Monday, April 6, 2009

Chronic Pain: How far would you go to find relief?

In search of relief from chronic, debilitating pain caused by MS nerve damage, BR has tried many treatments:

  • Opioids: Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Fentanyl, Methadone, Dilaudid

  • Neuropathy medications: Nortriptyline, Gabapentin, Topamax, Imipramine, Lyrica, Cymbalta

  • Herbal medications: medical marijuana

  • Alternative treatments: acupuncture

  • Radical procedures: intrathecal pump trial, lumbar spinal cord stimulation trial

Opioids provide temporary relief, and require increasing doses to keep working. Side effects require additional medications to counteract.

The neuropathy medications are difficult to track, but I can tell you that when we tried to take BR off of Topamax, his skin temperature shot through the roof, and he couldn't be touched without wincing in pain.

Medicinal marijuana has been an effective drug. When BR used the correct dose of marijuana, all the effects went to controlling the pain. He remained clear-headed and was not what most people would consider "high".

Acupuncture provided some relief, and BR would like to get that going again.

The intrathecal pump trial using dilaudid was a complete failure.

The jury is still out on the SCS trial. As predicted, it isn't a home run by any stretch of the imagination.

I know we have some readers with chronic MS related pain out there. What have you found most effective in controlling that pain?

4 comments:

Herrad said...

Hi Steve Hi BR,

I have found weed to be the most effective.

Here it is recomended by neurologists as the most effective pain relief for MS.

Hope the stimulator works for you.

Love,
Herrad

Anne said...

I just started using Neurotin (gabapentin) - been about 3 weeks now. I can't believe that it has worked so well for me. It also has helped with hot flashes for menopause, which was a great side effect. My numb fingers and toes are a thing of the past.

Have tried hydocodone and although it helped much with pain, I didn't care for the headiness.

I hope you start seeing some relief from the SCS trial soon.

Anne

steve said...

Oh, come on Herrad. You've never knocked over a petrol station for "Black Tar" money? :-)

steve said...

Hi Anne -

Gabapentin was BR's neuropathic pain work-horse for about a year. Over that time, dosage increased as the pain worsened, until he topped out at 3600 mg/day. GP switched him to Lyrica at that point.