My painkilling medication is no longer available. What are my options? -

My painkilling medication is no longer available. What are my options?


Several years ago, I was diagnosed by a spine specialist (surgeon) that my condition was inoperable. He wanted me to do epidural steroid injections but my PCP didn't agree, based on what I did for a living, and other factors. Instead, he chose to treat me with an opioid that I could get from my pharmacy without any problems. Since the CDC's campaign became headline news, my doctor won't write it anymore, for fear of losing his license.
I can end this life, or try the black market, but my pension(s) are supporting me and my wife.
I don't know how much longer I can stay the course, as the "pain days" are getting pretty intense. Is there any way to get the government out of my personal life beside taking it? Get back to cheap medicines that work?

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Pain management physicians have access to something equivocal to your old med. I know what you mean as my hubby goes to Pain Mgmt has been told by his provider that med will no longer be available. He's trying something else -
Hang in there, don't despair, just work with your physicians to see what is effective.
Good Luck!
Helpful Answer (10)

Please don't take your life.
We really need some funny people who can lighten up the others (and themselves) carrying a heavy burden.
I don't know why pain doesn't kill a person, it just hurts a whole lot and then some.

I am medically interested in what type of job you have that steroid injections would be contraindicated, but that opiods would not. Hoping you are not out climbing poles or using dangerous machinery.

In states such as Mo., your very own doctor could be one targeted for past over prescribing opiods. That doesn't mean the doctor was wrong, but you are correct, the government is cracking down. And, again, that doesn't mean the patient is an addict, imo.

Try a pain specialist, a neurologist, and alternative sources of pain management, such as physical therapy, chiropractor, medical acupuncturist.

Have you heared of Prolia injections? An orthopedic m.d. and others (neurologist) can perform these. And, new back surgeries (minor) are being perfected, but I don't know what they are called. See a specialist, but at the same time, don't go do too much doctor-shopping to get your fave drugs, because you will be labelled and cut off, with only Cannabais to keep you high enough for pain relief. Could you do your work then?

So keep trying....there is hope. Swimming too, strengthen abdominal muscles to help your back. You are not that old yet.
Helpful Answer (10)

You should get to a pain management specialist immediately. But I agree that your doctor is not telling you everything, I am on opioids. My doctor will only prescribe me a 100 pills non-refillable at a time. He writes a new prescription every time I need a refill and he sees me every 6 months to assess my pain. But he has never even hinted to not prescribing me the opioid. I don't have crippling pain, but I do have arthritis.
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Your PCP has been called on the carpet for something. Get a new doctor who is not afraid of doing the right thing for you. imo.
Helpful Answer (8)

I too suffer from chronic pain, and all I can say is that you present a difficult issue with many factors (diagnosis, pain levels, pain tolerance, insurance coverage, physician access, addiction risk, alternative therapies, the ongoing opioid epidemic crackdown, etc.) and no single best answer.

First, if you are considering suicide, please seek new help for both your suicidal thoughts and your pain. If your insurance offers it, talk to a (nurse) case-manager, and seek out a referral to a pain management specialist from either that case manager or your primary care physician. If your pain was well controlled on your opioid regimen without other impairment of function, then you should be able to get into a pain management program that will allow you to continue with that therapy.

However, once the immediate pain is under control, it would be worthwhile to start from scratch, obtain a thorough re-evaluation, and seek other therapeutic options. As you are the primary steward of your own body, you need to become educated on your symptoms, diagnosis, and possible treatments. Thankfully, that is easier to do via the Internet, now-a-days, but it still takes time and effort. As the opioid epidemic crackdown is not going to stop, it is likely to become even harder to obtain opioid medications going forward, particularly from primary care providers for non-terminal diagnoses. You need to anticipate as much.

Best of luck to you.
Helpful Answer (8)

Time to get a second opinion from another spine specialist and see what type of treatment is available now a days. Pharmacies are always developing new and improved meds for many medical situations, or maybe surgery is now available where it wasn't several years ago.

I can understand your current doctor not wanting to write a prescription for opioids, as one can become too dependent on said meds, and the opioids will eventually not be enough thus causing you to seek out meds you can't get through the normal route.
Helpful Answer (7)

Yes, can you describe your symptoms and diagnosis? Where is your pain?
Maybe re-evaluate and agree to the injections if you aren't working climbing poles,etc.
Good Pain Mgmt doctors will work with you to find what works for you but this entire national clamp down and additional laws for opiates are very detrimental to this with chronic pain.
I wish every state would identify & investigate certain practices in pain mgmt by demo/zip code and run status reports on those practices quarterly or something. Leave the centers with good statistics and patient outcomes alone!
Try another provider. Make sure the provider is in your insurance network so you don't get hit with more expensive co-pays.
Please as you mentioned in your post - call the suicide hotline where ever you are - you can always get another doctor but there is only one you....Seek help.
Helpful Answer (6)

I have to agree with those who say you need to seek a pain management specialist who specializes in spinal procedures. There is so much help now. I had back surgery last June. I was in so much pain, I could not imagine how people coped years ago without it. I still have some issues; but I am no longer in pain and do not take pain meds. I also had an steroid epidural months before I had the surgery and it was a tremendous help, it got me up and walking. I don't understand why you were told not to do it.

You said you were diagnosed years ago. A lot has changed. Get a another opinion from a spine center or a doctor that is using advanced technologies. There is help out there.
Helpful Answer (6)

Myaching; Have you been to physical therapy for this condition?
Helpful Answer (5)

My back pain has been helped enormously by the following: Physical therapy that I do every day at home, including stretches and strengthening exercises; daily workouts on my stationary recumbent bike; Tai Chi practice; and I recently started a ketogenic eating plan and much of my inflammation is already gone -- I even broke into a trot the other day - something that been unthinkable for several years. Realizing my solutions are just that -- my solutions -- I share them in case there are any you have not yet tried. The pills are definitely easier, but the advantage of the list above is that the results get better over time instead of wearing off like a pill does. Pain sucks the energy out of us, so I hold you in prayer as you find your way through this dilemma. While taking our own life can be tempting, you are wise and loving to realize that the impact on the wife you love would be devastating emotionally, not just financially. Keep searching, and try things that may seem counterintuitive - we never know which thing is going to restore our balance and life quality, but there are many non-prescription things out there that do just that. To your health!
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