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What are the long-term effects of Vicodin Use?

By Anonymous December 25, 2008 - 11:12am
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I was at a friend’s house recently and noticed that she was taking Vicodin twice a day for several months to help with arm pain. I know that any narcotic used over a prolonged period of time is bad. What are the long-term effects of Vicodin usage besides the obvious: addiction?
Are there alternatives?

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EmpowHER Guest

I am 21 years old and here is my story...
I have had 4 right ankle surgeries and just recently got out of the hospital after a four month stay. I have had a bunch of medical problems since i was a kid and seems like i have the worst luck ever. I am allergic to almost every pain medication out there even Motrin. I have become allergic to a ton of antibiotics also. I had to have my gallbladder out and in that process i got mrsa from the hospital it opened my surgical site and made a huge open hole in my belly. i had to stay in i.c.u I have taken pain meds before but for 3 months straight they had me on dilaudid every 4 hours and when i got out of the hospital and came home i was having withdraws from it. twitching shaking sweating you name it i was going through it so they put me on Vicodin that seemed to help i stopped taking it after three days and i was fine. well ll the m.r.s.a attacked the pins and screws in my ankle and cause bones to become unfussed and rub together casing a lot of pain also my hips got realigned due to the hospital bed and my back. I became in a lot of pain and did not know what to do so i went to a pain dr he tried to put me on a patch called fetinol wich i refused and just got the Vicodin instead i now take 2 5-500 mg Vicodin a day for pain some days are worse so i take 4 tops i am waiting on getting 3 more surgeries done in the new year and i am just sooo worried about addiction but if i don't take it i am stuck in bed not being able to do anything. i have tried injections physical therapy epidurals chiropractors you name it i have done it all even nerve blocks none have been successful :(

January 1, 2013 - 6:58pm
EmpowHER Guest

Can someone addicted to Vicodin lose good judgement and start making rash decisions?

August 24, 2012 - 12:24pm
EmpowHER Guest

My son has been on vicodine, oxycodine, several other narcotics for the past 6 yrs, now on methidone since dec. 2011, still taking oxy with it, I am so beyond worried sick, he now has been being tested for addison disease, he cant function hardly at all , tommorow we see an encordlolist, to get hopefully the final results, just had a ct scan yesterday of the adrenal glands to check for mass, I just feel that him being on ALL THESE NARTOCIS THIS LONG IS DESTROYING HIM! He hasnt been able to work since march, he has a 15 year old son, feel like he is not capable of handling him or anything inlife right now.

August 21, 2012 - 4:16am
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

I'm very sorry to know about your son and as a mother myself, I imagine your pain must also be great.

It sounds like your son might be battling a medical condition as well as a drug addiction. An intervention may be needed. Please let us know how this new testing pans out and stay in touch,


August 21, 2012 - 11:43am
EmpowHER Guest

I've had chronic back pain for 4 years, and Ive been diagnosed with scoliosis in my neck and lower back, sprained coxex, and most recently, fibromialgia. I am constantly in pain, some days are more bearable than others. However, due to the high level of abuse in this country, specifcally this area, I have yet to receive any medications for pain others that nsaids. In order to get into a pain management regime or a spine/ back specialist , I need an mri. My insurance company does not feel I am eligible to be covered for an mri bc I've been diagnosed from the xrays ive had. So again, real pain, real need, but not obtainable. If anyone has any suggestions other than narcotics, please advise!

July 24, 2012 - 3:34am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I also have scoliosis and was previously diagnosed with Fibromyalgia but that was by my PCP. I believe strongly that was a misdiagnosis. I also have a disc bulge L5-S1 and with the scoliosis it has already been determined that it will get progressively worse over time, especially with 3 other discs showing signs of degeneration. After physical therapy, and prescription Cox-inhibitors I Can say the only thing that really works are epidural steroids. Find a pain management doctor certified in Anesthesia and they will provide the pre-certifications necessary for your MRI. There are ways around it. XRays cannot show the full extent of damage, you need an MRI. I was put on Vicodin for flare-ups but I only use them once a week since the effects of the injection wear off after a few months. It has worked miracles and the doctor I go to sedates you for the procedure so you don't feel a thing. Just a slight increase in pain the day after but after that it's gone! Go see another doctor, a spine and pain specialist group not just a pain management clinic.

January 15, 2013 - 9:45am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Get a second opinion.

December 25, 2012 - 9:37pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Try spinal injections they worked wonders for me! or try Flexeril it is a non addictive muscle relaxer. Hope this helps and good luck

July 24, 2012 - 7:55am
EmpowHER Guest

I too take Vicodin (4 pills) twice a day. I also take 1 30mg Morphine pill along with the 4 vicodin. I have severe nerve damage from back surgery and this is the only way I can work everyday. I work in manufacturing as a supervisor and I spend 12 -14 hours a day on my feet on concrete floors. I only take this when my back hurts so bad I have no other choice. I will not stop working or living my life because my back is bad. I have my doctors approval to take the doses I am taking because I am not one of those who is looking to get high. Actually I don't feel any different when I take my meds than I do when I don't take them except I am in excrutiating pain when I don't. I work everyday and as another poster said I am not going to live off the state (quit my job and do nothing). I want to be a contributing member of society and this is the only way I can do that.

June 24, 2012 - 2:32am
EmpowHER Guest

me personly i started taking vicodin in 2003 i was 25 years of age because of my teeth i got hooked fist it was vicodin 500 ten pills a day then by time i was being a piscript for a 180 norcos a mounth whitch i started to take a least 25 a day tell about 2010 when my doctor retired due to he couldent he renwell but when i couldnt afford it no more it was a pain full withdraws i still tell today have with draws a year later not sick but sweety hands and feet man it feels good its like haveing a brand new life so only take it if u need it im not blaming anyone for my addictshion but my self

May 18, 2012 - 7:38pm
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