PROZAC, NORTRIPTYLINE & TRAMADOL – POPULAR DRUGS USED FOR CHRONIC PAIN…

One of my previous posts was about my new pain team suggesting that I came of all my pain relieving drugs except paracetamol as I have been on them for many years.

The idea was to see a couple of things (a) was my pain a lot worse without them? and (b) how did I feel mentally without the many side effects of the drugs listed above which I was taking.

My GP however suggested I go straight onto Tramadol hydrochloride/Paracetamol which was a mixture of both Tramadol and Paracetamol but the dosage was much lower than my usual Tramadol.

I had a follow up phone call 6 weeks after the meeting with the pain team which was last week. The team also told me to take Turmeric and we’re convinced some of my symptoms were Vitamin D deficiency so also sent me for a blood test and bone scan to check for Osteoporosis.

The blood test showed I was extremely Vitamin D deficient so I was put onto a large dose of it and told to continue taking it but just a normal dose from the chemist after I had finished the strong course. My bone scan was cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus.

So, for the last eight weeks I’ve taken Vitamin D, Turmeric and the Tramadol hydrochloride/Paracetamol which I’ve not had before and tried to get myself off the rest of my medication except for the paracetamol.

I have managed to get myself completely off the pure Tramadol like my GP suggested and I am now only taking 50mg of the Tramadol hydrochloride/Paracetamol which is a massive drop. I have reduced the Prozac to just three times a week but feel happy taking that small dose. I was unable to drop my NORTRIPTYLINE even by 10 mg as the pain in the night was just too severe and kept me awake. I still take up to 8 paracetamol a day for pain.

In conclusion the answer to question (a) my pain was much worse without my nortriptyline and (b) my head and mental state felt 80% more clearer and I hope to come off the 50mg of the Tramadol hydrochloride/Paracetamol soon. All in all I’m pleased the new pain team suggested this review on all my meds as you just take them without thinking when you are in constant pain and I feel so much better in myself without the side effects from the Tramadol.

TOP TIPS ON HOW TO COOK WITHOUT BEING IN TO MUCH PAIN…

Coping with Fibromyalgia is hard enough for any of us but one of the biggest problems we face is cooking. It may sound stupid to others but to us its a chore that can leave us feeling exhausted and in pain.

Many of us find that we cannot stand for long periods of time so doing the vegetables or decorating a cake are painful for us.

The easiest way to get around these problems is to plan ahead for the week.

If you have some children or a partner at home that can help prepare some meals, then delegate the difficult jobs for them to do.

Concentrate on foods with multiple uses by making a stew that can last two meals, like a roast chicken, followed by a chicken salad or a chicken curry.

Crockpots can be a godsend in the winter for Fibromyalgia sufferers, just get help with your preparation of vegetables then pop it all in the pot and forget about it until its mealtime.

Try and have one afternoon where you could cook three or four meals in one hit, using left-overs to make soup or casseroles, and only cook when you are ‘in less pain or on a good day’. If your best time is in the morning then cook then, if it’s in the afternoon then cook then.

I get my husband to prepare all the vegetables for me and nearly always make two meals at one time. I love baking (one would never have known!) and keep all my ingredients in a basket which I can put on the table which enables me to sit down to bake.

It is a bit easier at this time of year as casseroles are ideal and you can get vegetable packs for those, just throw in a bit of garlic, a red wine stock pot and bobs your uncle.

Health Central say Why Stand When You Can Sit: The reason why cooking is so painful for most people is the prolonged periods of time standing and walking around. Try moving that cutting board to the table and chop while sitting. Try moving those green beans to the living room and snap while sitting or reclining. Remember to sit properly and get up properly when it is time to stand up.

Eating Well have six great tips on how to avoid back pain while cooking.

Get a supportive mat. Adding soft cushioning beneath your feet in the form of a foam or gel mat may make you more comfortable while slicing and dicing. Use a cookbook stand. Think about how much time you spend hunched over the countertop reading a cookbook. Store heavy items wisely. Quit crouching down low or getting on your tiptoes to reach for large, weighty items like the food processor, panini press, mixer, or bread machine. Be careful when bending. Whether you’re bending down to pick up a dropped carrot or your stand mixer, you want your legs to do the work of lifting, not your back. Speaking of workouts: Exercise your abs. Having a strong core will help keep your back strong, and finally, Take breaks. Often, cooking calls for a “hurry up and wait” approach. 

 

IS PARACETAMOL SAFE TO TAKE ON A REGULAR BASIS FOR CHRONIC PAIN?…

Is paracetamol safe to take on a regular basis for chronic pain?

After reading an article about a man who died through taking too many paracetamol tablets, it made me really think about the number of drugs I am currently taking. Apparently, he suffered from bad sciatica and was warned he was using too much paracetamol but as he thought the ones prescribed by his GP were too strong, he just carried on taking the paracetamol.

His brother said that he would have a drink every night with two paracetamol and then take another two later. The post-mortem examination found a high level of paracetamol in the man’s blood and damage to his liver. The cause of death was liver failure due to paracetamol overdose.

Of course with paracetamol readily available from a number of shops, I’m sure a lot of people do not realise just how many they are allowed to take.

I am on the full dosage of opiates and an extra 50mg which my pain consultant has let me take to help me sleep without pain. I also take two different types of muscle relaxants and also take paracetamol.

My GP does do the odd blood test to keep an eye on my liver as it does fluctuate a bit. But, I must admit this article has made me rethink my drug taking as I wonder how my liver will be in say ‘ten years time’.

The NHS site says “Daily paracetamol could raise the risk of heart attacks, stroke and early death,” the Mail Online reports.

A new review of previous observational studies found that long-term use of paracetamol was linked with a small increased risk of adverse events such as heart attacks, gastrointestinal bleeds (bleeding inside the digestive system) and impaired kidney function.

They point out that ‘it is important to be aware that, as these are observational studies, there is the potential for various sources of bias’ but they finish with ‘the findings that paracetamol could potentially have adverse longer-term effects, particularly when used at higher doses, is important, especially as the drug is used by millions. Therefore, further investigation is needed.’

 

 

TOP FIVE HEALTH MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR CHRISTMAS…

Buying a health subscription for someone who is suffering can be a lovely Christmas gift. It was my friends birthday recently and she has just been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia so I bought her the Fibromyalgia Magazine as a gift, she was thrilled and thanked me for thinking of her. The best thing is that not only can someone benefit from the magazine but also the charity benefits from you buying the subscription so it’s a win-win situation 🙂

My top five health magazine subscriptions, which make great Christmas gifts are :

BackCare have a magazine called Talkback which you can buy as a subscription or you can join BackCare for an annual membership and you will be sent the magazine which comes out every four months plus 12 monthly E-Newsletters.

Talkback is a full-colour glossy magazine produced quarterly which includes the following editorial content:

  • Back product testing and the latest gadgets
  • Health and Excercise
  • Exercises and tips on preventing back pain
  • Patient centred approaches to treatment
  • Research News
  • BackCare Professionals Section
  • Readers Letters
  • Interview with Back Pain Celebrities

The Fibromyalgia Magazine deals with the areas that matter to our readers:

  • Medical Research News
  • Campaigning
  • Lobbying
  • Awareness Raising
  • Legal Advice
  • Benefits Advice
  • Worldwide news
  • News from local support groups and charities
  • Treatment Advice
  • Pharmaceutical News
  • Alternative Therapies
  • Pain Management
  • On line directory of all support groups and phone friends
  • A nationwide directory of FM resources
  • Opinion and Entertainment from our unrivalled team of columnists

 

Arthritis Inspire Magazine –  Inspire magazine is a quarterly members magazine for members packed with features, news, tips and information. Another Arthritis Uk Magazine is Arthritis Digest

Arthritis Digest magazine is published six times a year and summarises the latest research in the arthritis arena making it essential reading for anyone affected by the painful condition.

Informative, upbeat and packed full of news and reviews about drugs, pain relief, superfoods, products and services, each issue has a star celebrity interview and true stories.

Arthritis Digest magazine informs readers and encourages them to learn, try new ideas and explore their options.

The ME Association produce a quarterly magazine, ME Essential, required reading for any ME sufferer. Members of the ME Association receive a quarterly magazine – ME Essential – delivered

straight to their door. It features exclusive interviews, keeps them up-to-date with medical and scientific developments and includes stories about how people cope with the disease.

Finally, a magazine with lots on health is the Well Being Magazine – it has articles, reviews, health and fitness, beauty, travel, food and drink.

I KNOW I’M NOT ALONE…

I KNOW I’M NOT ALONE

Barbara McLullich

Isn’’t it strange, how nature makes your forget,
That terrible pain you have and continually get.
It comes in waves when you least expect it,
And you think, please stop now and give me a rest for a bit.

With my batteries recharged, I’’m ready for the next bout of pain,
Gosh, I forgot how it was driving me insane.
I keep my head high and everyone says I look just fine,
But they have no idea how I really feel at this present moment in time.

I may not have bandages and plaster anywhere on my body,
But believe me it just keeps on coming back and driving me potty.
Now I’’ve tried everything available in the book,
And yes, it helps but only with my foot!!!

I’’m writing this poem as I just can’t sleep,
It’s that awful pain again from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet.
I’’m sure one-day someone will find a cure,
But until then I shall just have to suffer some more.

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