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What pain med can work with Lithium?

P

Pannie

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Feb 24, 2009
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I have chronic back pain after a car crash 12 years ago, and various other inflammations that NSAIDS (like ibuprofen) would normally relieve.

BUT... lithium levels soar with everything I've tried. What's worse, no doctor or pharmacist has been able to identify an option for me. They just have no clue. Their references are full of information about the interaction, but no alternative.

If there are NON-steroidials, then there should be steroidials, right?

My back and sciatica hurt worse while sitting. I have to sit in a car for 3 days this weekend and would really like some help. Any advice?
 
Colin76

Colin76

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Hi Pannie,

I'm not overly sure if there are any kind of steroidal types of pain relief tablets, i generally avoid any kind of pain killer as i am on carbamazepine which has a high drug interaction. Have you thought about pain relief / anti inflamitory injections, my father had these after breaking his wrists and said that it helped, it may be worth speaking with your g.p about this.
 
KP1

KP1

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Hi there,It is a doctor who needs to solve this problem.Like you say there must be alternatives which won't make the lithium level soar.
Good luck with it.
KP
 
D

Dollit

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I used a combination of paracetamol and codeine for a medium pain relief but I have used Tramadol when I have slipped my discs with no elevation of lithium levels. I was always told to avoid certain painkillers not because of elevation of levels but because it can work the liver too hard as they are metabolised at the same location.
 
P

Pannie

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Thanks for the response. Last summer I shattered a finger and they gave me Tramadol. It really worked on the pain, but I got panic attacks after the first few days. I sometimes take paracetamol/codeine for headaches, but it does nothing for the inflammation and pain in my lower back.

A chiropractor has helped, but that gets way too expensive and drawn out. Someone else suggested phsyio for the back. (I'm in Ireland. Healthcare costs.)

This still leaves us lithium-takers without an anti-inflammatory medication. I believe there IS something we can take for this common ailment...we just have to find it. I'll keep bugging my GP and pharmacists, and will let the forum know if I ever find something.

(btw, I've been on both lithium and carbomazipine for 11 years, but have not noticed any other interaction problems and my liver function has always been healthy -- knock on wood. )
 
daffy

daffy

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Can your health authority recommend you for acupuncture, I know they can in england. I know several people that swear by this for back pain. Personally i paid out for a session of ostepathy (for low back pain) It cost but it was worth it. I gor relief for almost 18 months, and am just thinking of starting it again.

The painkillers i take for migraine are Tylex but if i take the max dose they cause horrendous itching and i end up sitting with my arms wrapped in wet towels and my hands in a bowl of water, but it does ease the pain.
 
D

Dollit

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I did take an anti inflammatory for pain in my feet - old injury I'd aggravated - last year but my GP was concerned about my stomach as I have an ulcer scar but I didn't take them for that long.

Is your back pain muscular or skeletal. If it's muscular then tiger balm helps.
 
P

Pannie

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Daffy, you definitely understand pain. Sorry to hear about your struggles. I will ask about acupuncture and other options. My insurance covers a range ...just didn't cover as much care as the chiropractor wanted to give. (I think he scams people though.)

Careful with that Tylex!
 
S

schizolanza

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Shame you dont live in California.You'd be able to get cannabis on prescription.
 
D

Dollit

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Cannabis isn't really a panacea for all ills, and it actually can do serious harm. And that's personal experience I speak from both as a user and the ex wife of a user.
 
P

Pannie

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Is your back pain muscular or skeletal. If it's muscular then tiger balm helps.
Both. When bones are out of place (happens for months at a time), it causes inflammation and numbness that spreads from bum to mid back. Then sciatica pain takes off in the opposite direction! Tiger balm might help some. I need to work on the root cause, but would like to mask the pain with a pill.

Ha! I'm moaning and griping too much. I know others have it worse than me. I'm just really tired of not being able to pop Nurphen like "normal" people when things like this or feminine pain or whatever, causes discomfort to distraction.

Hope your foot is doing much better now.
 
S

schizolanza

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Most drugs can do serious harm.
 
D

Dollit

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The sciatica that came with my slipped discs has eased a lot since I lost weight. I found it hard to walk more than a mile or so and I've always done long distance walking so it was awful having a pain that meant I couldn't walk. But as my back healed I was advised that losing weight and walking again would strengthen my back and ease the sciatica. It was hard to begin with but it did help. I can even use my rowing machine again now.

Perhaps you won't get to that point but I hope you can find some ease from your pain.
 
P

Pannie

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Thanks for that. (I have a rowing machine too that's collecting dust!)

Over the last 6 months I have put back on the weight I lost last year (about 2 stone). I'm always a fatty anyway, but I was actually thinking last night that dropping a stone could make a big difference on the pain. Your advice is a big push to some truth. DOH! That means I have to work! =)
 
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