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Old 12-25-2015, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
276 posts, read 246,678 times
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Does anyone's aging parents or patients take medication for pain? I know some older people that complain about aches and pains nearly every day, but say they don't like to take pills. They say they see on the TV that people get addicted to pain medication so I can kind of see their point. When does the time come when risking addiction becomes moot. If a person is 70 years old is that still a valid concern? 80? 90? No history of abuse.
I think that their fear is somewhat unfounded. I saw one of them a few days ago barely able to stand from back pain and asked "did you take a pill?" she replied "I took one ibuprofen".
What's your experience? I suppose when it hurts bad enough they'll talk to their doctor about it.
I tell them I don't want to hear about the aches and pains if they're not will to deal with it themselves.
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Old 12-25-2015, 08:09 AM
 
Location: USA
7,778 posts, read 10,157,423 times
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My mother was so afraid of becoming addicted she would endure a lot of pain before taking a pain pill. I used to promise her she wasn't going to go out to the streets to get a fix if she became addicted.

For me, I have pain and take pain pills for it. I do make efforts not to rely on the pills and since they don't help all that much, I often don't take one. There have been occasions when I recognize the need to cut back, but that's been a long time ago.

This country is so paranoid about pain medication, I think when a person is elderly and in great pain they should have as much for their pain as they need. I've know 2 people in the past year who have killed themselves because their pain is unbearable and they could have no more medication. Both times, they each put a gun into their mouth and pulled the trigger.
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Old 12-25-2015, 08:59 AM
 
20,658 posts, read 16,687,786 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neosec View Post
Does anyone's aging parents or patients take medication for pain? I know some older people that complain about aches and pains nearly every day, but say they don't like to take pills. They say they see on the TV that people get addicted to pain medication so I can kind of see their point. When does the time come when risking addiction becomes moot. If a person is 70 years old is that still a valid concern? 80? 90? No history of abuse.
I think that their fear is somewhat unfounded. I saw one of them a few days ago barely able to stand from back pain and asked "did you take a pill?" she replied "I took one ibuprofen".
What's your experience? I suppose when it hurts bad enough they'll talk to their doctor about it.
I tell them I don't want to hear about the aches and pains if they're not will to deal with it themselves.
As someone who works in geriatric rehab, the danger IMO is not so much addiction but falls. Balance is already decreased in older folks, and it is easy for pain melds to result in dizziness and falls.
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Old 12-25-2015, 09:04 AM
 
6,469 posts, read 3,468,826 times
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This will probably irk a few people due to its stereotype....

My wife has a chronic pain issue. She's been on various pain meds for years. Not one has really worked, and the side effects are much worse then any relief she receives from them. When medical marijuana became legal in MA, I got her into the program. She told me that although nothing really takes away the pain, the various items I have got her from the dispensary work better than any of the pharmaceuticals. Whether it's herb, chocolate bars, lozenges - they ease her pain and help her through the day better than the meds.

Each individual is unique (duh), so what works for one person might not work for another.
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Old 12-25-2015, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
276 posts, read 246,678 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
As someone who works in geriatric rehab, the danger IMO is not so much addiction but falls. Balance is already decreased in older folks, and it is easy for pain melds to result in dizziness and falls.
I hadn't considered the fall issue. Good to know, Thank you, and happy holidays.
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Old 12-25-2015, 11:38 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,173 posts, read 20,521,276 times
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My dad takes tramadol for pain. He broke his shoulder and had surgery six months ago and he still has pain from it. He doesn't explain his pain well anymore, mostly just cries and holds onto part of his body and we have to guess what's wrong.

After his surgery, his doctor prescribed Tylenol 3 for the pain and my mom wouldn't give it to him because she didn't want him getting addicted. She was the same way when I broke my leg and had surgery...she called me almost every day telling me she was afraid I was going to become a drug addict and that my grandmother had ended up addicted to pain meds (because she had to take something when she broke her hip, and for chronic pain after that). Fortunately, she doesn't think of tramadol as a serious pain med so she lets my dad have that when the doctor prescribes it for him.
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Old 12-25-2015, 06:55 PM
ERH
 
Location: Raleigh-Durham, NC
1,159 posts, read 1,643,105 times
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My mother is in what is likely the last weeks of her life, and this week we began giving her hydrocodone for pain, restlessness, and agitation. If she were mobile, I would be concerned about her fall risk, but she is completely bedridden now.
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Old 12-25-2015, 08:21 PM
 
2,498 posts, read 2,536,680 times
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The Feds are all over pain and pain meds.

Doctors and nurses have to be very careful to track the effectiveness and side effects of pain medications and are supposed to help patients be pain free.

It's a super tricky and complicated balance, just by the regulations. And then, every body is different in what is acceptable and what they want done.

Even in those with really advanced age, being addicted to pain meds is pretty awful, and getting off them is miserable.
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Old 12-26-2015, 01:54 AM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,872 posts, read 13,571,770 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neosec View Post
I hadn't considered the fall issue. Good to know, Thank you, and happy holidays.
My mother (almost 90 with severe pain from arthritis and spinal stenosis, among many other things) was given a pain reliever in the emergency room last year. When we left, they gave me a prescription for what they had given her (sorry I can't remember the name) but when I went to have it filled the pharmacist told me her insurance wouldn't cover the cost. I looked into why and found out they thought it shouldn't be prescribed to the aged because of the risk of falls. But they cover both oxycodone and hydrocodone with acetaminophen.

She's now taking BOTH, the oxy as a timed-release pill twice a day and the other on an as-needed basis for what they call breakthrough pain. She cut back tremendously on the as-needed pills since her broken pelvis started to heal. So I don't think she's showing any addiction issues. But she broke a bone in her hand earlier this week and today she had to increase the hydrocodone again.

She shows remarkably few side effects from these prescriptions. I had hydrocodone prescribed to me once when I was immobilized by bursitis in my hip, but I couldn't take it because it made me feel like a zombie. I couldn't sustain a thought for any length of time and I slept constantly. My brother said he had the same experience. It doesn't effect our mother that way at all and she's half my brother's size.

I personally would discourage the idea some elders have with eschewing pain medication because of the idea they will become addicted. There are so many kinds of pain meds today, doctors can manage a patient's usage as long as the patient follows the doctor's orders. Pain is very debilitating and ruins quality of life as much as being addicted would for a very elderly person.
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Old 12-26-2015, 07:31 AM
 
8,075 posts, read 7,325,852 times
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Neighbor takes cortisone injections for chronic hip pain. Her doctor won't operate since she lives alone. She says it relieves the pain for about six months.
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