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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:54 am 
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Currently I am prescribed 16mgs a day and have been for quite some time. I started suboxone treatment in May 2011 and the only time had a lower maintenance dose was at 12mgs for about a month or two. In the past, I have tried tapering 2 times, the first time I went all the way down to 4mgs a day after about 3 months of being on them. I decided I wanted the protection suboxone brings as I was to begin college and wanted to get adjusted first. The taper system with my doctor works like this, I drop my dose every week going down by 4mg until 8mg then 2mg each week until I’m off. The second time I tried I got down to 8mg before I realized I had some stressors at the time.

I take the 16mgs once a day rather than 8mgs twice a day and since it take about 20-30 minutes for me to take it, every now and then I’ll miss it because it takes so long. For the past month or so I have been missing a lot of days, sometimes I’ll take my dose once every 3 days and don't feel the need for it. Whenever I do feel the need to take it, is when I think about it. Usually days will go by without me noticing which makes me wonder how much of the dependency to the drug is mental. I do realize the long half-life of the drug which may partly carry over to the next day and make me not experience as much withdrawal as I would once I do taper.

I am ready for the side effects of suboxone to be over with. I am just worried about the cravings that I may face, but I do not plan on staying on suboxone forever so I’ll have to deal with this eventually. I am curious of everyone’s' opinion on my situation and appreciate taking the time of reading my post and replying to it.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:10 pm 
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Also, I forgot to add that I occasionally attend meetings. My doctors appointment is next week so i am trying to make up my mind.


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 Post subject: Taper
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:13 pm 
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Fireman,

I hope I am able to help a little bit. I been on 32mg for five years, am down to 4mg right now. I have tried to taper/come off several times, long story. But I have the w/d when I get go down to 2mg. I am working with a doctor who specializes in this and we are planning for me to be off work for three or four weeks to make the "jump" as we call it.

The half life of sub is tricky, the first time I went off I did not feel any w/d until the eight day, and it was really bad. I want to be honest with you, i have detoxed before and this has been the hardest yet, it seems to be the lingering of the sub to the receptors.

Do you have a doc that is helping you with the wean, in order to really do it and get through you will most likely need some medications that will allow you to sleep and help with the w/d. Some people are really strong with the w/d, I am not, I get really really really sick and feel like I am dying. Sub was never really meant for long term use, of course you will hear different but the stats are coming out now. I have a case with the FDA about being left on it so long. I have had a rough time, it was used for pain management and was really not intended of that.

I have a lot of information, I have been rearching for about a year and working with my physician. I can certainly tell you my expericene and enlighten you on the hundreds of people I have spoken with. If you really want to do this, you have to be metnally and physically ready to endure it, exspect the worse and if it does get there that is wonderful but if you don't prepare for it, you might be shocked.

Let me know if you want the advice I can offer, it's a lot of information. First, you need to make sure of what dose you are on daily, fluctuating by forgetting a dose can really mess things up when you get to the lower doses. Right now you have so much binded to the receptors it clings there and you will not notice much on 16mg or even 8mg if you miss a day here and there. It is when you miss several days that it will hit you. You have to be very precise when you taper due to the half-life. It's a bit crazy. All other opiates (except methadone) leave your system pretty fast, within days, but the sub likes to hang in there making you feel fine for days and then "BAM". That is all I can say on that one.

Let me know like I said, I hope to talk to you again and I wish you the best. Don't give up, it can be done but you have to be prepared.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:15 pm 
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ontoolong - I'm also at 4 mgs a day. I take 2 mgs in the morning, and then another 2mgs after work. I started subs in December 2010 with my highest dose being 16 mgs per day. I joined this forum about a month ago and have been reading it regularly ever since. I've learned so much from the people on here, and have also been super inspired by many stories, but I'm getting a little nervous by some of the things you've been posting. Do you feel comfortable sharing some of your information with me also? I definitely don't want to be on this medication forever, either... not that I feel that I've had any side effects that I'm concerned about, but i would be so proud to eventually be free from this.
I just recently tapered to 4 mgs from 6 a couple weeks ago and i didn't feel that it was bad at all. I plan to stay here for a little while, but want to be at 2mgs (and stable) within a couple months. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Fireman - I think its great that you want to taper and I apologize for hijacking your thread! In my experience with suboxone, I didn't find that tapering all that difficult (yet). I assume it will get a little more uncomfortable as I reduce my dose moving forward. Everybody is different but if you feel you are ready to taper your dose, I say go for it! The only thing I would think is that as you get lower in your dosage, you may not be able to go as long between taking your subs (you mentioned you've gone every three days with your 16 mg dose). Good luck to you and keep us posted. This forum has been extremely helpful and informative and I'm sure others with more knowledge than myself will have more input for you.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:25 pm 
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Ontoolong - Thanks for responding and giving your insight. I am very interested in whatever info you have that may be help. If you did not want to post it here (I understand it may contain personal info, etc.) free to send me a personal message. Based on your experiences you mentioned trying to wean off it sounds like any other opiate withdrawal, which is somewhat surprising to me, especially on such a low dose. Like I said I have never attempted going off as low as you did, I just didn't expect that. I am glad to know what the extreme symptoms of suboxone may come to me from tapering. When I was actively using oxycodone and other various opiates I never withdrawal as bad as I hear and read from friends and other people who have had terrible withdrawal symptoms like vomiting, shivering, and things of that nature. The worst I ever got, and the most common was extreme cravings, difficulty sleeping, and mood swings. Not to say I never had any other symptoms, I got those from not using for a day or two, by the way I was using 30-60mgs at once and anywhere from 120-150mgs a day. Some people get worse symptoms than others. If you had symptoms similar to the ones you mentioned from using at a similar dose then it may vary for me. Nonetheless, I am still very interested in the information you referenced and your insight on anything else.

JenW - No worries about 'hijacking' the thread. It is a very common topic among suboxone patients so feel free to post whatever you like and thanks for your advice.


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 Post subject: Taper
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:04 pm 
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Fireman,

I have no problem sharing at all. I have been struggling for years with this and am hopeful to get off of this stuff. I will gather the information I have and send it you via a private message, just to make it easier. If you are at 4mg, that is great. Do you not have any effects at all at this dose? I really haven't at this dose, it always seems to be when I get to 2mg and mine symptoms are so bad I can't even make it work. The slower you can taper the better, do you use the strips or not? Is is tough trying to get below 3mg with them, I am going to switch to the 2mg pills here soon, I am certainly trying to use what I have due to the cost of it, I have a large deductible and have to spend about $600.00 when I refill, I hope the pills are a little less expensive. I don't know yet. Well I would personally try to drop to 3mg before 2mg and even like 2.5mg if possible. Since my w/d are so bad I am going to take it slow then hole up when I jump. The best advice I can give is to get some comfort meds as we call it. Clonidine is a BP medicine that helps with the w/d, it makes you sleepy which can be good if it gets bad. Baclofen is a muscle relaxer that helps withe the aches. They say Immodium helps also, I have info on why and will send it to you. Also Ativan can help with the extreme anxiety, but if you have addiction issues that can be risky, it is and never will be my drug of choice so I am fine with that one. It also might be a really good idea to start an anti depressant at least 4 weeks before you drop to 2mg, the depression for me is tough with the w/d. I will also send you the vitamins and supplements they advise, is nothing harsh at all there. Like you said some people have an easier time, but I have spoken with a lot more people who have struggled really hard getting off the sub. I wish I were one of the lucky ones, but it is not that way.
I will send you that soon, I am drowning in homework LOL am really close to finishing my degree, of all things I am going into the addiction counseling aspect. I figure since I have been there I can hopefully help others. It's the worse thing I have dealt with and I have been through some hell in my 38 years.

Talk with you soon


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:05 am 
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Thanks a lot for the help! Sorry I confused you, but I am currently taking 16mgs a day. In the past I have tried tapering before I got to 4mgs, and because I felt like I went down too fast I upped my dose back to 16mg. the tapering went like this and down every week: 12mg, 8mg, 6mg, 4mg for a few days then immediately back up. I plan to taper much slower the next time so I can adjust easier. I am lucky and I only pay $35 per 60 films. I don’t really like the tablets after taking the films because I feel the films are more effective and a lot more convenient. I also take Unisom sleep gels, my doctor prescribed me Lunesta but I’m a little scared to take it after he I tried trazadone and felt the worst side effects the following morning. I also will look into anxiety meds to be safe and get it checked out by a doctor, although I feel mine would be optimistic to prescribe a benzo even though they were never a drug of choice like you. It's not a rush, so take your time to collect whatever info. I know exactly how it is up to my neck with school work. Thanks again!


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