Ask an expert

14 Jan 2005

Dear Cybershrink
My husband is currently taking 160 mg MST three times per day. The MST makes him extremely drowsy and he sleeps a lot of the time. The problem is that he is a heavy smoker and falls asleep while he is smoking. He is going to burn the house down with him inside it and he won’t even know what is happening. He has already burned himself badly. The situation is very serious and I don’t know what to do. I’m not in a position to afford someone to look after him when I’m at work.
Answer 326 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear El-Jo,
Its really nice to hear from you again. I wonder when he started on the MST, or when he started on this dose. Often people's system manages to get used to the drowsiness after some days, and they need not be too heavily drowsy on it ; but especially when it is relieving pain that's been long-sufered, in the relief, the person may indeed sleep a lot. All of that would be fine but for the smoking. I'm pleased to hear that at least he is not being treated by a doctor with the MST to control the pain ( maybe a lower dose would control the pain and not make him so drowsy --- the doctor would need to check this out ).
I wonder if this is being supplied by his GP, or through a hospice program, such as I suggested a while back. Through a hospice or the Cancer Association, it should be possible to get advice on balancing his dose just right to give maximum pain relief with minimum excessive drowsiness. And they should be able to help to provide a volunteer to spend some time with him, both so you can rest properly yourself, and maybe get a wee bit of recreation.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
34% - 9250 votes
66% - 17781 votes