Wednesday, December 7, 2022
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Fibromyalgia and Narcotics

What can I say about narcotics?  Doctors hold them close and virtually never let them go due to rampant usage as recreational drugs. They will try ANYTHING first – and as well they should, as it isn’t healthy to be on a narcotic diet for life.

Back when I was 13 and developed Fibromyalgia, all I had was plain old Tylenol.  I most certainly swallowed those to the 8 a day limit regularly.  I eventually got bumped up to NSAIDs, but they just made my stomach a giant mess without easing any pain.

I then moved to antidepressants, which eased the pain somewhat, but eventually my drug tolerance wore them down.  I tried all kinds of epilepsy medication and antipsychotics, which the psychiatrists thought would ease this mental pain of mine (even though it was mostly physical…).  I truly believe that some of those medications actually made me dramatically more ill.

Lyrica and Gabapentin were next on the list – I wasn’t a big fan of Lyrica as it gave me constant headaches, but Gabapentin eased some of the neuropathic pain.  I stayed on it, and I still take 3600mg a day.

My pain management specialist looked into prescribing medical marijuana, but it was shot down by my psychiatrist.

After fussing and fighting with the system for 11 years, I was finally prescribed codeine contin and breakthrough codeine.  I quickly built a resistance to this as well, so I could only take them about once every three days in order to get any kind of efficacy.

My new GP decided to go with oxycontin and breakthrough percocet.  And you know what?  It works for me.  I only get about 6 hours of relief from a 12 hour pill, and can still feel a flare coming through the meds, but they help.  Walking has become infinitely easier for me.  Hope came back into my life.

Now, as I can’t afford oxycontin, I have to try the switch to morphine.  Fingers are crossed that it helps.

I realize I may very well be on narcotics for the rest of my life, but I truly cannot function on the other medications.  I know that many people with Fibromyalgia get no help at all from narcotics.  It’s such a strange illness spectrum.  But doctors should be willing to give it a try if it means a better life for the patient.  It’s fairly easy to tell who is using the medication appropriately, versus those who are not.

I wish for you to all have health and happiness.



This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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  1. miller

    Have you tried myofascial release therapy and Qi Gong (pronounced chi gong) which is ancient Chinese energy work? Both of these things have worked MIRACLES for me. I’m not kidding- i have had very little pain since I have started these therapies. And the best part is that they are drug free and mange your stress (the Qi Gong does) which seems to be a big component of the pain.

  2. Joan Penfold

    I am so glad to read your story and know what you are on now as I am on the same. Add in some Gabapentin, Flexeril, Xanax, and Cymbalta. I am a pharmacy! I get relief but also after 6 hrs of oxy I feel pain, Sometimes even sooner if I am getting ready to flare, as only 3 hrs, have passed now and my knee is starting as well as my right arm.
    I don’t feel so alone now. Let me know how that morphine works for please. joan_penfold@yahoo dot com

    • michelle

      Morphine does not work for fibro pain and it is the worst rx to have for it. Gabapentin, tramadol and cymbalta. Vicoden or percocet for the break through pain is what works for me. Narcotics are just a bandaid for our pain. They don’t know how to even treat it but what the text book says and it says no narcotics for fibro. I think they are stupid. If a dr had fibro i bet he/she would have some kind of narcotic in thier medicine cabinet. They think we are just drug seekers. If they only knew.

      • Cathy

        I agree with your thoughts about narcotics. I have fought this for a long time (since 1982) without the help of real pain relievers and have finally discovered I’m an idiot (duh). I might as well eat M & M’s as take a vicoden but the percocet for breakthrough pain (10 mg right now) works. Finally giving into my pain management docs advice and trying Oxycontin for continuous pain (20 mg right now) and hopefully moving up a little. Got hold of a 40mg and took it one night, got up the next day and felt like I’ve never felt before. YEAH! No abuse by me though. I’ll have “it” the rest of my life and I don’t want to build tolerence or resistance to anything that helps. I know the docs that have firbro have pain meds in their medicine cabinet. Are you kidding me!! I was diagnosed by a doc that had fibromyalgia. Don’t see him anymore but God bless him! Lots of years between symptoms and diagnosis. Rough times, nobody believed me but I knew it wasn’t “normal”. Now who’s catching up!! You go girl!!!

  3. Sherry

    I recently was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and cervical and lumbar spinal stenosis. I’m on Neurontin right now (300mg ) a day. I don’t know yet what the dr’s intend to do. I have a MRI this week and am scared to death of getting addicted to Narcotics. I am also scared to death of the pain I am always in. My hands and feet are going numb and I am scared of being paralyzed from the neck down. I don’t think the dr is moving fast enough, but I understand it all takes time. In the meantime, I suffer and wait! But at last, praise God, somebody finally has said the “f” word!

  4. Erica Anderson

    The Pills, OH the PILLS and the PAIN! I have been on just about everything so far that I can think of and read about. The only thing that I have not gone to is the oxycotine. The side effects from the Lyrica were just way too much for me to handle. I couldn’t take it anymore. I’m now on the maximum dosage of the Savella. After this, there really isn’t anything else unless there is another drug approved. I give myself B12 injections every month, take D3 every day as well as a multi-vitamin. I know that keeping up the immune system is extremely important. I don’t really have much of one left. I only see posts about Fibromyagia. I have been blessed with FM, Levido Reticularis and Trigemina Neuralgia. So I do know exactly what it’s like to take the anti-seziure meds or try this one and try that one before SOMETHING finally works. My daily “cocktails” are quite the mix and then of course we throw in some NSAIDS, Lortab and Zanaflex. It’s a daily routine I’m used to, but it’s also something I have kept hidden in my own little closet away from most people that know me. Unfortunately, none of these pain killers seem to last very long or take effect soon enough.

    I have been told not to be surprised if I ever get a positive MS result. I’ve had a positive result twice now. Of course the CSF always comes back clean, thank goodness.

    A few questions to all, Do any of you ever end up with digestion issues such as extreme heartburn? Acid reflux? Throwing up?

    Hey, any help is greately appreciated. I’m a single mom with a stressful job, but who here isn’t, right?

    Go, fight, win!

  5. Crystal Blackburn

    I was diagnose wtih Fibromyalgia I think about a lil over 2 years ago. I think that I might of had fibromyalgia even in my teens and early adult years.As a friend of mine who suffers with fibro & other diseases I’d tell her where I was hurting and what not and she’d be like O God I hope it’s not but it almost sounds like you have fibro. Well, because at the time I didn’t have any kind of insurance the doctors wouldn’t put me through any test to see if they could find out what the problem(s) were. So I figured that I just had plain old arthritus. After moving back up here and able to get on insurance. I was volunteering some of my time @ a community center. And I would start after a little bit of time hurting really bad, taking breaks and what not. At first I really thought that I had the beginning stages of MS which I was afraid of since I do have a husband and a child to take care of. Well, anyways started going to the family doctor sent me first to a neurologist bc he thought mayb MS. So, anyways after some time went back to the family doc. and he sent me to a arthritus doctor in Chardon. So, after talking to that doctor and getting tons of blood work done, went back in like a week or two. He told me that he tested for all the arthrituses that can be done by blood. He said that with what I describe it totally sounded like fibromyalgia. I have tried Lyrica and HATED it, the part that I hated about it was weight gain. I know the more weight you have the worse that it can be bc of the added stress on the body. So they put me on cymbalta, it’s ok and what not but usually when it’s about to get cold or does get cold or rain, snow,etc. I hurt big time. I know alot of doctors and people are out there that doesn’t believe that this is really a disease that it’s all in our heads, and those are the people that I would luv to see manage the pain that us fibro. ppl face from day to day and moment to moment. It’s very easy to get depressed and what not. I’ve had to fight the depression more since being diagnosed with it, but I have to think that I’ve got a family to fight for in a sense …. thanks for letting me say something on here

  6. Nicole

    My doctor wants to use narcotics as a last resort but the pain I’m in is relentless and debilitating. I can’t take care of my family like I need to. Last night I was in so much pain I cried myself to sleep. I haven’t been diagnosed long but the pain has been there for years. I’ve tried everything over the counter, the doctor has tried the gabapentin which helped…but only a small bit. I haven’t met up with lyrica yet but cymbalta is out of the question as I’ve already been on it for bipolar and it made me so tired all I did was sleep all day. The nurse prescribed me and NSAID which has done NOTHING. I am to the point where I’m ready to beg for narcotics, although I know that the lesser ones will not help. I have tried using some from old prescriptions for back pain and what-not and I get nothing from them. I have only tried one drug that even took an edge off…and still I could feel the pain spikes clearly although I did not want to cry. The process is slow and frustrating. Sometimes I wish that doctors could feel our pain for just a week. 1 week of feeling like this and I’m sure they would rethink the iron grip they have on these drugs. Obviously they should be cautious, but I see no sense in millions of people needlessly suffering.

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