What painkiller for chemo joint aches and pains?

Hi, I just started carbo/taxel this week and have been suffering with joint aches and pains particularly my ankles and back. Feels like I have a bad case of the flu! Paracetamol doesn't seem to have any effect but iburofen is a bit better. My onoclogist mentioned getting stronger painkillers from the chemist but when my husband went to buy some they would only sell him aspirin! Just wondered what other people took and whether to just get my GP to prescribe it.

Thanks

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  • Hello. After my chemo sessions ended, I took glucosamine chondroitin, and cod liver oil with oil of evening primrose. The two combined seem to have the desired effect right now. But I didn't take anything while actually on chemo, so I don't know if the same would apply. My worst pain was in my spine after taking Filgastrim injections in between chemos. I don't know if there is a cure for this.

    Do check whether any supplements can be taken in conjunction with treatment, as I'm sure you know. I hope you find something. Sara x

  • Like Sara I take glucosamine with chondroitin with evening primrose when not on chemo. I also find a hot water bottle in bed and heat pads when not help wth lower back, shoulder and wrist pain, I get these from Boots, pricey but worth it for the relief they give. Ibuprofen gel has helped too. I was given paracodol after my biopsy and it worked wonderfully but made me very sick so I have not used codeine since. I am currently finding paracetemol not completely effective for abdominal pain and ibuprofen and aspirin are risky because of the effect on the stomach lining.

    I do recommend the dear old HWB though, it does seem to work. I believe you can get re-useable heat pads that you put in the microwave!

    Margaret

  • Hi,

    Not sure if these will help, I did not know about them when I was having taxol/carbo, but I wish I had.

    I am taking a pain killer called Targinact, 5mg/2.5mg PR, one twice a day.

    This is a controlled drug, which is Oxycodone hydrochloride and Naloxone, the beauty of this drug is that it contains a laxative, and you avoid the constipation issues.

    I have secondaries and have just had a stent fitted into my ureter, this drug is enabling me to carry on, it does not effect my driving or causing me any issues.

    I have not tried drinking alcohol, but that is probably the last thing you will feel like doing.

    I am about to start chemo on Wednesday, so it will be interesting to see if these are still good, although I am avoiding Taxol this time.

    Good luck with the rest of your chemo, it's a bitch, but we have to grin and bear it!

    Fiona. X

  • Hi Fiona

    Just to say I have had Targinact. And very clever they are too as they don't give you constipation like the others. I had a Targinact during the day and an Oxycontin at night. The palliative care nurse told me that this sort of pain doesn't stop but my treatment worked and I haven't had any painkillers since October. Very much hope your chemo does the trick.

    Sarah

  • Hi Heffmeister,

    I get the pains about 3 days after chemo and they are really bad for two days then begin to feel better.

    After my first chemo my GP prescribed co-codamol capsules. They are strong pain killers which help with the pain. They do not get rid of it altogether but it becomes more bearable. I tend to use them at night and on the first day but I don't really like taking medicine unless I have to so if I can cope with the aches I don't take them.

    I also find a warm bath helps - not too hot as I find the heat makes the aches worse strangely enough.

    Good luck

    Jackie

  • I didn't take painkillers but I found lying on a duvet when in bed changed everything. Suddenly, I felt I was floating on feathers instead of lying on a bed of nails, it was heaven. After chemo I found Rosehip about the best for aches and pains it works more quickly than glucosamine/chondroitin but we all react differently and sometimes it's trial and error. Black Cherry is also good, it has other properties ie. it is a fantastic antioxidant.

    magsxxx

  • I am very grateful for this post. I had dreadful joint pain. I started with codein and ibupropfen and ended up with increasing doses of oral morphine.Finally my onc suggested reducing the taxol component of my chemo by 25%. That worked. She said it would make no "appreciable" difference to the outcome. Four months remission now, feeling well and still hoping she was right. If there is a next time I'll go for the Targinact. I didn't know about it. Very best of luck to you. Courage my friend.

  • Hi Heffmeister,

    You can take 2 paracetamol + 2 ibruprofen together every 4 hours, this was a good combination for my own mild joint and muscle pains.

    However if this isn`t strong enough, take 2 cocodamal with 2 ibruprofen together every 4 to 6 hours. Cocodomal is codeine with paracetamol so make sure you don`t get the combination mixed up. Basically with this method you will be taking three drugs. The only side effects was constipation.

    If this isn`t helpful then your GP or oncologist may perscribe Tramadol. I take 2x 50ml tabls 4 times a day. Not everyone can tolerate the side effects of this drug, it is designed to treat nerve pain which is often the pain we experience from chemotherapy, as chemo, especially the taxol is known for causing nerve damage. I take this when my own pain is severe and when nothing else will touch it.

    I had my taxol reduced in the 2nd cycle and the last cycle taken out all together, the taxol only offers an extra 3% chance so reduciung it or taking it out makes little difference. I finished my chemo in April last year, my CA125 is down to 9 now. It was in the thousands.

    Good luck, pain like this drags us down after a while. Rest plenty.

    Hugs from Tina xxx

  • Here in France my gp prescribed Ixprim which is tramadol and paracetamol so less strong than straight Tramadol but I found it really worked (I had a hefty road accident four years ago and had terrible pain at the sight of some of the repairs during chemo.) As others have said, try also the HWB and its counterpart the ice pack (great for joint pain), plus a good thick matress pad.

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