Miguel Perez, who has severe multiple sclerosis, lives with an unbearable pain few people ever experience. The 42-year-old Modesto man is prescribed four pain medications for trigeminal neuralgia, a rare condition causing such searing facial pain it is sometimes called the suicide disease.

In recent months, Perez has been able to fill only one prescription for painkillers because of restrictions on hydrocodone products that went into effect in October. In addition, pharmacies are more careful about filling prescriptions for multiple pain medications because of the epidemic of painkiller misuse.

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