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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 3:30 pm 
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Hi, it's been a while since I posted. I was taking Subutex time but I got off of it due to I thought it was causing extreme anxiety attacks. I was off of it for 3 months straight taking no other opiates and my anxiety attacks did not go away and seemed to get even worse, but now I've got Edema in basically my whole body but mostly in my legs and feet.

I'm only taking 2mg a day, but I split it up into 3 or 4 quarters (.25mg) and then take a quarter every 4 hours or so. Sometimes I don't it all, that is occasionally I won't take 1/3 of the pill one day. Then sometimes I take all of it and then others I'll only take it 3 times a day but the last dose I'll combine it and end up taking 1mg. I don't take more than a total of one 2mg pill a day though.

So in addition to the edema I have tingling and numbness in my hands and sometimes in my feet. It wakes me up much of the time. I think it's my body doing it as a fail safe because if I didn't wake up, I could end up getting nerve damage. I think it's due to someone poor circulation due to the Subutex. I know that's also a withdrawal symptom, which I did get, but after about a month, all that went away, but my 'panic attacks' as they are calling them did not go away. My panic attacks can last and I'm not exaggerating for as long as week. When I say that I mean I'm in a constant state of panic, but that panic does vary, but it usually goes no lower than say a 5 out of 10 (10 being the worst) and can go up to a 10 but hangs around around between 6 and 8.

It seems I've found a combo of drugs that help me out with the panic attacks. The Sub helps a little too, but doesn't stop it. I'm prescribed 0.5mg of Xanax twice a day, so a total of 1mg of Xanax a day, but my wife got a prescription and gave me that and so I end up taking a total of 2mg a day so I take two 0.5mg at a time twice a day. You don't have to tell me how dangerous combining Xanax and Subutex, but it seems necessary.

When I went off the Subutex, I tapered off for about a month and it shouldn't have been, but it was brutal. My withdrawal symptoms did not go away even after 3 months. I know I was on Sub for a while, but that makes no sense. Most of the hot and cold chills and sweating went away, but what did not was the sneezing and runny nose. It's was like I had a bad cold or bad allergies but allergy tablets don't help.

When I went back on the Subutex, the allergy symptoms immediately went away. I don't sneeze at all. I would like to know why the withdrawal symptoms never went away, but more importantly, when I have my panic attacks, it's not just that 'panic' feeling, but it feels like I ca'nt get my breath and I feel like that most of the day. It gets really bad. SO bad that I've been to the ER and I'm usually at the doctors office every week related to these panic attacks. My pulse ox is fine, so they say I'm ok. I may be getting enough oxygen, but it's more than unfortable, it's terrifying and that's why it's so bad when I get these attacks that can last up to a week straight. When the breathing gets bad, I also get severe chest pains and the tingling in my hands come out...basically all the symtoms of withdrawal, but when I first go this I was still on Subutex and I got a bad case for 3 days straight. The Xanax seems to help it greatly. The Subutex helps my depression, I have Bi-Polar Type II and I used to take Vicodin many years ago. The only reason I got off the Subutex was because I thought these syptoms I was having, primarily the breathing and severe anxiety and depression was due to the Subutex, but when it did not go away after 3 months being off of it, I went back on. These panic attacks have gotten easier, but I think it's the Xanax that's doing that.

I do recall having some edema, a little bit back about a year ago but it would come and go and it wasn't that bad. Now, it's back along with tingling and numbness, especially during the night, but when this panic attack gets bad, I feel it all day long.

Can anyone tell me what to do about the edema and the tingling? What I'd really like answer to is the panic attacks, because they are bad like life threatening bad. I get suicidal when they get bad because it's not just the breathing but the depression. I know it sounds off to get suicidal from panic attacks, but these are really bad and they last so long. Oh and it affects my blood pressure too. A few weeks ago, before I was back on the Subutex, my blood pressure was hanging around 160/99 and then for a couple days it stayed pretty much at 170/223. Currently it's 123/74. I think my high blood pressure which has been bad for the last few months was directly due to the panic attacks. The only thing that really helps the attacks specifically the breathing problems is Propanolol 10mg. I'm prescribed to take it 3 times a day, but when I was bad I took it up between 12 and 16 times a day. I know that's bad, but when it feels like you can't breathe and that helps, you do it. It did not seem to affect my blood pressure hardly at all.

My breathing, while much better seems to be affected by these panic attacks every single day. There are some days my breathing and panic are down to as low as a 1, but it's normally hangs on a consistent basis of around around I'd say a 3.5. I'm in real need here and have been to so many doctors. They don't take it seriously and say a panic attack can only last a few minutes, which is true, but that's what they call what I have.

I'm afraid the edema could lead to Cellulitis and I've read a few people getting edema from Buprenorphine. What I'd love to do is get off the Subutex and I would, but it doesn't seem to help the panic attacks. The only thing it does help is the Edema as it completely goes away and the tingling and numbness gets better, but I still have it, so I think it's all connected really and somehow the Subutex seems to both help and hurt my panic attacks.

I mentioned this before, but before I stopped the Sub, it seemed to stop working. I would start sneezing in the morning and I would constantly be clearing my throat. It would get worse after I ate too. Somehow the Subutex is related to all of this. It makes no sense that you'd have withdrawal symptoms while on Subutex. The thing is I also get these symptoms when taking other opiates too. A couple days after stopping the Sub and I tapered for a month and stopped when I taking something like 0.125. I took a quarter dose and cut that in half and taking that once a day when I stopped....very low dose. Anyway, I got a week supply of 5mg Methadone, thinking that would help me. Bad idea. As soon as I took it, I felt the panic attack get worse. It helped in part too, but hurt as well.

I'm sorry for rambling on, but if you made it this far, I'd just love some help even if it only helps the Edema. I just need to find a cure for one of my problems. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 1:31 pm 
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Sithtiger,

That is really a hard one for any member to comment on. I only answered you because I hate to see any post go w/o anyone responding.

All the symptoms are things you need to discuss with your doctor. You can't blame the Buprenorphine for the edema when you say that regular opiates do the same thing. So it's just an opiate thing, regardless of which type.

What is causing your panic attacks? There is sometimes an underlying unaddressed issue making them happen. You may or may not find the reason why. They are also getting very common in our modern times. Mankind has not had the proper time to adjust to all the new gizmo's & pressures of life that we have had in the 20 & 21st century. Life became quite complicated and panic attacks are steadily increasing. Some use talk therapy and others use medical therapy. My wife takes Paxil for her panic attacks and they stopped completely. I hate that drug but at least now she can function normally. It's doubtful she'll ever get off that one as it's very powerful.

So how are you doing today? Better, I hope.

rule

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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 10:02 pm 
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I've never seen evidence for any effects from buprenorphine that aren't mediated by the mu opioid receptor. Buprenorphine is not a new drug; it has been around since the 1950's, and has been prescribed to hundreds of thousands of people over the past 15 years. Some of your symptoms are likely related to opioid effects, and some are likely related to opioid withdrawal... and some likely have nothing to do with opioids or buprenorphine (Subutex was discontinued about 5 years ago). Sneezing, for example, is a classic part of opioid withdrawal, and lasts for weeks or months after stopping any opioid drug. Panic attacks and anxiety are aggravated by benzos in the long term, and opioids, including buprenorphine, relieve anxiety for most people at least initially. But anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia are aggravated by opioid withdrawal.

If you are desperate for a change-- and you sound like you are--- then you might consider seeking a new treatment approach. Maybe you would do better off all the meds, under the care of a good doc and going to a hospital that can safely detox you off everything. Or if you can't go through a detox, maybe you should consider simplifying things by going on methadone maintenance, and working with them to get off everything else. I don't know what is the best approach for you-- but it should be under the guidance of a good doctor, whatever you do. I like the idea of simplifying things. But whatever you do, I think it is a mistake to choose ANY one medication as the source of your symptoms-- especially a medication like buprenorphine that is usually tolerated very well.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:24 am 
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I admit! I was going to avoid this one unless Dr. J commented first. I am having a very hard time with all the people who think that buprenorphine is either a panacea that takes all problems away, or a drug that causes so much havoc in peoples' lives that it's an untenable situation. Anxiety and depression can occur at any time and do! My son became depressed at 8. Bupe doesn't cause depression or anxiety. Both symptoms can be caused by opiate withdrawal. Both symptoms can occur without the influence of any medication.

I'm sorry if I sound hard hearted to the OP. I just get tired of everyone pointing fingers at one medication when they're in the midst of the trials of addiction and normal every day emotional wear and tear.

Addicts who start addiction before their brains are fully developed don't have a good baseline to understand what normal feels like. Normal includes anxiety and feeling depressed. Dealing with emotions and upheaval is hard when you don't have practice feeling normal feelings. I'm not saying that the OP falls into this category and I'm sure I should have actually read past the title of the thread. I just get tired. It's my turn.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:48 pm 
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Amy-Work In Progress wrote:
Addicts who start addiction before their brains are fully developed don't have a good baseline to understand what normal feels like.

Amy


Well said.


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