Skip to content

Painkillers and Ulcerative Colitis


The Pendulum of Ulcerative Colitis, How to deal? Norco prescribed struggles, and questions/thoughts.

My Colitis Story:

I’m 25 years old and my names Gene. My wife and I moved from Southern Cali up to Sacramento to continue our education to become teachers. We’ve been up here for over a year now, and over the course of the first six months up here (Newly-Weds, New town, and searching for new jobs= Excitement AND HIGH STRESS) I started to notice the scary mucous laden bloody stool, but didn’t mention anything, figuring it would just go away on its own. Well, as we all know, it didn’t. I didn’t/don’t have health insurance, so I wanted to go to the doctor, but couldn’t afford it. I would also like to mention I found a commission based job up here that was highly stressful, I no longer work there after my diagnosis. Anyways, after six months of ruling out what it might be, I finally got a referral to a GI. I went in and was set up for a colo-scopy. Turned out, that my ENTIRE colon was ulcerated and was administered into the hospital because I lost almost 30 pounds (I’m a tall, lanky dude with not much meat on my bones to begin with). After being released, they put me on 80 mg of Prednisone and 800mg of asacol in the morning and 800 mg at night. Thankfully I worked the system as much as possible to get my $25,000 medical bills dropped down to $2,500……….. WHEW, I couldn’t tell you how overjoyed I was to hear that. (anyone in El Dorado County reading this can get the same charity care that I got without insurance.) I’m no longer taking steroids, just the asacol generic mesalamine from, its WAY WAY cheaper if you don’t have insurance. For the joint pain the doctor prescribed me Norco, which is a highly addictive opiate derived pain medication. Well, I’ve been known to party and I irresponsibly developed an addiction to these pills.

I was wondering though, Is there any benefit to taking these?

I know opiates make you constipated. I kicked them cold turkey three weeks ago and I’ve noticed more diarrhea lately, no blood thankfully, but for instance, if I eat a good leafy green salad at night, the next morning its right outta me almost in original form. Two months ago I had another colo-scopy and it was all healed except for in the rectum area, which was another great relief, but I’m beginning to think these norco’s were the devil’s guise, not any help.

Are there any other UC’ers out there that dealt with this? If so, PLEASE do share.

Ulcerative Colitis Medications:
800 mg of Mesalamine in the morning and at night. Used to be on 80 mg of Prednisone a day. Norco (Not anymore as of three weeks ago.)
Submitted by “Gene” in the Colitis Venting Area

12 thoughts on “Painkillers and Ulcerative Colitis”

  1. My experience involves tylenol w codiene. It seems t
    o be the only thing that helps when i have a blockage. It’s a fight every time i ask for a a script.

  2. I think it all depends on the person and their chemical makeup. I’ve used hydrocodone’s off and on since being diagnosed with UC 6-7 years ago. It does help slow down the transit of food in my gut. I had my large intestine removed a little over a year ago and had my reversal surgery back in January 2011. I don’t have an “addictive personality” so I’ve never had a problem with anything like that. My GI has always warned me there’s a condition called “narcotic bowel syndrome” that they try to watch out for in patients that require long term narcotic use. For me, pain killers have been such a saving grace when I need them most. I don’t know what would have happened without them. I think it’s a person to person thing and you’ve gotta figure out what works best for you and your body.

  3. My name is Nathan. 43 years old, UC diagnosed when I was 26, I’ve taken every medicine and treatment known for my UC including Asacol(was taking 12-400 mg caplets per day during worst flares plus 6-20mg per day of prednisone and 3-300mg of Entocort per day) enemas, prednisone, Entocort, diet changes, etc, etc, etc, and so on and so forth. I have been taking prescription pain meds regularly since 2004 for a back injury sustained on the job(ASE Certified Auto Service Technician for 14 years, Ford Senior and ASE Master Tech for 13 years, Ford auto tech for 18 years, have lived with UC for 20 years). I began to notice less UC symptoms immediately after taking the opioids but didn’t realize it was due to them until a couple years after the back injury. Thank God I have not become addicted to the pain meds (yet,as it can happen to anyone!) but I decided to talk to my GI about the benifits and she explained that she has had more than one patient mention the same benifits with pain meds. She also informed me that she planned to discuss this with other doctors at her next conference with her piers. I contribute part of my success to the fact that opioids cause constipation in most people but a person with UC having loose bowels already it just helps relieve that symptom not to mention the abdominal pain relief! My doc did mention the risks but admitted that since I had to take the pain meds anyway that the benifits far outweighed the dangers and side affects. During 2008 I stopped taking the opioids for fear of being addicted and learned very quickly that without them my UC flared to the point of affecting my job performance to the tune of $20K a year as well as having to leave work early due to sudden loss of BP(due to excess loss of blood) and fever/cold chills in the middle of July! Needless to say I began taking the pain meds and immediately found relief from blood loss, abdominal pain, fevers/chills, low BP, and just plain foul moods. If anyone out there is having moderate to extreme complications with UC I suggest talking with your GI about the possible trial of opioids for treatment. If you are monitored well by your doctors you should be able to control any possible addictions and side affects. Hope this helps someone as I just stumbled on it by coincedence. By the way my first GI told me to go ahead and sign up for my disability benifits but I refused to and now that I need it desperately its very difficult to achieve. That’s what I get for doing the honorable thing I guess. Oh, but my neighbor got his disability approved within 6 months due too a “mental illness” that has no way of being proven! Go figure! The system is broke and will likely NEVER be fixed!

  4. What’s the best opiate,please help bleeding awful pain bad I am on oxcodone. 5 mg and afvain. I am 95 pounds nothing works. The pain med helps a bit but I get anxiety please tell me best kind. I need to work. I work 6 days a weel.

    1. Have you tried the Specific Carbohydrate Diet? I think you will find it will help you a lot if you can stick to it without cheating.

    2. I had severe pan colitis so bad I considered a colectomy but immunosuppressives along w prednisone and asacole got it under control . I had to treat chronic pain at pain management ,they gave me methadone and oxycodone ( low dose ) It helped me so much that I didnt even have anymore IBS/IBD symptoms..Gone! Then I was able to quit all uc meds .For 16 years I ve been symptom free just taking pain meds. Only now thanks to the” opiod crisis” they will not continue to.treat me anymore with pain meds. Now since recently starting tapering off I have a.flare . thanks a lot “opiate crisis!” Now im back on the$ pricey that dont work as well.. Opiates can help UC! I know.for positive!

  5. I have been on every medication to combat my ulcerative colitis and my chron’s disease both are the most severe cases the doctors have ever seen here and even cleveland mayo clinic is surprised and shocked at how severe my case is and ive failed every drug there is to heal my disease and put me in remission im talking ive failed all infusion drugs ive failed humira remicade 6mp and i also failed methotrexate treatment and asacol if you can name it ive failed it im on my last available drug i havent failed and the odds are looking bad and doctor is giving up on me because theres nothing else he can do the only thing thats made my life any kind of bearable and have any sort of quality was opiates ive been on codeine sulfate hydrocodone oxycontin oxycodone roxicodone ive been on the highest dose of fentanyl available which the lowest dose i was on was 50mcg then to 100mcg then 112mcg every two days and then to 200mcg every three days and then finally 200mcg every two days and they have all worked wonders for me none of them caused addiction in me ive been on them for 2 years and while i may be dependent on them to keep me from hurting and to keep me able to do things im not addicted and there truly is a difference between dependence and addiction and as long as you take it as prescribed you should never have problems with it unless addiction runs in your family and sometimes that can be the case but i have yet to become addicted to them and they have been a god send to me

    1. I had severe pan colitis so bad I considered a colectomy but immunosuppressives along w prednisone and asacole got it under control . I had to treat chronic pain at pain management ,they gave me methadone and oxycodone ( low dose ) It helped me so much that I didnt even have anymore IBS/IBD symptoms..Gone! Then I was able to quit all uc meds .For 16 years I ve been symptom free just taking pain meds. Only now thanks to the” opiod crisis” they will not continue to.treat me anymore with pain meds. Now since recently starting tapering off I have a.flare . thanks a lot “opiate crisis!” Now im back on the$ pricey that dont work as well.. Opiates can help UC! I know.for positive!

  6. I have had UC for 2 years, been hospitalized 10 times because of bloddy diarrhea and extreme pain. My GI does not believe in pain meds for UC, he says that if I am in pain I should be hospitalized and administered high doses of prednisone (80 mg). Which gives me anxiety attacks affects my vision and makes my joints hurt. So I decided that I needed to see a pain management doctor, he started me off on the patch and that did not work and gave me hives an itchiness all over my body. Then he finally gave in to Oxycodone 15 mg which was given to me in the hospital alongside Dilaudid. This works wonders, my bowels slow down and the pain is pretty much controlled. I also have extreme pain in my rectum which my doctors attribute to my nerves ( something like fibromialgia). They tried giving me Lyrica and other medications with same components, again they gave me itchiness and my through would feel like it was closing. My GI has completely ignored this. I am currently on 30 mg of prednisone, 6mp and Entivio Infusions. This is the end of the line there are no other meds that have shown any promise, next step is the Gerson Therapy. If this does not work than I have no choice but to have surgery. Back to the subject of Pain Meds; doctors do not realize the pain that we go through, I wish they could experience it for just a second and then tell us we don’t need pain meds!!!! I still stress out every time I go to the pain management doctor because I do not know if he is going to continue giving me meds until I conquer this horrible condition. Good luck to everyone that is going through this I feel your pain. Try the pain management doctor and good luck again!

  7. I am happy to see I am not imagining what I know to be a fact. That opiates help ibd. After batteling severe uc for many years I developed chronic pain bad enough to require medication. After being on a low dose of oxycodone or fact simili for chronic pain I went into remmision from moderate to severe uc for near 15 years. I didnt even have to continue taking immunosuppressive or asacol for that length of time. Currently due to the “opiate crisis hype” Im being forced to quit them . I am just now tapering down and my uc is flaring like wildfire. Im sick of the medicsl proffesion the pharmaceutical companies and the whole lot of corrupt bureaucracy and greed driven evil drug pushing propaganda. For instance the new colitis med Elvira i think its called is advertised at a cost of 3200 a month. Just another immunosuppressive drug that causes a multitude of nasty dangerous side effects. The cost is insane , a simple ten dollar script of a very low dose of methadone a very simple non complex pain medication that ha s very few side effects with the exception of its a man made opiate that ihard to quit taking due to physical dependacing,much like other drugs such as trazadone ,prednisone and many more that are commonly prescribed. Looking ffor any stas or trials done on the effects od opiates treatment use for ibd. If there is any please advise . All i see is the new studies for mortality rates and i truly believe that is due to the amounts of deaths from toxic megacolon and the probability of those patients being on pain medication durring the extreamly severe and painful flare ups. So one would expect that to inflate the census of deaths resulting in ibd and opiate use. Typical use of studies to lie to people in order to put fear in patients . Ever wonder why once you go to the doctors they just keep putting you through tests and new drugs then send you to other specialist to do more test like colonoscopies every time you have flare ups. Its a bloody rat race driven by making money only. and I for one dont give a crap about my mortality anymore I am more concerned about quality of life. And that does not include the bloody hell I go through getting the medication that works for me and that I can afford. it is or should our right to live with reasonable medical help not excessive and costly alternatives.

  8. My ulcerative colitis started right after moving into a new house. I was prescribed all of the common medications, Asacol, Flagyl, Sulfasalazine and steroids. None of that worked. Years later I was prescribed Tramadol for a shoulder injury. The Tramadol calmed things down a lot. Over time I learned that any opioid drug seemed to work, even caught syrup with codeine. I continued to take pain meds for the next 15 years and they all seemed to work. We also moved to an old house and things got a little better for me but at the time I just assumed it was meds. During this same time period my wife had severe dust allergies so we decided to remove all of the carpet from our house, that helped my wife a little. We were now living in a 150 year old house and the only room that really bother my wife was our attic. It was a walk up attic that we used for storage. At some point before we owned the house the previous owners had insulated the attic with fiberglass, it was the only part of our house that had insulation. We decided to remove all of the fiberglass from our house, finally my wife’s constant coughing went away… and so did my colitis. That was 3 years ago. I am now symptom free and no longer taking any meds. I am convinced that breathing in fiberglass cause my colitis. I grew up in a 250 year old house without any insulation, my colitis started after moving to a new house and finally ended after removing all fiberglass from our current house. And my wife’s life long dust allergies ended too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.