When to stop taking pain medications??

Posted , 6 users are following.

I am 5 weeks post op from tkr. I have reached 110 rotation so far and I’m walking without assistance.  The pain I feel is mostly muscle pain in my thigh and hip. I do have knee pain in PT of course.

 I’ve been taking a regiment of Hydrocodone and Tylenol since surgery. I began with 6 Hydro per day and at week 4 began tapering down 1 pill every 3 days.  Right now at week 5 I’m taking 2.5 Hydro and Tylenol.  I get 1 muscle relax at night.

when should i expect to go off the Hydro completely.  I hate the side effects of this drug but I want to get the most out of my PT. I just signed up for another month of PT.  I’ve even been cutting the Hydro in half and taking Tylenol with that.

I’d love to hear others experience with tapering off pain pills.  I have reacted with low mood, insomnia and body aches withdrawal symptoms so far even tapering off at 1@ pill every 3 days.

0 likes, 5 replies

Report / Delete

5 Replies

  • Posted

    Not sure on the ones you use because different names in UK. I tapered off mine at around 2 to three weeks, very slowly. I did not experience any noticeable side effects as far as I am aware. I think the sleeping issues for me were more to do with just my body being stressed by the whole experience!

    Royal college of surgeons in UK says people should be off pain relief by three months post op.

    You are doing a lot more than I was at five weeks. I guess as you lessen medication you might need to ease back a bit if the pain is worse. yet the pain is there for good reason...so your body can tell you what is too much.

    Maybe some more rest, ice and elevating might help?

    All the best!

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Most people are usually off the opioids within 30-60 days, titrating down as you are doing.  The intermediate (mild opioid) transitional drug between hydrocodone and plain Tylenol or NSAIDS is something called Tramadol.  Consider it.  If the hydrocodone is causing constipation problems (very common side effect), use a stool softener or switch to oxycodone.  Same pain relief but less chance of constipation (NIH finding).  Remember that Tylenol (acetaminophen) is for pain and that the NSAIDS (ibuprofen, Aleve, etc.) are for inflammation.  Voltaren Gel (RX in the US) is a great topical anti-inflammatory.
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I've had several surgeries in my life. When the pain meds start doing more to me than just relieving the pain, I quit. No tapering. I switch to OTC if I still need some medicine. It's too easy to become hooked. It's happened to a relative of mine.

    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up