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i was wondering how long it takes those of you who take narcotics, or ultram for pain, how long it takes for you to feel its effect, after you swallow the pill, it seems to take hours before i get any relief, and thats if i get any relief at all, and i was wondering if its better to take the pain meds on a regular basis to keep the pain bearable, or is it better to just take it when its unbearable, since i find that the more often i take something, the less effective it gets, any input would be appreciated, thanks


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Hi radha...

I take ultram.. and it realy depends on my level of pain.. if my pain is moderate to mild... Ultram works pretty good.. and usually kicks in within the hour of taking it for me.. but if my pain is severe.. and unbearable.. I typically need to go to the ER or to the Doc to get some IV pain meds.. sometimes it takes more then one dose of IV meds to work.. push the pain meds and Iv fluids. and I start to feel relief..

Personally speaking.. I have to be careful w/ narcotic pains meds.. as I am allergic to alot of them...

an ER doc told me once after he treated me for a bad migraine..that inorder to combat pain.. and get it under control.. that you need to take the pain med consistantly......I'm thinking as a preventative mesure...

however.. i'm not sure how good it would be too take a narcotic drug like daily..b/c of addiction or side effects... or if it stops working b/c you get used to the doseage.. to where its not as effective..

You can speak with your doc about pain management.. and see if he/she can hook you up w/ PT ..aquatic thereapy..message.. moist heat.. or ice packs.. Uh.. and meds..

I hope that you get some relief soon


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AARP Magazine published a really great article recently about pain. For me it was extremely benefitial in better understanding pain management issues, and that pain needs to be controlled and patients shouldn't suffer. They also had alot of really good link to pain organizations will alot of educational material, that was easy to read through. I don't know the link, but if you google the magazine you should be able to find it.

Doctors vary on how they want to treat pain. There does come a point where if a patient has tried everything that is non-prescription, massage, pt, etc. and are miserable and they are no longer able to function, they do need something stronger. There is a big discussion on people needing the strong pain meds. If you have to take it, it doesn't mean you are addicted, nor does it mean you will become addicted. Yes, there is that chance, so you need to know those things and monitor as you take the meds. If people are taking the meds to "cope" and not really having physical pain, and they take and hurt themselves its an addiction problem. If you have to take the meds to be reasonably comfortable, and function, AND they IMPROVE FUNCTIONABILITY, they are needed. Such a difference, and it seems to somehow get confused. I will see if I can find the links, because those would tell you so much more. Do research about pain treatment so you know more. I found that to help me learn more, because it is a bit complex and there is controversy surrounding the meds. More so in some parts of the country than others.

With most pain you don't want it to get unbearable, although that can still happen on meds. You have to talk to the doctor and come up with a plan on what to do if your pain worsens on meds, etc. Keeping a log of whenever you take a pill is a good thing to do and take that to your doctor. We space out my pain med throughout the day and night. On days my pain is really severe, we have a plan on how to slowly increase the dose, monitor it, etc. Than when the pain is less, I take far less. If it goes on for more than a day or two, or I am just really miserable and pain is beyound bad, we go ahead and call my doctor and discuss what to do.

Different forms of massage and even several times a week can be benefitial in conjunction with the meds. I refused to take anything until I was unable to function and sobbing from pain. Doing everything you can to lower your pain levels and cope with it is always best and than add meds. It also helps in coming off of the meds.

I'm rambling...Mine usually works in 30-45 mins. Sometimes its really hard to get through that time, but knowing I have relief in a few more minutes helps. Occasionally I am doing really bad and it doesn't bring much relief and we do an increase, and within a day can back off to normal doses and it doesn't tend to happen for awhile.

Hope some of this helps! Being in severe pain is really rough, and I do hope something works for you and you feel a bit better!

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Ultram didn't work for me. I use Vicodin but very sparingly. Can I say that my rice bag and my cat are my best friends? The cat isn't quite as warm as the rice bag but still is a nice warm pack. The last time I was pain-free I was going to a massage therapist weekly; unfortunately, when I had to quit work I could no longer afford that.

I get really tired of everyone in the world offering advice about pain like they do about the other problems we have... They have no idea what it is like to live like this. I am fortunate in that my PCP has chronic pain so he knows what it is like.

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Radha, and all you others, I'm sorry you're in such pain!!!!


My pain is only minor and is in my joints (and stomach right now- but that's on the GERD post). Ibuprofen seems to help 'enough' for now, though I limp a lot, favoring whichever joint decides to hurt at that particular moment. I'm sure there are some people on campus who are quite convinced that I'm either crazy or faking it...

Anyway, the only major pain meds I've been on recently are vicodin and tylenol with codeine (bad if you're intolerant of codeine!!) after getting my wisdom teeth removed, and it didn't really work much.

My history prof has a Doonesbury cartoon on his door that's about a patient's husband wanting his wife in pain to get more pain medicine, and the doctor says 'sorry, the last time that doctors had control over how much medicine patients get was in 1914.. (and something to the effect of) so congress is the reason that nursing homes are full of patients in pain... blah blah blah' sorry I'm having too much brain fog to remember it clearly.

Nevertheless, I hope you all find something that helps! whether pharmacological or something else.

Having gone to massage school, I can say that people with pain due to fibromyalgia often benefit from massage therapy. my sister had massages prescribed for a long time... just a thought- I know they have to be checked out carefully since they're not regulated, but there are a lot of alternative methods to dealing with pain, so if you're not getting relief from the meds, it might be worth looking at them.

*more hugs*

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thanks for all your replies, and i'm sorry to hear so many of you are suffering so much, it sounds like you take the meds regularly so it doesnt get so unbearable, i never get relief in under an hour, was wondering if maybe having low blood volume may affect how fast the med works? i hate to take stuff on a regular basis since i am afraid of getting addicted, and the side effects make me feel so spacey and i am already so lightheaded! and then the meds dont work as well, when you take them more often, ice helps some, i seem to always have an ice pack on my head and on my hip! thanks again for caring,


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