Question about taking pain medications (oxycodone)

Discussion Board Forums General Discussion Question about taking pain medications (oxycodone)

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
  • Author
  • #77469

    Hi Connie,

    My daughter had back pain quite frequently. I was always concerned she might have a tumor on her spine. Nothing ever showed up on scans and the doctors said it was probably because her liver was enlarged. She took morphine for pain and it did make it more tolerable. I am hoping you find relief.



    Connie, I agree with Caroline that the pain you are experiencing could be from the tumor in the liver. I too hope you can get some relief for this soon. No one should have to deal with pain with all the things available to alleviate it.

    Caroline, Glad you got some answers and are now more comfortable with your mom’s pain meds scheduling. I feel like comfort and pain management is one of the most important things for her.



    Thank you, KrisV. This is really helpful.

    And Connie, my mom’s been feeling the pain exactly where you’re describing. Her PCP told her it was from the tumor in her liver. Maybe it’s something called referred pain? And my mom’s pain is definitely not psychosomatic either. She did find relief from the pain medications and acupuncture before she came to Boston. I hope you find some relief soon yourself.

    Love to all,


    Caroline –
    Sounds like you are doing exactly what she needs right now. My rule of thumb with the pain meds is that as long as you aren’t waking her up to give her pain medications that you are not giving her too much. If you have to wake her up to give her pain meds then she probably does not need them….most people will not sleep if their pain is too bad.

    The other thing I suggest is using the pain scale, 0 is no pain and 10 is the worst. Have her pick a number that she does not like her pain to get higher than and take the oxycodone when her pain gets close to that number. Keep a written record of when she takes pain meds (both types), what and how much she took, her pain level before taking and her pain after about a hour. A pain diary like that will help the doctor with pain management.

    Remember that the Oxycontin is a long acting pain medication and is designed to be take 2 times daily regardless of her pain level then she can take the oxycodone as needed in between (or at the same time if needed). Your doc will probably increase the Oxycontin slowly to help with the pain control. The goal is to get the bulk of her pain control with the longer-acting stuff and use the shorter acting once in a while. It can take 3-4 doses of the Oxycontin before it really kicks in and gets high enough in the blood.

    Don’t worry about the fact that they may have to increase the dosage or the timing as things go on. Our bodies get used to the pain meds so they lose effectiveness.

    Also remember that constipation can become as issues as she takes more pain meds. Plenty of fluids and moving around as she can. If it becomes a big issue let us know…there are lots of suggestion to help with that.

    Good luck and remember that those news reports you see are sensationalized and the oxycodone/oxycontin are safe medications when taken as directed.



    Just to be clear, this is the timeline for her pain medication today:

    7 a.m. 10 mg OxyContin
    10 a.m. 5 mg Oxycodone
    3 p.m. 5 mg Oxycodone
    7 p.m. 10 mg OxyContin
    9 p.m. 5 mg Oxycodone


    Hi everyone,

    I had to revive this post because my mom’s been in so much more pain these days. Her new ONC at Mass General decided to switch her pain medication to OxyContin from Oxycodone. The doc said my mom could still take Oxycodone for any breakthrough pain.

    My mom started taking OxyContin last night, and it hasn’t really been doing much. So she took 5 mg of Oxycodone this morning (along with 10 mg of OxyContin). She started to feel pain again in the afternoon, so she took another 5 mg of Oxycodone. She then took 10 mg of OxyContin after dinner (around 7:30 p.m.). But she was worried that she won’t be able to sleep because of the pain, so she took 10 mg of Oxycodone before going to bed (around 9:30 p.m.). In all, that’s 35 mg of Oxycodone/OxyContin today. Is that too much? Does OxyContin take a while to be effective, especially for people who are used to taking Oxycodone?

    My first priority is for my mom not to be in pain, but I also don’t want to put her in any kind of danger by pushing her to take more pain medication than she needs just because OxyContin might not work as quickly as Oxycodone does.

    Any input from you all would be much appreciated.

    (Btw, my mom started her Cabozantinib trial at Mass General yesterday. Today is her day two, and she hasn’t had any side effects from the drug so far. We go in for her biomarkers test tomorrow.)

    Thank you,


    In addition to all the helpful answers, here is something from Sloan-Kettering on this topic just in case anyone else in the future might have the same question I did.


    I am not a friend of medication at all but there are times when it’s needed. My boyfriend has to take the Oxycodone too to control the pain a bone met causes. For a start he only took the 5mg Oxynorm (which are the quick release ones) every 4 – 6 hours and we did in fact have some problems about him being “very keen” on them at the beginning and I had to control the dose he was taking and could not allow him any self service on them. If I had not controlled it he would have taken them after 2 hours… telling me he was in agony whilst dancing and singing in the kitchen.
    We even had to admit him to hospital to get a proper pain management without him acting strange sorted out (additionally he developed an infection which complicated things).
    But this seems to happen only in very rare cases and the doctor was telling us that in his case it might have been due to the combination of Oxycodone, anti-depressants and sleeping tablets. He felt really funny and also had problems with shallow breathing and wheezing. This combination seemed to be a dangerous one.
    Since he is off the anti-depressants and sleeping tablets there are no problems associated with the Oxycodone anymore.
    At the moment he is on the Oxycontin (slow release ones) 10mg twice a day and only has to “top-up” some days in between with one of the quick release Oxycodone 5mg. He is coping well and the only side effect is constipation. He is taking linseed in his cereal in the morning and most days this seems to do the job so only sometimes Senokot are needed.

    So as long as your mum does not take anti-depressants or sleeping tablets she should be fine with the Oxycodone 5mg.
    To cope with constant pain can be very exhausting and one does need pain relief. If she doesn’t have a history of drug or alcohol abuse it is extremely unlikely that the will become addicted to it in any way.

    I would not cut them in half! The slow release ones (Oxycontin) must not be cut at all (because they would release the ingredients dangerously quick) and the quick release ones are (at least here in the UK) filled capsules which you couldn’t really half properly.

    If she’s allright with the 5mg Oxycodone and wants to lower the dose (if the pain is not too bad) she could perhaps try and increase the time gap to 8 hours. But doctors tend to work out the right dose by titration (hope this is the correct English word for it) which means they start with a certain dose (usually the 4 – 6 hour intervall) which can then be adjusted (higher or lower) depending on the pain relief effect.


    Roseq, welcome from way across the water! Congratulations on your resection and hoping you are doing very well, sounds like it. We are happy to hear of your success and thank you for chiming in to help. Wishing you a ton of success and we would love to hear from you as you keep progressing.


    Hi Caroline, I was on this pain killer last year after my liver resection for about 3 months. I had no problem coming off the drug at all. I believe when it is working on chronic pain you don’t feel many if any side effects. I hated the thought of taking them as well, but you need your strength to concentrate on getting well, pain equals energy expended. Agree with others, should not be driving when on these type of meds. And prune juice is great for constipation if you don’t want to take another drug. Best wishes to you and your mum.


    I was also reluctant to rely on oxycodone. I was told to be careful driving while taking it. But I was also told that pain is detrimental, so I should take it if necessary. I usually took 1 or 2 a day… But mostly 1 at night. Oh, and it is 5 mg. I am allowed 1-3 for pain every 6 hours or so. I find that IF I take any, that 1 is fine.


    Caroline, I don’t like Meds either but sometimes and especially with CC Mary nailed it. A CC patient who is having any discomfort at all needs to take what ever works as you need your energy to fight the CC not the pain. BTW do not do anything without asking the ONC. One must always ask their ONC about any changes. Mary, Kris and Porter you are fine examples of the geniuses in our family, everyone on this Board has graduated from CC 101.
    Caroline the longer one waits to be pain free the worse it is to get it under control. I am wishing for your Mom’s pain to be gone!


    Thank you, Porter! You answered my question about the time-released pill, too. My mom will feel reassured knowing this information, as do I. Thanks again!



    Hi Caroline,

    I don’t mind sharing on the post. Just to be clear…when I first started the 5mg oxycodone – it was to take as needed. If I only felt I needed one a day that was fine. If there were days I felt I didn’t need it at all that was fine too. If I needed it more, that was fine too as long as I took it betweem the 4-6 hours in between. So when you take it, don’t take it again until at least four hours have passed. Of course, all this should be clarified with your mom’s doctor along with the question about cutting the pill for half a dose. Some pills you can cut others you can’t. Only your mom’s doctor can say what’s best for her.

    I am now on more pain meds due to the growth of my tumors and their locations where they’re pressing on other organs and causing more pain. I started a new chemo regimen on 11/8 and am hoping this will help shrink the tumors and therefore help the pain. I am taking 30mg of OxyContin twice a day – 12 hours apart. In between, I can still take the 5mg oxycodone if I feel I need it. Some days I do but most days lately I do fine with the 30mg OxyContin 8am and 8pm.

    Hope this helps.



    This is so helpful, Kris. Thank you, thank you. After reading your and Mary’s responses, I feel quite confident (and happy) about telling my mom to take her pain medication.


Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
  • The forum ‘General Discussion’ is closed to new topics and replies.