Q: I am a 56 year old male who has Sjogren's Syndrome and possibly Fibromyalgia. I
am having problems with pain and fatigue. I have been on all the various
medications for these problems with limited success. Hydrocodone has been the
only thing that gives me the most relief from pain and also makes it possible
for me to feel like performing daily functions. I am taking approximately 10mg
per day. My doctor is willing to prescribe me more of it but I cannot tolerate
the drying effects of it. Since I have Sjogren's my eyes, mouth and throat are
already dry from this condition. My question is are any of the narcotic based
medications less drying than others? Sometimes even slight differences are
helpful to me. I have also used Tramadol and had the same problem.
A: Unfortunately, all of the narcotic based medications are drying. If you have not tried it, Fentanyl (duragesic) patches deliver a narcotic type med continuously through the skin and are changed every 3 days may be worth a try. Also, the neuroleptic type meds (Neurontin and Lyrica) are less drying and are effective for pain. Lyrica is used in Fibromyalgia. There are products in the research pipeline to block pain that are not narcotics and should be less drying.
Also, you may consider joining the Sjogrens Syndrome Foundations Support Group for Males. The will be having their 2nd teleconference call in June (www.sjogrens.org), contact person Kathy Ivory.