What drugs, other than opiates, can help with chronic pain if the patient is already opiate tolerant and dependent?
The OTC meds are obviously an option. Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Naproxen Sodium, Magnesium Salicylate, Aspirin. They may, or may not, help with your pain. Along the same vein of OTC options, you could try the various topical creams or gels, such as Aspercreme, BenGay, Biofreeze, Blue Emu, Tiger Balm or similar.
You can try lidocaine gels/creams or patches. You could try capsaicin patches or creams. There are some kitchen spices that are helpful for some people with reducing inflammation. Turmeric and Cinnamon are two that come to mind. You don’t want to try to eat spoonfuls of either. You can get Tumeric capsules at CVS/Walgreens/Walmart. If you can find a tumeric curcumin combined with pepirine (black pepper extract), you will supposedly get better absorption.
Getting into prescription medications, other responses have given you suggestions. The typical medications you find prescribed are Lyrica, Neurontin, Celebrex, Cymbalta. Lyrica is meant for nerve pain, typically for fibromyalgia, is my understanding.
It needs to be titrated up to around 600mg daily to get good effects. I found that it made my legs, below the knee, feet and ankles swell to twice their normal size at anything over 90mg a day. This was a painful side effect so I was taken off the medication. Neurontin made me black out. The first dose I took before breakfast, as instructed. I remember leaving for work. I was in rush hour traffic. I “came to” around lunch time. No memory of how I got to work. It was at least 20 miles of driving from where I blacked out to the office. I called my doctor and was instructed not to take another dose.
Celebrex doesn’t seem to do anything for my pain. I have impinged nerves in my lower back and neuropathy in both legs. I take it because it is prescribed and I don’t have much else that I have access to right now.
Cymbalta is one of the SNRI antidepressants that gets prescribed for pain. DO NOT take this poison. I don’t use that word lightly. If I had known what I know now about the withdrawal symptoms from Cymbalta I would have never taken it. I’m now stuck with it and can’t find any way off of it that won’t be six months to two years of hell. Search online for “cymbalta brain zaps” to get an idea of what it’s like to come off this medication.
My doctor failed to get my refills called in, I ran out two days before a long weekend. The docs office didnt call in my refill until after the holiday. I started down a spiral into madness after 48 or so hours from my last dose. By the 72 hour mark the brain zaps, which felt like a bomb going off inside my head and body, were coming every few minutes in clusters of 3 to 30 “explosions”. By 96 hours, I thought I was losing my grip on sanity.
The auditory and visual hallucinations were extremely unsettling. Suicidal idealizations were very compelling. By 120 hours, I felt completely detached from the world. I will admit that I felt as if I had a clarity to my mind that I’ve never experienced before but I can’t tell you that it was real or a hallucination.
From research, some, how to detox off Cymbalta without the side effects. It appears that the best way is to open each capsule, count the individual beads of medicine, remove one per capsule every couple days, slowly working down to zero.
This looks to me to be a highly tedious but the best way to avoid the brain zaps. That the manufacturer knew about these side effects and still took it to market explains the class action lawsuit.
That doctors still prescribe it and don’t warn patients about these side effects and withdrawal symptoms is a disaster. That this medication is allowed to stay on the market is criminal. Avoid it at all costs.