So my lupus bothers my joints. Right now it is hard to walk because both my feet feel like they are broken. Its hard to make a fist and my left knee is starting to hurts as well. lol Im just falling apart. Does anyone else have this issue and what has been your best pain management? What pain meds have helped you the most? The only meds I am taking for lupus is plaquenil 200 mg twice a day.
I get moderate pain relief from a combination of 7.5mg Mobic (generic meloxicam - it's an NSAID) + 50mg tramadol, twice a day. It takes the edge off, I'm usually functional, and it doesn't interfere with my thinking.
I had much better luck with naproxen 500mg as my NSAID of choice, but it started to give me horrid stomach aches every time I took it, so my doctor switched me to Mobic, which has been easier on my stomach.
MY doctor offered me pain meds the last time a saw her. But I think the less medications you are on the better. I hate taking meds. But now.. I want pain meds. I don't know what the hell I was thinking. lol trying to be tough i guess and that is just failing real quick.
So there are pain meds, and there are Pain Meds.
Mobic is an NSAID, just like ibuprofen or Aleve-- just a different formulation. So, it's a pretty well-researched, low-side effect drug. Tramadol is a non-narcotic painkiller for moderate pain, and while it made me a little buzzy feeling at first, I have no significant side effects from it now. So, these are pretty benign meds, in my opinion.
And then there are narcotics, like Vicodin and OxyContin, that people often think of when someone says "pain meds." These are stronger, but also carry more risk of interfering with your mental clarity and a risk of dependence or addiction. I do not take these because my job requires that I be clear-headed, and honestly, I don't like the stoned feeling I get from them.
Now, on to what you said about hating taking meds.
I think most of us here agree with you that we'd all rather NOT be taking the pill cocktails we take multiple times a day. It's not fun, and medications always carry a risk of side-effects. But you really do have to weigh the benefits of the medications against the perceived negatives. It's great that you're taking Plaquenil because that can go a long way to keeping your lupus in check.
But even though no one likes to take a bunch of pills, we are lucky enough to live in a time and place where medications that can pretty effectively address pain exist. Even though I don't enjoy my bottles that rattle around in the bottom of my purse and all the pills I swallow every day, you know what's worse? The pain I'd be in without them. So, don't feel like you have to be tough. No one deserves to be in pain, and there are some very effective and relatively benign ways of managing pain out there!
So, have you tried any NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)? You could start by taking a couple of over-the-counter Aleve and see how it works for you. You might be surprised at how effective NSAIDs can be for the type of inflammatory pain we have. If it works, you should talk to your doctor because if you're going to take NSAIDs for more than a couple of weeks, your doctor needs to know about it. And your doctor will probably give you a prescription for an NSAID, so it will be cheaper than purchasing over the counter, and advise you on how to monitor for side-effects like stomach problems.
As far as non-medication ways of dealing with pain, I have some luck occasionally with using a heating pad for pain relief.
I'm sorry you're in pain, and I hope you find something that works for you soon! Keep us posted on if you try something and what works.
this sound similar to what i suffer..........
your muscles swell slightly from the lupus.
and being fatter, they do not want to bend and constrict.
i take an anti inflamitory and long action pain meds.
i suggest seeing your doctor for them.
I've been having similar questions about the pain medication.
Sadly, the plaquenil isnt always enough by itself. I was taking the NSAIDs that mostly everyone mentions. I was then prescribed the 800 mil ibuprofen by my rheumatologist for twice a day. This did work but I started to notice a lot of stomach issues which sadly is a common side effect.
I swtiched from the ibuprofen to something called etodolac, which is pretty much just a more effect verison of the ibuprofen...that also makes my stomach feel strange if I dont take it on a full stomach, but it works so well I just deal.
I was also given tramadol, which as mentioned above is a non narcotic pain medication for mild pain relief. This medication is nice because you can function on it. At first it made me sleepy. And even to this day some days I just feel very calm and super mellowed out. Which isnt technically a bad thing, but it feels weird so I know its the medicine. Its also nice because it is safe to use with the anti-inflammatory pills.
A few days ago my doctor gave me some neurontin to see if this would work better in place of the etodolac. So now I'm trying that.
It really is all a gamble. You have to find what works best for you. I went through the same issues with taking of the medicine and trying to be "tough" I stopped taking everything at one point and landed myself in a world of pain and trouble. Then I realized, its just not worth it. I will pretty much take whatever I'm given if it will make my quality of life better. Like Derrie said, no one deserves to be in pain, and you are no different. I think we just all need to decide for ourselves if its worth the heavy duty risks associted with the Pain Meds (oxycotin and vicodin, etc) I'm currently battling that one myself so I can't offer much of an opinon. I will say you deserve to be happy. We all do. If you hurt, talk to your doctor. Explain your fears and see where it goes from there.
I wish you the best of luck.
I took Celebrex for a few years to manage the inflammation but then it started causing serious stomach issues so I had to stop. I just went to a new pain management doctor because my rheumy made me and he put me on 50 mgs of Nucynta twice a day. Its a synthetic opiod and doesn't have all the weird side effects of norco and the other stuff at that dose. All of that stuff just knocked me out, made me itch, and gave me a drug headache. Its been a journey of trial and error because I'm so med sensitive but Lyrica for the nerve pain, topomax for the migraines and nucynta at very low doses seem to work well. Good luck!
Keeping inflammation at bay is paramount. Medications can help in that regard, but so can what you eat. There all sorts of lists out there on the internet of foods to avoid or eat, but the "Mediterranean Diet" is the easiest way to say it. I don't follow it strictly (I'm supposed to be gluten-free, but I cannot and will not do without PIZZA!!! or CHEESEBURGERS!!! or CHOCOLATE!!!), but I try to keep close to it, and spread the "bad" stuff out over time. I try to balance carbs & proteins for diabetes also. Arthritis Today has an article of interest:
I first read that in the paper-print mag of it at my doctor's office a while back (most doctor's offices have People, Better Housekeeping, etc.). Even dental hygiene can make a difference (or so they say). A combination of "all of the above", with doctor consultation is probably most effective, though be realistic. I was doing plaquenil and ibuprofen regularly, with the ocassional use of flexeril & oxycodone (??) when needed.
Allergies seem to be my downfall so does hating my new contract job. I found out recently the vitamin company I have used for the last year changed formulation and added rosemary oil to my omega oil. It started me on an allergy downward spiral as I am allergic to rosemary oil( they never told me they changed the ingredients). I have had success with gluten free, even have pizza and hersheys chocolate I believe is gluten free. Though I can barely walk the day after dairy I just ate a bowl of chocolate icecream, already hurts so why not make it worthwhile. It hurts to sleep right now with joint pain. I see a naturopath and some of the things do help. The pain makes me a horrid person so the antidepressant is a must but I do beleive I am not depressed. The world is not safe with me not on something. Cymbalta stopped working so I tried St Johns wort under a doctor and it works. If I control the depression and anxiety I don't feel the pain as much. Or ratehr I can lay low and be pleasant rather than bite everyones head off. I use the supplement GABBA which is like Neurontin under a doctors guidance. If I control the perimenopause with prescribed herbs I can fell less pain and rage. I force my self to swallow all the supplements and try to be kind to people. I find if I am working to be healthy each day at something ( positive thoughts, a vitamin here or there, a steam bag of veges cause I can't bare to drag out a pan, fold a few towels, buy paper plates : ) I tell my self it was a good day. Days I falter are just time to go to bed. I look at projects and say not today. When something wants in on my life I have to examine it I truly have energy to take it on. Saying no to people and things is a good thing. I beleive a psychologist can help with pain management. My mom saw a man who had MSor Lupus and she said it was a relief. Not that she stopped meds but she had a better quality of life, it helped her get a different way of thinking about a chronic disease. Kids had a better life too. Controlling pain can mean controlling the things in life that tear you down, things you can controll. I'm still working on weaseling out of a contract job which will really help. Yep less pay will have to do. I will have to cut out stuff and back to frugal living.
Let me just say that the degree of pain meds a person is on is no indication of strength. I went for 3 years eating NSAIDS because I was NOT going to take the high powere stuff. My level of life enjoyment was almost non existstant. I gave in about 6 months ago and was put on some high powere narcotics and what a difference it made! I don't get the buzz of the drugs because my body actually uses it. I am not saying this is for everyone but I am saying that it is an individual thing and there is no shame in needed stronger meds