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 Post subject: Another Newbie
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:41 pm 
Wow, I am another newbie, another person dependant on opiates.

My story is typical, failed back surgery in 07 and have been on all of the opiates. I have become so depressed unmotivated and tolerant to these meds that I have decided to give, being opiate free a chance. I can't keep on living like this... See if I can find other means to deal with the pain. I may not succeed but I want to at least try.

I am on Oxycontin 40 to 50 mg a day. I found a doctor and I started Suboxone today. I took my last dose of Oxy last night at 830 pm as directed.
I had a runny nose, some diarrhea and anxiety and elevated B/P this am. I was off for 14 hours. The doctor gave me 4mg, we talked for 30 min, rechecked the B/P and another dose of 4mg. I had no problem. For awhile, I had some strange sensations in my head and some anxiety. For the most part I feel normal. He has given me trazedone for sleep, clonodine for sweats, chills and anxiety and valium, for panic for 3 days. So far this evening, I don't feel the need for anything. I am scheduled to see him every 3 days for 3 1/2 weeks and will begin tapering the Sub starting on day 4. The program seems easy and pretty straightforward.

My question is, and you all are the experts, does this sound normal? Should I expect to start feeling crummy soon? I am surprised that am not experiencing some type of agony. I fully expected to be suffering terribly at 24 hours off of the Oxy.

Any advice is greatly appreciated and thanks for being "here".


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:26 am 
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Hi Fairrobin and welcome to the forum. It sounds like you're using suboxone as a quick detox tool instead of maintenance. And considering your short addiction history, that may very well be the best way to go for you.

I'm obviously not aware of what your doctor told you to expect, but as long as you're on suboxone, you're not going to experience any withdrawals, until you start getting to a low dose. The reason sub is used for a detox tool is because we addicts are pretty much incapable of tapering down on our DOC, but we are able to do that with sub. You'll use suboxone to slowly wean yourself off opiates. If done right, you should hopefully feel less in the way of withdrawals when you finally stop everything.

I hope this helps you some. If you have more questions, feel free to ask away! Again, welcome. Best of luck with your taper. Keep us posted on how you're doing.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:51 pm 
Hello Hatmaker and thanks for the response. Yes, I am using the Sub as a way to get off the Oxy as I couldn't on my own. I am going to try to see how I do off opiates for a period of time. If, I am unable due to pain, the doctor said I could stay on suboxone for maintenance pain control. I feel a little off, anxious, sweats, cramps, runny nose but I assume this is part of the adjustment period? I am grateful not to be lying miserable on the bathroom floor!

Please tell me what the advantages are using subs over traditional opiates for pain control. Is it because there is a ceiling effect, less abuse potential, less tolerance development? My problem IS with tolerance and my desire not to be on big doses for pain control. I see the posts, from people who have had many problems on the subs, but also see that some have great success on subs for pain control, long term.

Anyway, thanks for the welcome and hope you are having a wonderful day!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:07 pm 
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I also take suboxone for pain and it's been a great help to me. I got hooked on pain meds when I was being treated for chronic pain. Now that I'm a (recovering) addict, I can never go back to using full agonist (regular) opiates for my chronic pain. With suboxone, it doesn't get me high...I feel normal and it does help my pain. Now that said, I also use a muscle relaxer to help out with the suboxone. If you're using it for maintenance, you'll use it a bit differently than those who dose just for addiction. You'll take it more than once daily - like 2+ times per day instead of only once. Sub's pain properties only last about 4-6 hours.

Sub won't erase your pain, but it will help it. For me, it makes it tolerable and for the most part manageable. Now suboxone is very strong, so huge doses aren't necessarily needed, it really depends on the individual. You'll need to find the amount that suits you as it relates to your pain, withdrawals, and cravings. As I said, sub is strong, and it might actually raise your tolerance. But the way I see it, at least for me, that wasn't even a concern. My life was so damn out of control, that it was worth it. Suboxone was the only way to stop the craziness. And yes, with the ceiling effect there's really little to no chance to abuse it.

As for how you feel right now, it sounds like you might still be having withdrawals. What do your pupils look like? If you're still in withdrawals, they might look dilated still. You might only need to increase it by a few mg to make you feel better. Check with your doctor. How are your cravings right now? You want to find a dose that completely eliminates your withdrawals as well as your cravings, otherwise it defeats the purpose of taking it at all. I'd then suggest you work on getting the right timing of your doses to help your pain.

You have a great day, too. (I'm doing fine, thanks. :) )

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:39 pm 
Thanks Hat for the wisdom! I am glad that you found something that takes the edge off of your chronic pain.

I have absolutely no cravings and the other symptoms have improved greatly since I took the sub (after I posted) I almost feel "normal". I can say I haven't felt this way in 4 years. I am getting the energy, less depression boost, but I see that is short lived on subs. I am happy to be off of the oxycontin. I am at 42 hours off and without the suboxone I would be suffering a horrific hell......wow, I am so fortunate to have found this med and this site!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:00 am 
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Oh, I'm SO glad you found the right dose and finally feel better. That must be such a relief for you. And are you still feeling fine this morning? Keep us posted.

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 Post subject: Day 3 on Sub
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:07 pm 
Hi again. I am doing well. It is day 3 on sub. This is almost 72 hours off of oxycontin. I would be in the middle of withdrawal hell right now without the suboxone. My doctor has me decreasing to 6mg (from 8mg for 3 days) tomorrow. The plan is to decrease every 4th day ie: 8, 6, 4, 2, then slow down to 1mg, .5, .125, then skip a day, 2 days 3 days 4 days and off.

Does this make sense? Do I sound like a big baby? I told him, after all the detoxes I have been through, for once I would like do this as pain free as possible. I have clonodine, trazedone and valium which I am saving to use when I get below the 2mg part. This seems to be the most difficult time, right??

I need to get with my psychiatrist and find some other therapies and NA. I hope this is a good plan. I have such hope that this time I will be able to be off narcotics....


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:45 am 
Hello all. Here is my update so far. Any advice is ALWays appreciated!!

I am now down to 4mg of suboxone on day 7. I am feeling ok, still very sleepy at times but I know that I would be turning the corner on the oxy/opiate withdrawal at day 7. I am glad to be tapering although I know it may be a little rough when I get below 2mg. I reduce the dose every 4th day. I am so hoping that since I will only be on the subs for the detox for 18 days, that I won't suffer horrifically!

I have comfort meds like clonidine, immodium, phenergan and a couple of valiums. Every three days the doctor comes to my house and does an exam, vital signs, reassesses any symptoms and leaves the appropriate amount of medication. This works great for me so there is no temptation to change the detox during the process. I can call him or the nurse 24/7 and the program is 3 1/2 weeks. I know the hard part will be when I am detoxed. I will need to see how much pain I will be in 24/7 and if I can find support and means to live a reasonable life after opiates.

Bless you all!

xoxo robin


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:05 am 
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WoW! Sounds like you have a great doctor! I am on my 7th day without any oxycodone & Suboxone has helped me so much, I feel better than I have in a long time! I just posted this on another topic but thought you might find it interesting, especially since we've both been on narcotics for pain & decided enough was enough.

I was prescribed huge amounts of oxycodone by my family doctor for approx 4-5 years for terrible neck pain. At the end I was taking 3 X 80mg Oxycontin/day along w/ 9-10 of the 30mg Oxy IR/day. My tolerane just kept going up & for a while my pain levels kept going up too. Back in March of this year I had my 3rd spinal surgery to fuse several vertebrae in my neck. I now have 12 screws, 3 titanium plates & 2 "cages" in my neck. I was fortunate & the surgery helped me enough that I still had pain but nothing like it was. I decided I was well enough to try to get off the narcotics. I could've easily kept getting pain meds. On any given day I could probably go find a doctor to write a script for me but I was just so tired of the whole damn thing. Even though my meds were prescribed to me by a doctor there were many days I would take a few more than I was supposed to only to panic at the end of the month & ration what little I had left. I hated worrying if my doctor would one day decide he wasn't going to write my scripts anymore or if he'd be on vacation when I needed my next script. I was terrified of running out & going thru W/Ds...I'd been thru that many years ago & didn't want to do it again. On my own I began researching Suboxone & checked out this forum for advice. I made up my mind I was going to do it. One of my biggest concerns was the pain I was still experiencing. I am not 100% better & I never will be but I am much better than before. I have to say that Suboxone has definitely helped me with my pain! My sub doctor told me that I could split up my 16mg/day dose & take it thru-out the day but I just feel like that's getting right back to where I was. I don't want to be thinking about my pain & meds all day anymore. I do take my Suboxone at 3 different times but I am working towards one dose in the morning (hopefully). I am so thankful that I am not suffering anymore & I'm not controlled by those little pills! Tomorrow it will be 1 week that I'm on Suboxone & I feel so much better!

I am wondering if I should consider a quicker detox such as yourself. When I left my 1st appt for Suboxone induction my doctor told me this is going to be a long process, 1&1/2 to 2 years. I don't understand why he plans on keeping me on it for so long? I am thinking that once I have a better idea how this is working for me I may ask him to wean me off sooner rather than later.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:20 pm 
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Wow, amberlee, those surgeries sound really severe. Would I be getting too personal if I asked what led to all of that? It sound like with the levels of painkillers you were on as long as the duration, being on Sub for 1-2 years is really reasonable. Please check out Dr. J's blog, the TalkZone. He has several posts explaining the rationale for longer term treatment, and I think you would really get a lot out of reading them. Also, after being on all those painkillers, I would guess that you might be benefitting from the (admittedly lower) pain releiving effects of bupe. Good Luck.

Robin - welcome. Be gentle with yourself and take as much time as you need. Don't rush yourself just to stay on a timeline. Listen to your body. Taking a little more Sub for a little longer isn't going to make a huge difference when the time comes to get off completely. Good luck.

I hope you will both keep posting,
Lilly


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:20 am 
Thanks so much Amber and Lilly. Today went well although it was 113 flippen degrees here! I am on day 7 and at 4mg. Saw the doctor today and my b/p is perfect. I am not having cravings or w/d symptoms. Suboxone has really helped me and I am grateful not to be suffering off the oxy.

Hope your day was great and thanks for dropping by!

Robin


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:14 pm 
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Hi Robin and Amberlee,

Thought I'd chime in as I'm another new person who has chronic pain, who has decided to wean off pain meds. I've been on suboxone for close to a month now... but I've chosen to do a very slow taper. I was on pain meds for 4 years, managed by brute will power to stay on a very low dose ( i was on Kadian 20 mg am/pm, then for 6 weeks I was on Methadone 5 mg 3x a day and hated it. Discovering how many dr's have different approaches, my dr. wants me to take about 7-8 months.. give my body a rest since I was truly in chronic withdrawal for probably over a year. I was going thru min-withdrawal every night and I finally figured it out. Anyway... I was so exhausted that even though I am really impatient and want to do the fast taper, I know my body won't be happy with that and I'm learning from this site that a slow taper seems like the humane way to go... at least for me. I'm currently at 1 mg 3 x a day and then when it is all over with.. I'll have to find a non-opiate pain management program, or stay on the subox. Trying to allow myself to keep all options on the table and am grateful for the wisdom on this site. Good luck
Anita

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:04 pm 
Hi Anita! I am so glad you have found a way to get off of the pain meds or at least wean down. I was in the same boat with tolerance and having interdose withdrawal.

Everyone seems to agree that the lower the dose of suboxone that you can be maintained on the better. What is the reason your doctor has you dosing three times a day? I am understanding, that because of the long half life, the dosing should only be twice a day. Am I wrong? My doc has had me taking the suboxone in my taper once a day, until I got to 2mg a day and now has me taking it every 12 hours. I am doing the short taper (3weeks) and will see how much pain I have when I am off the subs. I will give myself a couple of months, if I can and then decide.....

I have also found that naturopathic physicians (some) support the maintenance suboxone use, as well as the non opiate pain programs, here in Arizona.

Please keep in touch and take care!

Robin


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:26 pm 
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Hi Robin, well.. .my dr was actually gave me the reins so to speak in terms of dosing, either 2-3 x a day. His whole philosophy is to make the taper "humane and comfortable"... and I think with my pain condition he felt the multiple dosing was better.. even while tapering. I was actually doing 2x a day- but because I was rather aggressive in pushing myself to get below the ceiling quickly- I was having substantial w/d symptoms even on this 3mg a day schedule at 2x a day dosing. It was actually hatmaker that shared a recent post with me that Dr. Junig wrote about more frequent dosing when you get down to lower doses. Since I started dosing at the 3x a day schedule I am feeling better. I think my receptors have been so aggravated for so long with the inter dose withdrawal, that the 3x a day is just keeping my receptors more quiet and I am more comfortable now. It's taken about 12 days at this dose and I am just now feeling ok. So, for me.. this is really going to take a slow taper. I'd love to know more about what the naturopathic physicians are saying. Thanks for your support and wishing you the best. Please keep all options open too... if the rapid detox feels to quick. I'm learning from this great forum how we really have to nurture ourselves, and keep all options open on the path to a successful taper.
Anita

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:40 am 
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Welcome.Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas on this one. Please keep posting about such articles as they really spread useful information. Thanks for this particular sharing. I hope it stays updated, take care.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:20 pm 
I just wanted to share my progress as it is positive! I am now down to 1mg a day. As you know, I started out on 8mg of suboxone tapering every 4th day, 6mg, 4mg and so on. I am scheduled to taper to 0.5mg a day skipping every 2nd day then off.
I was on oxycontin 50mg a day, but using various opiates and doses since 2005. I became tolerant and miserable quickly on the oxy so decided to use the short term sub detox.

My pain is fairly well controlled so far and I don't have cravings, just some anxiety in the morning, probably related to the elevated serum cortisol levels that most of us have.

I do take .5 of clonidine twice a day and I have valium if I need this week and when I am off the subs, for a few days. So far I haven't needed it. My blood pressure has been good, I am able to sleep. I was given trazedone, but haven't needed it either yet. I see my doctor twice a week and feel secure that I can call him 24/7 and I have the availability of the comfort meds, in a limited quantity.

All in all, I never imagined that this process would be so tolerable. I have attempted so many c/t's on big and low doses of opiates and have been so miserable, that I wished to die. This time I am not afraid. I know the major work is ahead of me including the depression, lethargy and craving. Being able to get this far and not be in absolute agony has been wonderful.

Hope you are all doing well....

Robin


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