Chronic Pain Support Group

Physicians and professionalsdefine pain as chronic if it lasts longer than three to six months and is persistent. It's distinct from acute pain that is a direct result of injury or trauma. This support group is dedicated to those suffering from chronic pain. Discuss treatments that have worked for you, find advice for your specific experience, and find support. You're not alone in your pain.

4 Online

Do narcotics Shorten life expectancy??

I am wondering if anyone has been told that the chronic use of Narcotic pain medication shortens ones life expectancy.

When I went to the doctor today because I was in extreme pain and I could barely walk. (read journal dated today for a detail description of what a visit from hell is like) I was also told that they wouldn't treat this pain exacerbation with narcotics because "some one who chronically uses narcotic pain medication has a life expectancy to about 10-15 more years." She even went on to tell me that since I am in my late 20's I could expect to live only until I am in my early 40's. So I don't think that I am miss interperating what she ment.

Mind you all I only take on an average day is 3 norcap's per day or 15 mg of hydrocodone a day.

On really bad days averaging less than 3 times per month I was adding an extra 10mg of oxycotin per day this was okay and they wrote these prescriptions for me until September of last year. Now I have nothing for those really bad days.

And frankly I would rather only live 10 or 15 more years and have good pain management than live until I am in my old age and be in agony. Well I frankly won't allow myself to live that long if my pain isn't better controlled. At my current pain level 1-5 years seems like to long.

Sorry about the rambling but this is a very big concern of mine.

Thanks for any Ideas or comments
sh

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

No I have not heard that and I have doneextensive research on my own as to what long term use of narcotics causes.I have discussed with my Dr all the side effects and I have never heard that being one of them. Having formerly worked in hospice, alot of long term narcotic users were living to a very ripe old age,I think in part cause there pain was managed. I agree if I had to live with my pain not managed,they can have the extra 10-15 yrs. Who told you that? Hang in there.
Deb
deleted_user
deleted_user

Thanks, I was a nurse in a prison and we had a few inmates that were on chronic narcotics believe it or not is was a PA specializing in pain management but she was claiming to quote the actually pain specialist who is a doctor and use to be an anesthesiologist
deleted_user
deleted_user

I have been seeing a chiropractor for around 3 weeks now. She made a comment to me when I did my initial review that "Your body can not survive on the medications I am taking. She said that the narcotics will effect all of my organs." THen she preceeded to tell me about her husband who died. She said that he was in excruciating pain for over a year. She said that the doctors kept giving him stronger and stronger narcotics. But he kept getting sicker. She said that he was losing so much weight. He went from 190 to 95 pounds. Everytime that he ate he got sick. Well during the autopsy they discovered that his gallbladder was full of stones and that his pancreas was gone. So basically he died from all of the pain meds and because nnoone discovered that he needed his gallbladder out. It was scary to me because I have a very severe eating problem. I can only eat 6 grams of fat at one time or I get very sick and end up with level 10 pain and vomitting. I know that it is caused by my liver not doing my gallbladders job. Then she made the comment that she was glad that I have come to her now. So according to my chiropractor she believes that the narcotics do shorten your life expectancy. But I am with Deb, I would rather only live another 10 years with pain control than live in pain 24/7 for the next 40. But what really worries me is there going to be anything that takes the pain away when I become immune to all the narcotics that I have been on? THat is more scary to me than whether my life expectancy is shorter. Because I know about Jesus and Heaven and I know death is not scary to me. Being here in pain is worse!
deleted_user
deleted_user

SH
After you posted this I searched several sites online and did not find anything that says shortened life expectency due to narcotic use. There are alot of side effect I even did a search for all side effects. If anyones finds anything different,pls let me know as my curiousity is peaked now..Thanks,Deb
But I still stand by my original statement,I would rather cut it shorter by a few yrs then live in constant pain.Pam I feel for you , I hope you find relief soon,D
deleted_user
deleted_user

I feel like maybe they do shorten your life but i could not live without the pain med.I switch back and forth hydrocodone to oxycodone the oxy makes me forget that i have taken my dose sometimes like a couple of wks ago so i'm back on hydro but have more pain i'm going to my doc on the 19th and want to try something else I have resided to the fact that i will be on pain med. the rest of my life unless a miracle happens.Now if disability would just help me out a little bit!
deleted_user
deleted_user

I've been told I'm not allowed pain meds because they would depress my breathing until I would die in my sleep. I think that would be a good way to go. Some times I hurt so badly I pray I won't ever wake up. They say that's just the depression talking. I take buckets of acteminophen and ibuprofen which they say is bad for me too.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I take alot of pain meds,i don't ever remember that my life could be cut short,we will all go one day. so i just pray and have faith that god will take care of all of us with chronic pain,until then i will enjoy my life and love my grandchildren.I will be praying for you.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi SH,
I too am a nurse, am now on disability b/c of severe pain and also on a lot of narcotic pain meds. The only thing that would "shorten our lives" could be b/c of liver damage b/c of the meds. Taken correctly though I've heard of NO problems. I don't have proper pain management and have no hope of getting better help, b/c of being on disability and not being helped at all by Social Security. I have NO medical assistance/medical coverage at all. I'd much rather have only 10 good years left, than spend more and more years in constant pain. I'd rather have "Quality" more than "Quantity." These doctors make me so angry! They have no idea what it's like to live in constant excruciating pain like many of us here do. I hope you're at least receiving proper pain control...???
Kathy K.
ZAZAS
ZAZAS

Pain shortens our life span too. I am in my late 40's so I have already outlived your concern. I started taking meds in my early 20's and just stopped about 5 months ago. Reason--lost medical coverage. Anything we do shortens our life span but I have never been told by a doctor that taking medicine would shorten my life any less than having to live with chronic pain. Matter of fact, one of mine told me they use the balance scales, what's worse for the patient. I think pain management lengthened my life. Of course, you have to use common sense in taking any medication. I have been where your at and said those same words to my doctor. Of course, I changed my mind when the time was up. Life is possible without meds but the quality is not the same. However, I have to remember the reason I have to live which outweigh the alternative.
hmyers512
hmyers512

Apparently, no one really knows, but don't forget the value of Quality of Life. I've been miraculously freed of 95% of my pain, the worst of which was pressure like a vise on my head, 24/7/265x12 years. I was a top computer programmer, and lost a career job, but had several spurts of high productivity, all on the higher doses of medication. On lower doses, I simply couldn't hold my head up without aggrivating pain. When it started, I went through years of no sleep and got more exhausted year after year until after 3 years opioid medication let me sleep. I'm upset that no one really diagnosed my symptoms, as the procedure that relieved me has been around over a decade, but a few (3) very caring doctors who also didn't really understand where it came from believed in me and for 9 years I took oxycontin and ms-contin. A couple times my dose was reduced from optimium which was high. Each time it cost me job opportunities and bashed my career abilities a bit more. As the provider of a family, it cost my entire family.
I often refrain from writing because the whole thing is so complex to talk about. I found the answer to my pain when my pain meds were cut off completely and I returned to the very worst levels of pain i'd not seen in 9 years. I literally would sleep 4 hours on every 3rd day, laying awake tossing and turning the two nights in between. I couldn't carry on a conversation or work like I'd done with meds. Thank god for the support of my boss who sent me to Dr Arrandt 4 days last October.
I found an answer to my pain, but I know how it is to expect to live your life in pain and have to ask this question. For me, the Quality of Life is a no brainer. I'd had a better QoL if they'd treated me with pain meds right up front instead of letting my entire life decay unrestrained for those first 3 years. I hope my story gives some hope that you might find answers to the actual pain, becuase those meds are strong and life-altering, therein the trade-off. I'd rather had the meds than suffering like that. -Harvey
deleted_user
deleted_user

I am currently taking a nursing pharmacology course, and we just recently talked about opioids. We never mentioned them shortening your life-span, and the professor of this course repeated a couple of time that if we have these good meds, we ought to use them. There is no reason for people to live in pain if they don't have to.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Most medical drs do NOT have chronic pain education and thus are badly misinformed. This in turn has led to hysteria from the "pain meds narc squad" in the USA which deprives folks of badly needed pain medications, because of ungrounded fears.
There are of course realistic concernn not to be taken lightly or discounted. However, contacting the America Pain Foundation or other quality organization that specializes in chronic pain would be a better idea perhaps, than just taking the word of a dr, who may have a questionable slant on things. HUGS :)
deleted_user
deleted_user

i have heard that narcotics are related to small doses of cocaine..and they can damage our organs and or our bones is this true? who really knows/ does anybody out there know anything about the long term side effects of epidural injections and similar injections ? please feel free to send me a message please..ann
deleted_user
deleted_user

pians gotta shorten something i know it ends any quality of life we once had help what do we do? i am 48 been on meds 5 yrs anybody want message plz do bless us all..hopefully more dr will get educated huh.ann
deleted_user
deleted_user

Please excuse my long post, it is very informative and written by one of this nations leading pain management doctors. And PRN's medical expert before congress. There is alot of conflicting information in this topic and I hope DR. Frank Fishers article will add some clarification on opiates.

Tami PRN
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