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Thread: long-term pain medication patients - question

  1. #1
    Senior Member solarscar69's Avatar
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    long-term pain medication patients - question

    I am starting to dread any type of further surgery or any other type of injury in the future that would require pain meds that may not work any more due to tolarance build-up.

    Does your body eventually build up a tolance to opiates and begin to not work any more? If so, how long does this take and is there any proof that you can do something else to prevent that from happening, besides of coures following what the directions say, and i do that.

    faster than a speeding ticket

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    Senior Member alan's Avatar
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    Developing tolerance to a dosage of opiates is common. The dosage should then be raised, according to pain experts.

    Alan

    "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

  3. #3
    Dear Solar,

    Nice picture.

    I don't know anything about it, but somewhere I read about a doc who was using ketamine to counter opiate intolerance. Dont know if this works. A doc who likes ketamine recommended something else for me that didnt' work, dextromethorphan.

    Also, at one of the other central pain sites there is an article that talks about pain chemistry, that has a little on morphine and how it leads to tolerance. I read somewhere that fentanyl is less likely to show tolerance, but fentanyl is supposed to be a sledgehammer drug. I think the patch has been recalled.

    [This message was edited by dejerine on 11-12-04 at 03:55 PM.]

  4. #4
    Ive heard that it usually takes a long while before you start to develop a tolerance to your meds. Im not sure since ive only been on them for a short time so ill see what happs. If anything changes ill keep you posted.
    Good Luck

  5. #5
    You definitely can develop a tolerance towards just about any medication that isn't prescribed for some type of maintenance like cholesterol, high blood pressure, thyroid, but since were specifically talking about pain medication. 18 years ago I took a Vicodin when needed, after five years post injury it was 1 to 2 every day but no more than 5 mg for each one, around 10 years ago (so eight years post injury) it was 5 mg Vicodin three times a day. At that point my Dr. told me that she would much rather have me on pain meds than over-the-counter drugs like Aleve or ibuprofen. But she did say they're probably would come a time when they would not work. That time came 15 years post injury, when the four times a day by 5 mg Vicodin didn't do a thing. I was very nervous about going to Percocet's or OxyContin because of the fear that I would develop a tolerance or even an addiction for those. What we did instead was given a low-dose extended release pain medication at first we tried a patch, now one in every 12 hours. There is nothing wrong with asking for help when you have pain. It's a big misconception. You just don't want to take them if you don't need to. Some people (I could fall into that category) take them habitually just because that's the way they have done things and it's worked for me. I function, I sleep well, I eat well, I'm not in pain. you mentioned it was a surgical procedure. You might want to find out the prognosis in terms of pain long-term by asking your doctor. I have found that younger doctors are very hesitant because of abuse and over prescribing, shopping around, to write anything higher then a Tylenol three. Then I have run into some new doctors that want to try to figure out where the pain is which is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I tell them that it is neurological and I have tried Neurontin for a month which did absolutely nothing. Just listen to the biofeedback of your body. And do what it takes so that you can function and enjoy your life. If it was cancer instead of a spinal cord injury, no one would question what you are taking. The fact is if I could feel lower extremities, pelvis, lower shoulders, I would be in more pain than just about anyone walking around. And don't think that just because we don't feel it that it doesn't affect us. Hence autonomic dysreflexia. Why is it when I have a bladder infection my blood pressure goes up, I take the pain med and 45 minutes later my blood pressure goes down. I still have the bladder infection. I don't feel my bladder per se. Sorry I'm getting a rant. There are great holistic ways to eliminate pain. Standing frames, water therapy, really good deep tissue manual therapy. A lot of these can really help but who has time, money, access, and resources for all of them?

    End rant now.

  6. #6
    Senior Member flying's Avatar
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    I took opiates for about a year, and then not only did they stop working, but they made my body hiper sensitive to the neuro pain. So yes it can happen, so keep an eye out for it.
    T12L1 Incomplete Still here This is the place to be 58 years old

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JnWalker View Post
    Ive heard that it usually takes a long while before you start to develop a tolerance to your meds. Im not sure since ive only been on them for a short time so ill see what happs. If anything changes ill keep you posted.
    Good Luck
    I have been taking vicodon for over two years, I have had to increase the dosage twice but it still works well for me and enables me to work 50+ hour weeks where without it I really do not think I could be in a full-time role.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by solarscar69 View Post
    I am starting to dread any type of further surgery or any other type of injury in the future that would require pain meds that may not work any more due to tolarance build-up.

    Does your body eventually build up a tolance to opiates and begin to not work any more? If so, how long does this take and is there any proof that you can do something else to prevent that from happening, besides of coures following what the directions say, and i do that.

    faster than a speeding ticket

    Ive been on on pain meds for over 15 years now and managed to stay at the same dose which is pretty low. One reason is because I fear the whole addiction thing but cannot avoid it so instead I force myself to skip days in order to keep my tolerance down...it's worked so far but it's not for everyone. I have to be willing to suffer some days for the sake of tremendous relief other days. So if my pain is slightly tolerable, I'll skip meds.

    My doctor just recently gave me a Percocet script for breakthrough pain and I'm trying to only use for emergencies as with any pain med I get.

    Thats is my method but normally...I would develop a tolerance rather quickly unfortunately.
    In 92 I thought I'd play safe & let my sober friend drive us home


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