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Diazepam to ease muscle contraction

Been given diazepam as I have got some muscles stuck contracted. That sounds dreadful gramatically, but I guess you know what I mean. I was also having what I called tendon pain in all my limbs, it was excruciating. I could barely put my feet down or lift a cup it felt like my tendons would snap. My GP said diazepam would help and my god it’s remarkable. I didn’t realise it’s Valium though

Im really confused, is this tendon pain caused by what’s called spasticity? Is that the muscles contracting and exerting pressure on the tendons?

What causes spasticity.?

cheers

hi gilly

spasticity is a common symptom of ms.

meds used include tizanidine, baclofen and diazepam.

there is also botox injections.

diazepam is not often prescribed long term due to the chance of becoming dependant.

but it is a wonder drug when you are suffering.

take care and i hope you feel more comfortable soon

carole x

Hi Gilly,

I took diazepam then my neuro advised me to take Baclofen instead, must admit I loved diazepam better, however as Carole has stated, it can become addictive. I too thought it a miracle drug.

Spasms can be very painful and anything which helps is a godsend.

I hope you continue to get relief and some pain free time, this ms thing isnt great is it.

bren

x

I had very severe spasms a few years back, GP prescribed Baclofen which hadn’t worked after two days so he gave me Diazepam as well which worked almost immediately. As a consequence I was afraid to stop the Diazepam in case the spasms returned, it took me a long time to wean myself of it. I now take 20mg of Baclofen daily, whether this keeps me spasm free or I would be spasm free anyway I don’t know but neither my GP or my MS nurse have suggested I stop taking the Baclofen and quite frankly I don’t want to risk the spasms returning.

Jan x

Don’t get too hung up on diazepam being valium. Completely agree with Bren (Yawn) that anything that helps is a godsend, and in our position, I don’t think we can afford to get too precious about these things.

I think the notion of of “dependance” becomes redundant anyway, once you have a lifelong illness, with expected lifelong symptoms.

We don’t worry about people being “dependant” on baclofen or gabapentin, when for all practical purposes, they are, as they mustn’t stop suddenly, and many people are unable to stop at all, because the untreated symptoms are too unbearable.

Quite by coincidence, I am attempting to wean off gabapentin at the moment, after what I consider an unsuccessful trial (my second). I haven’t noticed much, apart from being a bit headachy - but my alcohol intake has been higher over the festive period, so may have more to do with that.

But out of curiosity, I Googled withdrawal effects, and was horrified by some of the stories of how impossible people have found it to ditch the stuff! Yet gabapentin is not regarded as a controversial prescription, while valium is, in many quarters. I think the distinction is artificial and unhelpful, when people may have treatment resistant pain, and need a cocktail of drugs to manage it successfully.

From what my GP has told me, there is little if any evidence that valium would have any serious effect on me if I took it for the rest of my life. I am not worried about being “dependant”, because unless MS is cured, or some drug comes along that’s twice as good, the practical reality is I AM dependant. I don’t think that has moral connotations, because I’m not abusing the drug, any more than any of the others I’m prescribed.

We don’t talk about diabetics being “insulin-dependant”, except in the most literal sense that it’s essential to manage their condition. It doesn’t mean they’re all junkies. The same should be true of drugs prescribed for MS. If you’re taking drugs for a genuine medical need, the stigma that you “might become dependant” should not even be an issue. For most people, except a very small minority whose symptoms are minimal, having MS means you ARE going to be dependant on drugs of some sort - that is, unless you want a very miserable life.

The “Drugs are bad for you” mantra may be fine for people who’ve never had to live with chronic pain. Chronic pain is also bad for you! Let’s drop the stigma about medically supervised pain relief.

Tina

x

Thanks ladies

the muscle controlling my tongue is still stuck in spasm which feels so odd you wouldn’t believe it. However. …Every limb is at peace for the first time in close to 3 years. I’ve tried massive doses of gabapentin you name it yet I think the way I was describing it was causing confusion. I now think this spasticity has been causing what I thought was two issues…joint pain and limb pain.

you know there are certain times when you can’t stand ‘It’ a moment more. I mean pain when I say ‘it’ I don’t hear pain discussed a lot but it’s been a huge problem for me.

God forgive me but I’m getting to the point where I don’t give a shit about addictive or not but I just think that’s a measure of my desperation. I’m due at the Neurologist to discuss meds in a couple of weeks but GP took pity on me till then.

Thanks for repsonding I’ve read quite extensively but I still think translating some of the MS terms into what is happening to you personally is difficult.

Gilly xx

What a very sensible post Tina.

I am on 2mg Diazepam every night (woo hoo 2mg now dont get excited lol).

My GP said to me you can have Diazepam as i couldnt do gabapentin, amytrip and the rest, but you can get addictive to it. I said to her laughing, who cares, I am 61 years old (have been on it 2 years now), and a bit of addiction aint going to hurt me now lol…she is fine prescribing it for me and I never ask for it early its always once a month…

Makes me laugh as my husband takes Co-Codamol 30/500 for his COPD and has been for years, and they are highly addictive if you google them, yet he has constantly been given scripts for them and takes them like sweets. When you are in chronic pain who cares if we are addicted to something lol…

1 Like

Bloody hear hear !!

Too right on all points.

by the way I decided gabapentin was turning me into a vegetable with little pay off in terms of pain relief so I too came off it too.

Love the last line in particular!!! Go sister!! You’ve really cheered me up

Gilly xx

I’m sorry the post above was in reply to Tina … Xx

Tina got confused replied below xx

I agree with you too… I guess the docs try and jog us along without stuff like diazepam but it gets too much to bear at times.

You’re a wonderful bunch but Tina you were simply magnificent today on the subject of pain …have you had a lot of pain? I know you’ve had Ms a long time. I’ve only been ill since 2012 and the pan has nearly turned my mind but diagnosis was horrendously slow which doesn’t help matters.

gilly xx

Hi GG,

I was on 2.5mg at night, and am now up to 5 (not dependance/addiction as far as I know, but purely that symptoms have worsened). At least two neuros and two GPs are in the picture - never had any problem with repeat 'scrips.

I was prescribed it occasionally for anxiety before I was ever diagnosed, but little did I suspect I’d end up on it anyway, for unrelated reasons. Well, they may not be completely unrelated, as we know anxiety is more prevalent in the MS population - however, there is a family disposition, as my mum and dad were both like it, and Mum, who is still with us, still is. So I didn’t stand a chance, really, of growing up as a non-anxious individual. How much was genetic, and how much down to incipient MS, we’ll never know.

Oh, and guess what, I’m on codeine too (Shock, horror!) I won’t bore you with listing everything else…

And to think I never even used to take a headache tablet or anything for period pain unless I was absolutely incapacitated by it. But there comes a time when you know you must: that you’re not going to gain anything by “playing the martyr”, and the damn thing needs treating. My GP believes that as long as I remain otherwise in good health (apart from the MS I mean), I can effectively metabolise everything I’m taking, so there shouldn’t be an issue.

I do realise I have an increased risk of liver problems compared to the average person, but as I don’t smoke and am not overweight, I probably have reduced risk of several other common (and often fatal) problems, so swings and roundabouts.

I can’t afford to worry about it - none of us are going to live forever anyway - quantity of life is important, but so is quality.

Tina

x

Hi Gilly,

I’m so glad I was able to help - if not literally with the pain, then at least to reassure you you’re not doing anything reckless or “immoral” by accepting properly prescribed treatment.

Actually, I wasn’t diagnosed that much before you - only 2010 - but with hindsight, I’ve realised I’ve had MS a lot longer, and based on my account, my neuro agrees, although we can’t prove it clinically, because although MRI can distinguish between active and historic lesions, it can’t tell how long the historic ones have been there, so we don’t know if it was two years or 20.

I’ve had pain for years - especially in my feet. I do remember thinking rather sadly that I wasn’t ageing well, and even got as far as being investigated by Rheumatology several years before diagnosis, but as they discharged me with a diagnosis of “wear and tear” and advised me to rest and take ibuprofen, I was lulled into a false sense of security. I managed to convince myself that if it was anything sinister, they certainly would have found it, and if I continued to have problems, it was just me being a wuss.

​That all changed about this time of year 2010 (which always makes me a bit nervous about now), when I woke up with completely numb feet. I knew numb feet couldn’t come from “being a wuss”, but when I found I wasn’t slurring or anything, and everything still worked OK - apart from being numb - I still didn’t treat it as particularly urgent. I dismissed that I might have had a stroke, as I seemed “too OK”, so assumed I’d hurt myself somehow, and waited a few days for it to get better by itself (which it didn’t) before booking to see the doctor.

Doctor too thought I’d injured myself (slipped disc), and told me it was very unlikely to be anything sinister - by which I suppose she meant cancerous - although I think MS is quite sinister. But when no slipped disc was found, that was the start of my path to diagnosis. Another eight months did it!

I don’t want to exaggerate my pain, as it isn’t excruciating, and never has been - except when I put my back out as a result of weak muscles, or get the occasional attack (about 15 minutes) of very severe cramp, toe to groin. But with the exception of those, the normal everyday pain is just sufficient to be depressing without being agonising. I think the depressing thing is not the severity, but that it’s always there - never a holiday. I always feel as if I’ve spent all day on my feet in uncomfortable shoes, even when I’ve done nothing but put my feet up! It’s that - and the resistance to treatment - that get me down sometimes.

But my other experience of pain is not mine, but my father’s. He had a rare and terminal form of cancer, which was excruciatingly painful. He was on enough morphine to kill a beginner, by the end - as well as methadone and oxycontin, and amitriptyline, and cocodamol, and goodness knows what else. It would never have occurred to me to describe him as “addicted”, or “dependant”, as it simply wasn’t appropriate to the circumstances. He didn’t take all that stuff for recreation, but because he had to. And he was certainly no coward, so always tried to get by on the least he possibly could, even if it would have killed me outright if I’d taken the same. My dad was a brave man. He wasn’t some junkie for having bottles of liquid morphine all over the house. Horses for courses.

Even such tragedy can have its funny side. It was amusing walking through airport customs and security with bottles and bottles of morphine, which he was too frail to carry himself. I expected to be challenged, but we never were. I don’t know if they could tell he was dying, just by looking at him, or if they have some infallible way of distinguishing prescription medication from bomb-making equipment, but nobody ever asked me what the heck I thought I was doing. It felt quite funny walking through with lethal amounts of morphine - which I made no attempt to conceal - and just waiting for someone to stop me - which they never did. It’s great that a dying man with his family carrying all his paraphernalia aren’t challenged, but I always wondered how they could be so confident we were decent and law-abiding.

Tina

xx