Pain Medication Suggestions

Posted By
1/6/2011 9:36pm
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Replies: 16

Hi All,

I have been struggling with some pain.. not severe but have been taking 600 mg of Ibuprofen 3 times per day  for the last few months and it has kept the pain at bay. I have refused to take anything from the opium family so far as I am still working a full time job and drive. The Nurse had warned me not to drive if I took stronger prescription drugs.

Is there any medication that is milder on the bodies organs that are effective?

I am also struggling with a high creatinine level that started in Sept @ 3.3 after 6 rounds of bio-chemo but has trended down to 1.7 last week.

I am know in my 2nd dose of ipi.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Rocky (Stage IV Liver Mets)

LynnLuc - (1/7/2011 - 12:58am)

Hi Rocky, I am like you when it comes to pain meds...I would rather do other things instead of morphine etc etc...I switch from Tylenol to Aleve to Motrin...if my blood isn't thin- even aspirin. A doc told me that aspirin is really the best of the OTC  pain meds at relieving pain and Americans have forgotten it...

Advocate for your own treatment.. Stage 4 Melanoma NED Surgery,Radiation, Temodar 300Mg July 2009-March 2010, then "Phase I Study of Anti-PD-1 Human Monoclonal Antibody MDX-1106 and Vaccine Therapy"

Understood Lynn, But I am still worried about the NSAID family drugs which ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin and some others are part of. I try to not take anything and it feels literally like a truck ran over me. Sore, achy and in pain.

Also my creatinine level spiking up has got me worried.. thank goodness it is trending down.


I forgot to add worried about the Acetaminophen family drugs also, Tylenol etc

Janner - (1/7/2011 - 11:28am)

One pain pill you might try is Tramadol (Ultram).  It is a synthetic narcotic.  It isn't nearly as strong as anything in the standard narcotic family.  In fact, it's considered mild enough that docs can call it into a pharmacy unlike the other narcotics.  I get sick taking any of the standard narcotics, but Tramadol works well for me when I need a little extra boost.  It is certainly a pill I would not have any trouble driving under or working under - I've done both.  I used to take it when I played tennis (terrible knee pain).  For me, it bridges the gap between prescription doses of ibuprofin and standard narcotics (which I won't take).

As far as pills being easier on the organs, I'm not sure you will get there with any NSAIDS.  My father also has some kidney issues and has needed consistent pain help for joint issues.  He has turned to Aleve because he doesn't have to take as much to control his pain, but I'm not sure it is any easier on kidneys/liver than any other NSAID. 

Best wishes,


Jan I appreciate the advice and will look into it.

Take Care... And thanks so much.


Hi Rocky,

My husband was the same way.  He refused to take any pain medication.  Dr. Kirkwood prescribed him the Fentanyl Patch and it was a huge blessing!  It worked great and didn't make him drowsy or feel out of it.  It just basically blocked the pain.  They started him on 12.5 mcg every 3 days and now he's on 150 mcg every 3 days.  It worked miracles for him so I highly recommend it.  Good luck and I hope you are feeling better soon.

EricNJill In OH

Jill. Do you know why the dosage went up with the Fentanyl patch?


I will look in to it.


Thanks so much.


Hi Rocky,

While on the patch his tumors would get worse and his cancer was progressing in his right leg so if he would get breakthrough pain they would then increase his dosage because the dosage he was on wouldn't be enough.  It was an increase over time.  He's been on the patch since June, 2010.  He worked full time as a Service Manager at Goodyear with a hundred tumors in his leg and as the tumors got bigger and he got new ones it became more painful for him so as his pain increased they would increase the micrograms of the patch. 

It was a blessing!  Here is a picture of his leg changes from 11/13 to 12/27.  His leg is actually worse than this today.


I understand now Jill, he has had a heck of a fight. Is Jack in treatment now since his Craniotomy. Most of my tumors are internal Liver, lymphnodes and I can't see. I do have a few on my right thigh area but nothing like what Jack has.

I'll for sure check into the patch.

I see why Jack is your Hero.

Many Prayers and Thoughts for the both of you to win this battle.


Hi Rocky,

   I DO take narcotics......just started on oxcycontin yesterday.....20mg, a dose every 12 hours, and my doctor wants me to take the oxcycodone (5mg with 325 mg of tylenol each pill) for "breakthrough" pain. I had been managed on vicadins for months, then the effectiveness of that wore off, then I went to methadone (5mg three times a day) and oxcycodone, and that helped for two months, but again, the effectiveness dimmed, so rather than up the methadone and use straight oxcycodone, no tylenol, we are trying the oxcycontin, etc as stated above. I have NEVER felt stoned or high....NEVER....I am able to drive, was able to work, never did the meds compromise my mental sharpness at all ( a higher dose of methadone did last winter tho). I have been told by a pain specialist that I am a rapid metabolizer of narcotics.....just the way my body and receptors work, still the pain control has been adequate (but not 100%). I just wanted to say narcotics are not across the board BAD. They can be addicting, but more for people who use them recreationally, not for people with REAL pain, like us. I have used the fentanyl patch also, which worked well. That was last year. My pain stems from two unhealed leg wounds, for 7 months, and the healing process is extremely slow, if practically non -existent.  You might want to seek out a "PAIN SPECIALIST" at your major medical center (Moffit right?) They can consult with your prescribing doctor, and help target the source of your pain and then what meds would work best.   Best of luck Rocky!


stage 3a

Rocklove - (1/10/2011 - 9:07am)

I appreciate it Donna I know you have had a horrible time with your leg for a long time. I'll look into your suggestions.


I hope you feel better really soon Rocky. I just wanted to tell you that using narcotics isnt always a bad thing.



stage 3a

ps you and I are almost on the same round of next (third dose) is this Wednesday 1/12

MaryD - (1/8/2011 - 2:57pm)

Hi Rocky - I'm sorry you are in pain and it really is important to keep it under control.   I actually take Tramadol regularly for fibromyalgia (though I have to say I tolerate pain meds quite well) and it does have fewer side effects, etc.

Have you talked to Dr. Weber about this?  Maybe he has some suggestions or can refer you to a pain specialist at Moffitt who may be able to help you come up with a solution that won't impede your ability to drive and work.  Managing pain is important because it can really wear you down.

My fibromyalgia got way worse after the pulsed IL-2 treatments in 2009 and I have had to really work on managing it - so I totally understand the challenge.

Hoping that you can get this under control soon ...

Best regards,


Rocklove - (1/24/2011 - 10:29pm)

Thanks Mary... I'm going to bring it up to Weber to get into pain control. I will look into the Tramadol

Hope you are doing well.

Great to hear from you.


I am doing much better with my new pain doc - he's got me at 75 mcg on the fentenyl patch but I think I will ask to go up.  I am take a rotating schedule of Norco and Dilaudid.  The Norco is like Vicodin but with less acetamenaphen.

I have to take anti-nausea meds to take the narcotics but I have to do that with any pain pill - I'm an easy to throw up kinda patient.

I like the patch.  It hasn't been knocking me out too much.  I am very against spending too much of my time zonked out, even if it means tolerating a slightly higher pain level.


I continue to praise God in this storm, counting my blessings & enjoying my "bonus time!"

LynnLuc - (1/16/2011 - 1:59pm)

How you doing Rocky? Just was thinking about you! I was wondering if they ever told you why they said you had the HLA and then said you didn't? How did they make such an error.

I had mine tested when I first was diagnosed and then had my tumor tested soon after. It made things go a bit faster when it came to getting into trials although everyone thinks they need to redo their own tests..I can't help but wonder if they make money off of all the tests lol.

I am still in the anti-pd-1 trial and finshed the 2 round in the second 12 week run. I believe the HLA type has nothing to do with the anti-pd-1 ( MDX 1106) and everything to do with the 6 injections of peptides I get each time.

I would like to see the anti-pd-1 used in combination with other immunotherapy drugs.-Lynn

Advocate for your own treatment.. Stage 4 Melanoma NED Surgery,Radiation, Temodar 300Mg July 2009-March 2010, then "Phase I Study of Anti-PD-1 Human Monoclonal Antibody MDX-1106 and Vaccine Therapy"