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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:25 am 
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I jumped from 4mg to 0 13 days ago. 2 nights ago, around 2am, I awoke feeling my first positive thought in weeks, and the pain has slowly receded. Here is what I did while I still remember:

I did not feel much until 7 days after my last suboxone dose of 4mg. there was slight anxiousness, rapid heart rate, and insomnia. These symptoms exploded exponentially day 8-9 with physical pain starting and fast becoming the predominant symptom. Extreme physical pain (legs, back mainly) continued to day 11, before breaking that night. It was to the point that I could not move room to room.

Here is what helped:
-Find someone to talk to, whether it be here, on the phone, anyone. having a conversation uses just enough brain power to divert your thoughts from your pain and anxiety.My wife saved me though this time.
-with physical pain and anxiety and of course diarrhea, you will be unable to eat. As your body turns on its own muscle as you starve, muscle pain becomes even worse. see medications that helped.
-if you can physically go to class or work, do it. the distraction helps a great deal.
-do not watch the news, sad movies, read sad books...your entertainment should be no more intense than watching your cat sleep. Maybe watch The Office or something similar. I admit, Real Housewives of Anywhere episodes, were a good distraction.

Medications that helped:
-Clonidine: This will stop your heart from beating out of your chest, and bring it down to a rapid patter. It also helps with sleep a little. It can help with anxiety, though i did not find it helped that much. Get alot of frozen fruit pops as your mouth will get very dry.
-Vitamin B, helps fractionally anxiety, might have helped with joint pain
-Advil/Ibuprofen : will reduce physical pain, but not eliminate it. Unfortunately, your pain system is on its own for the first time in a while, so even individual air molecules will cause extreme pain if they touch you.
-Requip: Ive never had RLS before. but was very painful days 7-10, Requip works well. It also seemed to relieve some of the day time leg pain.
-Ativan/lorazepam- a benzo, so depending on your doctor, might be hard to get. I needed this day 9-11 simply to eat. I was so anxious i stopped eating for days 9-11. take the smallest dose possible. you'll start to get hungry. Take the smallest dose at night to help sleep.
Benadryl: for sleep. a few hours at least

In summary: I was abusing oxycodone for about a year before getting onto Suboxone. Suboxone took away the cravings for that, and surprisingly, alcohol. I would recommend it to anyone needing to come off of opiates, and the duration they take it is up to them and their doctor. I could see needing it for a lifetime. I would say dont try it for anything less than 6-8 months. I have no ill against suboxone (my sub doctor is another matter), so please dont read this as negative about the medicine.

Coming off of a relatively high dose will be very painful. It will peak around days 9-10 and it will be horrible. YOU WILL MAKE IT THOUGH. Once you get over the peak, you'll still be sore and anxious, but you can feel each hour get better.

Looking forward: I need to be on the lookout for PAWS as this occurred coming off of Oxy. I also need to stay on top of depression and anxiety. In the meantime, I'm here if anyone has questions.

Thank you to all on this board, past and present.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:35 am 
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Thanks for that description and recommendations. I really hope you have passed the acute part. I hate hearing that people feel so bad! I guess there was a way people could stop Sub without doing these ridiculously long tapers and without going through so much discomfort.

So, the Requip helped, huh? I'm still tapering but my legs hurt pretty badly and an absolutely obnoxious pain!! In fact, reading how your legs felt made my legs ache with sympathy. :D

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:50 am 
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Congratulations Lenticular!!

You jumped from a high dose, but you're making it. Thanks for taking the time to list out your symptoms so others who are considering jumping from a high dose know what's in store for them. That was great of you to make a list of things that helped you get through this too!!

Keep hanging on and I hope you're able to give us some more updates!

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:27 pm 
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congrats on that, this is my honest opinion don't feel like im being negitive to you....but basically you switched addicitons. If your yousing alcohol you will switch addictions, and the other benzo's are in the longrun worse than suboxone.

good luck getting off alcohol, i high suggest AA/NA so you can have some support, maybe you don't want to. Just a good suggestion for your case.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:39 pm 
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some advice from someone (me) pushing on 3 months off subs....find as many distractions and hobbies as you can to fill in free time. As the days passed on and the "honey moon" phase ended I found the nighttime to become more and more difficult without suboxone. Since this was the time in the day when I dosed and would maybe watch a movie or just relax I am having a tough time finding something else to do during that time. The daytime is still great. I never have any cravings or even thoughts of using during the day. I bike, work, read, study, etc., during the day which I enjoy and find fulfillment in. At night I sometimes crave suboxone(never opiates though). I was on subs for so long that they became my addiction. I need to mentally move past it. I now understand why they say the work starts after the withdrawal. Just be prepared to fill in free time. Good luck buddy. P.s. everything is still 10000 times better now that I am off subs though!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:07 pm 
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Some random anonymous guy asked The SuboxDoc a question completely related to my experience. how odd. Anyways his response is right on and augments this thread well:
http://vyou.com/a/509497


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:11 pm 
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I started taking suboxone after being addicted to Opana (oxymorphone) for a little under a year. I had been completely free of the Opana in my system but the lethargy and debilitating depression that I was left with was really ruining my life. I found myself physically unable to climb the stairs in my house without being winded or completely worn down. My doctor suggested the suboxone to help with what I referred to as opiate induced depression and cravings I was having for any type of opiate I could find.
I have been on suboxone now for 3 months and tried to quit on my own about 5 weeks ago. I was feeling very successful with very minimal withdrawal symptoms until about the 14th day when I noticed the lethargy kicked in full swing along with restless leg issues and pain and increasing depression and anxiety over simple daily issues at home and at work. I fought it out for another week before I broke down and filled my prescription. I kept telling myself to power through it, that it was only temporary and it would go away but the physical symptoms were not something I could mentally control, I felt like I did back after the Opana, completely powerless to change the fact that I had absolutely no energy and was extremely depressed. I am now back to an 8mg film once a day.
I really want to start lowering my dose and quit with my doctors help and monitoring but based on the return of the lethargy and depression I am afraid that even if I quit slowly I will still be left with the same issues that lead me to taking the suboxone in the first place. I don't want to be on this medication for my whole life but I also cannot handle the issues I am left with without it in my system.
Does this lethargy and depression go away or is it something that I will struggle with long term after quitting? I am currently seeing my psychiatrist who prescribed the suboxone as well as a regular therapist and keep meaning to start a support group through my church and just can't manage to get myself in the door. I guess I may be being a negative nancy but I feel that all the therapy and support in the world will not help the physical issues I have without the opiate in my system.
Any thoughts or advice would be GREATLY appreciated.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:06 am 
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it seems to me that when you stop taking opiates or subs you feel as though you are "missing something" in your life. I know the feeling, although I do not struggle with the depression. Well, sometimes at night when I am bored I feel cravings for subs and I get a little depressed that I dont have anything "to take," but that is something I must work through for awhile and I know I would rather deal with that then take medicine to fix it.
I mean we have programed our brains to associate good feelings with opiates and subs so when they are out of our lives completely it is hard to figure out how to deal with negative emotions and triggers. You have to be aware that if you stop subs again these emotions are inevitable and it will take time for them to go away, much longer than the 2 weeks of physical symptoms. I have been off for about 3 months now and I am starting to forget and move on. It has been mentally tough after the physical stuff but thanks to my job, school, my future hopes and ambitions, good music and the power of the outdoors I have found things to be healthy and sober for.
The drive to get off subs is strong when you are on them but most people it difficult to continue with the necessary drive to stay off them. There is this obsession with tapering and getting past the physical stuff but no one spends time thinking, "well, when I am off then what?" I know I didnt... You need to latch on to whatever reasons you have for wanting to get off and find things in life to be so passionate about that they will keep your hope to live sober alive when you get these negative feelings back.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:26 am 
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Congrats Lenticular.

I'm back on Suboxone now after a massive relapse some time ago. But I clearly remember myself that around day 12-13 I started to feel the intensity receding, and the feeling that came with that was profoundly liberating and positive. It feels great to turn the corner, and see some light at the end of the tunnel.

I don't want to discount the struggle you've been through thus far, because the detox is by far the most physically intense draining part of early recovery. But the real challenge comes from now. You will no doubt have moments where you wish you could have just one pill of suboxone. You will have your moments where you will desire to get back on your drug of choice.

Just remember where it will lead you - back on Suboxone - and remember the feeling you've endured. Keep a snapshot of the pain in your mind, of the sweaty bed linen and the teary eyes, the insomnia, the diahrrea. Call on it whenever these moments of temptation come about.

I highly suggest you book to see a counsellor weekly or fortnightly. It really helps. And try out the various support groups and find one that works for you. Live "pillow to pillow". From the moment you wake to the moment you put your head on your pillow without using is your daily victory.

Good luck! And keep posting here, especially if you find yourself going through a rough patch.

Congrats again, and cherish your recovery.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:10 pm 
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Jeng,

I'm sorry, I've just now seen your post and you asked alot of good questions.

First, dont think of restarting Suboxone as "breaking down". You're seeing a doctor, youre no longer abusing opiates, it sounds like you are really trying to work through some things. It cant be all done at once though, and you rightly prioritized controlling some symptoms.

That said, i dont know if suboxone is the greatest treatment for depression, opioid induced or not. Have you talked to your doctor about anti-depressants? you may want to check out starting an SSRI or TCA like clomipramine for 6-8 weeks before you try going Sub-free again (Lenticular is not a doctor).

Also, before jumping this last time, I had tried 2 other times before. The first one I just wasnt ready, the second one though I hit some serious depression, like I have never experienced before. It was scary. However, the 3rd time, while anxious, the depression wasnt as bad. I dont know if it is because I knew it was coming, or if because the brain chemistry balance is all weird when you take away the suboxone really fast. I guess what I am saying is that the depression is not a sure thing. Maybe it wont be as intense next time.

Keep doing what you are doing. No, depression and lethargy are not the conclusive outcome of being opioid free. There are lots of other things going on in the brain, Suboxone only addresses one.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:20 pm 
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Hey Lenticular,

I had similar experiences with depression when I quit opiates before. When I quit Hydrocodone I encountered what I call "crushing depression", it never did lift, I ended up going back on Hydrocodone partly because of the depression.

So, when it came time for me to quit Suboxone, I was more than a little concerned, but I had made up my mind I was quitting Suboxone and quit I did. Amazingly, I did NOT suffer any "crushing depression", I felt like crap for a long time, but no serious depression, even though I was fully expecting it.

So I'm gonna have to agree with you when you say that quitting opiates does not necessarily guarantee that you'll suffer from serious depression.

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