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Ask 911DOC Your Own Question

911DOC
911DOC, Board Certified Dr.
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 5086
Experience:  Emergency Medicine Physician
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Is it safe to take 4 30mg oxycodone every 4 to 6 hours for

Customer Question

Is it safe to take 4 30mg oxycodone every 4 to 6 hours for severe pain? Is 720 pills a month too much?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  911DOC replied 2 years ago.

911DOC :

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer,

911DOC :

What is causing your pain?

Customer :

My father has ruptured disc in his lower back and has severe pain. He was on oxycontin and then opana er. The DR just prescribed him 720 oxycodone 30mg and I was wanting to know is that safe or even legal?

911DOC :

so how old is the patient... i take it YOU are 39 but am i correct?

Customer :

58

911DOC :

this is a massive dose of narcotic

911DOC :

so let me answer your question first

911DOC :

and if YOU took this much you might die

911DOC :

but people who build up slowly can tolerate large doses well

911DOC :

the problem is that if he ever tries to quit he is going to have horrible withdrawal

911DOC :

and my next question is, why is he not having surgery to remove the ruptured disc?

Customer :

He has 4 on top of each other I think l2-3 to s1. I am very concerned about this large amount but don't want to call the dr until i have all the facts

911DOC :

what kind of doctor is prescribing this to him?

911DOC :

his personal doc?

911DOC :

a pain medicine doc?

911DOC :

and why is he not also on Tylenol or gabapentin (if he is not)...

Customer :

personal family doctor

911DOC :

has he been consulted to

911DOC :

1. an orthopedist or neurosurgeon

911DOC :

2. a pain medicine specialist?

911DOC :

3. a physical therapist?

911DOC :

also

Customer :

I'm not sure. I just think this is ridiculous amount of meds

911DOC :

for how long has he been on these medicines?

Customer :

3 years

911DOC :

so it sounds like you don't have all the info

911DOC :

but that's okay

911DOC :

do you know if he is on any other medicines for pain besides the oxycodone? particularly percocet, lortab, vicodin, endocet, or gabapentin?

Customer :

I guess if a pharmacy filled it then it's legal.

Customer :

I just think that is way too much

911DOC :

it's certainly legal, the question is if it is SMART or BENEFICIAL or HARMFUL

911DOC :

like i said, for you taking this, you would probably die

911DOC :

for him, he can tolerate it

Customer :

I am trying to get him to another dr now, but I think he is addicted

911DOC :

there's no magic in these numbers, though he is taking a maximum dose of narcotics

911DOC :

any higher and there is no additional pain effect

911DOC :

he is certainly addicted

911DOC :

no doubt

911DOC :

three years?

911DOC :

this is, unfortunately, quite common

911DOC :

and i would not be at all surprised if his doctor too, thinks he is on too much...

Customer :

I would never take any meds. this is not about me

911DOC :

i would not be surprised at all

911DOC :

if your father has refused other treatment

911DOC :

surgery

Customer :

should i address the dr myself?

911DOC :

epidural steroids

911DOC :

etc...

911DOC :

i think the doctor migh in fact welcome help from a concerned family member

911DOC :

because he is in a difficult spot now

911DOC :

he has a patient addicted to narcotics

Customer :

He has had numerous nerve blocks that I have taking him to

911DOC :

who has REAL pain

911DOC :

but now is on too much

Customer :

but i have no legal recourse for overdosing?

911DOC :

and when he tries to decrease the meds your father probably calls him and tells him his pain is terrible when, in fact, what he means is that he FEELS bad because he is withdrawing

911DOC :

this is not an overdose

911DOC :

there are many people out there on even higher doses

911DOC :

an overdose causes immediate harm

Customer :

Unbelievable

911DOC :

your dad is tolerating this

911DOC :

yes indeed

Customer :

I was hoping that it was illegal and I had a legal action to go at the dr with

911DOC :

and you have, at least in part, a large national organization to blame, who punishes physicians for undertreating pain, even though there is no way to measure how much pain a person is in, and then we get punished for prescribing too much

911DOC :

nope

911DOC :

not illegal

911DOC :

stand by for a second

Customer :

sad

911DOC :

sort of.... for people dying of cancer this drug is a Godsend.... for others it drags them down....

911DOC :

are you there?

911DOC :

sir, ????

Expert:  911DOC replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  911DOC replied 2 years ago.

so take a look at THIS LINK

 

pay particular attention to the paragraph that starts..... "Usual Generic Dose for Pain..."

 

you will see a sentence that says that for the immediate release form, which it sounds like your dad is on, 'doses of greater than 30mg are rarely needed and should be used with great caution....'' in short, there is no good evidence that doses over 30mg at a time are any more pain relieving than 30mg alone. the fact that your dad seems ONLY to be on opiates for pain is another red flag. this treatment may be malpractice, but it is not 'illegal' in the criminal sense.

 

if you wish to pursue legal action then you might have a case and getting a pain specialist involved would both help your dad and give you an idea if legal action were likely to succeed.

 

from what you have told me your dad has been mismanaged. having been in the doctor side of the equation you do not have nearly enough information to go to court and, if you did, you might very well find that your dad would testify on his doctor's behalf if you could somehow sue him for malpractice.

 

i am sorry, this is terrible.

 

let me know if you have further questions. 'excellent' feedback is always appreciated.

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