Monday, June 27, 2011

Question of the Week: Got Pain Meds?

Escitalopram 10mg Tablets (Lexapro brand)Image via Wikipedia
I've been living with chronic pain from chronic myofascial pain syndrome, osteoarthritis in my neck and low back, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome and thoracic outlet syndrome for the past seven year.

Early this month, I was given my first prescription for a narcotic pain medication to help me manage the moderately severe pain, on average 7 out of 10, that I deal with on a daily basis.

I'm not exactly sure why it took so long for any of my doctors to decide to give this type of pain treatment a try. I have tried a lot of other medication for pain and have not gotten any significant relief. In fact, it has been at least a year since I have been offered the opportunity to try anything new. The list of what I have tried is very comprehensive and includes: antidepressant medications like Cymbalta and Lexapro, anti-seizure medications like Neurontin and Lyrica, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like Mobic and Motrin and novel drugs like Tramadol and Nabilone.

I do know that since I have sleep apnea, my doctor was initially concerned about a narcotic pain medication suppressing my ability to breathe. A conversation with my sleep specialist cleared up this concern, since I am a faithful CPAP user and my sleep apnea is being adequately treated.

I also am aware that there is a marker reluctance in the medical community to use narcotic medications in general and in the specific case of fibromyalgia. It is my understanding that doctors are concerned their patients might become addicted to their pain medications. After doing some research of my own, I have found many credible sources that state the risk of a pain patient becoming addicted to narcotic pain medications is actually quite small. You can read more at Health.com and WebMD on this subject.

My doctor has asked me to sign a contract with her and submit to random drug testing before she prescribed this new medication for me. I have no problem complying with this conditions. In fact, I have made the decision to take a narcotic pain medication with great care and forethought, as I do with all the medications I take. I have great concerns about medication side-effects and adverse effects. I am willing to do what it takes to safeguard my well-being, include discontinuing any medication that is not benefiting me.

Now that I have reached this new treatment milestone, I am wonder what your thoughts are on this subject.

Do you take pain medications? Have you been prescribed a narcotic pain reliever? Do you wish that your doctor would prescribe one for you? Do you feel comfortable talking to your doctor about this treatment option?

I'm looking forward to reading your responses, which you can leave here or on the Oh My Aches and Pains! Facebook page.

PS While you are here, you might like to enter my Blooming Beauty contest for a chance to win a limited edition Mary Kay Lashes Love It! bundle.

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Tyra said...

I have been on a narcotic pain medication for 2 years. I was hesitant at first but realized that was due to being worried about what other people might think. I see a pain management doctor now, I take my meds with me to each visit so he can see I'm being responsible. He doesn't ask me to do this though. Without my pain medication I would spend most of my time in bed, I still do on bad days. Thankfully I have good relationships with my PCP and my pain management doctor.

Nicole said...

I take narcotic pain meds for the past year. I started out on tramadol and was fine on one, but as your body gets immune, it no longer was working. I am not on a stronger narcotic. although it doesn't take all the pain away, it helps.