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Suggest treatment for pain when suffering from lupus and fibromyalgia

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Posted on Mon, 11 May 2015
Question: I have lupus and fibromyalgia. I have been on Methadone for 10 years for the pain since I was allergic to Lyrica and Cymbalta. My rheumatologist in XXXXXXX felt that 4 tabs a day was sufficient in pain reduction. 7 years ago, I retired from nursing and moved to a small town in SE New Mexico, I worked with a physician briefly who promised verbally to follow my care as I was treated in XXXXXXX He increased my Methadone and added Oxycontin, although I was content with the previously mentioned 40 mg. daily. He has been my doctor here for 7 years. Recently, he got in trouble with the Federal Government for getting oncology meds. from Canada at a reduced rate but charging Medicare a higher rate (as he had charged when his supply came from the U.S.) None of the meds. in question were controlled substances. His patients, myself included, testified to help him retain his license and not go to jail. He is only one of the 5 doctors we have in this area and we need many more. He received a fine for what he had overcharged. Now, 4 weeks ago he abruptly stopped my Methadone 80 mg. daily cold turkey with no explanation. I pleaded with him to reduce me slowly since I am elderly, 70 y o and I was fearful of what might happen. He would offer me no solution, except to give me Morphine 30 mg BID which had me not only suffering from Methadone withdrawal, but feeling over dosed with trouble breathing. My husband demanded that I tell the doctor to stop the Morphine, so I did. I begged him to give me 3-4 tabs of methadone daily, my original dose from 7 years ago as I was in severe withdrawal after 2 weeks with nothing and severe pain. He would only give me 2 tabs of methadone daily and when I asked for an explanation, he refused to give me one. I thought he was not only my doctor, but my friend. I was wrong! Now, I have excruciating pain and my hands are all swollen because I was unaware that I had arthritis in them after 10 years on methadone. Please advise me what to do. I think this is neglect, and I can find no other doctor in this small town, or any surrounding towns to give me anything for this horrible on-fire pain, but the doctor that gives me 2 methadone daily. They are all afraid to prescribe any pain meds. since my doctor had trouble with the federal government for over- charging them for oncology IV meds none of which were controlled. Please help me! I don't know what to do, we have no pain management doctors in this 200 mile radius. Maybe in 400 miles from where I live. I am trying to see a rheumatologist but cannot get an appt. until July. What should I do??
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Answered by Dr. Shruti Rijhwani (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
You can take paracetamol.

Detailed Answer:
Dear Madam,

Thank you for posting your query on HCM.

Well looking into your query I have all my sympathies with you and I can understand the agony which you are going through. But since every country has its own drug policy prescribing opioids will be difficult .

In this context for pain relief you can take paracetamol 650 mg which is mostly available over the counter in all countries if you dont have any allergy or contraindication for the same. If you can get antiinflammatories you can take naproxen 500 mg twice daily which will be a better option as you are having arthritis and it will help in reducing swelling .

Take care.

Dr. Shruti
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Shruti Rijhwani

Rheumatologist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 2366 Questions

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Suggest treatment for pain when suffering from lupus and fibromyalgia

Brief Answer: You can take paracetamol. Detailed Answer: Dear Madam, Thank you for posting your query on HCM. Well looking into your query I have all my sympathies with you and I can understand the agony which you are going through. But since every country has its own drug policy prescribing opioids will be difficult . In this context for pain relief you can take paracetamol 650 mg which is mostly available over the counter in all countries if you dont have any allergy or contraindication for the same. If you can get antiinflammatories you can take naproxen 500 mg twice daily which will be a better option as you are having arthritis and it will help in reducing swelling . Take care. Dr. Shruti