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.

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NEW "OP" OXYCONTIN?

I just picked up my prescription last night and saw that I was given the new "op" version of the oxycontin pills. I dont know how I didn't hear about this...and I REALLY don't know why they didn't say a single word to me at the pharmacy...a "hey, this medicine is different now" or something...but i didn't notice until this morning that it isn't the same as the meds I've been getting for years now.
I did some research, and I see that purdue has changed their formula...now its harder to crush up, and hey, I'm ALL for deterring abusers and addicts from using my meds to get "high"; but I'm NOT cool with a new formula being given to me without even an acknowledgement from the pharmacy. When there used to actually be "generic" oxycontin; they all hurt my stomach and my doc had to write my rx for "brand name only". I still had a few of my old ones left, so I haven't taken one of these new ones yet...I am scared it will mess w/ my stomach again.
ANYWAY, I searched forums on the web but it only seems that I can find opinions from junkies (go figure, huh??); have any REAL CP patients who TAKE THEIR RX AS PRESCRIBED had any problems w/ this new formula? I read that it can take up to 48 hours to work in your system (when swallowed)...def not down w/ that if its true. I called the pharmacy this AM and they obviously dismissed me as a junkie, upset that I couldn't snort or shoot or whatever they do w/ these new pills; but I am honestly concerned!!

Yet another example of being treated like scum for being a CP patient...if this was my blood pressure meds I'm sure it would have already been fixed and I would have been treated w/ respect.

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

I have had a lot of nausea from it, and it it's not doing well on my pain. Having a hard time, but dealing with it.

Please give it a shot though. Maybe it will work for you. I'm also very sensitive.

I'm having a tough time actually, but I'm just doing the best that I can. I won't be online until this evening, but if you have any questions I will reply.

:(

Buttercup
deleted_user
deleted_user

GREAT!!!! Another horror story! Maybe call your doctor and ask for Zofran so you can take the new version of medication? So sorry this happened to you! And maybe switch pharmacies? And, I apologize for my negative attitude. Won't even type what else is going through this head of mine right now. Hope you have a good - better day!
ihavepkd
ihavepkd

The new, less crushable version of OxyContin has been in the pipeline for years; you just seem to be among the first to have received it. Give it a try; it should work as effectively as the old version does. And if you find you need some breakthrough pain medication when transitioning from the original verion to the new "tamper resistant" version, let us know so we'll all be better prepared for what to expect when we too get the newer version.

It's counterintuitive and panicky to simply assume that a different form of the same medication will be ineffective. Where did you find the information that it takes 24-48 hours for you body to reach a steady state on the new taper resistant variety of OxyContin (which just happens to be the length of time it takes to reach a steady state dosing on any new OxyContin dosing, whether you're brand new to the medication or going from one dose up to another)? Was it the manufacturer's website or another group of panicky pain patients on a website who are convinced the world is out to get them too? Considering that the taper resistant version will soon be the only version avialable on the market, there will be no going back. And if you had read the written material that comes with the medication and/or not signed off declining pharmacist couseling, you would have known much more about your medication before you left the pharmacy. We patient ALSO have a responsibility to ask questions about our medications, to read the literature and talk with the pharmacist before we leave the pharmacy; the responsibility goes BOTH ways. You can't stand by and simply be a passive patient and wait for everyone to come to you and give you all the information you need to know. Speak up and ask questions; you not only have a right but a responsibility to do so.

As patient on both pain and blood pressure medications, rest assured,pharmacists are no more apt to explain any changes in my BP meds to me than they are my pain medications (in fact I get more info on my pain meds than BP meds). They only answer questions if I ask or if I happen to see a pharmacist who is genuinely concerned about the number and combination of medications I'm on (and generally they are the ones wondering how I remain conscious throughout the day due to the amount of potentially sedating medication I take, most of which are contraindicated when taken with all of the otheres). Otherwise it's up to me or my husband to ask questions and read the literature and keep track of what's changing with my various medications (e.g. OxyContin formuations are changing to a more taper-proof formulation, something that has been discussed in detail on this website multiple times before).

Take your medication as prescribed. You may be pleasantly surprised to find there is no difference in how it's absorbed. But if you go in with such a negative attitude, you are willing yourself to experience problems and as such, probably will experience have some, even though a blind trial with the two different formulations would most likely show no difference at all. And if you do have bonafide problems over an extended period of time, use your breakthrough pain medication and talk with your pain doctor about changing your medication and/or dosing. Just keep in mind that there is no going back to the old formulation of OxyContin; once the old supplies run out they will be gone forever.

Good luck! And next time, talk with yoru pharmacist BEFORE you leave the pharmacy counter. Don't sign the form they require everyone at the desk to sign; if you read carefully what you are signing away is your right to counseling by the pharmacist and you never want to sign those away. Don't worry about who's in line behind you; they pharmacist can come over to a private area, explain each of your prescriptions in detail, if any are a new formulation or change in dose, what changes there may be in the overall prescribing instructions as well a patient guide, etc. This is just part of your patient rights; don't sign it away and slink out of the pharmacy. Stand tall and have the discussion about all of your medications with your pharmacists; he is the most knowledgeable about all the medications you're taking and may actually be able to recommend a less expensive, more effective medication for you to discuss with your doctor that is covered by your insurance that may work better and won't require an addtional anti-emitic to treat the side effects of your pain meds. Your pharmacist is another member of your health care team; use him/her as such and get the maximum benefits from a very well trained professional!
deleted_user
deleted_user

nope; i didnt sign anything. they just called my name; said my prescription was ready, and handed it to me. didn't ask me if i had any questions.
i dont think im being "alarmist' when i realize my medicine ive been taking for years suddenly has a different imprint; and i dont have a negative attitude at all. i take 2 different doses--one is the same; one has the new imprint. i thought that was weird, thats all.
lladyfairhair
lladyfairhair

Buggins,
It sounds like you didnt notice until you got home that they were any different...if so... then you couldnt possibly know that at the time you left the counter and so you didnt ask for any council because you didnt expect there to be anything different. Not your fault- you didnt know. My pharm will now open the bottle and show me the pills and ask right there and then if these LOOK like the correct pills. ( pills that I am used to getting) That saves them tons of time because if they buy them from a different manufacturer ... they can look totally different- color and everything. So the people that are concerned will call them on the phone and ask about it (like me) therefore their day only becomes busier.

It isnt true that it will take LONGER to get in your system. You already take it so there will be no change there. I think that info is for people taking it for the first time.

Now that you know - you should always ask to see them if they dont already do that...that way you can have consult right then and there. No matter what the drug is... its the same ... they just DONT inform you of any changes ... I have had to call way too many times.
If they treat you like a junkie... I suggest changing pharmacies.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi again Buggins. Please let me know how you're doing pain-wise on the new medication if you have the time.

Thanks,

Butter
ihavepkd
ihavepkd

Buggins,
For future reference, always open the tablets and check to see what you've received. I do that with every prescription I have (18+) and when in doubt I have the pharmacist show me the original bottle if something doesn't look right (I've been given the wrong medication more than one to include the utter stupidity of putting the Zantac label on an upopened bottle of Aciphex). With the opiates, I go so far as to count every pill in front of the cameras to ensure I get the right amount before leaving the counter (having been shorted half of my prescription twice and managed to get the phamacists, technicians, deputy hospital commander, etc. fired as a result of a major drug diversion scheme going on in the pharmacy).

I do the same in the hospital; I don't "believe" that the 50 mg dose of whatever they claim they're giving me is actually a 50 mg tablet, especially when it's a pill I've never seen before. I've gone so far as to call poison control from my hospital room to ask what an unfamiliar capsule was and found out it was twice the prescribed dose and a hopsital-wide error; they mislabeled single 100 mg doses of one medication as 50 mg doses (done in the hospital pharmacy, not by an outside vendor).

And do ask the pharmacist about each and every medication you pick up. Don't decline, don't sign away a right (at CVS and Walgreens here in VA it's a form they have you sign when you pick up your prescription). Take advantage of every expert you can talk with about your medications; you never know when you will learn something new from another specialist!

When in doubt, always call poison control to ensure you've been prescribed the correct medication, 1-800-222-1222 (in the US).

I hope your new medication is working well.
deleted_user
deleted_user

yeah i usually do...but this is the one time i didn't. of course!
i dont have to sign anything; i didn't "decline" anything or any of my rights
when i went back and spoke to the manager they were appalled that (1) the night pharmacist would speak to me that way and (2) they didn't inform me of the change in mediciation

they took back my meds and gave me the remaining supply of the "old" brand and my doc wrote me an rx for the new kind so I could see how it reacts w/ my stomach (its very sensitive; when they did have generics i tried every single brand and they all made me soooo sick). typically they can't "take back" a med; (esp a narcotic); but since it was their fault for not informing me they were more than happy to do it.
regarding not being treated w/ respect/being treated like a junkie i simply meant that when I called to "complain" about my new meds, the night pharmacist seemed to assume i was just pissed I wasn't able to crush or snort or inject or whatever it is people do to the meds. i DO think that if it was a different medication, they would have been nicer about explaining to me what was going on.

I have weird allergies/reactions when it comes to the binding agents in meds.
deleted_user
deleted_user

The pharmacist didn't say a word to me about it either! Also, as usual- I was completely dismissed as some kind of abuser for asking questions and simply trying to get my medication, prescribed to me- a patient of chronic pain for over 8 years.

The new Oxycontin doesn't seem to work the same. I was used to the old formula, which managed my headaches and joint pain well so when I would normally be having a "bad pain day"- pain near an 8 on the scale- wold make it more like a 2 or 3. Last night my pain was nearing a 7 for sure, and I had taken the medication an hour or so prior (I am am on 80mg twice daily- and an emergency extra of 40mg pills to add on for super bad days and well, emergencies.)

It is also making me dizzy and nauseous, which I know are usual symptoms of this medication but I have never had them before. It is not giving me the same amount of energy as it did before.

I can only hope that this change is somehow overturned. This medication is meant for CP patients, and we deserve it. I'm so happy that Purdue can sleep well at night knowing some dumb 16 year old isn't getting high, but I am not. I am in pain.

I heard that some generic from Ethex is available that is made with the old formula. I am curious if anyone else knows anything about it. If so, please let me know.

I am in the Philadelphia area and I know many pharmacies refuse to carry Oxycontin and similar narcotics, but I am going to call around to Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aids in the area to see if they will give me any information, have this available, and hopefully won't treat me like scum (that'll be the day).

Good luck to my fellow sufferers.
deleted_user
deleted_user

The party is over for everyone. Legitimate pain patients don't seem to like OP and the juckies, well forget it. Nobody wants oxycontin anymore.
deleted_user
deleted_user

To Buggins104: I have been on this medication for 5 years and just received the new formula pills straight from the manufacture and it has been over a week now and I can honestly say, - THEY SUCK!!! I am once again in PAIN with only a stomach ache and a headache to show for taking the medication as prescribed. I take them orally as my doctor has instructed I am not an addict and I have a full time job that I go to everyday! How am I supposed to work when all I can think about is how much pain I am in? Just as predicted the real pain patients are the ones to suffer. I also looked into others opinions of this medication and all I find are site by addicts who are looking to "conquer" the formula so they can snort or shoot up! I just want to take my medication go to work be productive and normal. What am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to control my pain?
deleted_user
deleted_user

I did know about the new formulation of Oxycontin about 3 months ago and was excited about the fact that abusers couldn't tamper with it protecting me as a responsible patient and the doctors who prescribe it however after getting the new OP version on 9/6, I didn't notice any difference until I got very constipated and on 9/14 began having nausea, vomiting only to wake up the next day feeling as I had the flu with a fever, dizziness, nausea w/o vomiting so bad that I honestly didn't think it was the medication causing the symptoms that had nothing to do with my stomach.
I've been on the same dose of the 40mg for 9 of my over 11yrs in chronic pain from RSD and am allergic to ALL other long acting opiates that were tried on me including trying Opana last year.
I've never cut one open, chewed, or crushed them and hate the people that have ruined the treatment of real chronic pain patients in recent years.
Like Buggins, my stomach is extremely sensitive. It is now day 17 on the new OP and something finally popped into my mind. What if many of us who have taken it long term and correctly are experiencing withdrawals from the old compounds and not just adverse side effects that hopefully will go away in time as the old version also never made me feel sick in any way and I haven't felt any euphoria for at least 8yrs.
I did call my pharmacist who told me that others were calling in having very similar symptoms as I have been. I am honestly praying this is only an adjustment period for many of us as my doctor wouldn't have a clue as to what to change my medication to and the generics are 40% less effective as I did take them when they came out and was switched back to the brand name with 2 doctors and my pharmacist agreeing they were less effective in controlling pain.
I am still sick enough to my stomach that I've had to take Phenergen almost every day and never had to before unless I was vomiting (which was very rare). I haven't vomited since 9/14 but my stomach is so out of sorts.
I feel dizziness and a low grade fever still which I hope goes away.
I honestly feel if I could take my medication along with my Percocet that I can't take as prescribed due to my stomach problems right now that the new OP is as effective for pain itself so far. I'm supposed to take 3 40mgs a day of the Oxycontin and 4 Percocet as needed for pain a day. I can only take 2 of the new OP formula and 1 to 2 Percocet a day so I am in more pain.
I am also extremely mad that my searches to only find answers as a real CP patient has led me to find too many searches for junkies also.
Buggins, I think I got pain relief the 1st day I took it as the old was still in my system too and don't feel that is the biggest problem with the new OP; it's whatever is in it; the compounds that I think are either making me sick or as I hope, I'm only withdrawing from the old to get used to the new.
I've taken it long enough to know it is more effective in pain control than the generic version at the very least.
Until enough people take it long enough to find out the correct way only then will we know if Purdue needs to do something to change this even if means going back to the old formula until they can fix it.
As real CP patients we need to try it for at least one month or so before dismissing it and whatever we do, don't psych ourselves into thinking it just doesn't work because our minds are actually more powerful than the drug itself.
If enough of us remain sick, something must be done but until then please give it a try and I will be the 1st one to report this problem if it persist as I have never abused any medication ever given to me in any way.
If your stomach is as sensitive as mine being allergic to all other forms of long acting opiates, I would suggest that you have a nausea medication on hand but don't psych yourself out.
I didn't even bother to look up anything until I realized I didn't have the flu and my stomach wasn't better after 12 days of use and then I went to the Purdue website to find the side effects and found out I am experiencing way too many of them.
Since I have read legitimate complaints of side effects from real CP patients and called my pharmacist I am now very concerned but I can only continue taking it until I see my doctor in 11 days.
If I was vomiting daily, I would have stopped using it immediately and would suggest that to anyone else also.
I can only hope these are temporary side effects or I won't be able to stay on it and will ask my doctor to help me when I go.
I hope this helps others out there that are only asking for real reasons and not to learn how to abuse it also.
Sincerely, Rhonda, IN
deleted_user
deleted_user

there is a report floating around that some people have called purdue pharma and complained about the new formulation and were told by the company that if enough people called that they may be forced to go back to the old formula or reformulate again. as far as my personal experience with the medication, when taken correctly the new "op" pill actually worked better than the old stuff but took longer to take affect, apparantly i'm in the minority on feeling this, most say the new formulation leaves them hurting worse almost like they're withdrawing from what i read, i've had to go through withdraws for over a week before so i know what to listen for when someone's talking about this new formulation being worse some just sound like they're w/d'ing because they cant snort or shoot it anymore honestly. others sound genuine in the way they describe how it is less effective but to say it doesn't work at all can't be true, it still has the same main ingredient, they only changed the biproduct of the med so it should still hold most of its characteristics when taken correctly
deleted_user
deleted_user

truthspeaker; I agree that some posts I've read not just here are more about how to abuse this new drug than the side effects of real chronic pain patients which angers me.
I saw my doctor yesterday who did some study herself on this, called Purdue, and spoke with my pharmacist and another doctor.
She believes my symptoms are due to not being able to "stomach" this new formula which is leaving me to feel that I'm going through withdrawals and also that the pill itself has been widely reported to be not as effective.
She wants me to remain on it for now as I am severely allergic to any other long acting opiate to see if I can tolerate it better by actually taking more and also told me to take more than I am prescribed now of my break through pain med; Percocet from 4 to 6 a day. She also prescribed a prescription form of Pepcid AC to help prevent nausea and more Phenergen if I am experiencing nausea and/or vomiting.
She also ran tests on both blood and urine to see if there could be anything else going on that doesn't have anything to do with the new OP formula that is bacterial or viral.
Knowing she spent 2 hours investigating before my appt yesterday spending 1 1/2 hours with me discussing it I know she is trying to really help.
My next script isn't due until I see her on 10/4 and that is when she will decide what to do next based on how I feel and how the other tests ran come up.
I just pray others start getting better and she told me she was glad I called Purdue due to things they told her.
deleted_user
deleted_user

i read the new unbreakable time release formula that keeps the pill and the time release compononents in tact are closely related to glue and the new formula actually has to dry for three days after being molded into pill form. if this is the case i could see glue causing nausea vomiting and constipation as well as explaining why it takes longer for the medication to kick in for me, we're breaking down glue to get to the part that helps. and you're right when first taken it's everything's fine, it wasn't til a week after starting i developed extremely painful heartburn, i've never got heart burn from pain meds and the only medication that ever really messed with me was nucynta, all the rest like ms contin and opana just didn't work at the doseage he gave me. honestly i think they went overboard and will have to reformulate or something because there are too many people that aren't junkies complaining about the new meds. i can tolerate the side effects i'm getting because they are not as severe as others i see are having. this site doesn't seem to be over ran by junkies like the other sites i've been seeing.
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