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Slow release Oxycodone OXYCONTIN is helping
8 Replies
archie8 - March 16

I had a total knee replacement almost 3 months ago and my doctor was kind enough to prescribe me Oxycontin 10mgs for the increased pain post op. I also have fibromyalgia for many years and the op has made my muscle pains in my thighs hips and feet much worse. (I think it has caused my leg pain to worsen) Anyway because I wake up each day like I am 120 years old with stiffness and joint and mucles pains I started taking 2 x 10 mg Oxycontin when I first get up and none at night only Panadol Osteo and my amytripyline. It has been wonderful my muscle pain changes to a feeling of wearing warm stockings up my legs. My only concern is that my GP wont be happy to continue prescribing the oxycontin next time I go see him. I have been reading a lot of this site about other peoples experiences with the new drugs for fibromyalgia and they all seem to either put weight on or have nasty side effects. What do people think. Should I try to persuade my GP to continue the oxycontin. I am 65 and not worried about a life time of addiction....just that I can be pain free and able to walk around like everyone else.


January - March 16

Hi archie, I think we have spoken on the general thread. Don't now if you use the Merck Manual in Australia - but I have checked it (at least my older version!) and they say the best treatment for long term pain is opiate medication, providing you have a responsible patient who is not an addictive personality.

I have taken a small dose of pain medicine for many years. I NEVER take an entire pill, I cut mine up and take enough to take the edge off the pain. I want to continue using this prescription (no side effects for me!) and I would never jeopardize it by abusing it! This has been much more helpful in treating my pain than antidepressants! In fact, antidepressants made my stomach so sensitive (permanently) that I can no longer tolerate ibuprofen, which used to help me. Thank god I have a doctor who treats me like a grown up. With the pain meds, I can walk around and have a normal life. Without them, I don't know if I'd be able to. Certainly, on the antidepressants, I was too sick with side effects to function well.


Noca - March 17

Opioids are failures in most patients. From many pain management journals that I've read, including stats at my own pain clinic, opioids for chronic pain are only considered a successful treatment in 20% of patients using them. That is pretty pathetic. There are soo many more problems with opioids than just addiction or withdrawal. One of the biggest problems, is that they deplete(at an alarming rate) androgens in the body(testosterone, estrogen, progestrone, etc) Your body NEEDS these essential neurotransmitters to survive. Losing these hormones causes a whore new plethora of problems that previously didn't exist(one being increased pain!).


archie8 - March 17

Dear Noca your reply has shocked me. I will do some more reading and rethink the situation.


January - March 27

Archie - IMHO, Noca's post is misleading. And I completely disagree with his premise about opiates not being effective for most.

PLEASE READ THIS….. It will clarify what Noca has posted.

This is from Practical Pain Management, May, 2011: "Hormone Therapies: Newest Advance in Pain Care"

(Caps are MY EMPHASIS.)

"Unfortunately, some of the potent pain medications, particularly opioids, MAY suppress the production of some adrenal and gonadal hormones, especially testosterone and pregnenolone, and NEED TO BE REPLACED.6-10 IF any major adrenal or gonadal hormone becomes deficient during ongoing opioid treatment, the patient LIKELY will not respond well to the prescribed pain medication and MAY report and exhibit such symptoms as poor pain control, depression, mental impairment, insomnia, allodynia, and hyperalgesia. The combined effect of pain per se and opioid-induced suppression on the hormonal system must be thoroughly understood by pain practitioners.

In addition to REPLACING THOSE HORMONES that become depleted during therapy, some specific hormones have anabolic and regenerative properties and are emerging as effective adjuncts in advancing pain care.11-13 THEY CAN BE EASILY AND SAFELY PRESCRIBED BY any pain practitioner. Reported here is a summation of the deleterious effects of pain on the hormone system, as well as those hormones that have the potential to promote regenerative and permanent pain reduction."

You can google for the entire article.

I would like to note that the issue of "adrenal fatigue" has been discussed on this website. Plug the term into the blue search box at the right for the discussions. Alternative practitioners may address his problem. However, most mainstream MDs (and the Mayo Clinic) still deny it. The Mayo Clinic (incredibly) states that adrenal failure is a clear and serious medical problem (Addison's Disease). A rational person might assume that there is an intermediate stage - where one goes from healthy adrenal glands to fatigued adrenal glands - before one reaches the point of adrenal failure. But not the Mayo Clinic. It's either all or nothing for them.

So, this article indicates that Pain Management may be looking at the effects of pain on the adrenals and the hormones it affects. This is a good thing.

Along with my pain meds, I have been taking a low dose of DHEA for several years now and find that it helps my energy level.


January - March 27

Noca -- Opiods are failures in most patients??? That's not what I read on the forums. That's not what I've seen in hospitals, nor what I hear from friends with pain. That's not what my Merck Manual for professionals from 20 years ago says. What is the choice drug for dying cancer patients with intractable pain? Morphine. Opioids have been used for many centuries and in most cultures around the world. Why? Because they work.

Perhaps you are talking about opioids in doses that are far greater than most people with fibromyalgia pain would ever require. A low dose of opioid medication will probably not cause harm, and will enable someone to function at a level they can't with pain. (SO many people have whispered to me "I don't tell anyone, but I take Percocet so I can work. And thank god for it.") But as far as large doses of opioids go… I think you are wrong again, Noca. I would bet that you are in university and being subjected to a curriculum that is being manipulated behind the scenes. How much time have you spent in hospitals and nursing homes, watching people die?

We are all going to leave the planet - and most of us will leave it in pain. Technology can now greatly prolong that suffering - and pain. Recently an elderly man made the news because he shot his wife: she was begging for release from her PAIN. WTF?? Why weren't her doctors treating her pain?? Now this old man is in jail! Most of us are isolated from what happens when people die - unless we've worked in hospitals or watched loved ones die agonizing deaths, we don't KNOW what happens! It's not like on TV. Better be prepared for extended pain and suffering.

Older doctors treated pain, and allowed patients to sleep out easily with pain relieving drugs. Newer doctors are reluctant to prescribe narcotics, even when patients are dying anyway! Why is that? Fear of the DEA? Behind that even, could the reason be M-O-N-E-Y? Big Pharma money??

If not opioids for pain, then what Noca?? Cymbalta? (Don't make me LAUGH!) I could write pages to dispute your statement, but I'm too angry. My mother suffered for years without adequate pain medication, as her spine crumbled, her nerves were crushed and her mind was gone. But hey, wouldn't want to get her addicted!! What did they give her? Extra Strength Tylenol! GUARANTEED to rot your liver!

Here are some google suggestions:

Pharmocracy by William Faloon;
Big Pharma - corruption, conspiracy, profits, lawsuits, fines;

and why not google opioids for pain?

Here's an excerpt from Opioids in Pain Management by Henry McQuay: (Caps my emphasis.)

"OPIOIDS ARE OUR MOST POWERFUL ANALGESICS, BUT POLITICS, PREJUDICE, AND OUR CONTINUING IGNORANCE STILL IMPEDE OPTIMUM PRESCRIBING. Just over 100 years ago, opium poppies were still grown on the Cambridgeshire fens in the UK to provide oblivion for the working man and his family, BUT THE BREWING LOBBY ARGUED ON THIN EVIDENCE THAT THEIR POTIONS WERE LESS DANGEROUS. The restriction of opioid availability to protect society and the individual continues in many countries. In this review I focus on chronic and cancer pain, but many of the principles apply in acute pain. The justification for this focus is that patients with chronic pain may suffer longer and unnecessarily if we prescribe and legislate badly."


Everyone should have a choice, right Noca? We all have a right to decide our own risk/reward ratio. What works for one doesn't work for another. You have put up a really irresponsible post, jumping on the bandwagon that is being manipulated by Big Pharma. What research are you quoting? And who paid for it? You didn't cite it.

And for anyone else out there in pain now - educate yourself about end of life issues. If you have pain now, it will probably get worse over the years. Make out a Living Will and designate just how much pain you can tolerate and how much treatment you want, and with what.

If you have pain and it is relieved by opiate medication, you might want to write your Congressman and ask them NOT to remove opioids from the market, because that is what Pharma is trying to do, in many insidious ways. They've been trying for a long time, and they're gaining ground. You can buy opiates cheap. But the new drugs are patented. I read that Cymbalta had a markup of 10,000%. Yes, Ten Thousand Percent. Money talks. MONEY. And corruption. Read about it.


January - March 27

And in the interest of fairness, there IS a state called hyperalgesia which is SOMETIMES caused in certain people by the use of opioids, certainly not the majority. I've read up on that, but can't locate the article I read.

Here is some "current" information taken from the novus site. Novus is selling detox treatments, so it's in their best interest to present a negative view of opioids. You can google for more information.


Many people who are prescribed opioids, like OxyContin, for pain find that they have to continually increase the dosage of opioids they take in order to get the same pain relief.

In some cases, this increase in opioid dosage was required because the opioid receptors became less sensitive to the opioids, and larger doses were required to achieve the same stimulation of the receptors which would produce enough endorphins to control the pain. This is called drug tolerance and is a common occurrence with certain types of drugs.


In addition to letting the cause of the pain worsen, there is a growing consensus among medical professionals that continued use of opioids like OxyContin will actually increase the pain.

Pain signals are sent to the brain by a sensory receptor cell called a nociceptor. Hyperalgesia means an increased sensitivity to pain. Sometimes this is caused by damage to the nociceptors."

I would add that people usually have to increase their dosages of SSRIs, SNRIs, Lyrica, Neurontin, etc; face addiction to these drugs; and face withdrawal when quitting.

And often don't get adequate pain relief. That is clear to anyone who reads this forum. Having pain sucks. There are no drugs without side effects. But we should have a right to choose what we will tolerate and for what reason.

JUST MY OPINIONS. Rant over. Going to bed! : )


archie8 - March 27

Thank you January for your very informative posts. I must say after reading Noca's post I was sat back on my heels and shocked. I have decided that I will just take what helps and try very hard to persuade my GP to continue to prescribe the oxycontin for me. As the weeks pass from my Total Knee Replacement I am finding I dont need so much and in the mornings I only take 10mg and Panadol is sufficient for the rest of the day and at night.
I can agree with all what you say about death and dying. I am a Palliative Care Nurse and the doses of Morphine which we use would shock most people. We give it to relieve symptoms and if it hastens death our patients and their families certainly dont complain. My only complaint and one that causes so much disstress to the nursing staff is that our young doctors cringe at ordering the doses of morphine that we palliative care nurses know that we need. It is a fight every time there is a new rotation of young residents. By the time they rotate out to another hospital we usually have had some success in opening their eyes to the area of palliative care. But then our problem starts all over again with a new lot of young doctors.
I'm getting off the track... If my 10mg of Oxycontin gets me fuctioning in the mornings I plan to continue with it. I have recently started going to the local pool to exercise in the hot spa pool. That is very nice.
I plan to print out these posts and take them with me for my GP to read next time I go. I am sure he will enjoy reading them and I will let you know how I go asking for repeat prescriptions.
Thank you again January...enjoyed the Rant!!


January - March 27

Bless your heart, you Palliative Care Nurse, for the work you do! I wish everyone in the world could read your post, because it is The Truth. You say:

"our young doctors cringe at ordering the doses of morphine that we palliative care nurses know that we need."

Why is that? Are the medical schools no longer teaching the proper care of pain? Are they being taught that "narcotic" is a dirty word? What do they do for people with intractable pain? Anything??? I'm curious, would love to know what the current "treatments" are.

I hope things are better in Oz - and good luck with your recovery from the operation, Archie!



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