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How should I taper Suboxone? How long should I be on Suboxone? Should I taper fast or slow? Can I dissolve Suboxone?
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Down to .5 mg day

Sun May 05, 2013 11:04 pm

Hi Everybody,
I'm new here and have never really posted anything like this before so I'll try to keep it short and sweet. I've been on subs for almost six years now and have had a few doctors. Since about a year ago the provider I've been seeing has helped me to taper more than the others. I was at 2 mg for quite a while (about two years +\-) and now I'm down to about .5 mg. I am just so frustrated, impatient, jaded by this medicine that has felt like an anchor holding me down for so long. I do appreciate what it did for me to get my life back on track initially but now the thought of jumping consumes my mind and the anxiety of wd's and PAWS eats away at my brain. I know the best thing to do is just continue on a taper but I want this to be over so badly. I am married and have two small children while I work two jobs, needless to say I don't have much free time. I feel the need to just drop off the grid for two or three weeks until I can pull through, wishful thinking. The Addict in me still feels I need to medicate to complete everyday tasks. I want to jump tomorrow. If I only could reach down and find a big enough set of balls and hold on for the ride, a part of me ties to tell myself go with it and appreciate the wd process, if that makes sense. Hopefully someone out there can relate, and others might have advice. Thanks for listening

Mon May 06, 2013 8:55 pm

Oh boy, can I relate to how you are feeling. The emotions you experience when you are tapering suboxone are crazy. I go from being scared shitless one minute to feeling like I can conquer the world the next. Sometimes I feel so bad I just want to jump already and get it over with. But then my brain kicks in and makes me take a breath and realize it is sooo much better to take it slow and steady. I don't know if I have any advice for you that you don't already know, but you are definitely not alone.

Tue May 07, 2013 12:07 am

Oh man, just posted a long ass reply that somehow disappeared when I went to submit it- Fail. Anyways, thanks for the reply qhorsegal. I know many can relate and it's nice to hear from them. Today I am grateful for a small victory in my recovery, I've been over 30 hrs since my last dose. That's the first time since I've been taking this stuff since I've gone from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed without taking any subs. Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully I can kick in the balls again. I know we all look to forums like these for guidance and support, I think it's very important. We've all discovered and researched different supplements and exercises to aid in our recovery, however IMO, we need will power and determination.
"Decide that you want it more than you're afraid of it. "- Bill Cosby
(Yes, not only did he give us delicious pudding pops but he gave us inspiration)

Tue May 07, 2013 11:41 am

Well I finally gave in at about 10am and took .25mg. Didn't want to do it, I try and tell myself I made it that long and to just keep going but I start to get uncomfortable, mostly just cold sweats. It's nothing too unbearable. The biggest problem is in my head I start to get anxious and the thoughts of how long it's been since my last dose and the little bit of discomfort consume my thoughts. I think that I will ask my doc to write me a script for something to ease the anxiety. In the meantime I will try to view this positively as progress in my taper and continue to skip a day between doses. Good luck to everyone who is on the same path.

Wed May 08, 2013 7:30 am

Well I'll see how long I can go today before I feel I need to take my suboxone. In the last 60+ hrs I've only had .25mg. I suppose I shouldn't try to focus on it to much, I'm sure that leads to some of my anxiety.

Wed May 08, 2013 9:21 am

Hey Shanks...

That is great progress! Give yourself a break, it is a huge step forward in your recovery. I understand how your anxiety can make your WD worse. It does for me, too. I even find myself getting anxious about it when I don't feel bad. Sometimes I will be doing my daily thing and the thought pops in my head that I feel pretty good and I haven't really had much that day, and it freaks me out. I don't know why, it's weird. Like something is missing...KWIM?

In those situations I just remind myself why I am doing this. It is a strange new world we are about to enter, but I can't wait to see what it's like!

You can do it...just take it easy on yourself. There's no rush. As others on this forum have told me many times, the goal is "progress, not perfection!" Think about that today and give yourself a pat on the back for fighting so hard.


Wed May 08, 2013 12:14 pm

Hey Shanks, congrats on getting down to 0.5mg a day! That's awesome and hope it keeps going well for you. I was wondering on what your dose reductions were to from 2mg to 0.5mg a day and how long you stayed at each one? Did you drop by 0.5, 0.25mg or smaller than that? Also, how were your withdrawals when you dropped each time?

I'm currently dropping from 2.0mg to 1.5mg and I'm dropping 0.063mg every week. Luckily I haven't had any withdrawals so far during the reductions, but I wonder if my dose is still too high to experience them.

Thanks and keep it up!

Thu May 09, 2013 12:15 am

Unfortunately I haven't kept great track or record I guess you'd say, but like I said, I was at 2mg for quite a while. I began to see a new provider and they seemed to really get the ball rolling. I think I reduced by about .25mg at a time and stayed on that for about two weeks. Maybe my case is a little different, I was taking it once in the morning and once at night. Each time I would drop down I would reduce the afternoon dose because I was really depending on the morning one to get me through. The reductions weren't too bad at first, no wd's. eventually when I got down to .5mg I would take .25 one morning and then.25 in the late afternoon. When I saw my doc and agreed to try to cut it to just once a day, .25 in the morning that's when it hit the fan. By the time the afternoon rolled around I was a mess, depressed with chills and lethargy however I think most of this was brought on by anxiety. I ended up taking another.25 that nite to rethink things. I eventually decided that cutting my dose in half was too much to try and handle. So I decided on my own to go back to .5mg but take it all at once in the morning. That seemed to work out much better and I would start to taper again from that point. As of right now I am down to .25 a day and take it around 8am. Things go great throughout the day, no symptoms. It starts to get to me about 24hrs later, mostly feelings of anxiety, sweats. I would try to fight through it but its tough when I'm at work and I don't want people to know what I'm dealing with. I'll keep trying and see what happens. I'm so close that I just want out but I know the best thing to do is continue to taper to try and reduce any wd's in the end. Hope things go well for you.

Thu May 09, 2013 1:15 am

Hey I also been on subs around the same time as you and am on also on a similar dose to you but 0.1 lower. am only 0.4. Perhaps we can taper together?...I have been on 1mg and under for the last 4 years, so I think both of us staying on the low doses the last few years stacks in our favor, hopefully.

I get the feeling of needing to medicate to do tasks, what I do is exercise to raise those endorphins.

Am thinking of jumping in August, as I believe we need to stay on tiny doses a long time because we have saturated our receptors with subs for years, we need to unwind that half life down.

In a couple of days am hoping to drop to 0.3, once I reach 0.25 or 0.2 I plan to stay there for a month or 2, I heard this down regulates endorphins? we shall see.

But yeah if you want to taper together am all up for it.

Thu May 09, 2013 4:09 pm

Ok, so I have a quick question. At this point I have been at about .25 mg(+\-) for about a week now. Cutting up my 2mg pills into 1/8's isn't an exact science, they don't usually produce a consistent dose. Is there any way to be more precise? I have heard of the liquid method. Anybody have any advice?

Thu May 09, 2013 6:47 pm

Check out the Rx Film Cutting Guide web page. There are instructions on how to cut your film into smaller doses.

Thu May 09, 2013 11:25 pm

Shanks1224 wrote:Ok, so I have a quick question. At this point I have been at about .25 mg(+\-) for about a week now. Cutting up my 2mg pills into 1/8's isn't an exact science, they don't usually produce a consistent dose. Is there any way to be more precise? I have heard of the liquid method. Anybody have any advice?

check this method out, as well.... sounds fairly consistent to ME...


Here's the first post......

Success! Taper off suboxone with the "Hole Punch" method

Tapering with the "hole punch" method

After 10 years of opiates ..... which was 5 1/2 years of (200-300mg/day) Loritab followed by 4 1/2 years of 16 mg. day suboxone I had had enough. And so I began tapering in January of 2012 and in March 2012 I tried jumping off at 4mg (insane... waaay too much pain)
So I continued to reduce my suboxone dosage and by May 2012 I had weaned down some more and tried jumping off again at 2mg (again...terrible pain... What the He'll was I thinking?) I read a lot of forums and realized that I was jumping off at too high of mg. I learned that jumping off suboxone without going through absolute Withdrawal Hell would require a gradual measured taper to a VERY VERY low dose.

So I immediately went to the 2mg strip instead of the 8 mg (since I had gotten down to 2mg anyway) and started cutting the 2 mg strip up in halves and fourths in order to correctly measure the taper dosage.

Now cutting the 2 mg strip gets aggravating as Hell when you start getting to real small doses (and if you want to jump off with the least pain you must taper down to the real low doses... And I do mean REAL LOW doses.)

So over this past summer (2012) I eventually got down to 1/8 of a 2 mg strip/day (which is .25 mg) and here is where I saw how hard it is to get the 1/8 pieces the same size. I really wanted to taper further but this seemed impossible because of the difficulty of uniformity and size in the dosage...

But then it hit me.
Why not use the wife's scrapbook hole puncher on the 2 mg strips?
So I tried it and it worked! I could punch out 6 perfect little round pieces from one-2mg. strip!

Now I have got real dosage uniformity! A small amount of strip was wasted but I wanted to be done with this shit so that really didn't matter to me.
Now here's the cool part...
I then cut the "hole punches" into 1/2 and 1/4 pieces with a razor (like a pie)

and I started tapering from there (first taking the whole circle punch, then 3/4 hole punch then 1/2 then 1/4).

Now if you want to know how small 1/4 of a hole punch is go look at one... that's pretty small.

You must use tweezers to pick it up and you must put it under your tongue while looking in a mirror to make sure you got it! Now... You might think that 1/4 of a "hole punch" from a 2 mg strip is not enough suboxone to do anyone any good....

but you would be wrong... Suboxone is powerful shit...
and that tiny piece (that was so small you could not even taste it) will make a big difference in your day once you have tapered that far down (I can't believe I was doing 16 mg/day for almost 5 years!)

Im not sure how much 1/4 of a hole punch is but Im pretty sure it's less than 10% of 1 mg! How fast or slow you are to taper is covered in great detail in many threads by some wonderful people on this site. All I am adding to the subject is a way to bring your dosage down to a very small amount in a uniform way.

My personal suggestion is to take it slow (maybe 25% reduction every week or 10 days) till you are down to 1/4 of a "hole punch". Many people fail in getting off of suboxone because the withdrawal pains are just too much to bear....

but the fact is they are jumping off at too high of a dosage (believe me... i know!) Even 1/8 of a 2 mg strip can be a painful place to quit from (I tried that too!) Most folks have lives and families and jobs and they must continue on With their lives as they taper down. With the "hole punch" method you are uniformly making 1/8 of a 2 mg. strip 4 times smaller and so you can take your dosage down in a uniform manner to infinitesimal sizes!

Now believe it or not I still had some withdrawal symptoms jumping from 1/4 of a hole punch! but they were nothing compared to jumping from 1 mg or 2 mg!

I had a few hot and cold spells and a little RLS for a couple of nights and I couldn't sleep for a week. Other than that everything was good! No diarrhea, very little bone aches, no terrible RLS (only mild) and very little depression (which is what frightened me most).

All in all my withdrawals were short in duration and very mild and I cannot believe that I am finally opiate free after 10 years! If your serious about tapering off suboxone try getting down to the 2 mg strip and go down to the "hole punch" size from there and then cut the hole punch into tiny slices from there. Just remember to take your time and remain disciplined... The smaller you take your taper the easier it will be on your life when you finally "jump". You can do it this way! Taper slow and taper small! God bless you all and good luck!

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Fri May 10, 2013 12:34 am

Hey guys,

I just thought I would point out that Shanks said he was using 2mg pills, not films. Any great advice on doing it with those?

Fri May 10, 2013 7:33 am

Thanks qhorsegal, that's right. I've been getting 2mg suboxone pills not film. Just about on my last suboxone pill of my last script, I got another script that I just filled. The new one is the generic version made by Watson, white pills with a crescent shape on one side and 154 on the other. These, I think, are a little easier to cut. They don't seem to crumble as easy, but difficult to cut into small pieces either way.

liquid taper

Fri May 10, 2013 9:27 am

Shanks – Dissolve one of those suckers in water(liquid taper)! Use a tiny 1ml medicine dropper you can get behind any pharmacy counter if you ask. 2ml of water per 2mg pill would be a good starting point (1ml=1mg)…so every .1ml marking on the dropper is equal to .1mg of sub. Leave the mixture in a pill bottle and keep it in your fridge until your next dose.

As you taper further you can start mixing 4ml of water per 2mg pill. Then every .1ml would have .05mg of sub. FYI, this worked awesome for me…

Sat May 11, 2013 12:56 am

This is exhausting. It's difficult to keep up the momentum.
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