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 Post subject: Getting by on less..
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:59 pm 
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hello all... my first post here...

i've been on suboxone for two weeks short of a year... and in the past few months i've been trying to cut it down as it is getting to be a financial burden. i have lost the desire to use, and keep it at bay by attending NA meetings, having a sponsor, a support group... and i'm coming up on a year clean. i am sure that the suboxone helps keep me clean, but it's the steps and meetings which are keeping me sane (and happy).
anyway, at the end of every month when it comes time to see my doc, i try to stretch out my last few pills to see if i can push it another week, to try and see the doctor less.. therefore saving some cash on both the medicine and the doctor visit. i'm "officially" on twelve milligrams, and in the past week on sheer faith i dropped down to six with zero discomfort. it's been four days. i am okay with being on the medication but i would like to taper down and stay there.
so i've pushed it past my usual appointment time, and now i have to make it another seven days. i have enough medicine to take another six milligram dose, and then to move to four milligrams for the remaining days.

1) is this going to sneak up on me still? or is my body used to the new lower dose after four days? what kind of discomfort can i expect and how long will it last?
2) am i better served taking a higher dose every other day, or a lower dose steadily every day?

there have been times where i've felt strong and skipped a day here or there just to see what happens... nothing... so i'm wondering if it will be the same even at this lower dose.

thanks for reading and any experience is appreciated.

be well,
jp


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 Post subject: Getting by on less
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:48 pm 
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From 6mg to 4mg should be nearly painless. As you progress below 4mg the drops become more obvious. I have been on SUB for 18 months now. The last 4 months at 4mg. ( 2mg am / 2mg pm) One week ago I dropped to 3.5mg (2.5mg am / 1mg pm) with only minor effects. I do feel more alert, but there are slight feelings of anxiety/thoughts of low self esteem.
Also minor physical issue,i.e. old injury pains are more evident. Slow and low is the way to go - take a long time to stabalise and cut the dose as small as possible.


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 12:10 am 
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I once stopped Suboxone at 8mg/day and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

One thing to remember is that Suboxone is going generic in the fall and thats only a few short months. If you want to stay on it, maybe you should try and hold on until then when its a bit cheaper you know?


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 6:27 pm 
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I read somewhere in this forum where the doc wrote about mixing the suboxone with water and refrigerating it. By using a small dropper that is usually given with children's medicine you can lower your dose beyond what you normally can by cutting up a 2 mg pill.

I tried to taper off a few times and always started having a problem when I got down to the real small amounts like 1/4 of a 2mg a.m. and p.m. Once I tried to go lower than that I would always get sick. When I read about mixing with water so that you can really dose yourself in smaller amounts, I thought what a great idea!

Hope you can find where this info is!

Palmtree14


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 10:11 pm 
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Yeah, he did write an article about that... That would work quite well. Just do it accurately in order to get the doses right.

Florida eh? I lived in Melborune, FL for a few years. I moved back to Wisconsin. Florida wasn't for me I think..


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 11:20 am 
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6 to 4 mg's, as said above, should be almost entirely painless for you. It's when you get down to tapering below the 2 mg's that you will start to feel discomfort, I've noticed.

I've been on Subs for a year and a half. Started at 24 mgs and am now on 2 mgs once a day. I felt no withdrawal at all tapering to my current dosage, and still don't really feel withdrawal until it gets toward the end of the month and I start to taper lower. Anywhere from 16 down to at least 4 mg's, you won't feel a difference, in my experience. For some reason, with Suboxone, the less you're on the better you feel. Once you get to your lower dosages, you'll start to feel better, both mentally and physically.

I still have trouble sleeping sometimes, however - not because of withdrawal, but because for some reason Sub has always given me a massive boost of energy, especially when I take my dose before bed. Anyone else have that problem? Some nights I don't even sleep.

Hope that helps.


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 11:35 am 
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You are so right about the lower doses. A couple of years ago I tried to taper off and was told by the Dr. that it would be easy - just keep chipping away to smaller amounts and then quit. I kept getting to a quarter of 1 grm and would have terrible withdrawals as if it were the first few days off of pain meds. I went to my family physician for something unrelated and mentioned the subs and he went out of the room and called "someone really experienced in this medication" and came back and told me that I needed to get off it as soon as I could and that the amount I was taking (.25 of a mg twice a day) was nothing more than a placebo effect and that I should not be experiencing any problems. At the time, I had been checking online with forums and chats to see if it was just me and IT WASN'T! There seems to be a real problems when you get down to the small doses. I liked doc's recommendation of mixing with water and dosing much smaller that way than you can with the pills. I just don't understand why that isn't talked about more?? Or recommended by doctors? Instead, now I'm seeing detox programs for Subutex!! This is crazy...


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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 10:46 pm 
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S1thari, I wouldn't recommend taking it at night if it hypes you up. I can't sleep for shit either. Takes 2 hours to fall a sleep for 4. Now I'm taking sleeping pills so I can get 6 hours of sleep at least. I'm on 4mg now and I work 10 hours a day lifting shit then go to the gym, I have endless energy on this shit. Makes me feel like I want to clean the apartment do laundry go to the gym fuck (sex drive is crazy to) and whatever else needs to be done.


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PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 12:10 am 
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thanks guys...
what i did was...

went to 2 mg a day... i found that was enough to get through work and still sleep and feel mostly normal.
the only thing was that i noticed that if i took 2 mg at.. say... 6:30 am before work... by 3 om i was starting to feel a little shady. nothing unbearable tho. i held that till i made it to my next appointment.

as for the lower doses... something to chew on:

so i was taking 2 mg for several days... i would say.. seven days... and when i went to my doc i told him and he told me that i should take 8 mg still for now, stay on schedule.. not rush it... so i trusted him and went bak to 8 mg after a week of 2 mg and felt pretty weird! not high, but just out of it, moody, kind of crabby and punchy... just not myself.. i guess it was a result of my tolerance going lower. stayed on the 8 mg for a few weeks and then went to 4 mg and had a few more weird days, but now i seem to feel better: less spaced, more energy, better mood: probably the most "normal" i've felt in the past year of being on suboxone!

it seems for me that the old behavior that is STILL hard to shake while on the sub is the fear of withdrawal. like... at times.. if i don't take enough, or take my dose in time.. i'm going to careen into the depths instantly. it has yet to happen, but i just cant shake it.

but i digress.

thanks for the kind words

be well,
jp


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PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 12:25 am 
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The doc would argue with me about this most likely, but my cap for the 'opiate feeling' was about 8mg. If I took more than 8, it made no difference. I could feel a difference between 6 and 8mg. Perhaps everyone is a bit different though.

Going back to 8 from 2 or even 4 I think your tolerance would definately lower. I found that tolerance in me dropped very quickly For instance, when taking agonists, if I waited 24 hours for a dose, my tolerance would actually drop quite a bit, but not return to '0'. I wouldn't expect it to be any different with sub, but would take longer due to its long half life (a few weeks).


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 Post subject: getting by on less
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:50 pm 
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Hi everyone, sorry I'll try make short as possible, I'm very emotional now. I just saw my suboxone today and wish I had waited until after I saw him to take my 8mg and 1/2 of an 8mg suboxone(12mg total) prescribed once daily. I told him that around 2pm which is now basically that I start to nod off, get depressed and cold and tired by suppertime. I go to bed at 7pm latest which scares me like flashback of when I was on methadone and how I felt so bad on methadone. I dont want to give any opinion either way about methadone to abide by board rules and respect for who is on it. I just wonder if I would feel better if when I get up and dose my daily suboxone at 9am or little after, if I was to take just the 8mg sub and hold the half of 8 for when I feel uncomfortable later in the day? I'm going to try it tomorrow and see if I can feel better.

Also a little history on me, Opioids are my only d.o.c.,after taking norco 10/500's most of 04 I would up in my 2nd detox inpatient in feb of 05 after a week of taking 240 10/500 norco's(8 at once every 4 hours or less). Was on suboxone titrated up to 3, 8mg suboxone 1x daily. I started using 5 at a time toward end of August of 06 to get a high like so I felt better, big mistake. I went to a private mmt clinic, went good but sadly it didn't work out in the end and two sundays ago at 150mg mmt. I decided to call my suboxone doctor and told him what I was going to do on monday. He had his nurse call me back like only 10 mins after I called and said I have not taken my methadone for 24 hours now, I was to immediately go into rehab where I got on subs in 05. Wow what a scary feeling, here it is Feb and I'm in the same bed I was the 1st time, it was scary but felt good to take my valium and rest. Nurse wanted me to rest all day, no going to groups etc. While I waited and saw the doctor, he said it could take 4 days before I can start trying subs again, I said I'm willing to tough it out.

Well not to brag etc, just telling what happened, I was shocked at how nice my room mate was, we got talking to keep my mind off suffering worse wd's each day, by the way I'm also on 20mg valium 2x daily and all it did was help me sleep the first 3 days. Day 4, I was laying there afraid to get up, suddenly "doctor is here to see you" Whew I thought as I staggered out my room just down hall a bit to his office. I think they put me back in that same bed because my ekg showed a strange heart beat etc and my suboxone doctor knows heart problems run in my family. I sat on the docs exam table feeling like I was about to faint and blurred vision, felt like the heat was turned off inside my whole body and I was in tears almost. Doc looked me over and said "this is your day", its been long enough now and I can start you on 4mg subs and if you wd, they give you more. I said dont worry, I got it still down pat and remember how I dosed my subs from the first time.

Lucky all went well, first depression and sadness left, still was cold but this time it felt like the heat was rising slowly in my body. I finally took a shower after 5 days. Took another 3 or 4 days before I leveled out enough to where I felt myself again and warm all over. My room mate became a good friend to talk to in detox and he also helped me alot in learning social skills more. I actually am not only an opioid addict but shut myself out from society for years due to abuse psychologically from my dad and brother till I was 4 or 5 and other tragic events in my life.

After my roomate was discharged and another room mate was put in his place right away, he was ok but the place felt quit after my old room mate left. I was to leave that day and I was surprised I waited till 9pm before discharge and see suboxone doc. I was feeling wd's and lucky the nurse gave me my meds and suboxone and I felt great again, lucky I just finished my sub routine when doctor called me in. He said about my discharge plans etc and wanted me to go to an outpatient day program. Long story short he basically gave me the choice, either I go to that one or I go back to the clinic I was at. I said how scared I was, because when asked I told him I was going to plan on just going to na, aa meetings. No wont do he said, so I went for an assesment to the program and declined for now because we are poor and our cars are about dead and have to borrow my brothers car and he said he would not let me put all wear and tear on his car going 46 miles round trip everyday monday-friday. Plus we can't afford the gas so I looked at other options and nothing is looking good. I took my papers with me today and pills for suboxone doc to count and he didn't ask me about if I even went to the program for assesment. I have a bad feeling he called the place to find out that I went and then declined for now. I think that's why he didn't put me up any higher on subs, he said if I remember hearing him right when I was still in detox just out of the woods from wd's that, he was eventually going to have me on 24mg subs daily due to my metabolisim issue.(long story short I got addicted to morphine pump when I had two major surgeries due to chronic ulcerative colitis). Lucky I have a colon specialist and have whats called "j pouch", modern surgery where you dont have to have the awful bag. Was bad enough I had to have it for 6 months while I recouped before the colostomy take down and "j pouch" hooked up so I go like normal people, otherwise I would have ended my life I was so low down then.

I hope my suboxone doctor doesn't kick me off subs if I dont go to the 4 week program, I know I need someone special to sponser me or to be a good friend, but due to me having dual diagnosis it makes it worse for me to find someone who understands my situation"personal situations too". It would be worth going to the program just to find that one in a million person who is in touch with my needs totally almost. On the other hand I could always go and after a few days or give it a week and I can't stand program, I can always drop out. I know so many people from detox who do whatever they want, I worry toomuch my family tells me.

I hope the subs help me get more energy so I can get stuff done around here, because I still have to take it easy,this is going to be a long one to get over and I hope I haven't made the subs less effective by being on mmt since 06 till this month 2010. Someone told me dont be surprised if they dont work near as good as they did before. I just try not to worry or think about that and get through the day.

Sorry for such a long story, I"m new here, wish me luck everyone


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:13 pm 
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Subcoz, was great of you to share your story. I wanted to say though without wasing alot of time that I felt exactly like you did. That's the reason opiate addiction is a disease, because it follows the same pattern regardless of who the addict is. All opiate addicts deal with or have had to deal with major depression, major anxiety, extreme pain, etc. from my personal experience. Now one opiate addict may experience those feelings and are burdened with psychological issues to different degrees and different lengths of time but EVERY opiate addict I know including myself has gone through the same thing. I'm saying this to point out the fact that I had to realize I wasn't "special" or "different" (compared to other opiate addicts) for me to get better. I truly believe the philosophy often quoted on this forum about the fact that opiate addicts I have experienced who do not do well in treatment never start doing the same things that are working for other recovering opiate addicts. I was convinced that what worked for those who were successfully dealing with opiate addiction would not work for me because I thought I was different and what I had not realized that I wasn't different I'd still be miseralble. I certainly don't mean to minimalize your suffering and pain as I truly believe I can empathize with you. I've had to deal with depression and social anxiety as long as I can remember and the things that have actually helped were difficult at first but they are totally worth it. I don't know if you've tried any SSRIs but that's what really helped me. It sucked for the first 3 weeks or so as I ended up feeling worse than I did before starting on the medication but for some reason I had faith in what others who have experienced our disease told me and low and behold they were right! a little more than 3 weeks later my fear of people has decreased quite a bit that's not to say it's not there but it's alot easier to deal with now. I've actually enjoyed talking with people where as before I never knew what to say how to act, look, be. I was totally and absolutely convinced that everyone else wherever I went were judging me. That notion sounds pretty silly now looking at my experiences through a different perspective but what I guess I'm trying to say is that for me at least. I'm still blown away that things that used to be miserable for me to experience now make me feel good. I was convinced that I would never be able to enjoy talking with someone else so why should I bother doing what others have done to get better.....it won't work for me......I'm different.....I have different color eyes, I have had to deal with more terrible life situations and deaths, I feel pain more than other opiate addicts, list goes on and on but after giving up and being willing to give what helped others a try it worked. I was wrong I wasn't unique or special or different from other opiate addicts. I truly and sincerely hope you get to experience what it's like to enjoy more things in life as I have had as a result of listening those with more experience than myself. Having a conversation with someone I care about really makes me feel good :) I realized my life was terrible and that if I didn't find a way to make things better I should just kill myself and end the suffering.... That's a completely wrong belief after going through the things others told me to do. It's just so wonderful to be able to enjoy a few things in life! I can't even tell you how much I want the same to happen for you:)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:54 pm 
Excellent reply Matt2 and welcome Subcoz! It sounds like you've had some rough times with your addiction! We all do have our stories to tell, that's for sure. Some 'worse' than others depending on what or who's yardstick you're measuring by I suppose. The beauty is that no matter what your history is, whether you've got dual diagnoses going on or what....there's almost certainly someone in recovery who can very much relate to your particular situation.
I think what Matt2 said is so true....we have to stop thinking that we are so "different" than anyone else. The main thing we all share is our addiction and we can all relate to what that has done to our lives. We have to accept that in order to get better we have to get to the place of willingness to do as we're told by those who know better than us in recovery....whether that's a sponsor with lots of clean time or whether it's your doctor or therapist, whomever....if they know what works and what we've tried hasn't worked, who should we listen to? Probably not the voice in our heads that says "You're different, you're not like them, you can do it this way..." Right?
Sure, it's difficult, there will be trials along the way. Not everything will work exactly as it might for someone else, but by and large, the tried and true methods will work if we will follow the program of recovery set before us, whatever method we have chosen. Subcoz, I hope you'll give a good try to whatever your doctor is recommending, that you'll be able to stay on your Suboxone and follow the instructions for its use that your doctor has given you.
Hopefully, you'll be stabilized very soon on your medications and will continue to get better. Keep posting and let us know how you're doing.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:18 pm 
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I tried yesterday the 8mg and waiting till 3pm to take the other half of 8mg and it helped alot, I slept alot better last night, I see my suboxone doctor weekly so far and wish me luck, I hope he will move me up to 2 8mg subs daily so I can take one in morning and the other at 3 or so pm so I'm not suffering at night. I also see him the day before my birthday so bad news would just make me more depressed. I've been really emotional etc the past two days, probably part of the long process after all I've been through. I was blah yesterday, depressed, then ragefull feelling and no ambition, only good thing is I was not sleeping all afternoon.


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