Tylenol 3's Over The Long Haul For Pain Management

Question

Asked by clay70

Tylenol 3's Over The Long Haul For Pain Management

I suffer from trigger point pain in my hip area. I have tried every therapy but nothing has worked. I even have tried injections of Botox A, which doesn't help. Now I am taking tylenol 3's and they are the only things so far that seem to help. I will retire from the post office in 17 yrs. I take two tylenol 3's once a day, four times per week as i find it is the perfect dosage to get me through the day (week). I would like to know: If i take this dosage for 17 years will it affect my liver? as well, by taking this dosage, will i build up a tolerance to it causing me to have to up my dosage to get the same benefit? Lastly, r there any alternative pain meds that won't affect my liver over the long run? I have tried anti-inflammatories like toradol, naproxen and celebrex to no effect. only tylenol 3 seems to help. thanks

Answer

Tylenol #3 has 300 mg of Tylenol and 30 mg of codiene. Interestingly, codiene is effective only because it is converted into morphine (the active metabolite) in your body. But, only 15 percent of codiene is converted into the active metabolite, so it is weaker than taking 30 mg of morphine. Now, back to the question of how safe is Tylenol #3 and for how long. Tylenol is the limiting factor because of its toxic effects on the liver. For the long haul, it is best not to take more than 3000 mg of Tylenol per 24 hour period of time, daily. That is assuming that you have a perfectly healthy liver. Those with liver disease need to take a far lower dose and should probably avoid Tylenol all together over the long haul.

Two a day can lead down a slippery slope like the kind community member mentioned. Certainly, you really do not want to use medications at all. At times, medications are the only option because the road to recovery is hard to find. Your "hip" pain could be maintained in a persistant state by something you do everyday. Possibly, the way you sleep, the way you move, the seat in your mail vehicle, or something else that keeps re-injuring the area. Think about it and talk to your local physical therapist. Other alternative treatments exist like the TENS unit, topical lidocaine (or patches), or other non-opioid mediations like amitriptyline (or its sister drug, desipramine, that causes less side-effects). If you are looking for an opioid pain medication without Tylenol, tramadol is a very good alternative.

You should keep working with your doctor to reach your goal of retirement, living without pain, and living without medications. Best wishes.

Dr. Christina Lasich, MD

Answered by Christina Lasich, MD