symptom you are describing. Is that the only thing that causes the nausea? Oxycontin can cause taste disturbances sometimes, though it is rare. I would definitely talk to an MD about it. Best wishes!

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      Diana 5 years ago

      Thank you for making yourself available to ask questions about these medications. I have a question about oxycontin I am hoping you can help me with. I have been on this medication for many years due to a horrific car accident years ago. I have permanent injuries and the most painful is the nerve pain in my pelvic area and lower back (unable to operate). I have not had my dosage increased for 9 years and I take the oxycontin as perscribed with the availability to take 2 -5mg oxycodone tablets per day for the breakthrough pain. I have noticed especially after the oxycontin had been refomulated that I have much more pain on a daily basis then I have had for years. Can I build up a tolerance to oxycontin after 9 years even though I am taking my medication as directed?

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Diana,

      Yes, unfortunately tolerance can happen. Purdue reformulated it in 2010 to help deal with the misuse of it. But some people have said they notice a difference. Best thing to do is to talk to your doctor about it. Keep a pain journal to try and use that when talking to your doctor. Best wishes.

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      new jersey/ny 5 years ago

      What a great informative thread. I have a quick question, if you don't mind helping, which it seems you don't lol??

      My doctor gave me a prescription for roxicodone- 30mg, it states 6 Times a day, 180 Quantity. I got it filled as usual, I have terminal cancer- Yea I know n thank you. My question is he also gave me a prescription dated in normal date box 9-1-11 For the exact same prescription so I didn't have to come back in September for my September monthly Roxi prescription. Can I fill this script 5 Days early or do I have to wait till exactly 9-1-11 Since he post dated it. Today is 8-17-11. If I have to wait till exactly 9-1-11 I will but why can't I go five days early like suggested in your thread. My insurance will allow it up to To 5 Days early but I don't think pharmacies in general allow it and I thought you had to wait until the 30th day to pick it up. I would rather have it at home ready so when I run out of my august mess my September mess are in the house five days early. Is there any federal law that says the pharmacist cannot give me my meds/ fill my meds five days early??? Sorry about the two part question and thank you for any intel you may have! Dieing sucks!!!! God forgive me!!

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi new jersey,

      If the prescription is actually dated for a later date...the pharmacy may not fill it early. Basically, it doesn't technically become a valid prescription until that date. Otherwise, sure, an occassional early fill for convenience would not typically be a problem.

      The good news is...God does offer forgiveness. :) I've been writing about that on my other blog. :)

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      Sherry 5 years ago

      My friend goes to a pain management clinic and is prescribed Oxycontin and pays for it herself. When she goes to her next pain management appointment she is directed to bring all of her prescriptions with her. Then the pain mgmt. person (I don't know if this is a dr.) takes remaining pills from her if she changes the prescription. Have you heard of this happening. Should she give them to her? What about being recompensed considering how expensive they are. Is there a law that says she needs to turn over her unused pills. We do not feel that this is right. Do you?

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Sherry,

      The doctor needs to make reasonable efforts to be sure the medication is not misused. Different doctors will approach it differently. Hopefully she isn't changing the prescription too often. If so, she really needs to buy small quantities, so that she doesn't waste her money. I'm sorry she has this pain, and I know the system can be frustrating at times. I hope things work out for her.

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      sandra mullikin 5 years ago

      Taking hydrocodone also tried oxycodone which worked for 4 months. Now they both give me a bad he adache, Ikeep a pain in the left side of my head even before taking any pain meds. I HAVE a spinal cord stimulator which doesn't help any more because of headaches. I am supicious of it causing pain in my head.What is your opinion?

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Sandra,

      Not sure I understand your question. I'm afraid I am not very informed about stimulator therapy. Narcotics can cause some people headaches. Possibly explore some more non-narcotic options? I know this is all very frustrating. There are many options in the "pain" category, so I hope you find something that will help. Best wishes!

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      lkyguy 5 years ago

      I also am a very strong Christian and I kept on reading these comments because you portray helpful understanding and a love of God. L2,3,4 were thrown into chaos due to an accident at work. After the owner sent me to a Chiropractor repeatedly, I finally gave up and went to Orthopaedic/Back Surgery place and got two sets of shots. It did not work for me. My family Dr has me on generic Percocet 2.5 and now that 3 years has gone by with little help there, and Propoxyphene which he said is now discontinued... and he offered nothing as a replacement.. how /what can I present to get stronger pain help. Also, Percocet keeps me awake all night and some itching goes with it. Strange, but that's my issues. Can you please offer me some direction here. Thank you.

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      lkyguy 5 years ago

      Oops. Correction ; Percocet 5-325 twice a day as needed for pain was correct.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi lkyguy,

      I'm sorry about your pain. Most important right now is to not give up hope. Get involved in some chronic pain and/or back pain discussion groups online. You will also need a doctor willing to try some new medications. Maybe talk to the doctor about lowering your Percocet dose (or possible switchinig to Tylenol with Codeine). And then, consider a combination of a good anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxer. The muscle relaxer at bedtime will help you sleep, as well as loosing the muscle tension that often builds throughout the day. A strong anti-inflammatory like Mobic (meloxicam) might be good. Physical therapy is another route which should be discussed with your MD. But don't give up. Keep asking, just like you are doing. Best wishes.

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      Veronica 5 years ago

      Hi

      I've been on Vicodin products for 20 yrs. I was first on Tylenol 3 or 4, but it caused some side effects I could not handle (wirey feeling and severe headaches, nausea). Then came Vicodin and it has worked better. Started out on reg, then onto ES and now HP. My problem, just as I had w/another long-time med, Tranxene, when they switched to the generic (actually it was done by error by pharmacy, but I knew something was different--didn't know, wasn't sure it was in my body. I had to write it down. That is a remarkable indication that the compounds changed to me .. but I got use to it eventually and we increased the dose.) I was given the generic for Vicodin one time yrs back and a similar response was experienced.. so I went back to Brand and have stayed there eversince. Now, coming in 2012, due to Medicare changes, Vic HP is not being covered in brand form on Tier 1. I can get special attn to this if I want to pay 93.00/mo for 120 pills. That change will force me onto the generic .. and to tell you the truth-- I'm dreading the switch. My body is very sensitive to meds on all counts. Very few I can take (GI issues). I don't want to increase a dose just to offset an issue --and from reading your article, I live in Mass and if that Law is still current, I cannot be presribed any more than 120. Can you tell me why it is some people do NOT respond the same with generic medications? I have always felt there is a different compound, combination of drugs working together that produces a different result; usually lacking in efficacy. I've experienced twice. Would appreciate your input. Thank you!

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Veronica:

      Good question. There are 2 reasons.

      1) Inert ingredient (fillers, coloring agents, preservatives, etc) may be different. Brand drug manufacturers do not use "better" fillers, but just (sometimes) different ones. As such, a person can have a "reaction" to the Brand...but not the generic. Or vice versa. The GOOD NEWS is that if 1 generic doesn't work for you...another generic might. Each one is different.

      2) Psychological effect. Its true. Simply a change in pill shape, color or size can effect the way we "think" it will work..and as a result...it seems to work differently. This does NOT mean the difference isn't "real." It is real. But it is prompted by psychological expectations which are very hard to overcome.

      Best wishes!

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      lkyguy 5 years ago

      Twisted hiatial hernia that I've had for many years due to PTSD, abuse, drinking Toni home permanent as a young child,.. add Irritable Bowel, an Aunt with Chrone's yet.. and all the stress etc makes it hard for meds to work properly. After reading your advice to me and to others, I contacted the Doctor wanting to increase the dosage to Percocet 7.5 which would keep the Acetaminophen the same 325. I hoped he might have asked about Vicodin or MS Contin, as they can no longer prescribe the Propoxophene I was on. My doctor gets very harsh when you mention controlled substances. Instead, he now pushed the amount of Percocet to 3x a day. Is this OK ? The Perc's keep me up almost every time I take them. Admittedly, I do not keep up the dosage due to this. I don't like feeling druggy, and I play a lot of gospel music and sing. Could you please give me a direction at this time ? Thank you. PS The generics ..more often than not... seem to create rejection or side effects. I also have trouble with vomiting up a greasy acid that makes me prop myself up on two pillows, plus the bed is raised. YUKKO. Nexium is a lot of hype, and in my case has done nada. Sure wish it would have though.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      lkyguy,

      3 times daily is still not too much tylenol for most people (less than 1 gram total). Some people find taking a Benadryl capsule at night helps them sleep. Check if that is appropriate for yourself. Best wishes.

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      Veronica 5 years ago

      Hello to you again

      Thank you for the important information you gave me re: generic vs brand. You mentioned above that there can be a difference in generics --that they're not all the same. I never knew that. If I find one that treats the pain issue more closely to the brand of Vicodin HP -how do I approach that with my CVS pharmacy here in central Mass, Worcester area? Do I go month-by-month --noting any changes I feel are truly significant; call them, tell them one is different from the other --and, Lord willing, if I find one that is doable, ask them, request that generic only? Will they do that for me? Or will they think I'm being a difficult patient? I just really do not want to increase any meds. I'm on 4 a day-- not going to go any higher.. so I'm trying to find answers to the problem before it happens. I'm guessing-- guessing--that because I did feel the difference in my body yrs back from a generic of this, that there is a high probabiity it may happen again.. I'm on SSDI. It's not that my PCP would not prescribe something different, I just can't take many alternatives as lethargy is a huge side effect and I have CFS -- Vicodin is the only one that does not knock my lights out. Lortab, on the other hand, given to me by Tufts in Boston, did. Put me to bed in short order. And that is suppose to be almost identical to Vicodin. I have a rather sensitive body and GI track; take very few meds -- the clorazapate, (tranxene) is for GI sedation in fact so that I can eat. The problems are rather entangled. Sorry to take up so much of your time. I so appreciate your involvement here in this blog for many patient's benefits. Thank you! Blessing to you as well.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Veronica,

      Your prescription bottle should let you know specifically which generic manufacturer is being used. If not, we can figure it out from the markings on the pills themselves. Shoot me an email if you want me to help you with that.

      No, it is not being difficult to ask for a specific generic. Usually a pharmacy carries just 1. But then if they get a better price, they might switch to another.

      Best wishes.

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      alex 5 years ago

      Hello,

      My name is Alex and I am a 20 year old female.

      I take 2 percocet (abel says: ratio-oxycocet oxycodone HCL/acet A5/325) 5-6 times daily for chronic pain. I have severe chronic pain and have been on the medication for a while. My doctor says that I will most likely be on it for the remainder of my life. My question is, if i stick to the 5-6 (so 10 to 12 tabs- i know 12 is the max because of the tylenol) tablets per day, will my liver still be okay long term? In other words, if I take 12 tabs per day for the next 60 years will my liver still be okay since i am not exceeding the maximum dose of tylenol per day?

      Thanks for your help.

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      Alex 5 years ago

      Also, I should add...I know that I am very young and that it sucks that I have to take pain meds at this age! I have tried several different pain meds including naperson, toridal, celebrex (and many other anti-inflams) as well as the longer-lasting narcotics (which don't help much at all). The percocet seem to help the most (getting rid of 90% of my pain) with the least amount of side effects.

      Just thought I'd give you a little more info on my meds/what i've tried.

      Thanks so much in advance!

      I really appreciate your assistance!

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      Alex 5 years ago

      Also, I am a female (don't know if that makes a difference in terms of liver damage at all).

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Alex,

      You should talk with your doctor about scheduling regular liver function tests, as well as kidney function. Also, the active ingredient in percocet (oxycodone) is available alone (without the tylenol). This may be a good option, if chronic use is anticipated.

      Best wishes!

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      Alex 5 years ago

      I wil take those tests...but, granted they come back normal is it safe to the percocet for years if I stay under the max amount of tylenol? As I mentioned, the oxycodone alone does not seem to work as well; the pain eases more with the tylenol in it for some reason.

      Thanks so much.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Alex,

      I understand your question. The problem is that the answer is not so simple as "safe" or "not safe."

      Sort of like asking if cars are "safe" or planes are "safe." Yes, but accidents happen.

      So, the answer depends on what you mean by safe. Their are risks. Some people could take that dose and never have any problems. For others, they may run into issues.

      My advice is to always use the lowest effective dose. And then monitor for adverse effects so that if they begin to show up, we can make adjustments before it is too late.

      Medicine is about balancing risks with quality of life issues. These are sometimes tough choices. The best approach is to stay informed, just like you are doing. Well done!

      Hope that helps.

      Jason

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      Alex 5 years ago

      Great, thanks so much.

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      Karen 5 years ago

      Thank you for providing a Q & A for narcotic drugs. My question is, Will taking 20mg. oxycodone only one time a day cause dependance? I currently will take it for 2 days then skip a day then take it again for 2 days and skip a day for fear of dependance. The days I don't take it I am in pain but I fear dependance.

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      Michael 5 years ago

      My question is I have been taking Vicodin 7.5/750mg for approx 18 months, 3x a day (max) due to I broke my neck and fractured my back T4 through T7 and have not wanted to get a fusion done. I have been living with the pain due to the meds, however, against my doctors oppinions, I have begun asking about surgery now to get OFF THE VICODIN. I again take 3x a day the 7.5/750mg Vicodin and this last week I had him change me to 5/500mg to begin a step-down as I am tired of taking it. I am not sure if my pharmacy will fill my 5/500mg script since I am about 3/4 the way through the 7.5/750mg 3x a day. the 5/500mg has also been prescribed at 3x a day as needed. I told my doctors I wanted the lower dosage and in the pain management I turned in the other 7.5s I had left. They did not say there would be a problem, and I forgot to ask. Will the pharmacy fill the 5/500mg new script I have that says on it to begin today 10/10/2011?

      Apprecicate your insight. Hopefully by the new year 2012 I can get off this stuff. I hate taking meds, but hopefully I am not making the wrong choice against my doctors judgements due to my injuries. Physical therapy and deep massage does not help alot and range of motion is not there. I am hoping to get a fusion done in 2012 especially if it will TAKE THE PAIN AWAY! I am 36 years old. I had a bad car accident a few years ago. I tried for the longest time to not take anything, until it affected my work.

      Again, thank you.

      Michael

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Karen,

      Daily use of oxycodone at 20mg per day will likely produce some dependence. However, "dependence" in and of itself does not have to be viewed as a bad thing. It is up to you. From a medical perspective, "dependence" just means that a weaning process might be needed to stop taking it. It does not have to imply addictive behaviors or any other social concerns. But that is something you have to make a choice about for yourself. Best wishes!

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Michael,

      If you turned in the previous prescription then your insurance should cover the new one. However, that may take several phone calls to explain that to the insurance. Best wishes.

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      Roodude 5 years ago

      I have severe chronic OA with deformity in my R knee and both cervical and lumbar degenerative disease with prolapsed discs and narrowing causing nerve pressure and chronic pain...all confirmed by CT scan. I control my pain with Duragesic 100mcg q 72 hrs, Oxycontin 90 mg q 12 hrs (1- 40, 1-5mg q6) and valium 5mg qd. I live in Australia but am US citizen. I need to come home to spend time with my terminal father. I want to book a 3 month ticket. As meds are free to me here, what is the safest and highest legal quantity I can bring as to not get in legal issues but not get caught there with no meds...have taken this for 18 months. I can't find anything on DEA or Customs sites and don't need either potential problem. Thanks and God Bless.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Roodude,

      You will be limited to filling a 30 day supply here in the U.S. Therefore you will need to make arrangements with your doctor and your pharmacy to have someone else fill the prescription and mail it to you. That is the only solution I know of. It has risks. Ideally find a doctor in Australia to help in case you need it. I'm sorry about your father. Best wishes.

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      RxChick 5 years ago

      I am a disability forced retiree as a CPhT. I have MS and Trigeminal Neuralgia aka Suicides Disease. I had my pain under control with a combination of Neurontin, Zanaflex, and Lyrica. I lost my insurance and moved to another state so my family could help take care of me and since then haven't been able to fill me medications. I've been taking Ibuprofen and Tylenol to TRY to take the edge off. I went to the ER for the first time in the new state and was treated sooo badly. The doc wanted to know what has helped in the past with flair ups this bad. I told him before we found the right dose of lyrica that I needed to be on, they would give me Phenergan and Dilaudid in an injection and it would take the pain away for about 4 to 6 hours. I could be normal for 4-6 hours and i'm no druggie but those where the best 4-6 hours.... I could sleep, eat, or do whatever I wanted pain free. He got all upset at me saying "I'll give you an injection this time but i'm making a note that we WON'T do it again." I felt so bad. It upsets me that the people that actually need the drugs the doctors treat this way but when I was working in the pharmacy it seem'd that the people that didn't need the drugs ALWAYS could get their hands on a RX for them. Maybe I'm just being too sensitive. I tend to have an overly emotional presence. Anyway to make a long story short I'm worried about overdosing by accident. I'm taking ibuprofen 800mg up to 4 times a day but it's just not enough and the tylenol doesn't seem to effect it at all. I found some Vicodin in my cabinet from 2 years ago when I had oral surgery and wonder how long I have to wait after I take 800mg of ibuprofen before I can take the Vicodin? And do you know of any cheaper drugs like Lyrica that I might look into getting for my TN? I have no insurance and have to be getting my disability checks for 2 years before I can get medicare. Patient Assistance Programs are out too because I have to go to the ER everytime I need something since all the PCP's or GP's demand money before they will even look at you. Ironically I have a fear of taking new drugs but at this point I am desperate. Thanks for any info you can give me on this.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi RxChick

      Very sorry about your situation. Are you eligible for a State Medicaid plan in your state? If so, most would cover these drugs.

      You don't have to "wait" ordinarily to take Vicodin after ibuprofen. But obviously do not exceed the recommended dose of either.

      Many anti-depressants have been used/tried for neurological pain. These often come generically and are pretty cheap. Hope you can get some help!

      Jason

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      emily 5 years ago

      Just discovered your blog and feel immense relief reading your wise comments. My question has to do with chronic, recently escalating ankle pain. I've been taking 100 mg of Tramodol for many months. While waiting to see a pain specialist, I've also taken 2 Vicodin 5/500 (my mother's unused, expired bottle) out of desperation. I haven't read anything about that combination but know it can't be good for me. Please advise; I have an appointment on 10/18. Thank you so much.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Emily,

      Glad to offer some help. Although there is no serious drug interaction with Vicodin and tramadol, you would ordinarily just use one or the other. You run the risk of significant side effects. And...well...the expired Vicodin might not be so good either.

      While waiting for your specialist, you may want to let your primary care doctor know the tramadol isn't helping much. See what they recommend. Hope you get some relief. Best wishes.

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      Kj 5 years ago

      Hi. I've been percocets 10mg for 10 days, about 40 mg a day. Was given prescription for back pain. Will I experience withdrawal now that I'm done?

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Kj,

      Well, that is a strong dose for sure. Dependence usually takes longer than 10 days. Howevere, that may also depend on your own history and experience, since dependence is partially physical and partially psychological (this is true for things like alcohol and nicotine as well).

      If you are concerned, with the permission of your doctor, taper off the last few days by decreasing by 1 tablet every 2 days. Best wishes.

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      KittyKat 5 years ago

      Question- I have been going to the same DR. since August of last year. He is no longer writing my or any of his other patients scripts. I take 150 (30MG) oxycodone, 60 (2MG) Xanax for anxiety and 90 (10MG) Flexaril for my muscle relax and my anxiety. I used to take Soma but asked him to take me off those because the made me to weak. I need a new DR. in the palm beach county area to write my meds for me as I know I will withdraw on top of my excruciating pain I deal with daily. Can anyone help?

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi KittyKat,

      Unless there are other factors not mentioned, your previous doctor has a professional responsibility to see that you have someone to take care of your needs in this case. They should recommend someone. I'm afraid I am not from that area. Hope it works out.

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      Kj 5 years ago

      Thanks for answering. I'm doing just fine with no symptoms after stopping the pain killer. I was concerned after all the media coverage about how quickly addiction can happen. Appreciate your time!

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      Roodude 5 years ago

      I posted a few days ago and thank you for your prompt response. I do, however, need some clarification. I have dealt with the same Chemist and Dr. since beginning my regimen several years ago. I am coming back to the US for 71-72 days. I understand you about being limited to a 30 day refill if needed there. I have trust with all involved here and follow my treatment plan to a tee. My Dr. is willing to write me enough meds for the entire trip. Recapping, I use the Duragesic 100 mcg patch q72 hrs, and 45 mg Oxycontin q12 hours to total 90 mg q24 hrs (not 45 mg q6 as previously typed, my mistake). As I can acquire the legit meds, I can’t find anywhere that tells me what is the total amount of either tablets or doses I can physically bring with me. I will need a minimum (with no spare) #144 tablets of the Oxycontin 40mg and also #144 of the 5mg (boxed 28/box) as well as 24 (25) Duragesic 100 mcg patches? I know I will need a detailed letter from my Dr. which is no problem and will get one from the pharmacist for backup to state I do all my business there. I am asking for clarification as I do not want to get banged up by Customs (still unable to find info from their site).

      I don’t want to get there and run out completely but I don’t understand all my options. Maybe this will also help others coming into the US. I rang the Dr. I used to see 12 years ago when I lived in the US. His nurse said he just doesn’t write for those meds and said I will have difficulty finding someone (unsure why), placing me in a catch 22. I have never thought twice as I have never abused but my old Dr. said that was a very high amount and only a Pain Management Dr would risk (?) writing for that, which I don't understand either but respect; surely an MD can write, especially treating for years before. There is no place on the customs form to declare the pain meds (only Steroids I believe) and I have travelled back numerous times with a one month supply but never more; these are different circumstances. The customs site said I could not bring anything in that was not approved for sale in the US (nothing about quantity or other questions). I occasionally take 2mg Hypodorm po prn qhs. My Dr was unsure if the Hypnodorm (Flunitrazepam/ Rohypnol) can be brought in without legal consequences and suggested I ask you. Further, my Dr in Australia had much rather I take this 2mg Hypnodorm than 10mg Zolpidem (Ambien, Stilnox) for sleep. A synopsis of questions I desperately seek answers to and need to know now that you have more details are (I understanding it is a guide and hoping you know the answer):

      1) What is the MAXIMUM number of doses OR Tablets that I can legally bring in at point of entry (LAX) for my defined ticket stay (Oxy and Valium?). I need enough for 72 days (not hypnotics)…150 Oxy tablets to be safe.

      2) If it is illegal to bring anything in not approved for sale there, could I bring Flunitrazepam if written legitimately and if that is the case would the same law apply for my Oxycontin? Here is this Region; I get the original "OC” 40 & 5mg" version from MundiPharma and not the newer "OP" tablets. Can I bring these in since the “OC” is not approved anymore, even though it is part of my regimen, taken daily and the only ones available here? “OP” is N/A.

      3) Is Rohypnol illegal to bring in the country if limited and for personal use or should this be changed to something else to be safer legally? I think this was sold there but unsure…

      4) Does the quantity of Fentanyl patches count as a dose and how many can I bring with proper info? That gives me the main relief… I need 24 minimum.

      5) Worst case scenario is I run out. You suggested someone here fill and post to me. Hypothetically it’s no problem but I can't take the chance on it getting held up. My chemist will work with me but can’t forward-fill an Rx and put it through (Gov’t control). After it is filled, it will then take a minimum of two weeks+ to reach me in North Carolina if expressed.

      5) Who would I go to if it all falls over and I will actually run out? I have no clue who to see on moderate notice or try to make the month last me 2 ½. I mentioned everything is free to me here and I priced it there…I see it will be a HUGE expense for me with no insurance there and it’s free here (meds only, not including consultation).

      6) I suffer from Androgen deficiency and inject Primoteston 250 Ampoules deep IM q2 weeks as directed. I give these to myself and am again unsure if I can travel with these pre-filled syringes (checked bags of course). It is very important that I keep this maintained steady. Generally they can pick up syringes, just covering bases. And lastly;

      7) Will proper labeling and the letter with detailed contact info suffice since that is all that is available and all is above board?

      I can’t risk any side effects watching my terminal father and do not want to run out of meds when I am there trying to help him. I have to stay sharp in case something happens, which I anticipate. I feel I could stop abruptly if I had to with no effects but as I never have, may be fooling myself.... Thank you SO MUCH as time is closing and I have another Dr’s appointment tomorrow (your Tuesday); we will need to discuss this as I will only see him one more time before I go. He has no issues giving me everything until I get back according to my ticket but asked me to find out what was allowed. I worked in medicine and was an EMT, thus my familiarity with acronyms, FYI…not trying to impress you sir. Your knowledge, time, patience and help are desperately needed and much appreciated.

      Thank You & Kindest Regards from Down Under,

      Roodude

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Roodude,

      I don't mean to be short, but I just don't have the answers you need. Your questions have to do with travel laws and maybe customs laws. I suggest you contact the airline. I'm sorry I can't be more help.

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      pugbarkery 5 years ago

      I need to know why if you are taking oxycodone or percecet on a daily basis, why would it not show up in your system on a urine test, although the test was early in the am before meds were in the system for the day what would casue this not to show up or can it be the doctor has made a mistake and is choosing not to see you?

      How long do these meds stay in your system?

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi pugbarkery,

      Some drug screening tests do no look for oxycodone (e.g. the NIDA 5 test, often used in pre-employment screening).

      Oxycontin slowly released for 12 hours. Percocet clears out faster (half the dose is eliminated from the blood every 3-4 hours).

    • profile image

      missmolly2 5 years ago

      Thank You so much for the information and Christian attitude.I'm crying as I read this. It was a hard decision for me to decide to try to have some quality of life by taking pain meds.Pain meds are abused very bad where I live and if you are on pain meds the pharmacist even treat you like you are doing something wrong when you fill your script.And I use a large chain Pharmacy so you would think they would understand that some ppl really need these meds and are not abusing them.I have severe arthritis and back injuries that would keep me in bed in constant pain without themand even with them suffer a moderate amt of pain yet I cry every day out of the shame I am made to fill over taking the meds.I also live in fear of something happening that I can't get my scrip and my body has become dependant on them.Our home burned down a couple of years ago and meds were destroyed.I had to wait until the next day to get a new scrip and just that long I had WD symtoms.I don't ever want to go through that again.I had a question if you would be so kind to answer if you know.I saw a PA this time at the Drs and he said starting at the first of the year there would be a law that pain meds could only be taken for 6 months max.Are they making a law that will make chronic pain suffers pay for what the abusers do.It doesn't make sence to me but with Obamas new insurance bill anything is possible.Thank you once again and you have made me fell a little less like the junkie some make you feel like.I really appreciat what you are doing here.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi missmolly2,

      Glad the info was helpful. I know of no law that would restrict the dispensing of pain medication to 6 months total. Either the PA is mistaken, or mis-communicated his/her information to you. Maybe they are setting up an office policy to refer patients to specialists after 6 months. That may be. I certainly recommend looking into this ASAP.

      In God's eyes, with respect to these medicines, you have nothing to be ashamed of. The challenge is to view ourselves as He does...rather than as others sometimes do.

      Blessings.

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      missmolly2 5 years ago

      Thank you so much.This is a pain specialist I go to.I didn't understand how that could happen with so many chronic pain pts out there.I try to look at it like having to take my BP medicine but its really hard with the way you are treated.Its so hard for people to understand what chronic pain does to someone physically and mentally.I am not in the least suicidal and it would go against my beliefs in trusting God .But I can see how it happens sometimes whereas I use to not understand in the least.Thank you so much for answering and about seeing ourself as God does and I will keep that thought in my mind from now on.Again I thank you and appreciate that you would give of your time and education for this.

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      pugbarkery 5 years ago

      thank you for the valuable info, my problem is it was our doctor who ran the test, but we did not see our names on the cup, and it was left in the bathroom so we did not see a lab tech pick them up,the doctor is saying we are not compliant and taking our pain meds, which I know We take them daily, have to to function, there is no possible way they could of not showed up unless some of our other meds would counteract the test. I understand that some people do abuse these meds and do sell them ect, I have known people like that and hear about it all the time. but this is not the case We take them like I said daily. I have also requested that they rerun the test and we see the lab take it and not left in the bathroom, and our name on it but I have not gotten a response as of yet.This just seems so wrong to me, now he is refusing to be our doctor because of this, and we have to have ongoing medical care because of chronic conditions.We live in the country and do not have too many options of doctors without having to drive an hour one way

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      Nancy McClintock 5 years ago from Southeast USA

      Great Hub .Awesome Information. Great answers. You have a gift to help people. God put you in the right profession. Thank you so much for sharing all your information.

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      Michelle 5 years ago

      This was very helpful information for me. I was diagnosed after almost 2 years with MSSA. I don't know why it took so long to find out what was going on. I didn't have alot of skin lesions so there wasn't really anything to culture. I was suffering with joint inflammation, extreme fatigue, low grade fever, lost 20 lbs. in a month or two, liver enzymes went up drastically. I was tested for everything you can imagine. My first appointment with an Infectious Disease doctor happened to be when one of the few lesions was infected enough to get a good culture. The urine sample also pin pointed what was going on. I'm telling this only to say I appreciate the information you provided. I have chronic pain from this and have taken so many different pain meds that haven't helped. When it was suggested that I try Oxycontin op, my first thought was that is what drug addicts take. My daughter is a recovering heroin addict so I am to say the least sensitive about drug addiction. My father is a doctor as well so I grew up in an environment of "there's a pill for everything". I feel much better after reading the information you provided. It helped me understand that I can take this and not be a drug addict. It will help me function and do things that can improve the quality of my life. Just getting out of bed to walk, garden, be around other people will help so much. Chronic pain does effect all aspects of your life. Thank you for providing this information.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Michelle,

      Glad to be of service. Blessings!

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      Mike L 5 years ago

      Is it against the law for a Dr. who has been writing you oxycodone 30mg tabs to just let you detox from 7 aday cold turkey? My Dr. wrote me my last script to hold me until I see a new Dr next month and there is a shortage of the medication everywhere here in south florida from all the abusers! anyway, I informed him of this and asked him to change me to the morphine so I wouldn't be so deathly ill and he has completely refused. On top of that the last script he gave me was for 90 when I have been getting 120 a month for a year now! I need a hip replacement and I am getting one soon but until then the pain is blinding and unbearable! I need to know if what he did is illegal?

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      JJ 5 years ago

      Nice post

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Mike,

      I can't say I know of a law he has broken. But I hear you. I hope you find a doctor that can help. Best wishes.

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      Shane 5 years ago

      Jason,

      Just wanted to quickly say that I'm not religious, nor a believer, but I can say there is one thing that I KNOW! And that is that you're a fantastic and wonderful person for putting in all the time and effort to help these people. What a good dude!

      Oh and your piece was well written and very informing!

      Take care and keep on being who you are!

      Respectively,

      Shane

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Thanks Shane,

      I'm not the guy I ought to be.

      But I'm not the guy I used to be.

      Blessings,

      Jason

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      confused 5 years ago

      I just received a certified letter from my Dr. stating that he would no longer treat me because I failed to comply with my treatment as evidenced by my drug screen. I am on fentanyl 50mcg/hr, cymbalt 60mg 1x daily and percocet 5/325 1x every 8 hrs. as needed. I have obtained a copy of my drug screen and it lists that barbituates, benzodiazepine,methadone and opiates are absent. Am Not sure what category my meds fall under, but how can this testing show them as absent. I am taking my meds.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      confused,

      Tthey are opiates. False negatives can happen if proper testing procedure was not followed.

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      Pamela Porter 5 years ago

      Thanks so much for this article. I have several progressive diseases which cause me constant and increasing pain. Although I have taken Vicodan and Oxycontin, I currently am on slow-release Morphine (every 12 hours) and take 5 Percocets/day so I can have a life and move around. I still have alot of pain, but don't want to be a vegetable on the couch, so for now this is working. My sister is awaiting her hip replacement and is currently taking Vicodan 10 so I was checking to see what the difference was between that and my Percocets (since Vicodans don't help me at all anymore). Anyway, I sure appreciate your easy-to-understand explanations. Keep up the good work and God Bless You~PMP

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      Susie 5 years ago

      I had a stroke 40 years ago, at age 6, which affected my right side. My right side hurts because it is so rigid and stiff all the time. I have had foot operations so I could walk. My left side is also in pain from over use cooking, cleaning . I do everything with my left arm. It even hurts when i walk, sit or lay down. Do you think that Vicodin would help?

      Thank you,

      Susie A.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Susie,

      Hard question to answer. Even if it would "work" it may not be the best option for you, long-term. If you have not recently discussed the pain and options with your doctor, I recommend you do so. Best wishes.

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      Navy mom 5 years ago

      Your post was very informative, Thank you also, for answering questions regularly even though yout post is more than a year old.

      Here is my question. My family originally prescribed me Ambien CR 7 years ago. She had also prescribed .25mg of Xanax. I also take MS Contin for chronic back pain and Percocet 10mg/325mg,

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      msvinney,

      Why is that? Just curious.

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      Dennis 5 years ago

      Nice collection of information. I was trying to locate many of these details on the web. And it is very difficult to find. Then I stumbled on this page. Excellent! Thank You!!

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      Angie 5 years ago

      I just had surgery on November 8, 2011. My doctor prescribed Hydrocodone which has Codeine in it. I am very allergic to Codeine. I take several medications list to follow: Metformin 500mg, Nifedical XL 60mg, Tricor 145mg, Levothroxine 0.100mg, Cymabalta 60mg, Equetro 200mg, Venlafaxine ER 150mg, Venlafaxine ER 75mg, Trazodone 100mg. My questions is what pain medication can my doctor prescribe for me while taking all of my regular medications? And yes I am in a lot of pain. Your help on this matter will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!

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      gena 5 years ago

      I am highly impressed with your personal insight and genuine concern you show on your thread..I

    • profile image

      Gena 5 years ago

      I will be having surgery on the 17 as and u was scared after the doc told me that I will have to take oxycotins after surgery. I have been taking 10/325 percocet for 3 years now. I wish there were more people like You in the medical community that didn't place judgment and had your compassion! Thanks so much for the insight.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Gena,

      Glad to be of service. Thank you for your comments.

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      Bonny OBrien 5 years ago from Troy, N.Y.

      A very awesome hub!! I have to say I do try to avoid any type of meds if I can. I think if you are trying to deal with something that is wrong with you, then have to deal with all the side effects that meds can do to a person, it is just scary.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Angie,

      Most people allergic to codeine can take hydrocodone without a problem. They are sort of distant cousins. So check with your doctor about trying it. Otherwise you may need to consider non-narcotic options like NSAIDs. Best wishes.

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      rog 5 years ago

      11-12-11

      Thanks for your info,great stuff.

      Im confused about my my refill for Vicodin.

      My doc gave me a scrip for qty,60 filled on 11-4-11 To Take one tab 4 times a day as needed for pain.Has one refill.

      The bottle just says one refill before 5-4-12.When can I get this refilled?I'm confused;)

      Thank you

      Rog

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Rog,

      I understand. You may get that prescription filled again, if needed, 15 days from when it was first filled (60 pills, 4 per day = 15 days). However, you must get it filled (if you want it) some time before 5-4-12, because after this date the prescription "expires." Hope that helps.

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      Jacob 5 years ago

      Could you explain some environmental issues with Vicodin such as it getting into the drink water and such?

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Jacob,

      Contamination of our water supplies may be a concern, though not a huge one to my knowledge. More concerning would be the accidental (or intentional) mis-use of narcotics not properly disposed of.

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      Pilar 5 years ago

      Thank you for providing this information. I have a slipped disc in my lower back and have found that the non-narcotic pain medications are not doing a good job of managing my pain. Doctors are hesitant to give prescriptions for the opioid medications and it's good to find out that some of these drugs are less addictive than others.

      I have hesitated to ask for stronger medication because I don't want to look like a drug seeker but the pain has become unmanageable and is affecting my quality of life. I hope my Doctor isn't going to shy away from these medications due to addiction possibilities when I can't seem to get relief from anything else. I should mention that I have been referred to an Orthopaedic Surgeon and a Pain Management clinic.

      When starting a narcotic pain killer is a short or a long acting the better choice? Any words of advice to help me with my reluctant doctor

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      eric 5 years ago

      Hey Jason, I have been on Pain meds, on and off for the last 15 years or so. I am 45 now. I was actually in disbelief that my Dr. had given me 120 Vicodin 7.5mg with 6 refills, then more and more every time I went back. He then upped it to 240 with a refill at 10mg. I am working with a pain management clinic and they are gradually weening me off them. Here's my question...I truly want to get off them, but every-time I try, I get the worst restless legs type symptoms. Is this normal? Thanks very much. You truly do an amazing job at helping so many on here! Oh, one more question..when people go through the withdrawals and have the flu type symptoms, is there a way to help ease the discomfort?

      E

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      Alex 5 years ago

      Hello,

      I used to take percocet 5mg/325 acetem... i am now on a dose of 10mg/325...however, i find that the 5/325 actually worked better...what do i do to get the same pain relief from the 10/325 as i did the 5mg/325...i know it has more oxycodone in it but it has less tylenol as i used to take 2 of the 5/325 at once...how do i make it as effective? do i cut it in half? what should i do? i am in a lot of pain and cannot switch back to the other one for at least 2 weeks (When i see my dr next)...please do let me know asap! thanks

    • profile image

      Alex 5 years ago

      - follow up to last post*

      I have heard that it is the tylenol in the percocet that increases the effects of the oxycodone...so since it has less tylenol in proportion to oxycodone is this why it is not working as well? & how do i make it work as well as the 5/325? thanks.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Pilar,

      Short acting narcotics pain relievers are ideal for pain that only needs occassional breakthrough therapy, or when frequent dosing is not problematic. Long acting products are reserved for pain that is likely to need very long term management. Keep a pain journal and rate your pain from 1 to 10 every day. Look for patterns. Show it to your doctor. Best wishes.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      eric,

      That is pretty normal...I'm sorry to say. Make sure you drink plenty of water. Try calcium tablets (TUMS tablets will work also) at bedtime - some have found this helpful. The pain clinic may be able to prescribe something also. Best wishes.

    • profile image

      Alex 5 years ago

      I used to take percocet 5mg/325 acetem... i am now on a dose of 10mg/325...however, i find that the 5/325 actually worked better...what do i do to get the same pain relief from the 10/325 as i did the 5mg/325...i know it has more oxycodone in it but it has less tylenol as i used to take 2 of the 5/325 at once...how do i make it as effective? do i cut it in half? what should i do? i am in a lot of pain and cannot switch back to the other one for at least 2 weeks (When i see my dr next)...please do let me know asap! thanks

      Alex 3 hours ago

      - follow up to last post*

      I have heard that it is the tylenol in the percocet that increases the effects of the oxycodone...so since it has less tylenol in proportion to oxycodone is this why it is not working as well? & how do i make it work as well as the 5/325? thanks.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Alex, I'm assuming the doctor switched the medicine because the 5/325 wasn't working? Just for reference, half of a 10mg/325 plus taking half of a regular strength tylenol tablet would put you just about where you were with the 5/325 tabs.

    • profile image

      Alex 5 years ago

      isn't it the fact that the tylenol in the pill increases the effects of the oxycodone? I tried taking the half tab of tylenol to make it the same amount but it did not help...no the 5/325 did help...but anyway is there anything i can do to make these ones just as effective? thanks

    • profile image

      Alex 5 years ago

      I know it seems weird, but the 5/325 help much much much more than the 10/325. I cannot switch back (or even ask my dr about considering it as he is away from the office) for at least 2 weeks. What can I do to make it just as effective? Thanks.

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      milos pop 5 years ago

      Thanks for this lucid and informative piece. I have been dealing with chronic pain that is getting steadily worse -- I need two total knee replacements. For the last several months I have been dealing with pain entirely with naproxen -- in much larger doses than anyone shoulod take.A pharmacist friend told me I was nuts not to get prescription painkillers. About four years ago after minor surgery, I was given a prescription for oxycodone w/apap 10/325. For some reason I filled it -- usually I just avoid such painkillers and don't bother filling such prescriptions. tonight I dug the stuff out of a closet and took one pill. That was about 40 minutes ago -- and the pain (if not the difficulty in walking!)has subsided somewhat. It's now almost 4 am so I won't get into a car for at least 6 more hours. In two days I meet with the orthopedist who will do the surgeries; two days later I will need to drive the 420 miles to Boston. Are any of these things safe with getting benind a wheel? And what do you recommend for the kind of chronic pain associated with severe arthritis?

      Gratefully

      Steve (AKA Milos Pop)

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      milos,

      Any medication in the "narcotic" (like codeine or oxycodone) family could potentially cause too much sedation for safe driving. However, once your body is used to it, this often is less of a problem. I wouldn't risk starting a narcotic, then driving 420 miles...not even for Boston. :)

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      Sarah 5 years ago

      My doctor originally put me on vicodin & then switched me to percoset...is percoset more powerful in terms of pain relief? Which has less of a chance of addiction?

      Thanks for all of your wonderful info!

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Sarah,

      Percocet is considered stronger, with a higher potential for addiction and/or abuse. Vicodin, however, is still very strong and will often provide sufficient pain relief. Best wishes.

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      Sarah 5 years ago

      Thank you!

      I am concerned because I get this "happy" feeling when I take the percoset...same with vicodin but the percoset provides higher pain relief...i don't take it because of the happy feeling but as a side effect it does cause that. What should I do? Is this bad? It does help with my pain very well.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Sarah,

      Shoot me an email with some more details. thanks.

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      Sarah 5 years ago

      Hi,

      I don't really have more details? What do you mean?

      It helps with the pain relief, much more than vicodin. Both make me feel "content".

      However, I don't ever take it for pleasure...I only take it when needed...pleasure just seems to be a side effect i guess?

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      fucsia 5 years ago

      These are very important informations. Thanks for sharing.

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      Sarah 5 years ago

      I forgot to say...I appreciate your help on the matter!

      Please let me know of your opinion on the matter.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Sarah,

      The happy feeling is due to the stronger CNS properties of Percocet. Nothing wrong with that, per se. As long as it is working and allowing you to function more normally. With your doctor's permission, you could try a lower dose of Percocet, just to see. Best wishes.

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      Philip 5 years ago

      My father is a 95 year old who is in generally good health with the major issue being peripheral neuropathy in both feet extending into the toes. He is presently taking Hydrocodone/APAP 4 tabs @ 10mg/500 mg dosage per day. While, after several years and an increased dosage he still gets some relief,the relief diminishes over time. He is very reluctant to ask his Doctor to increase the dose further. His sleep is becoming very disturbed and inconsistent -- and he is often up most of the night "pacing the floor" he says. His quality of life has become very poor which is a shame as his mental and physical capacities are otherwise very good. Is there anything beyond the present treatment with the mild opiate? Could a lydocaine patch be used in conjunction? What about the use of Capsaicin cream? Any other thoughts? Thanks in advance.

    • profile image

      Sarah 5 years ago

      Okay, thank you. Is there a lower dose than 5mg oxycodone and 325mg apap?

    • profile image

      Alex 5 years ago

      Hi there,

      I've asked my question a few times...posted it a few times and some of those times it just got deleted and others it was just ignored...is there a reason for this? I don't mean to sound rude it's just hurtful that every body else gets there questions answered and mine gets skipped and/or deleted...if you don't know the answer could you maybe just tell me that please? No big deal if you don't I understand that...However, I don't understand why my question doesn't seem to be as important to you as everyone else's :( it is quite hurtful :( I feel ignored and unimportant :( not a good feeling

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Alex,

      I believe answered your question above. Half of a Percocet-10/325 along with half of a tylenol (500mg) tablet you will have roughly a Percocet 5/325. However, another option is just to ask your doctor to prescribe the 5/325, and return to him/her the others. Best wishes!

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Philip,

      Peripheral neuralgia is very painful, and I am sorry your father has to deal with this. A specialist may be able to work with him to prescribe other treatments. Some have benefited from anti-depressant drugs like amitriptyline or seizure medications like gabapentin. He may talk to his doctor about these.

      Capsaicin is worth trying. Several clinical studies have supported its benefit. It needs to be applied 3-4 times daily. Be sure he washes his hands well after using it (getting it in your eye is very painful). As with any suggestion, a physician should be consulted.

      Best wishes.

    • profile image

      Philip 5 years ago

      Thanks for the feedback. Am I correct that Capsaicin is an "over the counter" i.e. non-prescripton treatment? If that doesn't help, what about using a Lydocaine patch in conjuction with the Oxycocone/APAP? Is that something that could help?

      Appreciate very much that you're taking the time to do this blog.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Philip,

      Yes sir. Capsaicin is available OTC, one brand name is Zostrix. Studies have been done, and some are ongoing, using lidocaine (or Lidoderm patch - prescription only) for diabetic neuropathy. A neurologist may be able to assess whether this treatment would likely benefit your father. Best wishes.

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      mzbetherz 5 years ago

      Thank you for posting this info. You are right, it is difficult to find good info on these meds.I take vicodin for 2 problems: polycystic kidney disease and rheumatoid arthritis. I am unable to take any Nsaid (motrin, etc) due to gastric bypass surgery, so with the help of my PCP, he monitors my vicodin closely, as it is the only pain reliever I can safely take - and I do NOT want anything stronger!!

      Thanks again, your article was very helpful.

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      uncrnc 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for your information. I had hand surgery 2 weeks ago. I took percocet as prescribed...but had alot of breakthrough bone pain. I was then placed on oxycontin which I took 3x/day for 3 days and decreased the amount slowly.I was also taking generic vicodin every 4 hours and ibuprofen every 6 hours for one week. I stopped the vicodin gradually over a few days. I have had a tremendous headache for the past 4 days.I have not had OC since 11/27. Am I having withdrawal symptoms after using for less then 2 weeks?

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      uncrnc 5 years ago

      In addition to my 1st post. Is there anything I can do to relieve my symptoms? Thank you in advance!

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      uncrnc,

      You have gone from Percocet, to Oxycontin to Vicodin. The 3 very drugs I wrote about here. Your system got heavy doses of narcotics, and even though it wasn't a long time, it is enough to produce some withdrawal. Assuming you are off all pain meds, and assuming you have no other restrictions or conditions to limit what you can take, I would recommend Exedrin Migraine for your headaches. They will subside, but it may take a few more days to get your system cleaned out.

      Best wishes.

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      uncrnc 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for your quick response. This is a great site and very informative. There is really very little info out there regarding these issues. Thanks so much!

      I do not not have any restrictions or limits as to what I can take.I tried for 4 days taking OTC meds with minimal relief. I was also taking ibuprofen between vicodin doses and I am aware that the OTC meds can also cause rebound headaches. It was recommended by my Dr. to start taking the vicodin again, every 4-6 prn, and decrease the dose by 1 pill per day. After reading your response I hope I haven't started a new problem. I no longer have any post op pain and feel so frustrated at this point! Thank you and I look forward to your response.

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      hackman 5 years ago

      Imodium - benedryl - B vitamins

      Hot showers baths - tylenol

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Dear uncrnc,

      Your doctor's suggestion is valuable, and would be the most painless approach to weaning off the meds. On the other hand, if your withdrawal symptoms are bearable (albeit unpleasant) the fastest route is just to tough it out. That is up to you and your doctor to decide though. A slow taper is an effective approach. Best wishes!

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      tinyitalian 5 years ago

      Dear Pharmacist,

      First, Thank you so very much for all of the great information that you gave in the article, as well as all of the help that you have been so gracious in giving since it's posting. I know that you have been thanked many times before, but you really are a rarity in the medical field, and a God Send to so many of us that have to learn to walk the tight rope that is pain management.

      I am a patient who suffers from many different medical problems and have a very complicated medical past... due to some of the procedures that I have had in the past I have ended up needing help to over come the great pain that I seem to live in daily. During this 10 year struggle I have been put on pain meds, taken off pain meds, tried nerve injections weekly (anywhere between 13-19 shots in the abdomen) and also have tried some of the anti depressants that also are suppose to help with pain management. I am a military spouse and move frequently which can create a huge problem with the continuity of my medical care because of each doctors own thoughts, opinions, and comforts with narcotics (which I do understand) A year ago I moved to a new area and the Dr. whom I had interviewed with prior to my actual move here said that management in my care would be something that he would be fine with, apon getting moved here decided that because I had been on Methadone for so long ( 10 mg 2x's daily for 3 years) he felt my "addidction" was my biggest medical problem, and took me off of them cold turkey, which was difficult but doable, however dealing with my pain was not so he put me back on Vicoden, but would only put me on for short times then take me off again.. after over 3 months of no narcotics (and living from a bed while trying to take care of my children) and 1 month of being ripped back and forth I got a new doctor, which is just great! However due to a surprise pregnancy, with many complications I ended up on Oxycodone 5 mg. 6x's daily and Vicoden 7.5/500 6x's a day as well (I had a stent placed in my kidney as well as pylo which eventually turned to sepsis) I was eventually hospitalized and placed on a PCA dilaudid for a month, and then 2 mg every 2 hrs., as well as they resumed my Vicoden and Oxcodone regimen during the next nearly 5 months of my hospitalization... I have now been home for just over 2 months and now that I do not have the infection or stent I was able to go back to just the Vicoden 7.5/500. I have had a large problem with vomiting during all of this which I thought was possibly morning sickness related, or even infection related... it did seem to subside a little after delivery and the infection being under control.. but I still seem to have some vomiting (I did have this same issue with the percocoet, but not so much with the Oxycodone) As of about a month ago my liver started acting up, causing a great deal of pain, my doctor switched me from Vicoden, to Vicoprofen (Which I seem to be vomiting on even more) I was hospitalized for the increase of pain, as well as the levels from my liver tests this past monday again, and was on Dilaudid (IV) during that day and while I was nauseated so badly I didn't vomit until I was released and tried to take a Vicoprofen at home again. The doctor in the hospital pretty much upon hearing about my pain medication history and letting me know that I was "addidcted" (I have no illusions I am sure that I am dependent on them after being on them for this long, but I try to evaluated myself, and ask my loved ones to evaluate me as well to let me know if I am exhibiting any abusive behaviors) told me that I can no longer take any pain medications or I will die due to my liver. .. ok so after my long story (sorry) here is what I am needing your assistance with: 1. what can I do, if anything to keep my liver from getting worse, but with out feeling like I am being tourtured, and bedridden by the pain... and 2... I am so embarrassed to have to call my doctor due to the extra pills I have to take to avoid the with drawls with the excdessive voimiting I have seemed to have since I moved here and was switched to Percocet, and Vicoden/Vicoprofen.... Since I do not seem to vomit as badly on just the oxycodone could it be an allergy or something along those lines or just an intolerance to something in those meds?? I seem to vomit severally (meaning it takes me sometimes 2-3 attempts to keep a pill down long enough to have it dissolve ) about 7 days or so a month, other days the vomiting is less... but so is the pain. I do take Phenerghan to help with the vomiting which does help... and the side effects I get from both Zofran and Reglan are so difficult to deal with is there anything else that I can do that will help to stop the vomiting... I get treated as a junkie by so many in the medical profession (minus my doctor, he has been so great) but I do fear that my constant calls to tell him "sorry I vomited too much again, I need more early" will eventually have him treating me the same way.. I am so embarrassed by my need for them I tend to push myself way too far with the pain so that I can try to live with out having to ask for more, which also seems to make the vomiting worse (when the pain gets much worse I mean) Thank you so much for taking your precious time to help, and God Bless!!!!

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      Savannah 5 years ago

      I found a pill that is: round and orange. It says Endo 132. Can you please tell me what this is? Things on Endo says it's Oxycontin, but does not say anything about the 132 pills. Just the 601's.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      tinyitalian,

      Obviously you have gone through a lot, and I am so sorry for your pain. I also know that the actual pain is only a part of the struggle, and that many social and emotional issues are involved. I'm sorry. I would say you are a good candidate for non-oral therapy, like patches. That would prevent vomiting up the medicine at least. Keep looking for answers. Have faith. Shoot me an email if I can help in any other way. Blessings.

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      CLJ74 5 years ago

      So my doctor requires 24-48 hours for refills this would mean I am calling my doctor on the 23rd day. Does that not seem way too early? I dont way to seem pushy. I currently take oxycodone 15mg for a plethura things dont want to go into it.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      CLJ74,

      For a 30 day supply, you can probably call your doctor on day 24. That gives them 2 days (day 26) and your pharmacy 2 days (day 28) to fill it. The doctor can always date it for when it can actually be filled. Of course...weekends may be a problem.

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      amlawson 5 years ago

      I have chronic interstitial cystitis. My Dr. called me in hydrocodone/apap 5/500 on Wed. and instructions are 2 every 4-6 hours needed for pain. how long should those last? It is saturday evening and I have 3 left and I am afraid to ask for refill. I dont want to be labeled a drug abuser. I am new to chronic pain treatments and medications but I know I need relief.

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      peedab777 5 years ago

      I've been getting the generic of vicodin for about 2 years(10-325) and its always been a white oblong pill with numbers on one side. I got my latest script filled at a different pharmacy and the pills are oblong light yellow with a v on one side and 36 01 on the other. The cost was the same as always. What may be the difference?

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      @amlawson - You raise a good question. Your instructions "in theory" would allow you up to a max of 12 per day. However, most doctors writing like that do not properly explain their true intentions. You need to chat with your MD about how many, on average, you should use per day or per week. Open communication is the key here.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      peedab777,

      Because there are many different manufacturers of the generic of that product you will find many different pill shapes and sizes and markings. This is normal. However, if concerned, you could always call the pharmacy back and ask them to double check - tell them you just want to be sure you got the right thing.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      napetv,

      Thanks for your kind words! Hoping the information is helpful to others.

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      Mross 5 years ago

      I am a disabled veteran from the Iraq War. Due to my injuries have been taking pain meds for 4 years. Over time my tolerance continues to increase and increase. Currently I take Oxycontin 40mg 3x a day and 10 mg percocet X2 5x a day. It is to the point that the percocet is no longer getting on top of my pain again. My doctor and I have a great relationship and I'm sure he would raise my dosage but I've heard that switching from percocet to an equal dose of vicodin will "shock your system", for lack of better words. Meaning that I will recieve better pain relief from the vicodin because it is a different chemical make-up.

      I've always feared that Vicodin was a weaker medicine and I would regret my decision to switch. Have you heard of this approach before and if so would you recommend switching or simply increasing my percocet again? Thanks for the great advice! I've never been able to comfortably bring my questions about my medicine to a pharmacist without feeling like an addict!

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Dear Mross,

      First, thank you for your service to our country and I am sorry for the injuries your sustained.

      I am not a pain specialist. I have not read any studies confirming the "shock your system" idea, but that doesn't mean it is untrue. The problem with Vicodin is the amount of Tylenol you would then be ingesting to try and get an equal dose to the Percocet.

      Ideally your Oxycontin dose should be adjusted upward rather than the Percocet or Vicodin. That is my opinion. Personally I would bring that up with your doctor and see what he says.

      Blessings!

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      Rach 5 years ago

      Thank you very much for your well-written article. I did a search trying to find the answer to an (apparently) rarely-asked question about my husband's pain management medication, and you answered it clearly.

      Much appreciated!

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Rach,

      You are quite welcome. Glad to help.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      ***NOTICE TO ALL MY READERS***

      Your comments and questions have helped make this article a valuable resource to MANY patients! Thank you.

      Would you be willing to post a link to this article, even for just 1 hour, on your Facebook page (there is a "like" link at the tope that will do this automatically) or in a discussion forum that you visit?

      Doing so would greatly increase the number of pain patients I can reach and try to help.

      Very sincerely,

      Jason

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      paininthe back 5 years ago

      Ok I am at a loss!!! I am on Vicodin 5/500 for a bulging L5 - S1 with an annular tear. Due to some other health issues, my PCP has told me the back issue is lower on the totem pole so he has been refilling the vicodin as needed. I do have to see him for every refill and I am fine with that. Recently I have been decreasing the amount I take and utilizing Yoga and Chiropractic treatment to help. I realized I only had a few and we are getting ready to go out of town for several days to a colder place and I know the 3 hour drive will not be pleasant. I figured I would call my Dr to get in..........no such luck. It is Thursday afternoon, he is not in, the office is closed tomorrow and he "doesn't have anyone covering".........so what now? I asked if someone could refill for a week's worth in his absence and they said no, that I had to be seen. So, do I wait until after hours and call to speak with on call provider? They can definitely review my profile with the pharmacist - there are no other prescribing providers for this med and my last refill was almost 2 months ago. I am literally freaking out that I will be stuck over the holidays without relief.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      paininthe back,

      You are in a tough spot. If you try to get another MD to fill it, you run the risk of jeopardizing your relationship with your current MD. Personally I would ask for a prescription for a strong NSAID to try and hold you over. In the mean time, split the Vicodin and make them last. Just my opinion. Best wishes my friend.

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      Francesca 5 years ago

      I also had a question similar to that of paininthe back.

      I am in a similar situation and was thinking of going to the ER since I have no other

      options as my doctor has no one covering either. I understand i shouldn't ask another dr

      to fill b.c i don't want to jepordize my relationship with my doctor, however, going to the E.R. i feel is completely different. I know i will be frowned upon in the emergency room for this, but, i feel that being in pain IS an emergency. I also feel like I am not going behind my doctor's back by going to the E.R. as he is unavailable to see me and i've asked the office if they could fit me in more than once and they are unable to do so. I leave monday for an 18 day trip and am due for a refill and im in dire need of it. I am also aware that the ER probably will not give me as many as I need for 18 days, however, some is better than none. What do you think about this option? I thought i'd put the question out here for both myself and "paininthe back".

      Thanks for your insight and wisdom

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Francesca:

      Here is my own personal opinion. This is not medical advice or anything of the sort.

      1) Obviously open communication about these situations should ideally occur BEFORE hand, to try and understand exactly how your own personal physician wants these situations handled. Follow their advice.

      2) Attempt to contact your own doctor through his/her office.

      3) Attempt to contact the covering physician. Verify for yourself if there really is "no one covering." Do NOT assume you were given correct information. Call the office, ask the answering service to page the covering physician.

      4) AFTER all these, and if it is an emergency, consider utilizing a walk-in clinic or an ER. If possible, obtain a record of your presription refills from your pharmacy before going. They can print this for you. You will have to sign for it. Bring it with you. Also, include any records from other pharmacies you have used within the past 6 months.

      That is my opinion. Best wishes!

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      Jen 5 years ago

      I have been taking Norco (Vicodin) for more than 10 years to control the chronic pain I have from Degenerative Disc Disease. Recently I had a flare up in my right knee, suspected of tearing the ligament. I am awaiting the tests for this and was originally prescribed Oxycodone/APAP 10MG/325MG. This worked very well however I had to go in to get a refill to last until the necessary tests for my knee can take place and was seen by a different doctor. I didn't notice until after taking the new prescription for two days that I was given a months supply of Oxycontin 20MG tablets to take one every 8 hours. I could not keep from falling asleep and was extremely itchy which is when I noticed I had been given a different prescription and it was MUCH stronger. This lead me to researching and eventually finding this article. Thank God I did. It is late on a Saturday evening and I will have to wait for Monday to go to the doctor's office to have this fixed. I appreciate this article greatly. I hope it helps others as well navigate the aspects of pain medication that are not commonly understood even by a long term pain patient as myself. Thank you for taking your time to help people such as myself.

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      Michelle 5 years ago

      I agree with Jen's post! Some of us who have been long-term pain patient's

      for even over 20 years still need some guidance. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and knowledge. We all appreciate your kindess and the fact that you take time out of your day to volunteer us information (since you're not paid for putting your information up here/giving us your professional and personal oppinion as a pharm) is a testimony to your character. Thank you. I hope that you've had a wonderful holiday.

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      Jerry 5 years ago

      Hello. I recently underwent a whipple procedure for a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor. Although it is getting better, I'm still having some residual pain. My doctor just changed my Norco prescription to a 8 day supply which I had it filled on 12/21/11. I would like to have it filled before 12/31/11 since my insurance carrier will change. Do you have any idea based on the above, about what day I will be able to have it refilled? 8 days will be 12/29. Would I be able to get it earlier by chance? Also, when I change insurance carriers, will I have any problems getting my medication refilled after that?

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Jerry,

      Request the refill on 12/28/11. That should be fine. As for your new carrier, just be sure to bring you new insurance card to the pharmacy. If you don't have it, you may have to pay for the medicine and then bring the card back to the pharmacy when you get it for reimbursement. Best wishes!

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      cj 5 years ago

      will more pharmacies have oxycodone 30 mg on after the first of the year ? there is allot of rumors going around.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      cj,

      Hello. Thanks for your question. What rumors are you referring to? I'll try to help. Thanks.

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      SMoss 5 years ago

      Hi,

      Really great of you to post this. Very helpful. I have a prescription for Oxycodone 5/325 which I believe is Percocet, correct? The Dr. wrote 4 under refills, is Percocet still a Schedule II drug? In which case as I understand is not re-fillable. Did they move Percocet down to Schedule III? He is a wonderful Dr. and so far has not steered us wrong, he seems very up to date with things, so I'm just wondering if that was just a mistake or if this prescription is now in fact re-fillable?

      Thanks so much for your time, and Happy Holidays.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      SMoss,

      I could be wrong, but my guess is he wrote a sloppy "0" and it just looks like a "4."

      Otherwise, yes, he just made a mistake. Percocet is not refillable.

    • profile image

      SMoss 5 years ago

      Thanks Pharmacist.

      It's pretty hard to confuse this 4 to a 0, so I'm going to chuck it up to a brain fart.

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      Tammy 5 years ago

      I have been on pain management for cronic back pain. My dose is 5 norco a day and normally 1 ms cotin per day. Last month my pain was extremely bad due to the weather maybe or just the nature of my work. My doc gave me 30 mg ms cotin. They make me so irrational, irratable, so I stopped well, I found that taking just the norco 2 in the morning and then one every four hours then two at bed seem to really work. Problem, I have run out.. I have called my docs office but, I don't want him to be mad at me... First time I have run out so fast n now scared of getting sick from withdrawls, which have already started... Can he call me in more norco even though I've run out 10 days early? What can I do? Tammy

    • profile image

      tammy 5 years ago

      I forgot to mention I was only on 15 mg. Once a day he increased it to 30 mg. Ms cotin twice a day.. I prefer the norco since I have to work and I don't have any side effects from it.. Tammy

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Tammy,

      He could call in more, but may be concerned because the Norco has tylenol which can damage your liver at higher doses (unlike the morphine). So it is important to also be on a long-acting product to help reduce your pain, and typically only use the Norco for "bad" episodes or days. Talk to your doctor. Hope it goes well.

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      Tammy 5 years ago

      Thank you so very much for the answer.. after I wrote in to you he called me back and is calling me in more norco. He explained the same thing you said. I will see him on Monday and we will both evaluate the medicines.. ps. I should have never been scared. He seems to really listen to me..thanks

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      sweetelaine,

      I'm glad you found the courage to write, and I'm sorry for your pain. It sounds as though you have a strong faith. Praise the Lord for that. As for your situation, it is a hard one. You are young and otherwise healthy (it seems), so there is an argument to be made for trying to "reset" your pain med levels so as to preserve your organs and future quality of life. That said, what your doctor suggests will be hard on you and (if any) your family. Getting a second opinion prior to taking this approach is reasonable, and hopefully your doctor would allow you to continue your meds until you could get such. If you have insurance, you may be able to speak to someone in your insurance company that can recommend a different pain clinic or approach. I wish I could be more help. Let me know, if you like, what you decide to do. Blessings!

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      sweetelaine,

      No apology needed. I have it set so that I must approve all comments just to make sure they are PG-13 or better. :)

      If you want, I will gladly delete your comments so that they don't cause you any difficulties. Just let me know.

      Blessings!

    • sweetelaine59 profile image

      sweetelaine59 5 years ago

      Oh my gosh...that would really be great! I thought I would be on the chopping block forever. Thanks so much and I'll let you know how things are going. Thanks again you have actually given me more hope than you realize so thank you! Blessing to you also.

      Mwwwwwwaaaaaahhhhhhhhh! ;o)

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      concernedviking 5 years ago

      For months now, i have been researching if there are legal ramifications to injecting Vicodin into a human with no pain.

      Of course this makes no sense....until you read on.

      My 85 year old father resided in a skilled nursing facility in CA for two years. After being lied to by staff for 14 months, i found out the above...in combo with a benzodiazapine, Ativan...which is...in this case where prescribing md is aware of an 80% block main heart arterie, chronic kidney disease, liver problems and thyroid issues....as close as you can get with said meds and factoring age...to a death sentence.

      I filed a complaint with the local CDPH (cal dept of public health) whom controls the licensing for these homes and got a call from the "supervising administrator" AFTER his investigation (not telling me my rights i.e meeting before the invest. and being present AT the investigation and appeals) who was the one to tell me about injecting my dad with Vicodin numerous times a day....with no pain.

      ....he said a lot of ....abnormal things and ended saying "well, who is the abuser here?"

      I dropped the phone.

      Needless to say, they did nothing whatsoever.

      I have spoken to a few prominent md's at UCSF and Stanford whom have never ever heard of injecting Vicodin.

      Has anyone?

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Sweetelaine,

      Your story has been removed. Glad to be of some help. :)

      Sincerely,

      Jason

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Concernedviking,

      I'm not sure what you are referring to. Vicodin is not available as an injectable. Do you just mean they gave Vicodin tablets?

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      concernedviking 5 years ago

      What i am referring to is what a written report sais after an investigation by a State Agency named CDPH whom is supposed to regulate skilled nursing facilities.

      What i am referring to is what i wrote, a quote from the local administrator at CDPH, Mr Carlson "your father has been getting injections of Vicodin". Yes, he was getting the 500/5 or is it 5/500 tabs (4-5/day) in the beginning but....i am just referring to a statement made by State Agency official whom carries a huge responsibility.

      Does he not know what Vicodin is?....or was it "a joke"...i think not.

      So, if it does not come as an injectable, then there are suddenly 20 more questions on my plate.

      In any case, that is helpful to have confirmed, that such a form of Vicodin doesn't exist.

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      concernedviking 5 years ago

      Actually, i believe this...frightening...confusion calls for a direct question to said administrator/investigator.

      Since other MD's have stated they have never heard of it coupled with your knowledge...i think the above is appropriate, but i don't know if i may copy the email dialogue onto this site....i could of course erase any names and other personal stuff.

      I will leave him a message now and hopefully he will respond on Monday and i will follow up here.

      Thanks

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      Chris 5 years ago

      my question is how long is a prescription good for. I injured my hand some time back and was given a prescription for hydrocodone although I did not finish the prescription. I am a very active person and sometimes end up with aches and pains that are above average. So can I legally take the prescription as long as its not expired?

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Chris,

      When stored in ideal conditions (no excessive heat or moisture) most medication should be good for at least 1 year. Some expire sooner, so check the label, as it should have an expiration prined on it. Keeping it longer than the printed expiration date on the prescription bottle is not recommended.

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      KevinOnEarth 5 years ago

      I thank you for this fine article, and your mention of the stigma that comes with the rest of the mystifying attitudes toward people who need these helpful medications. I have recently been dismissed by my "pain specialist," who told me "the answer is not drugs," without being able to tell me what the answer might be. Without my four 5-325 oxycodone/APAP per day, I cannot do my physical therapy or walk or work. Both my religion and life insurance don't pay off in cases of self termination, so I find myself looking at circumstances that promise to be, at best, lonely.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Kevinonearth,

      I hear you. Don't give up. Don't let the unwillingness of others to understand determine your future. Keep looking for someone who will listen and treat you appropriately. There are many discussion forums for people with pain. Network there and with friends. You will find a good doctor. They are out there. Best wishes.

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      Sammy 5 years ago

      Hi Pharmacist, I have several problems 1. Closed Head Injury 30 years ago that left my left side about 75% parilized, 2 Lung Cancer in 2007 left lung removed and nerves were cut and still feels today as bad as it did in 2007, 3. Fussed left elbow joing, 4. no cartalige left between my last and next to last disk on on my spinal cord. 5 Headaches and on and on. I am still cancer free after 4 and 1/2 years but live everyday in pain. I too feel like a crimenal at times and feel like I'm looked at that way by my pharmacists. To my question, My parents are retired and travel a lot, of course I rent from them because there are days I can't even get up. II live in North Carolina and have been told by my insurance that they would pay for any of my meds. after 3/4 are gone, but I can't get a straight answer from any pharmacy about how early I can get my meds. filled. I'm very very careful not to abuse and have even had my Dr. reduce my doseage and live in pain to stop the stigmna of being labled a drug addict. I have had one pharmacy tell me they can only fill a prescription two days early another will fill 4 days early and I've my Zanax filled 5 or 6 days early. One pharmacy told me that the DEA only allowed them to fill a new or refill two days before the 30 day prescription. Do you know the true law in NC on how early a prescription can be filled? My Dr. will call any of them if I have trouble because he has all my history and has seen my ex-rays and seen my leg brack and days that I could hardly move or needed help to even get into his office. I would just like to knw the true answer so I know I am not breaking any law. I have found that depending on what pharmisist I ask I always get a different answer. Can you help with this question on early refills even with a brand new prescription in North Carolina? Thank you and thank you for this post. I've found that I'm not the only one that feels bad just to be able to have a half normal state of life.

      Thank you again,

      Sammy

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Sammy -

      Here's the deal. When a prescription can be refilled depends BOTH on the insurance and the law. Most insurances allow fills up to 4-5 days early on a 1 month supply.

      Here is the catch. If you get a narcotic filled on the 25th, then it is possible you could get it filled on the 2oth of the next month. HOWEVER...that does NOT mean you can now get it on the 15th of the next month. If you try to do that...then it becomes pretty clear the medication is being over used. That is where the law comes in. There is no "law" that says when a prescription can be refilled per se. However, the law will hold the pharmacist accountable if they contribute to the misuse of medicine. Repeated early fills of narcotics would be, therefore, against the law.

      Hope that makes sense. Most pharmacists will allow (if okay with the insurance) a 1 time early fill of 5 days or so. But then we must watch every month to make sure that pattern does not continue...otherwise we are guilty.

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      Sammy 5 years ago

      Thank you that clears it up, but with my parents retired and owning a Winabego it does happen more than once a year about ever other month or so, I have never abused my meds. i have never taken them except by the way my Dr. has told me to, and I would never sell or give any of my meds away. I just do not understand why I'm lied to and told the DEA law says "I can only fill controlled substantances 2 days early'. I would rather the pharmacist just be honest with me instead of making up a lie. I do not lie to them it looks like they should be arested for telling me a outright lie. I am a grown man my insurance has told me they will fill any of my meds. when they are 3/4 gone. Why would a person lie about a law? I feel like a pharmacist is someone I should be able to trust and not a outright lier. My Drs. know they do not. I see my family Dr., my onacoligst, my pulminoligst, me orthapedist, and now a Ear nose and throat Dr. because I wasjust diagagnoseted with cronic sinusidious. I hurt every day of my life and my Drs. do not lie. When I owned an electrical business I did not lie to my contractors or home owners or inspectors. I to had laws I had to follow, but I did not have to lie to sugar coat something an owner wanted me to do. If it was not leagel I would tell them, but I would not lie and use the state and county laws to make me look like I was the good guy and the State was to blame, but that is what is being done to me when I'm told by someone that the DEA law says they can only fill it two days early. I knew it was a lie nbecause as

      I stated above some pharmacies would refill 7 or 8 days early, not because I was out or abusing but because I am disabled and it is very obvious and I can't tell my caregivers they can't go enjoy their life because I will run out of my meds. This is just crazy they are putting all people that need the meds to have any kind of quality of life and lableing them drug addicts or abusers. I would stop taking and meds. if I thought that was the case. I even ask my Dr. to cut down my meds. and I hurt more buy I thought it wouls show the people I was not an adict. How many drug addicts would tell their Dr. to give then 60 instead of the 120 that they really need. These people need to wake up and understand that everybody is different and stop grouping everybody with one lable. The police can't even do it or it is profiling and that is as illegal as a pharmacist filling a perscription too early. Anyway thank you for you web chat this is a great service where people can really get the truth.

      Thank you again,

      Sammy

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      Tina 5 years ago

      Hey I get 20 Vicodin and take one 3 times a day if needed. And it'd a 6 six day sapply how many refills can I get a month

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Tina,

      Unfortunately the answer is not a simple math question. "As needed" implies that you will not necessarily need 3 every day. You need to have an honest talk with your physician about his/her refill expectations.

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      Mpathia 5 years ago

      I have read your original article & it was very informative. Thank you. My question/problem, whatever, is this: I have had Fibromyalgia for 25 yrs. I went through hell & back just to get a diagnosis. At this point, I am about to give up completely. My PCP never helped me and in the state of RI, everything goes through your Primary Care Physician. I have gall stones which are turning into "sludge" and causing me acute pancreatitis. I almost died. I also have very bad degenerative artrhritis. Added to that, the Fibro pain has become totally out of control. A nurse yelled at me in the hospital for crying. I was alone in my room w/ the door closed and she was so mean to me and I don't know why... I have been fighting for so long, I can't take it anymore... Honestly, I can't. The aching is unrelentless. I have NO quality of life, anymore. I am bedridden most of the time. I have tried everything, including hypnosis, yoga, meditation, I try to excersize when possible. I tried accupuncture, which I had to pay $110.00 for out of my own pocket. I'm on S.S. Disability. The Fibro flared badly after my total hysterectomy... it's been "Hell" ever since... I've lost all my friends and family due to my illness. I no longer wish to live. I am on Fenanyl patch. 50 mg over three days. It only lasts for one-two days... and it only "dulls" the pain slightly. I'm a 57 yr. old women living in the body of a 90 yr. old person. My doctor finally gave me a script for Oxycodone. I had asked him for Vicadins, but because of my liver, he gave me the Oxycodone. It has not worked. I cannot tell you how disappointing this is for me. I am trying to go to, yet, another Pain Clinic. I have been to two and both were just "assembly lines" for cortisone shots. I don't want to look at "lights" as in "light therapy". I researched it and the results were null and the testing was paid for by the makers of the lights... What else is new? I'm so very sick. I contracted Hepatitis C while hospitalized for over a month for the pancreatitis... I truly am at the end of my rope... Dilaudid is the only med that seems to help in any way, and there is NO doctor anywhere that would prescribe this... I don't even have to look to know that. I am not a "druggie". I never did any illegal drugs in my life. I don't drink, I don't drink caffeine, or anything... My doctor is a tough nut to crack. I finally brought my 7 yr. old grandson's picture in and showed it to him and said, "My grandson wants to know why his "Nana" cannot play with him, anymore... He finally gave in & gave me the Oxycodone and it isn't working.... My life is over. It's just totally over. If Oxycodone doesn't work for me, nothing will, I guess. Only the Dilaudid helps. I don't get "high" or anything with anything. My body is very sensitive to antidepressants and the like... I tried Lyrica with no results. Cymbalta made me like a Zombie in pain. What else is there? Nothing... I know that... I have the same pain level as my cousin, who has Stage 4 cancer and is on a pain pump w/ morphine. If you are not dying from cancer, you do not get any help. I can't live like this, anymore and my doctor promised to call a Pain Doctor who I found online. However, through experience with him, he tends not to follow through with things and is only available one day a week (semi-retired) so if I call and he's not available, they tell me to go to the hospital. They treat me for dehydration, pain and then release me and tell me to follow up w/ PCP... Everything is going in circles. I cannot even relate how disappointed I am that the Oxycodone isn't helping. I didn't ask for it.. I don't know that much about it. I read your article and found out that Oxycodone is the main ingredient in Vicodin, so why does Vicodin help me more? I believe the arthritis and Fibro are making my body a living hell. Half my life has been taken away from me. I don't want my grandson to forget me. God, why doesn't this work for me? I stay up all night crying in pain. I didn't sleep for 4 days in a row in my last hospital stay... This is not living, it's just "existing"... and I ache from the inside out. My muscles hurt from the simplest of chores. I just can't go on like this, anymore... It's too awful and I hate feeling like I'm some "junkie" looking for a "fix". I raised my kids, I pushed myself through intense pain & I now have gone beyond my limit... I passed it long ago... What do I do? Dear God, what do I do now?

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      Jerry 5 years ago

      Hello. I was prescribed 90 norcos with 3 refills on Dec. 21. On the prescription sheet, it was listed as an 8 day supply. The directions said to take 1-2 every 4-6 hours as needed. The problem is, I'm just about out. I've had quite a bit of pain lately. Even though each script lasted about 8 days, I still feel this is a lot. However, I do need more. What should I do? If I request a renewal of the script, I don't want them to think I am overtaking them. Thanks.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Mpathia - Stories like this break my heart. What's worse, is that you are not alone. Many find themselves facing the limits of pain management and human fraility and human failures. I'm very sorry. I wish I had an answer. I do encourage you to not give up looking for a physician who will have the courage to keep working with you. Find discussion groups for pain patients in your area and make connections. Also, consider (if you haven't done so) connecting with a good local church. I do believe in prayer. If you are in the U.S. I may be able to direct you to a good local church, as I have quite a few such connections. Very sincerely,

      Jason

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Jerry,

      When a doctor gives a script "as needed" it is a good idea to have a brief discussion with the MD about "how long" he/she expects those 90 tablets to really last. You are correct, and you used it according to the directions. However, when you call for a refill you may need to discuss this. 90 tablets every 8 days is not a good long-term solution to your pain. Best wishes.

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      Susan 5 years ago

      I have a torn meniscus in my right leg and chronic RA and OA. My doctor prescribed Lortab 7.5 , take 2 daily. I can't take other pain relievers as they hurt my stomach. I am very careful with them. I take them every day. But I break them in half and take half in the morning and half at night. My liver blood test in August was perfectly normal.I never exceed 1000 mg. of aceteminophen in 24 hours. Am I being safe enough? Thank you.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Susan,

      It sounds like you are taking all the precautions necessary. Be sure to avoid any other products that might contain tylenol.

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      Susan 5 years ago

      So I am safe? Thank you for your help.

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      Mpathia 5 years ago

      Thank you, Jason, for your reply. I'm still trying... Believe it or not, I used to work for my church. Then, I worked for the local Diocese... The big problem is that because of the pain, I haven't attended church in a long time. I do, however, still have my faith... Anyway, thank you for the reply and God Bless...

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Susan,

      It's hard to make a "safe" pronouncement from the internet. Too many other factors have to be considered. It sounds reasonable, all other things being equal. Best wishes.

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      Susan 5 years ago

      Thank you. I just mean that by taking less than 1000 mg. of aceteminophen in 24 hours, that is well below the max amount, right? Well below the safe range according to the requirements. Thanks again.

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      Susan 5 years ago

      Oh, one more question please. Will the amount of Lortab that I'm taking hurt my stomach? Thanks!

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Susan,

      Yes, that is below the max. I wrote an article on Lortab you may be interested in: https://healdove.com/health-care-industry/Vicodin-...

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      Mary 5 years ago

      As you mentioned above you would advise you pick up a prescription 5 days early so you don't have to go threw the pain of making sure the pharmacy has that medication, I have a question I got my medication on the 4th January, with Jan having 31 days in it could i pick them up 6 instead of 5? They are controlled substance. One is Oxycontin and the other is percocet , that is my fiancees He receives those for pain relief for Lung cancer and mine are Oxycontin and morphine I receive those for chronic pancertits. But amazingly we have the same doctor and she takes us the same time and date.

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      ladykalous 5 years ago

      I have been on percocets for over 6 months now. I take one a day on aveg and this does me fine for pain usually. However I can take it 2 times a day if needed. I started out at the 5's and am now on 7.5/325. I am not your normal person when it comes to meds. Percs keep me awake for days on end! I just stopped taking them a week ago and had no with drawels. It is thus far the only thing that has worked for my pain! I have been on about 10 different meds for pain and nothing has worked. I get severe headaches caused from nerve pain/damage in my spine. I also have 5 things wrong with my spine to include arthritis, and stenosis. It is extremly painful! It causes headaches so severe the only way to stop them is a trip to the ER and getting morphine pumped into me! I dont like drugs tobegin with (not even tylenol) and have never been one to take them. I deal with the pain. But this is to much. Due to the new laws going into effect, or at least on military posts, what are my other options? THey want to switch me from percs to oxycontin or morphine. I refuse to take either. I feel they are more dangerous than percs. Not to mention my brother died from oxycontin. The dr in rehab one time said he had enough in his system to literally kill a full grown horse! But his pain just got worse and worse and the Dr gave it to him like candy! But I have also been told by another pharmacist that oxycontin is a synthetic form of heroin. Help! I have to have something for pain but not at the risk of death! I also have several med allergies. Sulfa, penecillian, amatryptolyn, iodine and allergice to latex and adhesives (so patches are out). Any help or alternatives would be greatly appreciative! THanks!

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Mary,

      A 30 day supply, filled on January 4 will run out on Feb 3. Brining a prescription in on January 29 is reasonable, though it is possible you may not be able to pick it up that day. Going forward you can then bring in your scripts every 30 days, as you will have a 5 day supply extra. Best wishes.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Dear ladykalous,

      I am not aware of the "new laws" you refer to. Are they no longer carrying Percocet on military pharmacies? Oxycontin has the same ingredient as Percocet (i.e. oxycodone). Percocet adds Tylenol. But Oxycontin is time-released, Percocet is not. If morphine works in the ER, then maybe it would work as a substitute for percocet. Or maybe you can take the prescription to a non-military hospital to get the percocet. Hope that helps.

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      Mary 5 years ago

      Thank you for the speedy response, And we did just that and you were right we took them in today and wal~La they filled them, that was a life saver as well, we are going out of town also tomorrow, and it is so difficult getting those prescriptions filled in other states and we really don't like carrying the script with us. Now I do have just one more question, If I may. My insurance started doing that 3 month refill, do you know if there is a way that you can get your narcotics and Klonopin on that or can you not? Do we still have to hand carry the hard copy still?

      Thank you, you have been a wonderful help, Not only for us but for the other people on here also.

      God Bless

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Mary,

      That narcotic can only be prescribed for 30 days per fill per Federal law. It may be possible to get your Klonopin for 3 months, that will depend on state laws and your insurance plan. Not sure what you mean about carrying the hard copy. Those narcotics cannot be phoned in or sent electronically, if that is what you mean. The doctor must write a hard copy every month.

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      Nicole AD 5 years ago

      Brilliant. Shared with my twitter friends. I suffer from chronic pain, diagnosis of fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. Having Oxycontin and norco for breakthrough pain has helped me to be more productive, versus isolated in bed. Thank you for your concise article without judgment. These pills are very beneficial for those of us that take them as prescribed.

      Many thanks!

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      Angela 5 years ago

      Hello, I have chronic back pain due to Sciatica and DDD. It's every day, all day long. When I wake up, sit at a computer chair, Stand for even a short period of time. I've been to specialist and chiropractor who both ended up hurting me even more with treatments such as injections. I can't seem to get anyone to understand what kind of pain I am going through and if they do understand, I feel that they are terrified to prescribe any one of these such drugs because of the media. Or maybe they feel that I'm just looking for a high. I'm obviously not a druggie. I'm in almost constant misery. This has put me in fear of even seeing a doctor for anything. I do not trust them anymore. On many occasions they have spoken to me like I am stupid and it's humiliating and degrading. I have taken so much ibuprofen and Tylenol that it is making my head and stomach hurt with little or no relief for back pain. Muscle relaxers aren't working and I am completely lethargic on them and unable to function. So I am stuck between a rock an a hard place. How can I get some compassion and understanding from a doctor? Any advice would be very helpful.

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      Susan 5 years ago

      Nicole, do you take pain medicine every day like I do? Angela, I will put you on my prayer list and pray that you find a compassionate doctor and relief from your pain. There is one out there. God bless.

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      Jesushelper2 5 years ago

      Thank you Nicole for your sympathy and prayers. As I sit here right now, I'm just lost and crying. I may even have to resort to a methadone clinic for help which is even more degrading because it's a place for drug addicts. It's so expensive and I can't afford it. I don't want to be on methadone. My father died from overdosing on it. I just want the pain to stop.

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      Jesushelper2 5 years ago

      The last message was meant for Susan. Sorry.

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      Susan 5 years ago

      i knew it was. Bless your heart. Hopefully the pharmacist will be able to give you some good advice when he sees your message. Don't give up and keep praying. Jesus is with you.

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      Jesushelper2 5 years ago

      Susan, I really appreciate you being there and replying to my posts. Even though we don't know each other or anything about each other except for what we have posted, It is comforting to know that at least someone... another soul in this world cares about what I'm going through and is praying for me because it's a lonely time for me right now and it's hard to talk about this with people I know because of the embarrassing stigma that comes with taking this kind of medication. God Bless.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      @Nicole - Thank you for the kind words, and for helping me "spread" the word.

      ANYONE who is willing to post a link to this article via Facebook or other social media - I greatly appreciate it!! It helps me reach out to others.

      @Angela - I'm so sorry for your pain, and the frustration involved in getting help. It is hard to give very specific advice via the internet. But some things that come to mind are: 1) Have you tried all the muscle relaxers available? I have an article on them. 2) Can your doctor recommend a new specialist? Also, sometimes calling your insurance company can hook you up with a specialist in your area. 3) Have you tried to network with other back-pain sufferers in your area? They often have great advice. 4) finally, how is the rest of your health? Weight? Smoking? Eating habits? Dietary changes sometimes help.

      Most important - don't give up hope. Keep looking for answers. Some of us DO understand your pain. I wish I could do more. Best wishes.

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      Jesushelper2 5 years ago

      First I would like to thank you Pharmacist for putting this on the internet and replying so quickly to my post. There is so much negative out there about this subject and you offer a legit medical perspective on things. I have tried Skelaxin, Flexerel.... not sure if I spelled the correctly. I may have tried some others but don't remember the names. I would be interested in looking into your article. My PCP is the one who took me off of the Vicodins out of no where and recommended me to to a pain management specialist who was very insensitive, gave the horrid injections which had made me feel as if I had been in an auto accident and he looked at me as if I were a drug addict. I can't seem to find anyone with good advice. I have looked and probably even went to forums with other back pain sufferers in the past. I can't seem to find a good resource. Maybe you can recommend a good forum on the internet? I've been dealing with this for years. Maybe it's because I'm only 31 and doctors think I'm ok because of my age. But my posture should be the tell tale sign. I don't know for sure what is going on in their minds. I'm 5'6" and weigh 175 lbs. I do smoke and my eating habits are not the healthiest but I do take vitamins especially vitamin D. I'm either busy with my job and 3 kids or laying in the bed with pain. My insurance company requires me to get a referral from my PCP to a specialist. I did go to a different family doctor once and took him x-rays from the chiropractor which shows the DDD and the curve in the spine. He laughed at them and said that I could have moved during the imaging process and that a chiropractor just wants to make money off of me. He acted as if my x-ray were not legit. I've also been to the Mayfield clinic which is supposed to be a spine specialist but after the examination and discovery of DDD, the doc told me to go out into the sunlight and take vitamin D. It's like they avoid prescribing medications like it is the plague. I really appreciate you sympathy and understanding. I know there a lot of other things you could be doing with your time instead of spending your valuable time on the internet with people. God Bless You.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Jesushelper2,

      There are several good forums out there. Healingwell.com is one to try. Yes, sometimes if someone "looks" fine and are, like yourself, relatively young and otherwise pleasant...it is hard for a doctor to really appreciate the pain behind the picture. I would suggest going back to your PCP and asking for a referal to someone else. Also, you should know that smoking does weaken the effectiveness of many medications. Quiting can be tough, but it may make the pain meds work better. Best wishes. Let me know if I can help in any other way.

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      Mpathia 5 years ago

      @Jesushelper2: Our prayers are with you...

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      Mpathia 5 years ago

      Dear pharmacist,

      Thank you from all of us for the help you are providing out of the "goodness" of your heart. It is difficult to find any doctor with even a "small" amount of empathy... I am wondering if you may be able to help me with two questions... I have Fibro & I am on Fentanyl 50 patch. Doesn't take pain away, unfortunately... As I stated before along with many others, you start to feel like some "junkie" asking for meds from doctors, especially when you are forced to try to find doctor after doctor who will try to help... I saw something on a doctor's website that truly enraged me. He is listed as a "pain specialist", however his ignorance of Fibro was appalling. States it's a relatively "new" condition and it's thought to be caused by either genetics or a virus. He also states that the condition is worsened by "inactivity"... Well, if you have the illness, you know you feel every muscle being used during "any" activity and we do not "heal" as normal people. It often exacerbates pain. Oh, well... Thanks for letting me "vent"... Back to my questions: I was on Tramadol. It didn't take the pain away. The doctor reluctantly put me on Oxycodone (thanks for the explanation on difference, BTW), but I am getting absolutely NO relief from the Oxycodone. My doctor is a "hard sell"... I am not looking for a "high", which I hate. I want real "pain control". I am wondering why the Oxycodone does not help... My second question is: I have a GI (for pancreatits; gall stones, etc) who found I was anemic... No one followed up with this and now my hair is falling out. Not in clumps, but a lot more than is usual for me.. I started wondering if it could be the new med, but then I started to wonder about the anemia... My doctor's rather useless... What do you think would be a suitable dosage of iron OTC? Thanks again... I hope somehow we can all find relief somehow, someway.. God Bless...

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      Mpathia 5 years ago

      Sorry... third post.. I really apologize... My conditions: I left out degenerative arthritis in my spine in cervical and lumbar regions. Severe pain w/ that, also. Combined w/ possible Hep C, Fibro, gall bladder problems, etc.. Living isn't quite "living" when you cannot functon due to chronic pain... Many of us see people in life well into their senior years who function better than us. I know my dad did, well into his seventies... Such a shame... Thank you for "putting up with my forgetfullness"...

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Mpathia,

      Since your body has previously been introduced to various narcotics, it is possible the dose of Oxycodone just was not high enough. We do build up tolerance. The fentanyl dose you were on is about a "middle" dose, and may also have needed to been increased. As for Iron, you should check with the doctor who diagnosed the anemia. Not all "anemias" are from iron deficiency, though many are. For iron deficiency, you could take 65mg of elemental iron (325mg Ferrous Sulfate) once daily with a stool softener. But again, check with the MD first. Best wishes.

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      Susan 5 years ago

      What a great article! I came online to find out about new Oklahoma laws requiring an ID to pick up these narcotics, whether it is actually necessary to have the ID of the patient, or if it is okay to simply get the ID of the person picking it up. I could go into a long complaint, but suffice to say, there are YOUNG pharmacists out there who take issue with older people who have to take pain killers because of actual health issues. Tonight my husband actually had to give out my social security number in the drive thru because he did not have MY drivers license. He was told it was a new state law. Really?

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      Susan 5 years ago

      Oh, and I forgot to mention I live ONE BLOCK from the Walgreens, and we have all of our scripts there since 2002. Trust me when I say, they know who we are.

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      Laney 5 years ago

      Hi... I go to pain mgt. once a month to get my oxycodone 30mg.I have always had to plan my vacation around my PM appointments. I am going to visit family for 6 weeks in another state. My doc has written my script for this month and he also gave me one for next month too so i don't have to return to see him in the middle of my trip. My question is can i get my oxycodone script filled in another state?

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      ladykalous 5 years ago

      THe new regulations/law is that for people with chronic pain and on percocets and other drugs that are usually used for short term pain (eg. surgery recovery)to be put on a long term medication designed for long term use. I have been evaled by my Dr and she said I am good to go because of the way I take mine. I dont take them unless I just cant stand it anymore! However, this regulation is only on military facilites at this time but is suppose to go nation wide by the end of the year according to my Dr's. It is due to the increase of suicides, accidental and intentional. Makes no sense to me because a person can OD on just about anything now days! And how does it make sense to put people or give people a replacement of a more potent drug! Some considered even more addictive! lol Got to love our Government right?! Anyways, THis is what is going on with that. They are easing people into it. Meaning Dr's and patients alike. How ever with my chronic pain and my strange body affects/reactions to meds, what would you recommend if the percocet stops working or I have to rely on it more than once or twice a day? Is morphine the next step up? Ive been on amytriptalline, flexeril and several others to no avail. I have nerve damage in my spine and I know this dont help the Dr's none either. Because of the fact there is so much going on in my spine alone and trying to treat several ailments. So I am jsut curious if there is any thing that may work better, just as well etc... But it has to be fairly safe. I am pretty healthy other wise. Not obese (weight is hardly ever an issue other than personal), no diabetes or any thing like that. It is all nerve and bone related. CAn you suggest any thing?

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Susan,

      Individual states are given the liberty to pass laws to help regulate the sale and distribution of controlled substances. One such law that many states use is the "photo ID" regulation. Typically this means the person PICKING up the Rx and sometimes also the person DROPPING off the Rx must show a proper ID. Yes, it is annoying, especially when they have known you for years. But don't take it personally. Sorry for your trouble.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Laney,

      Every state I know of will allow this. HOWEVER...you must give the pharmacy sufficient time to verify it is legit. If you use a chain pharmacy, try to go to the same chain in the other state. That will help. Otherwise, just drop the Rx off at least 2 full days before you will need it and NOT on a weekend when a doctor is not reachable. Best wishes.

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      laney 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for your help!! This is a great thing you are doing, i have always felt funny about talking to anyone about my meds since people usually act like i'm a drug addict when i tell them what kinds of meds i take. I live each and every day in pain and these meds are the only things that allow me to have any quality of life.Thank You for answering alot of questions i had and not making me feel like a junkie

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      Krazyrph 5 years ago

      Encouraging people to fill Oxycontin 5 days earlier is not a appropriate recommendation since many states restrict early fill to 7 days per 6 months(6 fills of 30 days each).

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Krazy,

      What I meant, and I think I have said, is to get 1 FILL 5 days early. After that, they can be filled every 30 days and patients will always have a 5 day supply window. You are right, patients may not fill the Rx 5 days early every month. And no responsible pharmacist would continue filling them.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      ladykalous,

      Ideally short-acting pain meds should be used for acute pain or breakthrough pain. Many people are okay with time-released morphine (Kadian brand is a good one), and it is typically well-tolerated. Long acting oxycodone (oxycontin) may be another option.

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      Pam 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for this article! I have SLE (Lupus) and severe arthris and after cracking my shoulder a few months back, found that vicodin (7.5/750) actually improved the quality of my life with my other issues. After telling my dr. this, he gave me a prescription for 50 of them to have for a bad day (I see him every 3 mos.), so I space them out over that time (like 1 every other day) but after reading your article I feel like I don't have to be embarrassed to ask for more. I was feeling bad because of the stigma these meds have. Your article was very enlightening! Thanks!

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      You're welcome Pam. Glad to be of service.

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      camaro dan 5 years ago

      I have crohns disease and RA. I was prescribed vicodin 5/500 pills. I don't take more then 3 daily. How many days does it take for my body to become "hooked". Meaning if I were to take 3 pills a day for a week and not take any for 2 days, would I go through withdraws.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Camaro,

      It is unlikely, but hard to say for sure. Many people can use Vicodin for several weeks for temporary painful conditions and stop without any problems. Some people are more predisposed toward dependence. If you are really concerned, talk to your doctor about other non-narcotic options. Best wishes.

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      camaro dan 5 years ago

      Due to my crohns I cannot take anything other then tylenol or vicodin type pills because aspirin, ibeprofun and motrin type pills will cause massive intestinal bleeding(we've tried :( ) so its either tylenol with no relief or vicodin, which works well

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      Lynne 5 years ago

      I take one Lortab 7.5 a day for arthritis pain. I also take a tylenol pm at night to sleep. I make sure it's spaced out well. Is this okay? Ly liver tests have always been normal. Thank you.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Lynne,

      All other things being equal, taking 1 Lortab during the day and 1 Tylenol PM at night keeps you well below the recommended maximum of acetaminophen.

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      Alice 5 years ago

      Great information, many thanks.

      I'm set to have rotator cuff surgery in a couple of months, and recently had my meds changed. Was on Norco 6 months ago, moved up to Percocet 10/325 and was taking too many about 7 a day, so my doc put me on MS Contin 15mgx2, twice a day. MS Contin did absoulty nothing to help my pain, so doctor suggested that I had to be on some-sort of ER pain med, with just 3 Percocets a day. So with much hesitation (on my part) she put me on 20mg of OxyContin twice a day, and the 3 Perc's only morn, noon, and night. This really has helped my pain, and allows me to function throughout the day, no doped feeling at all. Too bad that the wrong people have really created a stigmata with regards to OxyContin. When used properly at the correct doses, and NOT abused, it really is a wonder drug.

      Although, it is quite expensive, is there another option for me, if I can't afford them in the future? What other types of medicines could help me, be less expensive, and give the same relief?

      Many thanks!!

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      Mpathia 5 years ago

      Yes, it truly is a shame that people who are using narcotics in a "recreational" use have created the stigma you have mentioned... I can't even get my doctor to "try" narcotics. I am in pain 24/7... Michael Jackson's "incident" & the frequent abuse of meds in stars in Hollywood certainly does not help, either. I believe unrelenting "pain" from any conditon should be treated with compassion. It is awful that it takes a life-threatening illness, such as cancer, to be able to get pain relief. Some individuals are predisposed to addition. However, all factors of "pain" should be be "weighed" with the measure of quality of life, no matter the circumstances... Suicide should also be weighed... constant & unrelenting pain cannot be tolerated by any human or animal.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Alice,

      Yes, ideally we want to use an ER pain reliever for daily chronic pain, and reserve Percocet for short-term or breakthrough pain. If you still need Percocet 3 times daily, every day, then your ER medicine may no be properly adjusted.

      As for a less expensive option...the MS Contin would be an option...maybe they didn't have the dose appropriate for your pain. I'm assuming the narcotics are for now, before the surgery. Maybe after the surgery the pain will, hopefully, be reduced. Best wishes.

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      Anita 5 years ago

      I have severe arthritis in my lower back, a bulging disc in my neck, and polyneuropthy in my legs. I go to a pain doctor, he wrote me a script for morphine sulphate, 1 3xs a day, 60mg, & norco 1 5xs a day 'as needed' for breakthrough pain. My 'pharmacy' says it's too early to get my norco, it's been 28days. I want to know what I can do? Sometimes I am in more pain than usual and I need the norco, why is the pharmacy allowed to 'over ride' the doctor? Please help me, I am truly suffering!!!

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Anita,

      If you received a 30 days supply (150 tabs) 28 days ago, then you should be able to fill it today or tomorrow. The pharmacy must ensure you are using no more than 5 per day. If you need more, then you must discuss with your MD so that the prescription reflects this.

      However, at 5 per day, these are no longer truly for "breakthrough" pain. In my opinion your morphine needs to be adjusted so that the norco is used less frequently. But there may be other issues going on which I am not aware of. I am truly sorry for your pain. Sincerely,

      Jason

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      Lynne 5 years ago

      Sorry to seem stupid, but what do you mean by "all other things being equal"?

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Lynn,

      Sorry. My fault. I just mean that I am "assuming" you have no other underying liver problems and that you are not taking other sources of tylenol and that you are thus otherwise healthy...then this seems perfectly safe. Hope that helps.

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      Lynne 5 years ago

      Yes, it does help. Thanks. God bless you.

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      Hair loss, meds, etc... 5 years ago

      I have Fibromyalgia, gall bladder problems that sometimes make me get pancreatitis... Severe pain is always an issue. However, I am haaving a horrible time finding a doctor as I have written before... Anyway, I had a colonoscopy and a couple of days later, I began to have severe abdominal/lower back pain. I went to a walk in clinic & nothing came back conclusive on my urinalyisis, but they prescribed Cipro for a UTI. I had been on it for at least four days w/o any relief... ended up going to hospital & being diagnosed w/ diverticulitis. I was in for 4 days, let out today, but I was not given any pain meds and I am suffering horribly. I didn't feel well enough to leave hospital, but it was not my regular GI & didn't want to argue. Besides, during a severe case of pancreatitis, 3 nurses told me the man was "a butcher", so you can imgine my confidence level with him, anyway... Now, I am waiting to hear from my GI as to what to do. Wondering if the Cipro/Flagyl combo may not be have worked? I'm in agony. I have diarrhea, also. My life has become a living nightmare... I need pain control for the Fibromyalgia & Vicodin seems to be Ok, but the doc is reluctant to prescribe ANYTHING, really. I am going Wed to see about possible Hepatitis C, which I truly believed I contracted in my last hospital stay. My question is now about hair loss. I have so many things going on and trying to tolerate so much pain. I tried to back track the hair loss to any new meds. I was on Oxycodone 5 for about a week and at the same time Hydroxyzine 50 mg. 3 x day, and Bentyl 50 mg. 3 x day. I never had this problem before. I am very, very concerned and this is adding to my anxiety... Would any of these meds cause hair loss? Also, are there other antibiotics used for diverticulitis? This is horrible... Sorry...

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hair loss,

      The medications you list are not especially known for causing hair loss. However, many things can contribute to this like poor diet, diabetes, hormonal changes, certain hair treatments, etc. Best to make an appointment and begin to narrow down the cause with your doctor. In the mean time, take a vitamin and eat a good balanced diet. Use mild products on your hair. Best wishes.

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      Jennifer Pritchard 5 years ago

      My insurance company allows for me to fill a script 8 days early. I went to walgreen's and I was 5 day's early and they refused to fill the script until the last day. I said I would go someone where else and went across the street to the Dillions pharmacy. However, Walgreen's called them to make sure they wouldn't fill my script either. I take OC - 40's x 3 a day. I have a high tolerance so my doctor prescribes them so I can take them every 6 hours. What I want to know is if it is legal for them to do this as a pharmacist? Even on the back of walgreen's information for oxycontin it says to fill it 5 days early to avoid issues. I usually just switch back and forth between the two every month to avoid this but today I forgot because Dillions was busy and just went to Walgreen's again. Obviously the standard is 5 days early so why is the pharmacist's refusing to fill the scripts. I mean if insurance covers it, and my doctor has already given the go ahead (She writes my scripts 1 month ahead of time in case I have to mail them in), then why are they doing this? I live in Kansas and as far as I know there is no law against filling a script 5 days early. We do have this KTRACKS system but Im not on that. My doctor checked for me. Any info would be great. Should I contact the management at the stores? How do I best approach this situation?

      **On a quick note, my insurance company has a trigger finger on cancelling my benefits every chance they get, and because of this I have had to go through withdrawl before because I have had to wait on a script until the last minute. Trying to avoid that.**

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Jennifer,

      There are 2 issues. You are correct that you may generally fill a prescription a few days early. However, the second issue is that a pharmacy is responsible for making sure you are not taking more than is prescribed. If you get it filled 5 days early once, then you try to get it filled another 5 days early the next time...the obvious assumption is that you are taking more than is prescribed. If you are using more than prescribed you need to discuss this with your doctor so that he/she prescribes this appropriately. Does that make sense? Hope that helps.

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      Devonna McLaurin 5 years ago

      I had a hip replaccement in November of 2011 and still hurt severely and cannot sleep on either side. I also have arthritis in my lower back. Now,I have lower back 4th & 5th disc pain pinching the nerves down the side and front of my left leg, same hip that was replaced. The I have upper neck 1st and 2nd disc, arthritic and degenerating, arthritic and pinching the nerves in my neck, down my arm and last two left fingers are going numb. I am in grave pain and do not no what to do.Doctor's now look at pain as if it were nothing because they are not enduring it. I need help and a good doctor that understands pain and not afraid to get pain meds and I mean, percocet, ambien so I can sleep at night and due to my stress from losing everything in 2007 when our government became greedy along with Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae which destroyd my family business and my daughters, son-in-laws and husband worked for me. I have 5 grandchildren that were allowed to come there after school. Needless to say the economy caused closure for my company, and I havbe grieved myself to death pver this and watching my children and families suffer. no one came to our rescue, as they did the big car companies and banks. So now, i can only survie on Klonipin (Clonzepam), It is the only way i stay calm and deal with this ordeal that destroyed our lives. Yes, realize that it is only materialistic and God is protecting us, but explain that to your children and grandchildren that were raised in that home and it is all they know. My heart is still there and I just want to go home instead on living on Klonipin to get me through the day. I have tried herbal and antidepressants, but nothing works like Klonipin. It is awesome. If you know a doctor not to treat a broken heart and a lot of real pain in endure near High Point, NC please advise me of him. I could certainly use appointment very soon, as for my meds are getting low. Thanks guys for all the comments, I know there is a rainbow ahead on me. May God Bless you all in your trials.

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      Devonna McLaurin 5 years ago

      I made alot of errors at 2:38 in the morning because I cannot sleep from pain and stress. Please try to read between the lines and make since of what I have said. Thanks for allowing me to share my experience and vent to stress.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Devonna,

      I hear you. I wish I knew of someone in your area to help. I do know of a good church in Oak Ridge, NC....Providence OPC. The best way to find a good doctor that will help is to try and network with others who are in similar pain. There are online discussion forums in which you might meet someone locally who could help. God bless!

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      Lynne 5 years ago

      Another stupid question....I am the one who takes one Lortab and one Tylenol PM every day. As long has everything else is equal, as you say, is the aceteminophen "building up" in my body, or am I eliminating it? Thanks so much for your help.

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      Sandy 5 years ago

      This is a very useful article. I do have one comment regarding the Pharmacist's recommendation to not let your prescription for pain medication lapse before getting a refill, to get your new script "5 days" before it's due to be refilled.

      My husband has been on sustained release morphine for almost two years. He has seven herniated discs, spinal stenosis and severe arthritis in his lower lumbar.

      His physician WILL NOT refill his script 5 days in advance. The margin is two days at best.

      If you want to go on vacation or have an emergency that requires going out of town, most Doctors, inclusive of my husbands Doctor, will not write your narcotic refills to accommodate your plans.

      It's ridiculous to me, and when I questioned the Doctor because she refused to refill my husbands medication a few days in advance so we could go on vacation, received a tongue lashing from the Doctor.

      My husband has never abused his medication. He's never "lost" it, "spilled it down the toilet" or given his physician any reason to suspect he's misusing it.

      He is subjected to regular testing to make sure he's taking it himself and not "selling it" or doing anything illegal with his medications.

      In this article, the pharmacist writes how pain medications are becoming embarassing for the patient, and it's no wonder to me that patients are loathe to ask questions about their medications because of the way they are treated by the medical community.

      There's a stigma attached to using narcotics, and even the prescribing physicians treat their patients like they are second class citizens.

      My own personal physician, after seeing the MRI done on my spine and diagnosed me with crippling arthritis told me he "didn't want to start me on the opiate road" although he realizes I'm in constant pain.

      He wrote me a script for Lyrica despite the fact that I have high blood pressure and other conditions that the manufacturer warns may not be suitable to combine with that particular medication.

      What it boils down to is that because of the people who misuse narcotics, the "baby" is "being thrown out with the bathwater" and physicians are punishing bonafide pain patients for the behaviour of the misusers.

      The stigma has become even worse, in my opinion, after the death of Michael Jackson and now Whitney Houston. Rush Limbaugh was just the tip of the iceberg.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Lynne,

      Not a dumb question. Very reasonable. The answer is no. Acetaminophen is metabolized by your liver and excreted via the kidneys. It does not build up over time.

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      Lynne 5 years ago

      Thank you for your answer. God bless you.

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      Sharon 5 years ago

      Hi...I feel like I have found a caring friend or at least a good dose of common sense! In all of the online info., with the professionals and expects all fearing ...heaven forbid....PAIN RELIEF...you have helped me wade through the muck and mire to finally read some truth! yES.... I can ask for what I need....and I am in need of some very chronic pain relief. Thank you and God bless you. Sharon

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Sharon,

      Glad to have provided some support for you. Hope you are able to find a helpful local practioner to treat you. Best wishes.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Gary,

      Great points. I have written on alprazolam, and you are welcome to share this information with anyone you like: https://hubpages.com/health/Alprazolam-Side-Effect...

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      JPC 5 years ago

      My doctor faxed two prescriptions of Vicodin (same strength) to my pharmacy. Each prescription was 90. When I got my first prescription, I received 180. I have two refills on each prescriptions. However, the directions is to take them every 8 hours for pain...so that would ideally only be 90 pills a month. It also is a prescription for 30 days only. Now, when I go to refill next month, will I receive 180 again, or just 90. Also both prescriptions are different RX numbers...Im a bit confused. What do you think?

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      JPC,

      Sounds to me like the doctor's office and possibly the pharmacy both screwed up. No reason for 2 scripts for same thing from same doctor. Use what you have been given appropriately. Refill just 1 script. Disregard the other.

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      GeeLee 5 years ago

      Emsam and chronic pain

      I have lived with chronic back pain for the last 15 years or so. Which was diagnosed FINALLY as degenerative disk disease C3-C7, about 6 years ago. I have also been diagnosed with severe CTS in my right hand (successful surgery has all but eliminated that problem) and moderate CTS and severe arthritis in my left hand. I am pretty much a bundle of pain, all day every day. All while working a full time job (up until about 2 years ago)and trying to maintain my marriage and friendships. I have been seeing a parade of Docs.....my PCP, Neurologists, Rheumatologist, Neurosurgeons, PA's, NP's, PT's and pain management specialists. They all have a test, an exercise, some injection, a follow up appointment or some reference to see someone else. It is a long and frustrating process. It can be months between a consultation and any actual treatment. And all this time I'm still in pain. Most of my Docs are very conservative in their approach to pain meds. Frankly, I feel like a drug seeker when I feel I have to push them to give me a real painkiller (instead of taking the handfuls of Advil which is my usual MO when the pain gets worse and they're not that effective, anyway). Finally my neurologist prescribed Tramadol and that was pretty effective. BUT, about 2 years ago I was diagnosed with severe atypical depression. Not surprising, since the cycle of chronic pain and depression is a vicious one. After many trials and failures, I am on the Emsam Patch (9mg) and it seems to be working. Of course Tramadol is a big no no with Selegiline. Also many regular MD's are not familiar with all the contraindications for Emsam, so I have tried to do a lot of research myself. Many online sources site Acetaminophen as contraindicated, while one pharmacist and the Psych doc thinks its ok - therefore Vicodin should be ok. SO, 2 questions:IS it in fact ok? ....and I have only taken Vicodin for relatively short periods of time (like right after dental surgery) and it didn't so much relieve the pain as make me too sleepy to much care about it, so is there something else that you can recommend that might bring better relief, but that will play nice with the Emsam?

      So sorry for the novel length. Any light you can shed would be greatly appreciated

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi GeeLee,

      I try to restrain from giving very specific advice, since it is impossible to know your case simply by reading this post. I do appreciate your difficult situation.

      I would direct you to my article on MAO Inhibitors: https://healdove.com/health-care-industry/What-Are...

      Also, my other article on Vicodin: https://healdove.com/health-care-industry/Vicodin-...

      In addition to those, you may want to talk to your MD about using a muscle relaxer like Methocarbamol and possibly an NSAID (like ibuprofen). Acetaminophen is okay with Emsam. Other meds combined with the acetaminophen can be problematic. Hydrocodone and Emsam will tend to cause a lot of drowsiness. You found this out. Best wishes.

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      Patti Hammonds 5 years ago

      Everything is addictive, sex, food, video games,alcohol, etc. ... , if it is "ABUSED". That is the problem I have with the doctors today. All they want to talk about is why they "don't" want to prescribe a narcotic. I have all these medical problems including herniated torn discs, fibromyalgia & Lupus, had a wonderful PCP Doctor who treated me with pain medication for the last 2 years & the new laws over narcotic pain meds came out & he had to send all of his patients he treated for pain, to pain management specialists. What a time I have had with these doctors... The one I am currently seeing is "tapering" me OFF of my percocet.. YES, that's what I said. I just don't understand. (scratching my head) But what can you do? They (the doctors) have control over your life when it comes to prescription pain medication. I have NEVER abused my prescriptions. This doctor says that the only people that should be receiving narcotic pain medicine are people with cancer.

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      louromano 5 years ago

      Great Hub .Awesome Information. Great answers. You have a gift to help people.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      louromano,

      Thank you for the kind words. Best wishes!

      Jason

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      gmamcgraw 5 years ago from FL

      First let me thank you for all the valuable info you have shared. My question is due to Tricare making recent changes, I have had to change my pharmacy as well, I take Nucynta ER and Percocet for chronic pain, I use mail order on all my maintenance drugs as its cheaper. When I took my prescriptions to the pharmacy to get filled the second month using this pharmacy they told me they would write me a otc prescription for vitamins, or else they could not fill my pain meds, something to do with profiles and DEA? I am still confused as to how they filled them the first month? I used to use Walgreens, and I have taken the same meds for the last three years, well the Nucynta is new only just started taking this. I don't understand why they will not fill just my pain meds as I use mail order for my other 3 maintenance. So my question is? Is there a new law that they cannot just fill pain meds? Please let me know, since I am a new customer to this pharmacy I wonder if they are just trying to make more money from me, or is this really a legal thing they have to do. I live in FL. Thanks in advance for your help, I appreciate it.

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      recovered drug abuser in pain 5 years ago

      Hi. Instead of asking about my personal situation, I just want to ask about the "medicine" culture in general and what you've noticed as a pharmacist and insider.

      Well my question pertains to this kind of consumer mindset we all seem to have, and I wonder if you find people coming in and asking about medications they've seen on tv, or even asking if they can have samples? You know, completely oblivious to the entire fact that these medicines require doctors diagnosis and prescriptions?

      I just think it's weird to relay the message that patients are supposed to suggest a certain drug, because it automatically puts the patient in a position to self-diagnose...as I'm sure you've heard more of since the internet was born.

      And I'm also curious about this: Do you ever feel internal conflict about filling prescriptions you know are unbelievably high dosages, whether narcotics or otherwise?

      I mean, if somebody is taking upwards of 300mg of oxycontin a day, you have to ask yourself how that is allowable, and what kind of doctor would ever metaphorically imprison his patient in not only a small room, but one without any light...

      Do you ever want to suggest they talk to their doctors about trying different drugs if you notice the dosages or combinations of drugs are either high or dangerous?

      I simply have to believe that most drugs have diminishing returns once you've reached a certain saturation level, at least the ones we're talking of here...I'm no scientist though.

      Finally, and specifically on the issue of pain control, I'm just curious on your personal belief on an idea that if America just brought codeine tablets, such as exist otc in Canada, to our otc markets, it would dramatically decrease the amount of pain patients going to doctors, and doctors would have more space to tell his patients to try otc drugs instead of immediately writing that prescription?

      I'd wager that a solid 25% of hydrocodone patients would be perfectly fine with simple otc codeine/apap mix. The doctors just seem to always write hydrocodone first. In my personal experience, even if I just need a muscle relaxer or a weaker painkiller, they seem eager to throw those vicodin at me. I've had a doctor tell me he wouldn't give me Soma because he would concerned it would interfere with my job performance, but then wrote a prescription for 20mg oxycontins....I didn't even want them because I needed a muscle relaxer specifically, not a painkiller because my pain was coming because my muscles were hyperextended. It's easy to see how patients are so confused about these types of issues.

      My personal story, I need a percocet about once around every 3-4 days, and I was researching why I have to go to the doctor every time I want a refill...now I know!

      So one prescription lasts me for 3-4 months, but recently I've asked my doctor if she could write the prescription with ibuprofen in it instead of acetaminophen, and she wouldn't freakin do it! So yea...not a big deal, but I'm just confused as to why she wouldn't do it. She was reluctant to lower my dosage when I told her I was feeling a bit better too, and I kind of hounded her to do it and she did...but it was just weird to have to tell my doctor that my dosage is too high.

      Do doctors get paid by pharmaceutical companies to prescribe name-brand drugs? I'm pretty sure oxycontin isn't generic yet, and I always wonder whether doctors recommend prescriptions based upon their paychecks rather than patient needs.

      Thanks!

      I

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      gmamcgraw,

      Florida has some odd laws, particularly with respect to narcotics - since this state has historically been riddled with narcotic prescribing problems. Last year they eliminated the ability of a GP from prescribing Schedule II or III narcotics at all. Crazy. Your best bet is to check with your state board of pharmacy for clarification on this regulation. Or call Walgreens headquarters to get them to explain it. Best wishes.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      recovered,

      When most patients see the rx ads on tv - they want nothing to do with the drug! LOL. Actually, those ads are mostly for doctors - and to remind patients to refill their prescriptions. They really don't target new patients - even though that is the way they sound. Just an advertising gimmick.

      I don't think OTC codeine is the answer.

      I wouldn't dispense something that was written dangerously too high.

      Doctors don't get paid for writing for brands. Most just want something that will work - and are happy to prescribe the cheapest effective treatment. When cheap don't work - then they move on to the $$ drugs.

      Thanks,

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      md2b 5 years ago

      to recovered:

      just wanted to comment on something you said: i am from canada and we don't have codeine tablets otc...we have tylenol w. 8mg codeine per tablet otc..must ppl don't know about this though...u have to ask the pharmacist for it specifically as they have it behind their counter but u do not need a script for it...however, it has tons of acetaminophen in it...this means...if u were to try to take the amount that would equate to the amount of codeine in tylenol 3 you'd be taking a lot more of the acetaminophen...about 4 times the amount...thus ppl don't tend to do that bc it destroys the liver...so no ppl aren't happier w. just taking that (u thought 25% of ppl would be)...just a comment there for your knowledge.

      pharmacist: is soma available in canada?

      thx

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      md2b,

      First, thanks for the clarification with respect to tylenol with codeine in Canada. Do you know exactly how much acetaminophen per tablet it contains? I am afraid I do not know if Soma is available in Canada. Anyone else? Thanks!

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      GlendaH 5 years ago

      Acetaminophen with codeine is sold in Canada OTC. They are equivalent to Tylenol#1's. There is 300 mg of acetaminophen, 15 mg of caffeine and 8 mg of codeine phosphate.

      I too am suffering from chronic pain and have had multiple tests with multiple drs. I am awaiting an exploratory surgery th

    • profile image

      GlendaH 5 years ago

      Sorry, it posted before I finished my ramblings. I am awaiting an exploratory laparascopy to see if there's anything causing my chronic lower right abdominal pain. As well I now have all over body aches. I am a type 2 diabetic, high cholesterol and depression. My Dr put me on 400 mg of tramadol and voltaren 3 times a day for breakthrough pain. When I had to go see another Dr, he told me to stop taking the voltaren because of my diabetes and the possibility of kidney damage. Then he gave me flexeril for my sore muscles. I am out of the flexeril, and have nothing for the aches or the breakthrough pain. It is such a vicious circle. As well I finally have an appt at a chronic pain clinic next month. I'm really hoping to get some answers at that appt. Anyway, there's the info on T1's here in Canada and thanks for listening to me vent!!!! It was really nice reading these posts and it will help me when I go to the hospital tomorrow morning to get something for the aches and breakthrough pain!!

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      Jeff 5 years ago

      I just had knee replacement surgery, and am on Oxycontin 20mg x3 daily, with Percocet for breakthrough pain. After my sugery they sent me home with MS Contin 30mg X2 daily and it did nothing for my pain, and actually each time after I took it, I would feel very sick. Why don't I feel sick with the Oxy and Percocet? I would assume that all of the medicine I'm on is strong, but why did I feel so crappy when I took the Morphine sulfate?

      Thank You.

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Jeff,

      Ideally they should have tested your response to morphine before sending you home, but time constraints may not have allowed it. Oxycontin is sometimes hard to get quickly, as some pharmacies order it as needed. Let the MD know ASAP, and see if they can change it for you. Best wishes.

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      MD2B 5 years ago

      hi GlendaH,

      you seem to have some info on medications here in canada...do u know if soma is available to us? Please do let me know asap! Thank you kindly...& I hope that all is well with you...take care...and thanks in advance for the help...appreciate it!

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      vicki 5 years ago

      ty-ty-ty--for a clear, concise explanation of pain medicine. I never have taken it, bit broke a wrist-surgery and thus pain.

    • profile image

      md2b 5 years ago

      does anybody else know if soma or soprodol is available in canada?

      any help would be greatly appreciated!

      Thanks

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      plain & fancy 5 years ago

      I just wanted to thank you SO much for all of the information! I have Severe RA, Lupus, a blown disc and now neuropathy from Shingles, and have been taking Percocet and/or Vicodin for years. My pain mgmt dr has suggested Oxycontin and I have been reluctant as many years ago I "lost" a loved one due to addiction. However after reading your info have decided that it is NOT the evil drug I assumed, and may make my life and pain more managable ;) I also REALLY appreciate the way you give advice--like a buddy or friend, not a medical professional. Thanks again!

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      plain & fancy,

      Its my pleasure to be of service. Thank you for the kind words. Best wishes.

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      bryanbaldwin 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Oxycontin has ruined the lives of many people I went to high school with.

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      Nancy McClintock 5 years ago from Southeast USA

      I have a strong belief that there is a tendency toward addiction. As a chronic pain patient I have kept that uppermost in my mind and I know that I have never needed a pain pill oxycontin or otherwise unless I was in pain. It is sometimes a choice to abuse medicine.

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      bondgirl99 5 years ago

      My Mother is addicted to Vicodin. She was always addicted to some kind of pain killer since I was young. Valium was her choice when my sisters and I were growing up.

      She has arthritis and degenerative disk disease but I find she rarely talks about her arthritis or her neck these days.

      Now, she has foot pain, tooth abscess, pinched nerves in her lower back...

      It seems every few months something new comes up.

      She is 76 and her drug addiction has spanned all of my 40 years.

      Her chronic pain has spread to parts of her body that requires a new doctor every time the last doctor refuses to prescribe her any more Vicodin.

      My Mother is addicted to pain killers. Her arthritis caused the addiction but the medicine has exaggerated the pain in her mind.

      When she can't get it from one doctor, she will go to another.

      I never saw it when I was little but now as an adult, I take care of my parents, and I can see the addiction.

      I wish I saw it when I was young...it would have explained a lot.

      This comment is in no way directed toward anyone on this site. I am sorry for your pain. I rubbed my Mother's neck for hours when I was little just to get her to stop crying.

      Degenerative disk disease is horrible. Arthritis is terrible. And the only solution is being addicted to pain killers.

      I love my Mom..I just wished I could find something better for her so she can enjoy her life with my Dad.

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      Nancy McClintock 5 years ago from Southeast USA

      I feel so sorry for you and your mom but there is a difference in taking a medication for pain or for addiction. If you have a need for a drug when your pain has passed you are addicted but if you don't desire, physically or mentally a medication when you are not in pain you are not addicted.

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      rocky 5 years ago

      oxys..my wife has been on them for 8 months now .she has had 7 knee surgeries in the last 2 yrs ..and still isnt right.....she sees her doctor twice a month...he writes she takes 2 to 3 day of the 60..my question is why when see went to get them filled ..they said it was illegal for them to fill them....a well known knee surgen is writing them ....wouldnt he know best .....think most of ya"ll think you are god .....

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      Jason Poquette 5 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      rocky,

      Would need a few more details to try and answer your question. Not sure I understand. Would be happy to try and help you sir. Best wishes.

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      cindylynn23 4 years ago

      I was wondering if anyone could help me,I am absolute nervous wreck over a situation that was not my fault and I have not not for 2 weeks worrying over this. I am being treating by my Primary Care physician for stage 4 endometriosis and fibromyalgia,he prescribes low does-at my request because I am scared of high doses of actemenaphin and liver damage..Well 2 weeks ago a huge golf ball size and VERY painful lump came up unde left ear near jaw..I assumed it was a lymph gland and my husband called my dr to ask if I could be seen or prescribed an antibiotic..They informed him my PCP was out of town,nobody could see me or prescribe anything and if I needed treatment go to Urgent Care.By that Sat the lump was even bigger,pain so bad I could barely touch my face with water..I then went to Urgent Care (as they had advised) and the DR said it was something very rare,almost never seen-he diagnosed it as a Preauricular Cyst that was infected..I am still not 100% sure that is what it is since I still have lumps and pain 2 weeks after the in office 3 hour surgery he attempted to perfom on me to remove it..Then he admitted he could not remove it so in his words he would "bust it to H*ll and back" and break it up and put a drainage tube in my incision (one of the 2 incisions he had made) to drain the "cyst". He then said I would be in some pretty incredible pain once the anesthesia wore off and after what he had done to (imagine nearly 3 hours of pounding in my head with needles and scalpels)..so he then gave me several scripts to fill,one was for a 4 day supply of pain meds,stronger dose than what I normally take and also antibiotics..told me to come back in 3 days for drain removal and a week for suture removal. when I got in the car I looked at the 3 day script for vicodin and told my husband not to fill it just put it on file and pick up my regular norcos which I was due for that day anyway..He insisted I should follow the drs orders and get the 3 day supply of the stronger ones instead..The only reason he then went to a different pharmacy than I normally use was because we short on cash and my daddy was wiring money to us from Ga to California at Walmart that day to help cover drs visit and prescriptions,I normally use CVS..so when i used up the 3 day supply I got my usual prescription for Norcos filled at CVS. when I saw the dr for drainage tube removal they said it looked pretty bad and admitted he was not sure what it was and I should see a surgeon next..then they offered me a script for more pain meds and I REFUSED it..I am NOT dr shopping or trying to do anything illegal,.I am one of those people who worry too much about everything,especially since I worked in medical for 20 years I know how the think everyone is a "drug seeker",I am NOT and live in fear of them thinking that about me..Now I am have panic attacks thinking the Ca DEA division will "red flag" me or contact my PCP and tell him I was dr shopping,I was NOT..I only did what his office told me to do-go to Urgent Care because he was out of town.. I have not in 4 years seen any dr or got any prescriptions from any dr but him,so am I in trouble? I did not intentionally do anything "illegal" and cannot help the dr gave me the 3 day supply of vicodin 5/500, I was able to get my next refill for norco filled 4 days later with no problem..it has been over 2 weeks now and I am still having major panic attacks thinking my dr will dismiss me as a patient or the DEA will show up at my door and haul me to jail for 20 years.I keep thinking the worst possible scenarios. My family thinks I am totally nuts because I did nothing wrong and I keep trying to get him to call my PCP and tell him what happened and he says "no you have done nothing wrong,he will think you are crazy if you call him".He says if the issue comes up he will then help me explain the whoe situation to my dr with all the paperwork from Urgent Care.. please tell me if you think I am already "red flagged" for just a one time prescription from a differnt physician? thank you so much in advance.

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      Jason Poquette 4 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      cindylynn,

      You have nothing to fear. You were due for Norco and got Vicodin instead. No big deal. Then you waited to finish the Vicodin to get the Norco. Everything was done just right. Wish everyone would handle those situations so well. Good job.

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      Lokelá 4 years ago

      I am taking perscribed Vicodin 5/500 I am taking due to shoulder surgery. My doctor cleared me to work while using my judgement and making sure I don't do certain things. Now my employer has suspended me without pay due to giving a positive drug test for Vicodin. I advised them that I just had surgery a month and a half ago and my doctor still perscribes me this for the pain after working and while sleeping! This did not stop them from suspending me. I have no other problems at work meaning disciplinary acts.

      This company is a "at will" company which means they are not union and can terminate for any reason.

      Are they allowed to do this to me, and is it legal.

      I have a perscription and I just had surgery not even two months ago.

      (I work as a electrician)

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      Jason Poquette 4 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Lokela,

      I'm not a lawyer, but I do know that some employment arrangements can refuse to allow you to work while on narcotics, even if they are legally prescribed. My advice would be to try and get onto a non-narcotic as soon as posssible. Best wishes.

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      Greener 4 years ago

      I'm currently on Percocet or the generic one hydrocodone 5/325 I'm supposed to take one every six hours but that hasn't been effective and I've had to take it at 4 to 5 hours. I just had spinal fusion and I've been home this for my second night I've had some really bad hours of pain should I call my doctor and see if I can take more.

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      Jason Poquette 4 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Greener - always check with your MD if you find you need to increase the frequency of your dosage schedule. Otherwise you will run out sooner than expected...and that creates problems. They may want to supplement your pain meds with an NSAID like ibuprofen or naproxen, rather than increase the dose.

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      David 4 years ago

      This information is great and especially for parents of teens.

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      Dwight 4 years ago

      That was very informative, Thank you so much for understanding that all people like myself who has to take pain medication are not evil monsters like many people do. And for the compassion that you expressed for all that suffers with many types of chronic pain.. Keep up the good work:) Dwight...

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      Roger Dane 4 years ago

      Excellent comparative article and compassionate in your comprehension of people needing pain meds. Thank you so much. Take care!

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      Stellar Phoenix Review 4 years ago

      This content is incredible! You certainly know how to keep a reader involved. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost..lol.) Great job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool! Stellar Phoenix Review

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      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      This is filled with detailed information about these drugs. You did mention that they often conjure up thoughts of drug addiction.

      I have had migraines since I was eighteen and spent most of my life crippled, literally with pain.

      I was given percocet to take and it did help but not so much to take the pain away as to put me in a stupor which I remained in for years.

      One day after about 15 years I woke up and said I can't do this any more. I am not living. I found a doctor who helped me find my way out of that nightmare.

      I know others who are in the grips of addiction to the other drugs you have listed as well. The drugs are not the villain. I get that. But monitoring carefully those who get those drugs should occur. It is a two way street...patient and doctor...that I know as well.

      I guess I am a little testy on this topic as I have seen lives destroyed by these drugs. When someone has chronic pain (and I still do...not only migraines but back pain due to an injury form a student running into me..the pain is so bad I could bite bullets but I will NOT, ever take another pain killer that is addictive.), all they want to do is escape it.

      Sorry I have blabbed on and on...your points are well taken.

      I am sending Angels to all who are in pain. ps

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      D King sham 3 years ago

      Pharmacist, Thank you for you woulderful informative post. Also thank you for sharing you faith with us. I am a christian and not God has not healed me.I will gladly except! I know this is an older post, but I just found it. I hope it's okay to comment with such a lasp of time. I have had the same Dr. for 26 years. I developed constant nerve & mussle pain about 7 years ago. I use to board and teach horseback rideing so I was quite active. I had to give all that up and sell our farm. We bought a motor home (I can manage most of the cleaning, my husband was doing most of the house & all the barn & yard work). He is retired now and I am 60 yr. and on a large dose of oxi. We tried everything elce first. Our retirement dream was to travel with our horses all over the country SLOWLY. Well the horses are gone, but we figured we could still travel. Also the cold cause major increese in pain and equily as much decreese in mobility. With losts of warm weather and Sun Shine I am fairly moble, during the winter I was in a wheel chair some of the time. I am just now trying to figure out if I can fill my scrips out of state. I thought I would be no problem since we had no them fulling in NJ when we were there for three months for my Husband cancer treatments at Slone Kettering 4 yr.ago. My Dr. gave me 3 and post dated two I filled one at my regular home pharm. Alway use the same pharm. Now I am trying to find out what state cooperates with witch states and everyone is acting like I have cootties. I have tryed serches on the internet, that gave me all kinds of info on how to get DRUGS, fake scrips, off DRUGS, and other maner of not helpful information. Your very right about limited information on OXI on the internet.I was hoping you could tell me how do I find out what states will fill out of state scrip. Or if there is a list of state recipraction. We live on the east cost are planing to travel to the west coast and travel in the warmer clmit in the winter & notheren in the summer. I have never had any missing meds or early request, take drug test,Never miss a Dr. apoint., use the same Pharm., follow all the rule. Evern refused extra meds when I broke my foot so not to get the RED FLAG. Can you tell how do I find that kind of information. My Phar. was going to get me some information, went back to get it and she acted like I had Cootties. Thank you for your help and concern. DKing Sham

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      heffer2989 3 years ago

      hello all, new to this website but have many questions regarding the issue of prescriptions from my current dr. who is california based. i recently moved to south carolina, and am totally confused about the laws regarding controlled substances. i have documented severe pcos, endometriosis, back trouble and debilitating migraines. for about three years now i have regularly been prescribed vicodin 5/500, xanax, fioricet, tramadol and norco. as i have yet to find a doctor in south carolina where i can resume obtaining my regular prescriptions that i have used RESPONSIBLY over the course of years, i am now concerned that my current dr. from the state of california will no longer prescrible these medications to me, because i am now residing in south carolina. as mentioned before, ive used these medications responsibly, however i have a small child i must care for and be able to function properly for. being cut off cold turkey with no warning is making me nervous, and i am not sure about the laws regarding these things. when i spoke with my current dr back in california today, he asked me to find out whether it was alright for him to prescribe these medications to me over state lines. well, i had some of them filled here in SC today at a walgreens and had no issues obtaining the medications. i guess what what im trying to ask is, is this illegal? am i doing something wrong here? the walgreens was in touch with my dr because refills are never on my scripts, i just have them fax the dr. when it is time to fill them again. never ask for them early, never do anything wrong with that. i just want to make sure im doing the right thing, and that i am not putting my dr at risk here as well. i plan (when i find a dr here, after getting INSURANCE) to continue my treatment, but im hoping that i wont be looked at as a "seeker". i am a young lady and it is unfortunate that i am in constant pain, and most of the young peole today with documented health problems STILL get treated as seekers. does anyone have any advice of what i should be doing here?

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      Julia 3 years ago

      Great article. I have read up on this topic of the comparative strengths and differences in the common morphine derivative drugs and this article summed it up in the clearest, most comprehensive yet succinct, interesting and relevant way. Thanks for putting it all together, and giving people a place to find the straight answers, rather than reading the "yahoo answers" and other such sources of misinformation and ignorance; i.e. blind leading the blind.

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      Krocmom 3 years ago

      Great article, I have one question...Is there a pain medication, that will relieve my pain, without the euphoria feelings? I'm currently taking 15mg of Oxycodone 3xdaiy, for Rotator Cuff tears., it's working fine, I just don't like that "high" feeling. I'm scheduled for surgery on 11/22/13, but, I'm thinking of canceling until I can find a different pain medication.

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      Rozalia Singley 3 years ago

      Good evening. I am a 32 year old with trigeminal neuralgia and myofacial pain syndrome due to chemotherapy and radiation damage and its long term effects. I'd like to thank you for this article. I hate to go into a new physician's office or pharmacy because on the outside, I look fine. I've tried so many non-narcotic neurological medications in search of relief from this pain nightmare. Finally, I've found some relief, but it includes daily dosing of Percocet 7.5/325.

      For those of us that fill a narcotic prescription regularly, thank you for being understanding. Most of us do not want to take them, it's just that they work. Maybe I only speak for myself, but I am always ashamed to bring in my prescription, in fear of what could be assumed of me just because I look ok on the outside.

      Thank you again, for not only educating your readers, but for being a compassionate, caring, and non-judgmental human.

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      Jason Poquette 3 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Krocmom,

      There are non-narcotic approaches to pain management like tramadol. Also, there are lesser strength narcotics like Norco or Vicodin. Hope that helps.

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      torrilynn 3 years ago

      Thanks for this hub it was very insightful and informative. I was previously on Vicodin due to extreme toothache. Voted up and useful.

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      Jason Poquette 3 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Thank you torrilynn!!

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      AshleyNicole 3 years ago

      Thanks for the info, maybe you can help me find an answer to this current, strange situation I am dealing with... I take Vyvanse for ADHD and I have been on it for the past 2 years, this last year it has been very inconsistent and some days it works while other days it doesn't work, at all. Just to add, by not working I don't mean that euphoric rush that stimulants are so popular (and also abused) for... I actually prefer vyvanse for it's prodrug delivery system which allows for a slow onset, it's the only stimulant that helps with ADHD without making me feel abnormal...I can take it and still feel like myself. I also understand that you aren't exactly supposed to "feel" ADHD meds working but any ADHDer knows when the medicine is active in their system and when it's not... I often skip vyvanse on the weekends and on these ineffective days I feel exactly as I do on the weekends when I skip. This hasn't been much of a problem and hasn't taken up much time in my brain because I do often skip days on the Vyvanse and find that even though I am highly unproductive, my mood is virtually the same (usually a good mood lol), food tastes so good, and I sleep like a baby... My recent concern is from a prescription I received for hydrocodone/acetaminophen 7.5/325 cough syrup due to a bad case of Bronchitis. I have taken hydrocodone before and it's effects on me have always been EXTREMELY pronounced... basically, I'm either in "la la land" or passed out cold sleeping. I have only used this medicine in the past for legitimate medical purposes at only prescribed doses... A tolerance is virtually impossible considering that and the fact that I haven't taken hydrocodone since last January when I was in a car accident. I'm a 110 pound female, and in the past the medicine has easily done it's job but it is also a narcotic and the effects are very strong. The night I got the medicine, I took one teaspoon (directed to take 1-2 teaspoons every 4 hrs for cough) right before bed... not only did it not help my cough, at all...but I was up all night with the cough and the medicine had zero effect on me, at all. Exhausted and extremely irritated, the next night I took the full two teaspoons (a full 15mgs of hydrocodone) thinking this should do the trick... once again, absolutely nothing. What I began to realize that night was that it was not only not helping my cough but I actually felt completely normal. This is extremely weird considering I have never been able to even stay conscious when the medicine was needed... again, for medical purposes only. This brings me to only one thing: my body is not processing/metabolizing the medication at all... Here's where I try to sound smart: Both vyvanse and hydrocodone are metabolized in the liver by the CYP2D6 enzyme; this enzyme metabolizes vyvanse 100%, and it metabolizes most of the hydrocodone into hydromorphone which is much stronger as an opioid. So, while some hydrocodone is active, it is much weaker than than the other and once it is converted by the liver enzyme mentioned above this is how the medicine gets its primary pain killing properties. Obviously, I could just assume I am one of those people who has a problem with this enzyme... sometimes I've heard it being called CYP-450, I think. But, there are people with some sort of issue making them unable to metabolize medicines that use this metabolic pathway... but, aren't they born that way? They don't just suddenly have this problem one day, it's something they have had their entire life. So, I'm scared. I don't know what to think and something is obviously off... what I'm worried about is that Vyvanse may be potentially damaging my liver. It is pretty new, studies are still being done and they don't quite know first hand the long term effects, is it possible that using Vyvanse for the past two years on a normal basis has somehow damaged that enzyme? Almost like it's worn it out, or something... I know that this particular enzyme/metabolic pathway is used to metabolize many medications and I don't want to do irreversible damage to something so important. I'm so sorry for how long this is...but I needed to provide you with enough details to hopefully get some answers. Thanks, in advance for any help you can provide. I appreciate it.

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      Ashley Nic 3 years ago

      Hi... ^^^ That is me that wrote the novel above, I just made an account so the name is slightly different... I guess I should have done that before the book. I apologize for how long it is, and it's entirely possible that you have absolutely no idea what I am talking about... To me, it makes sense...sort of. But, I'm not a pharmacist so I could be wrong. I am a court reporter and we are required to train for medial stenography, which is why I know what I do about the above issue. I've had enough medical training to know how these medications work in the brain and I understand that Vyvanse may not be working at 100% every day because the neurotransmitters are occasionally depleted and it may take time to build the dopamine and norepinephrine back up to normal levels... but this is not what I mean, somehow the medicine is not being metabolized fully, and a lot of times hardly at all. I am obviously over the Bronchitis and no longer need any medicine for the cough, but the day after taking 2 teaspoons I took it two different times, 2 teaspoons each time... also, nothing. After that I gave up... the hydrocodone/acetaminophen was only used as an example to explain the similarities between the way both are metabolized and the similarities to how I am reacting to them both. I'm very worried to have ingested a medication that is extremely powerful, effects would be impossible to keep from feeling... And yet, there was absolutely no cough reducing benefit, pain killing benefit, and the normal loopy effects were not present... It makes no sense to me when I have no tolerance at all... One whole year since I have taken it and I think a Tylenol would have provided more pain killing effects than the other, luckily I didn't actually need it for pain. But that's another reason I'm really scared... I'm no stranger to painful situations. At age 19 I had my first kidney stone, have had two since...at age 22 I had the shingles, age 23 had a baby, and I have suffered from migraine headaches all of my life. So, the sudden realization that I'm immune to pain medicine is pretty scary... One positive thing is that the only one I suffer from regularly is the migraines and I use an abortive medication called Imitrex for that because they are so painful that even narcotic pain medicine like above doesntt help much. But, if I had another kidney stone and wasn't able to get relief from any pain medicine I think I would literally die... Is there some other explanation that would explain my body being immune to this pain medicine? and if so, does that mean I'm going to be immune to all pain medicine? Have you even ever heard of something like this happening?

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      gc536@nova.edu 3 years ago

      Hello I believe you're a pharmacist correct? My question or concern is that I have been prescribed by a licensed doctor of osteopathy, as well he is licensed as a pain management practitioner, a prescription from methadone 10 milligram 2 tablets every 12 hours, and a prescription for percocet 10 milligram / 325 and that's every 6 hours. I live in the state of Florida actually in South Florida in Broward County and I went last month so the doctor I got my prescriptions and I spent two and a half days going to 30 different pharmacies and none of them would carry it or order it. The pharmacy I had been filling it out for 3 years of said that their license was not being renewed by the state. So I went every 28 days to the pharmacy so after 30 days I was out of my medication, and I could not find anywhere in the three counties that are adjacent to where I live a place to fill the prescription for methadone, so unfortunately I had to start going to a methadone clinic where I have to go every single morning which is causing serious problems with my career. I could go into all my medical problems but I do have a a disease with my body that makes it required to take the medication ( one being Legg-calve perthes disease) I've had other surgeries as well for a knee replacement and my foot pinned and donor calcaneous for an injury falling from roof. So on the prescription the codes for the disease and other lower somatic dysfunction codes were printed on the prescriptions. I have actually written the governor of the state as well as the State Board of Pharmacy to find out what I can do about this because I find it absolutely ridiculous I have abided by all of the random urine tests and random pill counts and everything else that is asked by the DEA of my doctor, and still now the DEA has gone around telling pharmacies and pharmacists that if they fill any chronic pain medication scripts for patient unless it is a terminal patient they will revoke the pharmacist and pharmacy licenses and not renew them. So what to do now?

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      sally 3 years ago

      I have a written prescription for norco from 3 months ago from my dentist and never filled it but now I am having severe tooth pain and cannot get in to see him until monday morning. Can I still fill this prescription?

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      Jason Poquette 3 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Sally, Depends on the state law where you are. According to Federal law it is good for 6 months from the date written. However, depending on your state, the law may be more restrictive.

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      KC 3 years ago

      I just had back surgery the 17 of March and I am almost finished with my pain meds which I could take 1-2 every 4 hrs,I called to get a refill on the 7 th day and they refused to refill it or give me another prescription until I go for my follow up the 11 th of April, any suggestion on what I need to do unroll the 11 th and why won't they help me manage my pain????

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      chet thomas 3 years ago from Athens, GA

      Hi pharmacist - this hub is one of the ones I found copied at the site sarenvers(dot)com. You may want to check out this forum thread and file a DMCA request. The web host has not been very cooperative so far and I'm trying to get other hubbers to file with them.

      http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/120940

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      Jason Poquette 3 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      KC,

      1-2 every 4 hours is the absolute maximum, and they should have told you to ordinarily try to stretch it to 1 ever 6 hours. Ask for a non-narcotic to hold you over.

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      Donna DRO82957 2 years ago

      Hi Jason!

      Thank you so much for all the wonderful information! It is so refreshing to find such a well written and detailed article written by a very caring person who cares about patients with so many different conditions and without using a lot of medical terminology (which I get lost in). I spent hours reading and going back several years back on the hub to find something that was written similar to my situation.

      I’m a 56 year old female who has suffered with Chronic Migraines for 42 years. For those 42 years I have tried to stay away from strong narcotics.

      I also have some kind of facial nerve damage which is extremely painful (and on 5/20/14 my doctor (MD) said he would schedule an appointment for me with a Neurologist my appointment is on 6/26/14).

      I saw my MD on 5/20/14 with concerns that three medications prescribed to me were not helping me with my extreme pain (Fiorcet, Midrin, Lortab), and in my opinion I was also taking too many pills. And I would like to take just one pill.

      On 5/20/14 The doctor took me off the three medications put me on (generic) Percocet 10/325 mg, 14 pills with the directions of take one pill 2x a day as needed for pain. I’m now out of medication (5/29/14) my question is when can I call the doctor for a refill? Would it be wrong of me to ask for a slightly larger quantity of pills? Thank you for any help you can send my way! God Bless you and your family. Donna in TN

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      Jason Poquette 2 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Hi Donna DRO82957,

      Lots of questions I could ask. But to begin with: Is your MD a specialist with migraines? There are lots of meds to try and prevent migraines, and to treat them, and Percocet is not typically one of them. That said...did it work? You used 14 in 10 days. Is the expectation that you will use them every day? These things have to be discussed. Feel free to shoot me an email to discuss further or give me more details if you like.

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      Bobby 4 months ago

      Everyone is talking about controlling pain medication, because of overdose. The people that are really in pain are the ones that suffer because of what the pharmacies are doing and the system. How about alcohol. This is also a drug that is not controlled. Lets get everyone drinking , but don't take a pill for your pain. These people that overdosed did this to themselves. Taking more then what was written on the bottle. This is not the medicines fault or the doctors. You can't make people suffer in pain because someone took more then they should have. If this is how we are going to look at it, then we need to restrict how much alcohol a person can buy in a month.

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      Stella 4 weeks ago

      Hello

      I want to say thank you so much for all the information that to have provided us with. So much of it didn't understand or knew about before reading this article. For example the differences between the three pain medications. And only recently I found out about the patch. Because my Dr. Mentioned it to me. However I was nervous about it and side effects so I told her I would think about it. I have been in a very severe car accident 10 years ago I was in the hospital with 6 broken robs lacerated liver head trauma so I was in a coma my spinal injury was so bad that I couldn't walk. Only with time and surgery and determination I am now walking and active as much as I can be. I am on oxycode 10milligrams I do try to take less the perscibed but sometimes especially in the cold month I am super miserable and end up in bed crying and depressed. I was recently diagnosed with fibromialgia I have two herniated disks L4and 5 also degenerative bone disease in lower back. I had the neck fusion done last year and because my surgeon said my nerves were damaged I had a penalized arm after surgery and now it just tremmers all the time. I have been. Always healthy and very active all my life and to the extent that I can I still am I was introduced to yoga from my friend years ago after my accident after I went home. She has helped me with stretching and meditations. Even though at that ti.email I couldn't walk it helped me heal my mind and body. I believe in this practice so much that I practice daily and teach friends and family. I love the outdoors and spending doing activities with my husband friends and kids. If it wasn't for the medications I have I would fall into a deep depression. My life would loose all its colors.

      I'm thankful for your article and the information. Because it's true that people tent to judge they don't understand the pain and how it effect the mind when it is constant for years like mine and many like on this post. I also have a question rules change all the time and at my Dr's office just recently they posted a flyer that people need to visit the Dr every month for an office visit before you can get an new perscriptions for pain like oxycodobe or Norco or any of the controlled ones. Can you tell me if this is just my Dr s office? Because I talked to other people that take the same medications and they don't need to. They get theirs refilled by just going in getting the perscriptions. 2 even three day before they run out. So I would like to know if it's correct.

      Thank you

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      Stella 4 weeks ago

      So I realized that mis the of the posts are old and maybe Noone will see or answer to mine. But I have to respond to Bobby incase you see it. Yes total agree with you. Seriously I get so annoyed at how judgmental people are to those of us who suffer in pane. And then there's people that drink like a fish and they thump their chest saying oh I would never use any pain medand. First of all they are not 8n the seceremony pain that I am in I don't drink more then a couple of glasses of wine or a beer and when I do I don't take my medications. But I'm annoyed control the alcohol like you do meds. And my opinion is that people die from pain caused by Dr.s stopping the medication more then the overdose. People have to wake up. Be compationate one that doesn't have pain can't understand how people who have suffered for years like I have. And for my quality of life to demenish would just kill me. And if it sounds like I'm venting is that I am. I went to my Dr s today. Follow the rules that the office nurse informed to call 48 to 72 hours before next refill. I am only 2 days early and she said that I couldthink get my perscription because it was too soon. My Dr is on vacation and because she is so mean to everyone and she felt in power because my Dr wasn't there she was making me feel bad. I had to stand there and argue telling her I always get my meds 2 days early and the only time anyone has issues is when the Dr is away. And to end this. I wish there was only one thing wrong with my body. But no I have several issues maximizing my pain. I eat healthy stay fit exercise after all that I have gone through intelligent people like my Dr say if I didn't do all these things I would still be in a wheelchair over weight and seriously on depression pills. I'm tired of this ignorance

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