Strong pain relief?

Posted , 4 users are following.

A very long story which would take ages to tell, so will keep things brief as possible......

All of my immune suppresing meds have been stopped since February due to complications caused by another more recent chronic disease and I don't see much chance of me ever going back on them again. I won't go into detail about the debilitating pain I'm now in. Won't mince my words either..enough to say that I'm in a hell of a mess and more or less house bound. Current pain relief of slow release tramadol, paracetomol and naproxen does help some of the time, but has little effect with my acute flare-ups, which are now happening every couple of days. So am wondering what stronger pain relief that is effective with RA is avaliable? I'm thinking of asking rheumy about morphine patches as this is the only strong pain relief I'm aware of. Please bear in mind that I can't take any steroid based medication either. 

Thoughts much appreciated

 

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    It sounds like you re having a really rough time.

    My friend who has fibromyalgia has found morphine patches helpful.

    Someone else I know found diclofenac helped, but I don't know if that s the same as some of the ones you mentioned. Can your GP come up with any other suggestions? 

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you Rowbirdie, good that morphine patches helped your friend's fibromyalgia. I found that slow release morphine tabs helped when I had sciatica around 9 months ago.but played merry hell with my digestive system, so hopefully patches will avoid this and be the way to go.

      I've had a terrible time this past 12 months... 3 months house bound with acute sciatica. No sooner than I'm over that then I'm hit for six with septic arthritis in my hip, which needed surgery and a couple of stays in hospital. That's the reason my RA meds were stopped as the docs think they played a major part in causing the septic arthritis and increase the risk of me getting sepsis if I continue with them. The consultants of both of my conditions are supposed to be getting their heads together about coming up with some form of effective treatment, but it's been 6 weeks now and I've yet to hear anything despite phoning to see if they've arrived at a decision. Rheumy wants to start me on long term antibiotics plus a low dose of mtx but need to discuss this with the consultant of my other condition first. If this treatment does come about then I'm in a catch 22 situation... do I go back on immune suppressors and run a higher risk of getting sepsis or put up with this debilitating pain for the rest of my days. At the minute I can't see me opting for the new treatment but need to talk with both consultants so I can make an informed decision. I have appointments with both next month. In the meantime my suffering continues, at least until I can get better pain relief. To complicate things even more...I am very reluctant to take anti-inflammatories as they caused me to have a mild heart attack 10 years ago. I only take them when the pain is really severe, which means I averages around one tab every two days instead of the prescribed four every two days. So for me to risk another heart attack by taking anti-inflammatories will perhaps give you some idea of the amount of pain I'm in. Apparently - I'm a very rare case, which isn't hard to believe!

       

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    • Posted

      Forgot to add that I've seen my GP who says that any further treatment I need is in the hands of my consultants, which seems a bit strange but there you go.
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    • Posted

      You do have a very difficult situation. No mention of prednisolone? Perhaps you can't have that either? Looks like you re stuck with lots of paracetamol and maybe morphing patches.

      Hope your next appointments with consultants offer something you are happy to try.

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  • Posted

    Hi Tony, sorry for the situation that you are in. There are other non-anti-immune medications that can help. Why were you not prescribed one of these? Any anti-inflammatory should have helped a bit... I wonder if you can request for one of these and why weren't you prescribed one of these if you are like this since February? Anyway, I used to take maximum dosages of paracetamol and Metamizole (optalgin) and found that optalgin works for me much better. Advil does not help at all. Maybe you should try to play with different pain relief meds and find the best one for you. Also, light anti-depressants or medications for epilepsy in low dosage can reduce the pain as they "trick the brain" – prolonged pain can result in reduced pain-resistance. You might want to consider to consult your drs about the possibility (neurologists should be in the picture too). Hope that you will find something helpful soon. 
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the informative reply.

      I last saw my rheumatologist approx 6 weeks ago when my RA was not quite as bad as it is now. This last 4 weeks or so has been terrible! Even then I was pretty bad but I do tend to under play things when I see my doctors, so partly my own fault I suppose. However, I have since phoned rheumy on two occasions, not only to see what's happening with the proposed new treatment, but also to explain how bad I've become - no holds barred this time!  They more or less said that they could not do anything more for me until both consultants had decided what to do. My wrists and hands are particularly bad so I suggested that wrist splints might help me a little. They agreed and booked me in to occupational therapy to have the splints fitted. This was 4 weeks ago and despite having phoned OT to chase up my appointment I haven't been told anything as they cannot contact the therapist who I 've been reffered to...for god's sake! My poor wife and I feel totally abandoned...she has to do a lot to help me, especially when I flare. I should have had a phone call last friday but surprise suprise this never materialised, so will phone them again today. I have also just phoned rheumy help line to request more effective pain relief as my next appointment isn't 'til Aug 20th. If you think that's a bit much to put up with then you would not believe the trouble I had being admitted into hospital with my septic hip! As much as I dislike saying it I have lost a lot of  faith in the NHS.

      Will let you know what happens and thanks again 

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  • Posted

    Forgot to add that I have been prescribed naproxen, but as previously mentioned I am very reluctant to take any anti-inflammatories because of my previous heart attack. When I  do take one they do help but not as much as they probably would if I was taking them on a regular basis, which I have no intention of doing despite the discomfort I'm in. Seems like everyting is stacked up against me. 
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  • Posted

    Ok, spoke to a nurse at occupational therapy, unfortunately the therapist I need to speak with has a day off work. The nurse said she will contact her when she is back in work and I should exxpect to get a phonecall on wednesday.

    The rheumy nurse phoned back this afternoon and I asked her about stronger pain relief. I also mentioned that my GP said that any future treatment is rheumy's responsibility and not theirs. The nurse was a bit puzzled by this and suggested that I get straight back in touch with my GP as there is no reason why they can't prescribe new pain relief, which sort of made sense to me. Just been speaking to my GP on the phone and explained the situation to him. It was a different GP I spoke to this time and he said that I needed to start taking the recommended dose of naproxen to subdue the inflammation. He is well aware of my heart attack concerns so wants me to take the anti-inflammatories for one week only and will then take things from there. He also prescribed omeprazole to combat any stomach issues that could arise, and lactaloose for the constipation that I've been getting for some time now. I have been taking senna for this but it isn't that effective so I need to take both types of laxative. I must also carry on with the slow release tramadol which is the cause of my constipation.

    So things do seem to be on the move. Obviously I'm concerned about the flare-ups returning after a week's course of naproxen... not that they've gone yet, but I'm assuming things will at least be a bit easier than they have been. IT will be interesting to see what my GP has in store if my flare-ups return, which I'm pretty confident will happen sooner or later.

    Anyway, that's about it, guess I just need to keep my fingers crossed...metaphorically speaking anyway! smile  Thank you Rowbirdie and ama38049 for your prompt replies.

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  • Posted

    hello tony

    i found the patches werent strong enough, but oramorph helps which is liquid morphine. good luck mate x

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    • Posted

      I had a feeling that may be the case with the patches. I was on oramorph for my sciatica and it did help but found the slow release tablets better. Trouble was both meds played hell with my stomach so I had to stop taking them. Thankfully the sciatica was begining to ease

      by then. 

      Thanks loulou and good luck to you

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