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 Post subject: 2mg & daily withdrawal
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:30 am 
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I have finally gotten down to 2mg without my head going absolutely crazy. But, it's been more than 2 weeks and, today, I finally gave in and took extra Sub. I'm so tired of aching!

When I decreased at the higher doses, even though I felt mild withdrawal symptoms 3-4 days afterward, my body (tolerance) adjusted after a few days and then I felt fine. Why isn't that happening at 2mg?

I will admit that I decreased from 4mg-2mg very quickly (overnight), wanting only to feel the physical discomfort in an attempt to distract from emotional pain. But, I decided to stay at 2mg when the typical cravings never set in. Never before had a decrease been so uncomplicated. However, I've experienced mild withdrawal every day since, about 8-10 hours after dosing. After awhile, it stops feelilng so "mild" and I find myself thinking about using to stop my body from hurting. I'm eating Tylenol all day long (I'm limited in what I can take because of my Rx anti-inflammatory), but Tylenol does little or nothing to stop the incessant aching of my muscles and the pain in my back (you know, that particular spinal pain that is not caused by herniated cervical discs or arthritis).

Does it sound as though my body is being exceptionally resistent to adjusting to 2mg or does it sounds as though I'm being exceptionally whimpy about it?


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 Post subject: Slow the _____ down !!!!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 6:44 am 
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God if you believe in him only helps those who help themselves !!!! Going from 2mg to 4mg almost overnite is not helping yourself... When you start adding a little here or there to feel good your body is NOT stable on Suboxone. The only way to do this is small taper reductions. Like .5mg per month or longer.. Your way will work but is it worth feeling like shit.. I,m at 1mg now for 40 days and still feel so tired , but each day I think its getting a little better, maybe you should go to 3mg for a while and learn to accept how you feel, I promise you that you'll be able to stabilize on 3mg , stay there for 30 days no matter how you feel, then do .5mg cuts... I believe right now I will be on Suboxone for the rest of my life, there are worse things, Mike


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:25 am 
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I agree that there are worse things than being on sub forever. I learned to get past that one a while back and now I just stick to being grateful that I don't have to stay on OC for the rest of my life which clearly would have been short and miserable without sub.

With that being said, some people feel very strongly about getting off of it and I can respect that as I too felt that way once upon a time. What everyone has recommended on this site is that you do not decrease more than 10% at any given time. I think that sounds reasonable and less likely to cause your withdrawal AND most importantly, craving to use.

Why don't you bump it up just a bit so that you would only be taking a 10% drop and see what happens.

Hang in there. Don't use. It isn't worth it.

Cherie

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:05 am 
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I really thought that I was doing well on 2mg, other than not seeming to be able to adjust physically. That's why I've been reluctant to increase to 3mg.

Not too long ago, I tried decreasing from 4mg to 3mg. My head got really active and I went back to 4mg. My head has always been my greatest obstacle, feeling as though I'll go out of my ever-lovin' mind unless I relieve the obsession to use. That hasn't been the case with this reduction, my head has been relatively quiet.

Everyday I've been thinking, "It'll be better today." But, it hasn't been. Oh, well..... :( I guess that I'm not ready to be at 2mg if I can't stick to the dose and not want to relieve the aches and pains. I feel like a whimp. After all, it's not horrible or anything like that. It's just that I feel like a toothache (I don't mean, that I feel as though I have a toothache but as though I am a toothache, practically every bit of me).

That's not the case this morning. After taking 4mg yesterday, the out of the oridinary aches and pains are gone and I haven't even dosed yet today. I thought that I was stronger than this. But, apparently I am not.

I want to note that I'm tapering off Suboxone for two reasons. Even though I've talked with my Suboxone doctor, he is adament that Suboxone is not a maintenance drug. As far as he is concerned, there is one option for maintenance... methadone. Of course, I don't want to go there unless absolutely necessary. Also, my herniated discs are giving me more trouble. I'm concerned that surgery may become necessary. My Suboxone doctor has already required me to go through foot surgery without authorizing pain medication, "You're an addict. Take ibuprofen. You need to learn to suck up the pain." (My surgeon was willing to prescribe me Tramadol, which with lots of ibuprofen, took the edge off for brief periods. It was the worst surgical experiences of my life and I've had several major surgeries).

I suppose that I can look for an available doctor further away and I will do that if tapering ends up not working for me. But, it would be an even greater hardship on my family than what my addiction already is. Again, if I can't taper and stay clean, I will have to accept that I have no choice. Right now, however, I'm hoping that I'll have a choice.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:57 am 
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Tapering down too quickly and feeling discomfort does not equal weakness. At 4 mg you are right around the ceiling, so your opiate receptors are more than likely saturated - thus removing your cravings and withdrawals. At 2 mg you are below the ceiling and experiencing both cravings and withdrawals. I firmly believe you will do better if you drop down in much smaller doses and allow yourself at least a couple of weeks (if not more) to stabilize at that lower dose before dropping again. I hope this helps.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:15 pm 
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I agree with others who said you dropped your dose way too fast. A 10% drop is recommended and you dropped by 50%. It seems people get so frustrated because they are able to drop from, lets say 12mgs down to 4mgs in a matter of days, and then expect the same results going from 4mgs down to nothing. But like Hatmaker mentioned above, even at 4mgs almost all of the opiate receptors are plugged. Once we reach 4mgs we have to slow it down big time.
You also mentioned that you would experience mild withdrawals 8 to 10 hours after dosing. Maybe someone can confirm this but isn't it sometimes recommended that when tapering you do a spit dose? So if you are at 4mgs take 2 in the am and 2 in the pm. This should keep you from experiencing the mild withdrawals.
But more importantly, do not feel weak! You are not weak. If you were, you would still be using. It takes a lot of strength to admit you have a problem and to get help for it. That right there proves how strong of a person you are. Just slow down with your taper and don't expect to be off of sub overnight. It can be a slow process tapering down but worth it. Look what happened when you dropped by 50%....you thought about using to mask the pain. If tapered properly you shouldn't have these thoughts. I too am at 4mgs right now. I was taking around 12-16mgs but in the last week I dropped down to 4mgs and felt fine. I know I cant drop that fast from here on out. I'm actually going to taper even slower than 10% from here on out. I may experiment a bit until I get to 2mgs but if I have to go back up to 4mgs I will. I've been using pain meds due to a back injury off and on since 2005. That's over 5 years. I'm not expecting a 5 year problem to be over within a few weeks. I have no reason to get off of sub overnight so if it takes me a year to taper, oh well. Beats the heck out of using. And even if I do get off of sub one day and start craving or think I may relapse on my doc, I will not hesitate to start sub treatment again. I'm just taking it one day at a time.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:20 pm 
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Bcoots is right - at low doses more than once-daily dosing is often recommended. Since the opiate receptors are filled at that low dosage you just don't have that long half-life anymore. That's the way I understand it. Slow down your taper, dose twice daily if need be, and you should be fine. GOOD LUCK!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:07 am 
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Thanks for the advice. I did not know about dosing more than once a day. I'm going to try 2mg in the morning and 1mg at night.

Even as I plan to do that, I feel disappointed in myself (I'll try to work on how I feel about it). I was just so thrilled to be at 2mg/day.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:12 pm 
Christin, Your posts remind me so much of myself with my hit and miss tapering. The others who said that these difficulties are NOT due to weakness are right. I write that, but in my own head I have still have trouble believing it myself! As far as 2mg being a tough spot....I concur completely. I've had such trouble sticking with a strict dosing regimen once at 2mg or less. In hindsight, any reductions I made until getting to around 2mg/day were pretty easy, although sticking at 4mg/day for a while was a little bit hard too. The difference being that once adjusted at 4mg/day, I felt pretty good for the most part and could stick to it. Sticking to under 4mg with any degree of consistency was much harder.
I'm with you also, on the 'head' thing. I'm more and more convinced that a large percentage of my difficulties have had more to do with what's going on my head than anything else....that damned obsession to feel better. The damned memories of how pain meds seemed to make it all better! Key word being 'seemed.'
I'm envious of the people here who are able to plot out a course of action and do these 10% reductions, stick to the plan and move through it. I'm not sure what my problem is, but I just can't seem to do that. I've tried, I swear. But I think the only I'll be able to do that is if I entrust a loved one to 'dose me' every day. And I so do not want to give up that control! Again....head stuff! I know I'm stubborn and I know that although I work hard at drilling into my head that I'm not different and the same rules apply to me as to every other addict, I still somehow want to believe that I can do this my way. So silly and really self-sabotaging to be honest.
With all that in mind, I do also believe that there may indeed be more than one way to skin this cat. Everyone is different, at least to some degree. We all have differing histories, different physical and psychological issues, etc. That's part of what I like about this forum.....we can share and learn what works for different people, put all of that information to use and choose what to do from there.
I think you're doing a better job than maybe you even realize. I feel your frustration in that this doesn't move along as fast or as easily as we'd like sometimes, but we have to see the big picture......we are getting there, day by day, sometimes hour by hour. I support you in your efforts and I'm right there with you. Just keep hanging in there. I do think you may feel better by dosing twice a day at this point. Please continue to post your progress and try not to feel too bad if you 'miss' a goal from time to time. I really struggle with that.....I come here and post about my goals and then 'fail.' But then I have to remind myself that this is about me and my recovery. By some people's standards, maybe I'm doing it all wrong, but really as long as I am not abusing drugs, it can't be a failure, right?
Anyway....I'm rooting for you! Maybe we can help each other with this 'head' thing!!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:41 pm 
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christin wrote:
My Suboxone doctor has already required me to go through foot surgery without authorizing pain medication, [i]"You're an addict. Take ibuprofen.


I would find a new doctor. Immediately. This guy sounds like a tool.


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 Post subject: christin
PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:14 am 
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This thread has me thinking, its taken a year to go from 3mg to 1mg and 1/2 the time I spent feeling like crap ( real bad in the morn ) some peoples taper schedule will be slower than others, I'm a puss and hate to feel any kind of down feeling.. I was kind of like you at the start a little over aggressive until I learned what this drug is all about.. when getting around 2mg you WILL need more time to stabilize before tapering again, Life returns to normal when your stabilized, ( sort of ) ALSO, PSYCH MEDS WILL WORK RIGHT IF YOU NEED MORE SUBOXONE, notice the end of that sentence, NEED MORE SUBOXONE, MIKE


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:52 pm 
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I had a hard time with the 4mg to 2mg reduction too. I have fibromyalgia, and I remember my legs and back aching and not knowing if it was withdrawal or fibro or both and not knowing what to do about it.

I got down to 2mgs for a while, went back to 4mgs, tried 3mgs and had to process a lot of feelings about what I was going through and how it might be really hard to get off Subxone, etc. I guess what I'm trying to say is that what you're going through is probably really normal. Please don't beat yourself up about it, and if it makes you feel any better - I did eventually taper successfully and without a lot of pain.

Splitting my dose was SUPER helpful at this stage. I was also committed to keeping my dose in my mouth for as long as possible to suck every bit of bupe out of it. Now is also a good time to start doing whatever you can to increase your endorphin production - exercise is a huge help, but so is doing anything fun (healthy fun!), being around people who make you laugh, and eating really well & taking vitamin D supplements. Hot baths with epsom salts also brought much need relief, and I did a bunch of trigger point work that helped diffuse much of my muscular tension. Sometimes the pain is REAL and it's been masked by the Sub so we don't even know where it's coming from. Referred pain from chronic tension patterns in our muscles can be dealt with using simple self-massage techniques - PM me if you're interested in more info on that.

Eventually your brain will get with the program again and you'll feel so much better. Don't give up! You've made it this far, and that is wonderful.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:34 pm 
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I am absolutely amazed by and very grateful for all the great input that I have received on this thread. Thank you so much, everyone!

I can relate so well to what has been posted (even the comment that my doctor can be a real tool. He can, but he's all that I've got within a reasonable distance. The other available doctor is even worse!).

Breaking up the dose is helping. I know that reducing quickly is not in my best interest. I also know that part of the reason that I like the idea of being on a lower dose is because I know that I'll no longer be completely blocked. I don't want to have that kind of thinking, but it would be a denial to pretend that it's not there. The thought isn't an obsession and it's not as strong as it was a year ago or even six or three months ago. I work every day to keep it as quiet as I can, hoping that it eventually will get tired of not being answered and it will go away.

Thanks for the encouragement everyone!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:26 pm 
I would like to share here.

WHen I had to come off, I did it ever so slowy. I was already on a low dose and I till took another yr. I only dropped .125 mg. I did this by using a scale. It work beautifuly. I tried every other method but this was the easist and safest for me. I didnt have to have anything in the refer for kids to have acces too. It still was not pain ess but NOTHING like dope wd. Once below 2mg.. I cut the dose and sometimes waited over a mo to settle. Sometimes I did in a few weeks. I have to say... I did not get cravings till sub was totally out of my system... Cravings started at about mo three from detox for me. Now I was in recovery programs .. using SMART, RR and AA meetings.. I had it all covered. I was scared. The fear of the wd was a waste of time ... not that bad in comparsion to dope.. just longer lasting for me. I did ok for many months before I relasped.. given into the cravings. This is why I said for me.. no healing took place in my brain... sure did in my soul though.

No reason to be fast... and if your not sure then maybe you should not even think about it.

I also have to say that I refused all other addictve meds including anti-depressant from my sub doc. When ever I had a complaint on how I was feeling.. the script pad came out. I just thought for me.. to add another drug to combat the side affects of another was dangerous.. I could be on 20 different drugs by now.. including benzo's... I just did get the point.

I wish you luck.... you seem to be very intune with your body and have a strong program going. I bet you suceed if that is what you want to do... I never met a weak addict... we have to be strong. Not a easy life.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:42 pm 
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hatmaker510 wrote:
Tapering down too quickly and feeling discomfort does not equal weakness. At 4 mg you are right around the ceiling, so your opiate receptors are more than likely saturated - thus removing your cravings and withdrawals. At 2 mg you are below the ceiling and experiencing both cravings and withdrawals. I firmly believe you will do better if you drop down in much smaller doses and allow yourself at least a couple of weeks (if not more) to stabilize at that lower dose before dropping again. I hope this helps.


I have a question for Hatmaker, I believe I have/had a fairly good understanding of the "ceiling effect" as it pertains to Sub, but after reading your post, i think i may have it wrong.

I was under the impression that Sub only "worked" to a certain point, meaning after taking Xmg, taking any more would do nothing. ie, if the ceiling on sub was say 8mg, taking 16mg would do no more, and no less than the 8mg.

You mentioned that 4mg is right around the ceiling, if that is correct (which Im sure it is) then taking any more than 4-5mg would be a waste, correct? If this is accurate, then why would anyone take more than 4mg?

I too am starting my taper and there is a wealth of knowlege here along with personal expieriences, so hearing actual accounts of what happened when you did this or that really helps, so just wanted to say thank you to everyone that is and has contributed here, its MUCH appreciated!!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:00 pm 
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How are you doing? Hopefully you're alright and hanging in there. Have you been splitting your dose in to two seperate times like half in the morning and the other half late noon or something? After being on 16mg for half a year it was hard to go down to 4 and without knowledge of the better tapering processes out here I did it within 2 weeks. One key thing I did was took half of the 4 in the morning and the other half around 4 P.M. or so. It helped immensely compared to taking one dose a day. Good luck to you, be proud of yourself because you're doing much better than you maybe were before the Subox came in to you'r life?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:16 pm 
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1wickd6 - Sorry for the late response to your question about the ceiling. It's generally accepted to be at or around 4 mg, but it's obviously not set in stone and varies with different people. Some people do think anything above 6-8 mg a day to be a waste, but it just depends on the person and their doctor. Some people take a higher dose and it can make a huge difference in their cravings. Too low or too close to the ceiling maintenance doses may produce someone not quite as stable who is having cravings. It could be said that a person at 16+ mg would be fine at say 8 mg, which may or may not be true. But the best dose for that person is the dose that works best (cravings and w/d), as long as it's above the ceiling (again, for maintenance patients, not for those tapering off). That dosage amount is, after all, just a number.

Finally, there are also people (like me) who take it also for pain, which works a little bit differently. Usually higher doses work better for pain control, some say. I hope this helps explain it a little bit for you. Keep in mind I'm no doctor or chemist.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:51 pm 
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inneed wrote:
How are you doing? Hopefully you're alright and hanging in there. Have you been splitting your dose in to two seperate times like half in the morning and the other half late noon or something?
I'm hanging in there, inneed. Thanks for asking. I've been down to 1mg for awhile now. On 1 mg, I was doing fine with once a day dosing until my doctor switched me to the film. Now, I'm struggling to maintain.

I thought that I had it worked out with 2x/day dosing. But, today I started going into w/d at work. I had some tablets in my pill carrier. So, I used a razor letter opener to divide one into quarters to dose at work. I haven't figured out how to transport pieces of the film. Frankly, I don't care to learn. I'm going to call my doctor and tell him that I'll rough it the next couple of weeks if he won't write me a script, but I don't want the film again. The half-life doesn't compare to the tablets, not for me anyways.

It's odd. I've often joked (with a frown on my face of course) that I'm an opiate sponge. My tolerance escalates ridiculously fast. I just metabolize opiates very quickly. Maybe that's the problem? I have to say that I'm confused as to why I would metabolize the film version differently than the tablet.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:23 am 
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Christin - Thats funny, I would call myself a sponge too when it came to opiates and ESPECIALLY Subox, thats why I had to dose 2x daily because after 10-12 hours the W/D's starting kicking me in the butt. I guess everyone is different and thats the only reason why I decided to jump cold turkey 4 days ago because I just couldn't get past 2mg. What ever you decide to do, whether it be taper to a manageable amount and then jump off or just stay there for a while do what ever makes you comfortable. I think Subox really is the miracle drug it's made out to be but I just couldn't keep up with the 2x doses a day and I could absolutely never miss a dose. Keep us updated! Stay strong.


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