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Oxycontin

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About 2 years ago my older brother had a sever epidose of back pain. He ended up in the hospital for like 2 weeks, hooked on a morphine drip. I don't know the exact nature of his problem, but I believe it has something to do with the discs in his back degenerating. At one point, I remember they we're thinking of fusing part of his spine together to give him some relief.

Anyway, after about 8 months his condition improved. He was pretty much back to normal, and then about 6 months ago it happened again. He's been taking oxycontin (or oxycodone) to manage the pain, and this is what concerns me.

You have to understand something about my brother - he has an extremely addictive personality. If anyone is going to get hooked on painkillers, it's him. He been talking them regularly for months now, and I don't see him stopping anytime soon.

My mom is getting really concerned, and whenever she brings it up with him he gets pissed and snaps at her.

The thing I don't understand about this whole ordeal. Why are they choosing to mask the pain vs. Correcting the problem causing the pain? When he was in the hospital, it seemed like one day they were planning surgery, then the next they weren't.

And who is this doctor that keep giving him more and more oxy? Is that how they're going to solve the problem? Is this standard proceedure? Drug him up until he forgets all about it?

I'm not sure what to do.
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replied May 12th, 2004
Hello pflipp,

im sorry to hear about your brother and the issues with pain meds.
Personally I feel maybe a second opinion is in order,has he had testing done? Like mri,cat scans etc.. To find out exactly whats wrong!
There are good doctors out there and bad ones he just needs to keep looking till he find one that will help him. Pain pills and booze just cover up an underlining problem for a temperary fix up Sad by doing that you end up with 2 problems back pain and addiction!! Check with another doctor who will take the time with your brother to locate his injury and to help correct it.
God bless
rachel
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replied May 27th, 2004
Pflipp
I am so sorry about your brother,i sure hope you can get him off the oxy. My husband was diagnosed with cancer and they gave him oxy and he is now very addicted.That stuff should be taken off the market and fast. There are so many people addicted to it now. My husband got so violent that he beat on me and I finally gave up and had to leave him that was three yrs ago and he is still addicted. If any way possible to get him help please do , I hate to see another person hooked on it . It is a very bad drug not only is it addictive but is bad for liver. My husband has liver damage from it now. I wish you and your family all the luck in the world. May god bless and keep you all safe in his hands and I will pray for you.
Fontaine
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replied May 27th, 2004
Experienced User
Oxycontin
Oxycontin is a narcotic which is available in different potencies, up to 160mg (= to 32 percocets) in one tablet of oxycontin. However, the idea that it is any more addictive than other narcotics remains unproven and speculative. Oxycontin does not damage the liver at all. It is metabolized by the liver.
The concept of addiction is difficult to grasp, but it is a behavioral problem which results in drug hoarding, stealing drugs or altering prescriptions, doctor shopping to obtain multiple prescriptions for the same drug within a month, etc. A person with cancer may have intense intractable pain especially as the cancer progresses. As the amount of oxycontin or any narcotic is increased sufficiently to control the increased pain from cancer, the side effects increase. Often this is mistaken for addiction. Or if a person needs oxycontin or any other narcotic to avoid severe withdrawal effects, this is not addiction: it is pharmacological tolerance.
Anyway, I am not specifically interested in oxycontin per se since there are other alternatives which I prefer to prescribe, I give the above information in the interest of accuracy.
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replied May 30th, 2004
Hi Pflip
Sorry about your brother but if he needs it he needs it. I personally am outraged at these doctors I have developed a back and hip problem. I have seen 3 doctors and they are moving like snails in trying to help me in anyway - basically I am undiagnosed ...All they do is give me pain killers and all I want is to find the source of the trouble
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replied June 26th, 2004
Extremely eHealthy
I do not understand this situation with the pain meds either, I have had chronic and intractable pain for about four years and have several diagnosis but not much help except pain meds and in my opinion pain meds are worse as they have seemed to make me worse! Years ago they would not give me anything for pain when I broke an arm and a leg in a skiing accident, the Dr. At that time said the meds could make me worse as after the meds take affect, and I could put more pressure on the injured area, causing more problems, so what gives? I sure hope someone has some answers!
Sincerely,
sandy
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replied June 26th, 2004
Experienced User
Acute Pain Vs. Chronic Pain
Acute pain is a symptom of tissue injury. Chronic pain is a disease reflecting reorganization of nerve transmission at the level of the spinal cord which produces pain symptoms whether the original injury has healed or not. Acute pain requires investigation of the source and often directed therapies. Chronic pain is more like treating diabetes...There is no cure but there are treatments which can help. Just as doctors typically do not look for the cause of diabetes once it occurs, there is often no answer as to the source of chronic pain because it involves changes in the spinal cord itself.
Acute pain may be from disc herniation and this may be repaired with surgery. Chronic pain may be due to incessant nerve impulses for years which have changed the structure and physiology of the spinal cord, and is not amenable to surgery.
Acute pain may require temporary narcotic therapy. Chronic pain, just as diabetes, may require a lifetime of treatment.
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replied July 14th, 2004
Hi there. I can tell you that as someone with chronic pain and a degenerative condition sometimes masking the pain is all the can do. I had one surgery this past year and I will eventually be having a fusion, but they do not want to go that route just yet. In the meantime I have to live my life. I think your brother may be in a similar predicament. The fusion surgery does not work for everyone and sometimes you can end up with more problems from it than good. For instance there is a risk that you can lose bladder control permanently from nerve damage. Now as far as addiction goes oxy is very addictive, but the question to ask is if your brother is using it to live his life or if he is abusing it. If he takes more than the doctor recommends him to or if he takes the pills in way that is not healthy then it may be a valid concern that you have. Oxy is very effective as a pain block and allows so many that are plagued with chronic pain to find some semblance of a life. Its just a shame that some individuals have chosen to abuse this powerful drug and made such a bad name for it. I wish your brother the best of luck. Hopefully he can eventually find a therapy that will allow him to live & be productive again.

Julie
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replied July 28th, 2004
I must state what many may consider an unpopular viewpoint: I had what was supposed to be a very painful procedure (up3 surgery to correct obstructive sleep apnea) about three years ago. I was placed on oxycontin and it made my recovery amazingly easier than it had been for most people in the past.

I did not feel like I was on any medication at all...And I didn't hurt. One time I was late on my meds and that is when I really got a taste of the pain that oxycontin was suppressing for me. I am very grateful that I was given an effective treatment and it was absolutely no problem to stop taking it about three weeks after my treatment.

I am very glad that it was available to me and I do not believe that widespread use (or abuse...Depends on one's personal definition) should result in a medication that does its job well being taken away fro those who do legitimately need it.

Sidenote: both are very serious and should never be taken lightly, but there is big difference between oxycontin and oxycodone...Big difference.
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replied July 28th, 2004
Experienced User
Post Operative Pain And Oxycontin.
There is absolutely no reason whatsoever for a person to be placed on oxycontin for post operative pain control. The fda has made this very clear to the manufacturers of the drug and there is now a statement to that effect in their prescribing information. It was being promoted that way a few years ago, but due to several reasons (lack of clinical effect or side effect monitoring when placed on a very powerful drugs, potential for respiratory complications postoperatively, lack of substance abuse screening or monitoring, and the fact that the fda had not approved the drug for such a purpose, etc) it is contraindicated to be prescribed in such a fashion. Fortunately, cooler heads are now prevailing in the frenzy to treat all pain with potent narcotics and it is now recognized that the presence of pain is not synonymous to a deficit in narcotics. The only reason a person should ever receive oxycontin for post operative pain is if they are already on the drug preoperatively.
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