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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 12:38 am 
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First and foremost, this forum has been a godsend. It's answered so many questions and calmed me so many times when I was freaked out or having horrible side effects.

I want to keep this short but I also want to keep it accurate so I'll do my best.

Quick background:

No previous drug abuse, nor during medication. In motorcycle/car accident. Ruptured 3 discs, 2 cracked vertebrae. Havent' been able to work or do anything for 4 years now due to chronic pain. Spent most time on 90mg methadone/90mg of Norco, Soma 3 times per day.

Decided to bite the bullet to see how I'd be off everything after a visit to a top Neurosurgeon. Went to a specialist. Spent a few weeks on shorter acting opiates like Oxycodone then on to Suboxone. First week was horrible, next few weeks, pain was far less than when I was on all the pain killers but side effects from Suboxone almost unbearable.

Within a week though, I was down from 8-16mg daily to just 2mg or 1/4 a SL strip. I want off it because I just want off everything. Pain still sucks but referred pain and other pain is gone so I'm far better now than when I was on all the heavy duty stuff.

No cravings or desires for a high or anything ever. I just want off all stuff. Pain mngmt. told me I could stay on it as long as I want but if I wanted off, stay on the 2mg/day for next week or two, then go to 2mg/every other day, then so forth over 6-9 weeks.

My GP who is absolutely brilliant and also well educated in Suboxone said if I really want off, and I'm already on so low a dose, to get off in 3 weeks and just deal with a week of crappiness.

I've heard too that no matter how long you taper, it still sucks just as much when you're off.

Any opinions? I have no cravings, no side effects now etc. I'm not rushed to get off it but want off meds as fast as possible but with as little withdrawel as possible. Anyone have an ideal program for this?

Thank you all and best of luck to everyone.

PG


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 5:27 am 
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Hi porscheguy, welcome to the forum.

I don't agree that no matter how long you taper the withdrawals will suck equally as much. Withdrawal is different for everyone, so it's hard to predict how any particular person will feel, but generally speaking it seems that people who taper to lower doses have milder withdrawal symptoms.

I'd recommend reading matt's Rapid Taper thread. He was in a similar situation to you. He was a pain patient who was using Sub to come off of the pain meds he'd been on for a long time. He wanted to see how he would feel without all the opiates he'd been taking. Here's a link to his thread:

http://suboxforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=2 ... sc&start=0

I think you will find his story helpful.

One thing that I would say is that if you go with the doctor's advice to stop in 3 weeks and just deal with the week of crappiness and you find that the withdrawal is too intense or lasts for a lot longer, you can always go back on a very small dose and do a longer taper. I think that's basically what matt did, but I don't remember exactly. You never know, you might be one of those people who has an easy time getting off of Suboxone, and if not it's not really a big deal to just take it a little slower.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 7:12 am 
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I have come off subs both ways.. over a year ago my dr said it would be ok to jump at 2mg and after a month I couldnt take it anymore.. this year i did a slow taper and I have been off since april 15th and I feel good ...........but we are all different


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 9:43 am 
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slow taper is the best way. 2mg is a high dose to stop at, especially with the stacking effects of subs due to the long half life. take it as low as you can.


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 1:48 pm 
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I hate to give my two cents here since I think it might be discouraging, but to save you what i went through here goes. 2mg is to high to jump. Thats where pretty much where I was and I am on day 33 an still am so lathargic I cannot get off the couch. My friend did a taper all the way down to .025 of a mg and still went through a week of absolute hell but was feeling better 2 weeks in. Better then when on subs, at least thats what he states. I would taper slowly and let your brain get use to the smaller doses...This way when you jump it will not be the worse week of your life.

Good luck. I hate to hear stories of folks who got into this mess because of an injury.


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 8:38 pm 
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Regarding your back pain and injury, I truly understand where you are coming from. I ruptured 2 disks (age 27) in 2003. I'm an avid motorcyclist too, but hurt my back on a steep cliff instead, Over the course of 7 years and many medications I found myself on Suboxone (and I don't begrudge this medication). The ONLY thing that helped my back pain was Spinal Disc Decompression. Eventually the pain significantly subsided, but the medications continued as prescribed. Can you exercise pain-free? Do you have access to electric stem--and does it help? (sitting here with one on my back after a stupid morning decision to do a bunch of crunches.) But I'm rambling. Okay.

Regarding the Suboxone. I moved out of state; lost my insurance; and there was no way I'd be able to afford the medication. I was ready to accept a (certain) level of backpain. I had 3 months of my 8mg dose knowing (hoping) it would be my last. I looked at long-term taper methods calculating that a 10 percent reduction every 7 days would mean that I'd be a year older before done (and my prescription called for 24mg/day). I saw my primary care physician in April (chosen because she was a suboxone provider.) She said quit from 8mg; that she supported me; and I'd be fine in 7-10 days. I'm not so sure, now. It's been nearly 4 weeks (1st week fairly easy; second and early third worse; nearing the 4th week and feeling somewhat better.) In hindsight, I probably would have tapered to 2mg and quit. I still have nagging sleep and lethargy issues, but I do not wish to be back on any medication right now (despite the ambien). In recovery, someone else said just get outside and make yourself walk (exercise), and I believe there is truth in that. Sadly--approaching week 4 from a big jump (doctor said 8mg, a small jump)--my doctor worries that I am doing "so poorly" and that I must have the brain chemistry of a lifelong addict. I'm perplexed. Good luck to you! Ryan


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 7:12 am 
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you sound like you know what you want. I have ruptured discs and titanium in my tib fib and work as a chef and car tech both kill my back ect. I jumped cold turkey 18 days ago at 16 mg. not reccommedned, but I am am here to tell about it and was on the crap for 3.5 years. expect aweek of w/d a week of messed up sleep and some bone aches. If you want to do it you can, only you know your body. but when your off it a whole new world will open up. your libido will come back, you will be clear headed, and can thumb your nose at the the expensive meds and doctors visits. as for the real pain I dont know what to tell you. I find aleve is working for me at the moment. all other stuff I will take to excess. good luck..


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 7:13 am 
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you sound like you know what you want. I have ruptured discs and titanium in my tib fib and work as a chef and car tech both kill my back ect. I jumped cold turkey 18 days ago at 16 mg. not reccommedned, but I am am here to tell about it and was on the crap for 3.5 years. expect aweek of w/d a week of messed up sleep and some bone aches. If you want to do it you can, only you know your body. but when your off it a whole new world will open up. your libido will come back, you will be clear headed, and can thumb your nose at the the expensive meds and doctors visits. as for the real pain I dont know what to tell you. I find aleve is working for me at the moment. all other stuff I will take to excess. good luck..


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 3:06 pm 
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Just a couple thoughts in response to boik's....

Agreed--in my experience oh man libido came back quick; a very welcome thing after a few years of tanked testosterone levels. This was most surprising.

Sleep issues...I'm not so sure and would say a week...if you're lucky. But everybody's different I suppose. My doctor, who is quite the Suboxone proponent apparently, said it can take 3-4 weeks for your body's natural biorhythm to adjust to "normal sleep" after sleeping with opiates. She said "nobody ever dies from lack of sleep." I asked her if her statistics include suicides? (she didn't feel like responding.) Her thoughts, not mine, I only know after 2hrs of sleep each night for over 12 nights I gave in and begged for an Ambien prescription, and I'm ready to deal with rebound insomnia down the road when I'm feeling better. (approaching 4 weeks stop from 8mg/day after 2-plus years). Sleep issues alone nearly had me relapsing worse than anything else. It might sound weak-minded, but true (for me).

I also agree with the Aleve (naproxen for generic) as well as Excedrine Migrain (Acetemetophin plus caffeine). The latter helps to clear my head; the former to combat muscle/skeletal pains. Not taken at the same time, obviously. And yes, good luck!


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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 3:44 am 
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flybittensavage wrote:
Regarding your back pain and injury, I truly understand where you are coming from. I ruptured 2 disks (age 27) in 2003. I'm an avid motorcyclist too, but hurt my back on a steep cliff instead, Over the course of 7 years and many medications I found myself on Suboxone (and I don't begrudge this medication). The ONLY thing that helped my back pain was Spinal Disc Decompression. Eventually the pain significantly subsided, but the medications continued as prescribed. Can you exercise pain-free? Do you have access to electric stem--and does it help? (sitting here with one on my back after a stupid morning decision to do a bunch of crunches.) But I'm rambling. Okay.

Regarding the Suboxone. I moved out of state; lost my insurance; and there was no way I'd be able to afford the medication. I was ready to accept a (certain) level of backpain. I had 3 months of my 8mg dose knowing (hoping) it would be my last. I looked at long-term taper methods calculating that a 10 percent reduction every 7 days would mean that I'd be a year older before done (and my prescription called for 24mg/day). I saw my primary care physician in April (chosen because she was a suboxone provider.) She said quit from 8mg; that she supported me; and I'd be fine in 7-10 days. I'm not so sure, now. It's been nearly 4 weeks (1st week fairly easy; second and early third worse; nearing the 4th week and feeling somewhat better.) In hindsight, I probably would have tapered to 2mg and quit. I still have nagging sleep and lethargy issues, but I do not wish to be back on any medication right now (despite the ambien). In recovery, someone else said just get outside and make yourself walk (exercise), and I believe there is truth in that. Sadly--approaching week 4 from a big jump (doctor said 8mg, a small jump)--my doctor worries that I am doing "so poorly" and that I must have the brain chemistry of a lifelong addict. I'm perplexed. Good luck to you! Ryan


Spinal Decompression Surgery : Had it. Didn't help one bit. Was later determined by several doctors that the doctor that did the surgery was wrong in choosing and that with my injury, it never would have helped in the first place. I went through the surgery and the pain afterwards and the rehab and the scars and the money for nothing at all. I've had 6 different cortizone injections and 4 6-week bouts of physical therapy.

As far as exercise, I'm one of the most experienced personal trainers in my city. I have 9 national certifications in personal training, post-rehap PT, nutrition, corrective excercise techinque and others as well as 14 years of experience. So yes, I work out and deal with the pain. I work heavily on my areas of weakness but I still have a lot of weight to lose that I gained during the years of lethargy due to my issues.

I know losing the weight and getting back to prime shape will help immensely and I'm counting on it. I'm looking into other methods too as you suggest, thanks for the opinions, I truly appreciate it. I'm just so happy to be off the heavier drugs. Now I just want off this stuff, especially for the side effects to be gone as in another post I just made.


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