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Thread: Oxycodone/Oxycontin side effects??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Austin, TX
    Posts
    25

    Oxycodone/Oxycontin side effects??

    Hi guys,

    My post op meds consist of Flexeril, Oxycontin, and Hydrocodone. I hate taking this many meds but I guess I have to in order to avoid terrible pain. The downside is that I am sweating profusely all the time and I am hot in a chilly room. They also make me extremely drowsey.

    Did anyone try using heating pads or cold packs to help with swelling/pain?

    Also, I feel like my skin is super sensitive but that may be from the surgery itself. Anyone else have these same feelings?
    ~Allison~

    23 y/o

    49* Thoracic
    56* Lumbar

    Posterior Spinal Fusion T4 to L4
    Surgery scheduled for May 18, 2009


    Dr. Matthew Geck
    Austin, TX

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,305
    Hi Allison...

    That's a lot of medicine! If you're not having any pain at all, you may be taking too much (not a problem I hear about a lot!). When you start cutting down on narcotics, you need to do it slowly.

    If you're sweating, but don't have a fever, it seems to me that the narcotics may be the culprit. If you have a fever, you need to let your surgeon know.

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    237
    The oxycontin makes me sweat almost non stop and can make me extremely drowsy. There are times I don't get drowsy and other times I just have to lay down and take a nap and that is might confusing. I want to stop them and just stay on my short acting meds but my gp thinks the opposite. I am going to have to take myself off of them very slowly. I have been on them for a long time and I am really scared witless about the withdrawal process. At this stage, which is 3 1/2 months from surgery I don't really need to stop them but now is probably a good time to start reducing them. my surgeon said to do whatever feels right for me so that is what I am trying to do.
    avis
    1987 Lumbar Laminectomy (forget which levels)
    2005 A/P fusion, L2 - L5, 2/2005
    2009 2 Posterior fusions, T6 - Pelvis, 2/10 & 2/18,
    Dr. Frank Rand, NEBH

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
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    Allison,

    I had night sweats really bad the first few weeks and they are getting better now. I still have hot and cold flashes throughout the day. Not everyday though. It will get better. I literally would wake at night with sweat dripping of me and the sheets soaking wet. Give it a few more weeks and it will start to pass.

    I just recently started using ice packs for sore spots and the ice works great for me. Just be carefull if you are very numb make sure you don't leave the cold packs on to long!

    You also mentioned the skin sensitivity. Mine was really bad the first few weeks and it's just now this week (week 5) getting better. The numbness that I had on the upper part of my butt is also going away:O) My biggest problem has been loss of appetite and breathing problems. I am starting to feel a little better so I think I may be getting over the hump and hopefully will start to feel better soon. Good luck and hang in there, it does get better!!
    Susan

    Diagnosed at 10, Boston brace from 11-13 yrs old.
    50* Lumbar w/ 5 centimeter shift to the left and slight rib hump...
    Surgery Date: April 15 and April 22, 2009
    X-LIF approach for disc repair L5,L4,L3,L2
    Posterior Approach for fusions L5-T5
    Dr. Fox @ Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
    Nice and straight now!!!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    52
    Hi Allison,
    I had my surgery shortly after yours. I am only on oxycodone for pain but I also find that it makes me sweat about a half hour after I take it. For me it usually stops within an hour even though I only take the meds every 4-5 hours. My pain is pretty much under control with the oxycodone so I haven't really thought to try ice or heat but I have noticed the extreme skin sensitivity on my back. It almost feels like a bad sunburn! I don't really have any answers for you but at least you aren't the only one. Does anyone know how long the skin sensitivity usually lasts?
    Sarah
    22 year old grad student
    Boston brace from 12-14
    surgery on June 1, 2009 T3 to L2
    Yale New Haven Hospital Dr. Grauer
    Thoracic curve 47*
    Thoracolumbar curve 54*

    Surgery Photos
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...8&l=a2a5799140

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
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    2,852
    Allison

    Its interesting reading these posts. I've forgotten about all of this.

    The opiates really screw with your internal thermostat, one minute your freezing, the next minute your melting down.
    After you come off the meds, this has a tendency to mellow out. Come off slow, keep notes on what you take and let your Dr know what you are doing. Get permission to cut your pills,some you can cut,others you cannot as you can cause some serious problems.

    I never used a heating pad after surgery. I soaked in a bath tub with hot water, 5x per day for 3 months. It worked well for pain.

    Sarah

    I had the extreme sunburn on my hips. It took a few months to dissipate. The numbness in the center of the back running down the scar took 12 months.

    I cannot over emphasize the importance of monitoring you bowel movements while on opiates. Constipation from opiates isn't very pleasant, your guts can turn to STONE and cause EXTREME pain. I was there.

    The stabs, the jolts, the burning, all this stuff does disappear in time.
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 55, the new 45...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    A/P T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  7. #7
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    Sep 2003
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    Northern California
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    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post

    I never used a heating pad after surgery. I soaked in a bath tub with hot water, 5x per day for 3 months. It worked well for pain.
    Wow Ed... I constantly hear from others that baths are prohibited for like 6-12 months. Lucky you!

    --Linda

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    190
    Hello all,
    I am 1 year post op as of this last Tuesday and I'm still taking quite a lot of pain meds. I take 10mg Oxycontin morning and night and 15mg Percocet 3 times per day. This keeps my pain at a managable level. I have some serious questions whether I should still be in this much pain. I don't think I'm a hypocondriac but I'm beginning to wonder. I go back to my surgeon in late July so hopefully he can shed some light on what is going on. I worry about the fact that I'm still taking so much medication, but I've tried lowering my doses slowly and just can't handle the back pain. Of course I worry there is a problem with the fusion but I guess I'll wait until July to find out.

    Ed, I was really amazed at what you said about the internal thermostat info. My surgery was last June, and Oklahoma was pretty darn hot in July. I would go from absolutely freezing to feeling like I was going to spontaneously combust! I still occassionally experience that but it's not as severe or as frequent. I'm glad to know what causes it. Thanks!

    I've found ice packs (flexible refreezable type-got mine from my physical therapist) feel really good on my back, even now. I think I remember being told to stay away from heat, but I may be mistaken.

    Thank you all for the information and for letting me vent a bit. It's always great to come back for a visit!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Chicago north suburb
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    774
    Quote Originally Posted by skoshi314 View Post
    I am 1 year post op as of this last Tuesday and I'm still taking quite a lot of pain meds. I take 10mg Oxycontin morning and night and 15mg Percocet 3 times per day. This keeps my pain at a managable level. I have some serious questions whether I should still be in this much pain.
    No, you should not still be in this much pain. I am a year post-op and I am in no pain except for occasional achiness. And Iím sorry to say this, but I think itís irresponsible of your surgeon to have been prescribing narcotics to you for such a long time. My surgeon drew the line at two months. If I were you, I would seriously consider seeing a pain management specialist who can better manage your drug intake. Good luck.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
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    456
    Becky,

    Sorry to hear that you are in so much pain 1 year post-op. The one thing we all look forward to going into surgery is that someday we can be pain free. However, keep in mind that everyones case is different and our pain levels are different. I would suggest that you contact your surgeon to try and find out why you are still in pain......of course, maybe you have done this already and if you have, maybe look into getting a second opinion.

    I am 7 weeks post-op this week and have compared myself already to other recoveries which just set me up for a lot of frustration and tears. I had my apt. with my doc this week and he thought all was going well. Everyone is different. If the meds make your pain tollerable than so be it. I am sure you would rather not have to take them but you do need to function and stay sane:O) Hang in there and I wish you good luck in getting to the bottom of what is going on.
    Susan

    Diagnosed at 10, Boston brace from 11-13 yrs old.
    50* Lumbar w/ 5 centimeter shift to the left and slight rib hump...
    Surgery Date: April 15 and April 22, 2009
    X-LIF approach for disc repair L5,L4,L3,L2
    Posterior Approach for fusions L5-T5
    Dr. Fox @ Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
    Nice and straight now!!!!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    2,852

    The double edged sword

    Becky,

    I've always said that "pain is relative". With the amount of excruciating pain that I've experienced through the years, I'm sure that my systems have adapted accordingly. In other words, maybe I have pain, but do not necessarily feel it as much, or it just doesn't register as deeply with my older age. Maybe my nerves are worn out a little bit. Is that possible? I don't know, but I do know that my surgery has knocked the pain levels back so I don't feel it so much or not at all.

    I'm sorry that you feel pain. Address this with your Doctor. When I quit my meds, my pain levels increased, then gradually lowered. It was a tough period after I quit and that was what I had to do since I couldn't deal with all the other issues that arise when taking Opiates. I had incredible heartburn during those days, and I now know that that was due to a few things. Only upon going on my gall bladder diet, did I realize that fats, and soda, and improper diet were contributing to this problem. It was multifactoral of course, but Opiates definitely acted as a catalyst. I'm sure that Percocet mixed with Zantac,Colace,Tylenol most definitely acted as a catalyst. I would bet that if I took 100 pills at any given moment, that I would get heartburn or some compounded reaction of some sort.

    I guess that after getting bombed in ICU with anesthesia, (which is lovely mixture of things), and the duration of my 12 day hospital stay with Morphine,Dialud, and Lortab and my post hospital pharmaceutical period, I felt that I needed to toughen up and let my body heal naturally. At 6 weeks post that was my choice. The hot baths were my choice dictated by pain. It worked.

    I'm sure that some of the younger scolis that have never felt any "long lasting" excruciating pain, might be prone to complain of much lower levels of pain and this needs consideration.If one doesn't have "any" pre-surgical pain, the odds will be lower for a zero pain result after a surgery.

    We are lucky to have the available medications that we have today. Imagine having to have to do a major surgery without our little friends. But I must say that prescription medications are a DOUBLE edged sword that I feel resulted in the loss of my gall bladder, and my diverticulosis due to constipation from the opiates. It should be a goal to make it through surgery pain free, and also medication free, or at least give it a shot.

    I gave it that shot. Hell, I was used to pain. I gave my body a shot at healing without altering it with meds, and it worked.
    My physical therapy helped tremendously. Great improvments happened from the 9th month to the 14 month post. I wrote posts about that in the past.

    I agree with Chris. Surgeons should question the prolonged use of medications. 2 months of meds should trigger that question..........

    Susan
    Your still only 7 weeks out. I wouldn't get frustrated, just concentrate on your success, look forward to healing and improvements, they will come in time. My first 3 months were rough, I couldn't even sit at my computer for more than 2-3 minutes for the first 3 months. I was almost 4 months before I started posting here.

    Anyone in their 20s or younger will recover much faster and should realize this.

    Everyone should know the material in the article below. At least read about withdrawal, and side affects.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydromorphone
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 55, the new 45...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    A/P T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    190
    Thanks everyone. I am truly grateful to have this place to vent and get feedback. It's a wonderful source of information and support.

    I dealt with significantly increasing pain for about 5 years before my surgery last June. Ed, I believe you are correct that our body and mind adjusts accordingly to the level of pain we experience on a regular basis. We develop, conscious and subconscious, ways of dealing with and handling the pain. For me over the years I noticed I developed a foot "twitch" for lack of a better word. The twitch will be more pronounced as my pain level increases and I think, just as a guess, it's my minds way of focusing on something other than pain. This is just my personal observation and is in no way based on anything scientific. It's just the result of knowing myself pretty well. I've always felt that I'm a pretty tough cookie with a fairly high tolerance for pain. I managed to lead a pretty active life and stayed very busy in spite of the pain. I just dealt with it and that's ok. I believe it made me stronger mentally and able to be more focused.

    I now find myself being what I consider weak because I can't "just deal" with the pain without meds. I'm frustrated, angry and tired. I function fine on the amount of medication I take. I drive and work with absolutely no fear of being impaired. But there is no denying they do affect my physical condition. It's probably has a great impact on my lack of energy. But every morning when I wake up my very first thought is "Dear God, please make it stop hurting!" I look like a fish out of water trying to get out of bed. It's got to be fairly comical to watch! As I go through my day, the pain changes and moves. But it's always significant. I have a full time job, a husband that works too much, three very busy kids, one that's moving to college in August and a mother-in-law with cancer about to start chemo. I really just need to feel better! NOW!

    I have an appointment with my surgeon July 23 and you can bet I will have a lengthy list of questions for him and I won't stop asking them until I am satisfied with the answers. I pray that the answer is that I'm just a complete pansy and the solution is to "cowboy up!" That I can handle. Another surgery? Not so much.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    456
    Becky,

    do not consider yourself week for starting to be bothered by your pain. I, like you always thought I had a high threshold for pain and could tough it out. Also, like you, I have spent the past five year in a significant amount of pain daily and as if that wasn't enough we planed another baby to break the camels back lol! After the baby was born I could barely walk and couldn't even lift him. I worked with I chiropractor for about a year and decided it was time to go ahead and take care of this problem. Because as we all know, once our curves get to a certain degree the chances of them getting worse is just the reality of the situation and my daily functionng had deminished, there just wasn't any other choice for me. When I look at pictures of myself five years ago and compare them to recent pictures you can see how the pain has taken it's toll. So please, do not be so hard on yourself. You are a strong woman to have been able to deal with this for five years! It's a shame that we both waited this long! So all we can do is move forward and wait for things to get better. As your surgery nears try and stay positive. Even though I am only 7 1/2 weeks post-op I am feeling better every day. I still am getting sick from the meds but even that isn't as bad! Take care and good luck! baby is letting me know it's nap time.....big brother will be taking care of that lol......it's awesome to have a teenager to help.
    Susan

    Diagnosed at 10, Boston brace from 11-13 yrs old.
    50* Lumbar w/ 5 centimeter shift to the left and slight rib hump...
    Surgery Date: April 15 and April 22, 2009
    X-LIF approach for disc repair L5,L4,L3,L2
    Posterior Approach for fusions L5-T5
    Dr. Fox @ Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
    Nice and straight now!!!!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    Hi Becky,

    I'm coming up on my two-year post-op date, and perhaps it will reassure you to know that I've made dramatic progress just in the last six months. At one year post-op I still felt very fragile -- walked with a cane outside, carried a pillow with me everywhere, and still felt pretty stiff and sore. I noticed a big change at around 18 months post-op, and now I'm at the point where I don't have to think about every move I make anymore. But it did take me all this time to get there.

    I agree with Ed that pain is a subjective experience, which is why you just can't talk about pain in general. I thought had a high pain threshold until I had this surgery....and discovered that this was a whole different ball game. Hang in there!
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    456
    Chris,

    It's nice to hear that not everyone is recovered in 6 months to a year. I think we all forget the trauma that has been done to our bodies and how long it really does take to recop from that. I know that I felt that I should have been moving alone further than I was for a few weeks. Now I am listening to my body and not trying to be so "tough" and suck it up because all that does is set me back. Something we can all relate to here I guess:O) As they say, slow and steady wins the race.
    Susan

    Diagnosed at 10, Boston brace from 11-13 yrs old.
    50* Lumbar w/ 5 centimeter shift to the left and slight rib hump...
    Surgery Date: April 15 and April 22, 2009
    X-LIF approach for disc repair L5,L4,L3,L2
    Posterior Approach for fusions L5-T5
    Dr. Fox @ Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
    Nice and straight now!!!!!

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