Should there be a ban on Vicodin and Percocet? Darvocet or other narcotics containing acetaminophen? What about over-the-counter medications with acetaminophen?
This is what I think…
We can’t just ban every medication that has serious problems associated with overuse. It seems to me that educating people who are taking these medications would be more helpful, than making them totally unavailable.
A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee met late last month to review the actions the agency could take to reduce accidental acetaminophen poisoning. The drug, also found in over-the-counter cold formulas and pain-relieving prescription favorites Vicodin and Percocet, is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the U.S.
In acute liver failure, the organ fails quickly, sometimes in 48 hours, as opposed to the more usual forms of liver failure, caused by disease or alcoholism, which can take years to develop.
I just don’t think banning medications with acetaminophen in them is the answer. And I think this whole controversy is just exacerbating the stigma associated with chronic pain and the use of therapeutic doses of narcotics.
I am on both long acting Endura, a new type of morphine, and short acting MSIR, an older form of quick acting morphine, for my central pain syndrome. I am also on the highest dose of Neurontin that is available daily. I also rest 90% of the day, in addition to doing stretching and yoga, personal meditation, and take all the right vitamins, herbals, etc, etc. But I still must deal with 50% of the pain on a daily basis. When I get up in the morning, I take both forms of morphine, go back to bed, and wait a few hours for them to work completely before I can even get up. Then I get up and will be able to do maybe one thing in addition to my stretching etc, such as wash the bathroom sink or something like that. I can't leave the house...although I must once a month to go to the pain clinic. Or I try to go to church a few times a month for I enjoy that. But I pay for it. I usually end up having to stay in bed for two or three days afterwards, usually asleep the whole time. Anyhow, I do my excercises and my one light activity each day, and watch tv or work on the computer or read. Then around 4 or 5, the pain comes back and I have to repeat the morphine routine again and go back to bed, usually for the rest of the day. It is an undignified way to live my life. It is like being tortured on a daily basis. My pain is worse than torture, it is like being burned alive. If it weren't for the morphine, I think I would commit suicide. I have a good pain clinic in the state where I used to live. My husband deserted me last summer and I was forced to move to another state, over 100 miles away. But I still go to the same pain clinic as it took me two years to get good enough medical care to find someone to take care of my pain properly. I am scared to death to try another pain clinic. I have been burned by medical professionals before. It is ironic because I am a RN myself, or used to work as one before all this happened in 2005. I have post polio syndrome. So I must rent a car and a hotel for it is too much for me to do in one day. I go to the pain clinic, and sometimes the pharmacy doesn't have the morphine and I end up having to stay and rent the car and hotel as long as three days and end up spending over 300.00 for 50.00 worth of morphine but it is worth it.