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 Post subject: Considering Suboxone
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:28 pm 
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I could really use some advice here. I am considering Suboxone to help me get off these pain pills but have many questions. I have spoken with a Sub doctor here and he seems wonderful and seems to have compassion for people like me. I do suffer from chronic pain and do see a pain management doctor and have NEVER called my pain doctor for an early refill. I am currently taking 40-50mgs of Lortab a day and have done so for 4 years. My story is basically like everyone else's...started at 20mgs a day and have slowly worked my way up only to find myself addicted. I've asked my pain doctor about Suboxone as a pain management device and he assures me Suboxone is only for someon trying to get off pills. My first question is....does Suboxone help with pain?

Now my big question. What is it like getting of Suboxone? I see where people taper down to a very low dose but is it like trying to get off opiates? Has anyone here successfully quit Suboxone? My pain stems from some intestinal surgery I had 6 years ago where I had 12 inches of my colon removed and now I am unable to absorbe certain vitamins and minerals which is causing all kinds of muscle/joint pain, hands and feet sting/burn and just ache beyond description. I'm allergic to Ibuprofen and asprin so opiates is my only option if I want to experience some kind of life.

My last question is concerning the cost of Suboxone. I do have insurance but it is not real good..basically insurance against bankruptcy. Can someone tell me how much Suboxone costs? I know there will be differences but any info right now woudl help. I live in North Texas.

Im not sure if this is the correct place for this question but the Sub doctor I spoke with does not accept insurance and charges an outrageous price for an office visit. He will only accept cash. Does this sound like the norm?

Thanks in advance for any help or direction.


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 Post subject: Hello
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:44 pm 
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Welcome,

I'm sure many others here will answer your questions. Yes, you came to the right place.

I am on Suboxone for chronic pain. I am an amputee with many other problems. It does help with my pain.

You seem concerned with the dose. Well, my doctor has me on 16 mgs in the a.m. and 16 in the p.m. for pain management.

The cost seems to be the problem with many people.

Let me let others come in. Good luck & please stay with us & let me know how things turn out

Queenie


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:44 am 
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Hey discodiver,

Welcome to the forum and this certainly is the right place to ask your questions.

I'm going to go through your questions 1 by 1 and in the order you asked them because I'm pretty anal! :lol:

Question #1.) Does Suboxone help with pain?

Answer #1.) Yes and no. Not whatcha wanted to hear, eh! OK, sub is a partial agonist (opiate), the Lortab's you're on now are full agonists (opiates). A full agonist like Lotab will stimulate the mu receptor in the brain with like 1000 volts while a partial agonist like Suboxone only delivers like 12 volts. This is the reason you won't feel the normal euphoria associated with opiates from Suboxone, but it also has something to do with the less than spectacular pain relieving properties of Suboxone. Suboxone does help with pain, don't get me wrong, it's just not as effective as full agonist opiates. There are several members on this former, Queenie is an example, of people who get enough pain relief from Suboxone though.

Question #2.) What is it like getting off Suboxone.

Answer #2.) Well, after prolonged use is seems to be harder to get off of it. By prolonged I mean in the years time frame. BUT, what Suboxone does offer that is pretty much unique to Suboxone is the ability to taper your dose down slowly. The vast majority of full agonist opiate abusers can NOT taper down on their doses. Back to the question, getting off Suboxone can be hell if you did it like me....I jumped off a high dose and I rightfully took a shit kickin'. Another member, Diary of a Quitter, did a GREAT taper and she was able to come off sub with relative ease. Then you have a lot of stories in between too. Bottom line, Suboxone is an opiate, quitting any opiate usually sucks, but you can certainly minimize the 'suck effect' by tapering.

Question #3 and #4 got answered by Answer #2....you got a threefer on that one!!

Question #5.) How much does Suboxone cost?

Answer #5.) I've seen prices, without insurance, of around $4 to $6 a pill? I'm pulling those numbers from memory, so they may not be entirely accurate.....I know the medicine itself is fairly expensive. Hopefully, another member with more knowledge in this department will be along soon to give you a better price range.

Question #6.) Is this the norm? Referring to an outrageous price for an office visit and being cash only.

Answer #6.) Office visits usually tend to be cash only, but the price of an office visit varies wildly. I've seen numbers as low as $50 and then there are a couple, like mine were, that were $375. :shock: This is cost of montly visits that I am giving you. Some people go every two weeks, some people go every 3 months......the numbers I gave above are based on monthly visits.

Phew, I hope that answered all your questions and I hope someone comes along and gives the correct price for the med alone.

Good Luck and feel free to ask any additional questions you may have. I may go wild and answer them out of order next time!! :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:26 am 
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Welcome to the forum. I think you're smart to do your research before starting any medication. And this is as good a place (if not better) to get some of your questions answered. Some of them above have already been answered. But I'll add my take.

I take sub for both addiction and pain management. I take on average 16 mg per day (split in 2 doses). It doesn't erase the pain like "normal" pain pills, but it does make it tolerable on most days enough to live your life. Although suboxone is a partial agonist, it is very strong in that it will likely raise your tolerance to opiates more than it is now. It's not unusual for suboxone to be used for pain these days and it seems to be used more and more frequently for that purpose.

Let me back up a bit. You said you've never asked for an early refill. Does that mean you've never abused your pain meds? Never gotten any off the streets? Has being on them ever had a negative effect on your life and/or relationships? There is a large difference between addiction and dependence. You could be dependent on them and not addicted. Addiction includes a whole set of maladaptive behaviors that dependence doesn't. Those of us on suboxone, for example, are dependent on it, not addicted. But before we started sub, however, we were addicted to the drugs we were on. We abused them - took too many, ran out early, bought them off the streets, lost jobs and family over it - basically did what we had to to get our hands on our drugs.

As was said above, tapering off suboxone is the key to going off it with little to no discomfort. Other than doing a short taper on/off (days or a few weeks), there is no evidence that I'm aware of or have seen that indicates the longer one is on sub the harder it is to come off of or the worse the withdrawals are.

Suboxone IS expensive and unfortunately many (most?) sub doctors do not take insurance even if the patient has it. There's no real reason for this other than perhaps they CAN.

I hope this helps give you some more information with which to assist you in making your decision. I'm sure others will weigh in with their opinions as well. Good luck to you.

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


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:52 pm 
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THanks for the great responses. I have never abused my pain mess, purchased any off
The street or ran out early on my script but these damm things are
Running my life and I just want off. My pain mgmt doctor told me the same
Thing that I was dependent not addicted. If I'm not addicted then why can't I quit?
The local sub doctor here wants $400 for the first visit and I'm affrid that after
seeing him I won't be able to afford the Suboxone.

I do need some kind of pain pill but the industry I work in has no tolerance at all
for this even if a person has a script. Let's just say that I work in the transportation
industry. The pain pills I take do not impair me in any way. If anything they seem
To give me a huge rush of energy.

I do know my dose seems very small compared to others but I hate
the fact that something like this has control over me


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:18 pm 
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I'm sorry you're having such a rough time. It seems like you're in this middle ground, somewhere between addiction and dependence. With regard to your job, suboxone could possibly cause the same issues. It is an opiate, albeit a partial agonist, and it says basically the same thing on the label, even though it doesn't get one high. I'm guessing you've tried tapering off, rather just going cold turkey?

You know, any doctor - including your pain doctor - can prescribe suboxone without having the special license/waiver. Perhaps your doctor would write it for you, thus saving you some money. S/h could just prescribe it for pain, because that is what you'd be taking it for after all. It might be worth a try to ask him/her about it. The other option is to try a quick suboxone taper/detox. I normally don't suggest that for people addicted, but you're in a different situation altogether. Those are my ideas. I wish I had more to offer. Good luck to you.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Considering Suboxone
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:05 am 
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The Best advice that I can give is to Take suboxone as the doctor prescribes it and really work the program. Suboxone is very addicting as well as lorcets. The doctor will ween you off when it is time. It is mostly in your head tho. Suboxone is not for pain and i dont know if it helps pain. The only time I hurt was when i ran out of lorcets and it healed that but i dont know how it works on real pain. As for the cost its way cheaper than buying 20 lorcets a day off the street, in my case, they usually run about 7-11 dollars each at the pharmacies. My husband and I quit taking pills about 9 months ago. He went to the suboxone clinic and got 60 a month. At first i was taking half of them. But by the middle of the month we would run out and either have to buy more suboxone off the street (20 each) or lorcets because we didnt feel well. But i saw that we were spending the same amount of money as before and was not happy with that. We really are sincere about getting clean so i just quit taking suboxone. I weened myself off and was fine after 4 days. My husband is still on the suboxone as prescribed. He went back this month and the doctor said it was time for him to be done and to ween off. He actually cried on the way home because he was scared he wasnt ready or would relapse after they were gone. He has 14 left and he is a nervous wreck about being without them. I dont know if this post helped answer your questions but anyone who really honestly wants to get off pills can do it if they try. It sounds like you are in pain. I dont know what to tell you about that. You sure its pain and not withdrawals? Some people really do hurt and need pain pills just have to control them. Best of luck to you hope it works out!
Jeannie B

discodiver wrote:
I could really use some advice here. I am considering Suboxone to help me get off these pain pills but have many questions. I have spoken with a Sub doctor here and he seems wonderful and seems to have compassion for people like me. I do suffer from chronic pain and do see a pain management doctor and have NEVER called my pain doctor for an early refill. I am currently taking 40-50mgs of Lortab a day and have done so for 4 years. My story is basically like everyone else's...started at 20mgs a day and have slowly worked my way up only to find myself addicted. I've asked my pain doctor about Suboxone as a pain management device and he assures me Suboxone is only for someon trying to get off pills. My first question is....does Suboxone help with pain?

Now my big question. What is it like getting of Suboxone? I see where people taper down to a very low dose but is it like trying to get off opiates? Has anyone here successfully quit Suboxone? My pain stems from some intestinal surgery I had 6 years ago where I had 12 inches of my colon removed and now I am unable to absorbe certain vitamins and minerals which is causing all kinds of muscle/joint pain, hands and feet sting/burn and just ache beyond description. I'm allergic to Ibuprofen and asprin so opiates is my only option if I want to experience some kind of life.

My last question is concerning the cost of Suboxone. I do have insurance but it is not real good..basically insurance against bankruptcy. Can someone tell me how much Suboxone costs? I know there will be differences but any info right now woudl help. I live in North Texas.

Im not sure if this is the correct place for this question but the Sub doctor I spoke with does not accept insurance and charges an outrageous price for an office visit. He will only accept cash. Does this sound like the norm?

Thanks in advance for any help or direction.
[b]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:26 am 
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bamablonde -

I'm thinking perhaps you misspoke when you said suboxone is addicting. Maybe you meant that when you stop suddenly you'll have withdrawals? Because when someone takes it they don't get addicted to it per se. The same behaviors we had in active addiction do not apply when on suboxone. I just wanted to clarify that.

Suboxone is used for pain, and being used more and more for that, especially for addicts who can no longer take regular pain pills for chronic pain.

Regarding your situation, I'm so sorry that your husband's doctor is forcing him off before he's ready! That's terrible. Has your husband considered finding a new doctor? And his doctor only left him with 14 pills to taper off of?? I've never heard a doctor doing that without kicking someone out of the program for cause. If it were me I would call the doctor or make another appointment to explain that I'm not ready and need a few months at the least to taper off. Then I'd start looking for a new doctor right away! Good luck!

_________________
-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

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


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