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 Post subject: Day 5 Cold Turkey
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:09 pm 
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Hello Everyone,

I decided over a month ago that I needed to quit taking my prescribed 2x8mg/day dose of Suboxone as the side effects were becoming a lot worse than the results.

Background:

By the time I induced on Suboxone I had been on a 10-14 tab a day Norco habit for roughly 2 years. I have/had a rare case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome that was triggered by stress and caused me to go to the bathroom sometimes up to 40 times daily. I'm also a Truck Driver and when you are 100 miles from a bathroom the stress level goes up and up. This caused all of the plumbing and valves down there to be constantly inflamed and hemorrhoid's. I have had 2 hemorrhoidectomy's and 1 banding procedure done one the last 22 months with little relief and because those surgeries were so painful and my tolerence to the meds so high, I was taking mountains of narcotics with poor results.

Last May, I went to a pain management center and all they did was give me more stronger medication (6 Norco/day and 75mgh Fentanyl patch) and charged me 1000's on drug tests. I did that for 2 months but in the second month I blew through my entire month of Norco in 12 days and was too embarrassed to go back to the pain management clinic. So there I was, without drugs riding out the withdrawals with nothing more than Ambien and Ibuprofen.

After 2 weeks of intense withdrawals and mutant restless leg syndrome I finally relented and went to a different pain management clinic for help. They advised me that I take Suboxone, but before that could happen I needed to see their in house therapist and all the approvals needed to be secured from my insurance company.

On July 10th,2012 I induced on Suboxone and I couldn't believe how fantastic I felt. It wasn't all roses and rainbows however, for the first few weeks I had trouble sleeping and threw up daily. They wanted me to take 16mg/ day but I felt that was too much and on average only took between 4mg and 12 mg. Once the medication and my system got used to each other things were fantastic. The medication was fully covered and I had a $0 copay. I went in for monthly visits and they felt I was their star pupil.

In October things started to go sideways on me. I began getting severe muscle/joint aches and pains, so much so I could hardly get off the couch. Hot flashes 3 or 4 times a day that lasted 30 mins and became severely depressed. I thought this might be a dosing issue since I was cutting the strips because 8mg was too large of a dose. So I began using the dilution method to make sure my dose was spot on. Nothing changed.

In November, I called the clinic and asked for a medication REDUCTION and specifically asked for the 2mg tabs so I could be sure my dosing was accurate. They told me NO and that any reductions had to be done in office. Fair enough. On the day of my appointment (late afternoon) my muscle aches and pains were so bad that I could not get out of bed and I missed the appointment. Unbeknownst to me they clinic took that as me breaking the pain contract and they retrieved the 1 refill I had at the pharmacy away.

In mid December, I had not been home for 2 weeks and I realized that I only had 6 days of strips left (I always had some leftover from the previous months) and I called them requesting the refill I had on file they told me there was none and I would have to come in on January 8th. Well, that didn't help me in the short term and it took and act of congress and my wonderful wife to sit on their doorstep and get my required medication until the January 8th appointment, but she prevailed and another 34 strips were given.

All of this really aggravated me. I had done everything perfectly up until the missed appointment. Every visit i took a drug test and brought my meds with me to prove how much I was using. I told them of the side effects but not once did they provide a solution to make it more comfortable. I never saw the Doctor, always was scheduled with his certified assisstant and every appointment they always rushed me out of the office before I could tell them everything. Finally, On Xmas eve I decided I'm out and stopped the suboxone.

It didn't last long though, being a Truck driver and its winter I was in the Oregon mountains having to put on tire chains with the chills and fatigue of withdrawals I had to take 4mg to feel normal. but I was going to be home soon for 11 days and that's when I thought I would try again.

On Dec.31 @930am, I took my last dose of Suboxone.

Trials and Tribulations of Suboxone withdrawals for me:

Day 1 - Mostly OK because of the drugs long half life.

Day 2 - I slept 17 hours, sweating all day long but frozen to the core, restless legs and generally really uncomfortable.

Day 3 - see day 2

Day 4 - chills all day long, tired but there were a few times during the day that I felt somewhat normal, still slept 14 hours

Day 5 - So far so good been up for 3 hours and feel totally normal, energy has returned and so far no chills or RLS.

I have taken 4 - 5/500 vicodins to help ease the withdrawls (administered by my wife) in the last 48 hours, I also take 2-10mg ambien at night and requip to ease the RLS but other than those items I've rode out the storm and its not as bad so far as I thought it might be. The vicodin doesnt feel like it used to but I does feel good not to crave it.

As a sidenote, I thought I would continue with the Suboxone for the rest of my life because it totally stopped the IBS issues I was having in its tracks. It wasn't until the dirty side effects of the drug began that I began to think twice. For me, Suboxone helped and yet hurt but ultimately I would recommend for a month or so to help get off of your DOC but in my case not a long term solution but everyone is different. Commitment and lifestyles may vary.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:44 pm 
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Wow! You've really been through it! For some folks, jumping from a high level is a good thing. Because then if they're thinking it would be easy to go back on sub, they remember the withdrawal and that is a deterrent. I had trouble with my joints when I was on 16 mg too. As I've tapered, I've noticed that side effect has gone away. I think when I got down to 6 mg I felt much better and at 3 mg it's gone.

I can only imagine that dealing with those IBS symptoms as a trucker was terribly difficult. If they flare up again would you consider going back on a lower dose of sub?

It's too bad that your doctor's office gave you such a hard time when you needed a little bit of flexibility!

I wish you well and hope that the withdrawal symptoms go away soon!

Amy

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:04 am 
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thanks for the reply Amy. Well.... Day 5 was a breeze but as for Day 6, uh well, see Day 2. I woke up at 530am again and by 715am I was back to bed until 1215pm, watched some tv and a movie and back to sleep from 4pm until 730pm. RLS has been pretty bad today but as for chills and hot flashes not as bad but still show up every 5-6 hrs.

As for the IBS its back and ramping up again, So on my appointment on the 8th, I'm going to look into 2mg strips to control the IBS. I can't afford more surgeries. So far the withdrawls are a little less than I had expected but still very uncomfortable and its weird that 1 day feel normal and feel like the worst is behind you and then boom your laying under a greyhound the next day.

Excited to see what tomorrow brings.

Have a good day everyone and stay focused!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:44 am 
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Hey canuck,

Suboxone wd is pretty well known for the ups and downs you've been getting. As time passes, the ups and downs level out.

When I quit Suboxone, I got the shits pretty bad. I knew it was a symptom of wd, so I didn't worry about it too much. But as time went on, I became more and more concerned because it wasn't going away. To tell you the truth, I waited almost 2 years after being off of Suboxone before I went to see a G.I. doctor about the issue. He ran a scope up my butt and said everything looked fine. He then diagnosed me with IBS and said try increasing my fiber. I wasn't at all convinced that fiber would do a damn thing for me, but I started taking fiber capsules before meals and VOILA, problem solved. Crazy, eh?

Have you ever been tested for Celiac disease? Celiac disease is an intolerance to gluten (gluten is found in almost everything we eat). Celiac disease can cause a lot of the symptoms you've been mentioning. My mom and brother both have Celiac disease, suffered with the same symptoms as you. They cut gluten out of their diet and now they don't have any "those" issues anymore.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:16 am 
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Hi, I just wanted to offer my support. I think it is unconscionable that the doctor would cut you off for missing one appointment after you were a model patient. What a power trip huh? What a way of messing with someone's life. I sincerely wish you the best. And if you haven't already thought of it, you might consider using Imodium at least for the short term. Good luck,
Lilly


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