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Don't understand doctors...


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Okay, so a few months ago, I fractured a bone in my hand. Went to the doctor, he took x-rays, found the fracture, splinted it, and started to prescribe me Vicodin. Now, Tylenol or anything derived from it or containing it has never really worked for me. So, I asked him to prescribe me Vicoprofen, which is hydrocodone & ibuprofen (which works for me, but I never knew about until last year when my dentist prescribed it for me prior to a root canal). He was hesitant, but agreed.

 

My best friend has scoliosis and recently found out she has fused vertebrae in her neck, which cause her excruciating pain. She has been seeing a chiropractor (at her doctor's suggestion) and her doctor had been trying a combination of muscle relaxants and pain killers. One day, I gave her one of my Vicoprofens (I know, a BIG no-no, but she was in so much pain) and it really helped. So, she asks her doctor for them and she says that she wants to try a few more before she goes to them. After about 5 more, she finally agreed to give her some.

 

Yesterday, I went to the doctor for my knees. I have been in excruciating pain for a couple of weeks and it's gotten to the point where I can barely walk. The doctor takes x-rays, doesn't see any "apparent damage," but wants me to see an orthopedist. She wants to prescribe me Vicodin (which I've already told her I tried and even 2 didn't work), I ask for Vicoprofen, and she tells me to take 2 Vicodin and 4 ibuprofen She finally gave it to me, but I felt like I was pulling her teeth to get it! So, I tried her original suggestion and it did nothing for the pain, but made me kinda' queasy. Today, I took a vp and feel much better....still some pain, but I can at least walk. Fortunately, hydrocodone doesn't make me tired or goofy or anything like that

 

Now, all the research I've done says that the only difference between the two is that one has acetaminophen and one has ibuprofen. Some sites even say that Vicodin is MORE addictive and can cause more liver damage. Can anyone think of a reason why a doctor would want to prescribe 6 pills when 1 would work?

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She was probably not very well informed about the meds, and also used to patients trying to get stronger pain medication for unnecessary reasons.

 

I used to work in denistry and patients would lie all of the time to try to get pain meds. One of them even tampered with a prescription and made "1 refill" into "10 refills" on the sheet. Luckily the pharamicist filling the prescription knew better and called us. The patient was then banned from the office.

 

Unfortunately prescription pill abusers make it harder for people who are in real pain to get the medicine that they need.

 

If you seem too eager to obtain a particular drug, they will be weary about giving it to you.

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That is most likely. Also Dr's do not want to be sued later when the person is addicted. Addiction to strong pain medication is very easy and happens daily. Millions and millions of people are addicted to prescription pain killers.

 

She was probably not very well informed about the meds, and also used to patients trying to get stronger pain medication for unnecessary reasons.

 

I used to work in denistry and patients would lie all of the time to try to get pain meds. One of them even tampered with a prescription and made "1 refill" into "10 refills" on the sheet. Luckily the pharamicist filling the prescription knew better and called us. The patient was then banned from the office.

 

Unfortunately prescription pill abusers make it harder for people who are in real pain to get the medicine that they need.

 

If you seem too eager to obtain a particular drug, they will be weary about giving it to you.

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sigh - Agent, no. Contrary to what the media hypes say about most practicing physicians, they are NOT in the back pockets of the pharm companies.

 

First, pain is created and caused by two different issues (generally):

 

swelling

nerve endings

 

Ibuprofen will help alleviate the swelling which will stop one source of the pain.

 

Vicodin will dull the receptors of the pain, thereby only decreasing your sensitivity to the pain.

 

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and does very little, if anything, for the swelling.

 

I do not know why 6 pills were prescribed. I'm not a physician yet. However, I know when I had carpal tunnel issues, I was told 6 Advil every 4 hours for 3 days, then to gradually decrease.

 

Hope you get some relief soon!!!!!

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Hmm, what did your doc say when you asked? Did he/she have some reasons you maybe didn't consider or know about for wanting you to try those pills first?

 

Do you have a regular doc? I know, it can be real difficult to find a good reliable doc who you can have for a good while so they can know your history, what works and what doesn't, and who will take the time to discuss concerns and questions. But it's worth the effort to find one.

 

Also, a lot of docs nowadays seem to know less and less about medications and that is being put more on pharmacists to explain and discuss. Which I think kind of sucks for patients, but seems to be the new way of dealing with the overload of patients: health care workers.

 

hope your knees feel better soon.

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I just looked it up, and the dosage of hydrocodone in Vicodin is 5 mg, versus 7.5 mg in Vicoprofen. So the reason she wanted you to take Vicodin + Ibuprofen was because she did not want to prescribe a higher dose of hydrocodone for you (and apparently you yourself could tell that Vicodin didn't work, but the higher dose in Vicoprofen did). (There might also be some placebo effect going on for you.) There are a lot of addictions to pain meds these days, so her reluctance is understandable, especially if she felt uneasy when you were really pushing for it.

 

The number of pills you take doesn't really matter - it's really the dosage that matters.

 

It's unfortunate so many people on this thread are jumping to the conclusion that she is incompetent, when it sounds like she is just trying to be careful.

 

Each VICOPROFEN tablet contains:

 

Hydrocodone Bitartrate, USP 7.5 mg

 

Ibuprofen, USP 200 mg

 

Vicodin®

(hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen) Tablets, USP

5 mg/500 mg

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I work for doctor's who prescribe pain medications..and I can tell you that when patients start requesting a certain pain medication versus the one they suggest, they start raising an eyebrow...unless of course it's due to an allergy. Vicoprofen has about 2.5 more milligrams of vicodin in it than regular strength vicodin [5mg]..i'm sure that's why she was more hesitant about giving you vicoprofen. It's extremely easy to get addicted to pain meds, so GOOD doctors are careful when prescribing certain things to patients..especially if test results [so far] aren't showing any significant damage.

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I understand the difference, but she was telling me to take 2 vicodin (which would be 10mg of hydrocodone) and 4 ibuprofen (which would be 800mg of ibuprofen), which is much MORE of each than 1 vicoprofen.

 

It just surprises me that they are so willing to hand out prescriptions for vicodin and other meds. Heck, I even had my 14 year old's doctors offering to give HIM vicodin when he broke his finger (this was AFTER he told the doctor he wasn't in much pain...he ended up with Tylenol 3 and only took 4 or 5 and he ended up having to have surgery). I remember when I was younger, I had a broken wrist and the strongest medication the doctors were willing to give me was 600mg ibuprofen, but they let me take 2. It's no wonder so many people are addicted to prescription medications today!

 

BTW, I dropped off the prescription at the pharmacy after I saw the ortho on Thursday, but still haven't picked it up. I probably will later today because I have a couple of other ones to get.

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I'd imagine doctors must get sick of patients self-diagnosing.

 

In your situation you had actually managed to find something that worked for you, fair enough. But I would think a lot of people who know jack-all about painkillers, medicine, or even what's basically wrong with them will come in every day going 'I know what's wrong and I know what I want, give it to me now!'. Whereas the job of the doctor is to make their own assessment and try the method they think will work, instead of simply giving in to the patient. People could do themselves a lot of harm if doctors simply said 'oh you know what you need? That's fine, here's a prescription, knock yourself out'.

 

We get this in dentistry all the time I might add, people who phone up saying 'I haven't had a check up in 3 years, I need a root canal!' and all you're thinking is 'oh gee, and you spent those 3 years studying dentistry I see, since you already know exactly what's wrong. Perhaps you'd like to perform the surgery yourself.'

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I see what you're saying. I guess what has me so frustrated is when I tell the doctor that I've already tried something multiple times and it hasn't been working and they tell me to do it anyway...like it's just magically going to work because this time, they told me to do it.

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