How Many Vicodin Do You Get/take? (In A Month)

Question

Asked by lorikeyder

How Many Vicodin Do You Get/take? (In A Month)

I'd like to get a feel for how much vicodin (hydrocodone/norco/lortab) average chronic pain sufferers are taking. I was seeing a palliative care doc and she was very generous-I'm a responsible, long-time sufferer, who needs (like many) to work, etc. In addition to an extended relief med, she gave me 240 10mg with 6 refills -- meant to last at least 6 months. When the time was up, I just contacted her and she would call in a new script. We met once a month to 'check-in' and it worked wonderfully. She recently moved and I have found that docs do not want to touch me with a 10 foot pole -- if I get them to listen to me, they focus immediately on the narcotic usage instead of pain management -- usually appalled at my recent past. So, what's everybody else taking? The fact is that the max tylenol a day is equal to 12 of the dosage I'm on and there is conflicting data on a max for hydrocodone. I've done my homework but I can't find a physician who can react with logic and reason instead of fear. Is there anyone else who has experience with taking/getting these types of amounts of hydrocodone on a monthly basis? Thanks

Answer

You had a very unusual doctor. I'm afraid I don't know of any doctor who would prescribe that quantity of Vicodin on top of an extended-release pain reliever. If you're taking an extended-release pain reliever, the Vicodin would normally only be prescribed for breakthrough pain -; not to be used in that quantity on a regular daily schedule. If the extended-release medication isn't providing adequate relief, perhaps it needs to be increased.

It also concerns me that you're taking such a high dose of acetaminophen (Tylenol) every day. Even though you may be within the maximum limits, that much acetaminophen every day is extremely hard on your liver. In fact, the FDA is seriously considering lowering the maximum dosage because of that. I hope your doctor was testing your liver function regularly.

I seriously doubt that you're going to find a doctor who will continue giving you the same types and dosages of medications you've been receiving. However, hopefully you'll be able to find one who will work with you to find a medication or combination of medications that will provide you with similar pain relief. There are a lot of different options available.

You didn't mention what kind of doctors you've been talking to. If you haven't already done so, I'd suggest looking for a pain management specialist. But you're going to need to be open to trying some different medications and treatments because it's unlikely any of them will rubber stamp what your previous doctor was doing. Here's an article that may help you as you talk with potential new doctors: How to Talk to Your Doctor About Your Pain

A pain management specialist is most likely going to require that you sign a treatment agreement. Here is a must-read article before you do: Treatment Agreements: What You Need to Know Before Signing

And finally, here is a directory of pain management specialist that may help you in your search: Doctors for Pain

I hope you find a doctor you're comfortable with that is able to help you get on a good, effective treatment plan.