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 Post subject: how did you cope ?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:37 am 
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Hello all, I'm going into my second week of Suboxone therapy and like a lot of you. I have and still am experiencing the nasty side effects of it. But the reason for me posting is because I'm curious as to how people cope with the unwanted side effects. I specifically asked the doctor about this. I wanted to whether the side effects eventually subside or go away altogether. He told me that it should eventually. But I think he's just saying that because it's what I wanted to hear. But I'd rather he told me that truth. That I will always experience the side effects because that is the "nature of the beast."


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 Post subject: Re: how did you cope ?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:16 am 
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Hi and welcome Tecumseh,
What sort of side effects are you experiencing? Fortunately, I had no side effects to speak or nothing specific to suboxone and it has pretty much continued that way.
In saying that, it's not unusual to have some initial sides and I often read that some subside after a period of time. As your body adjust to this strong medication, hopefully things level out for you.
Also, some have had some relief by lowering their dose under the guidance of their DR but I wouldn't be too quick to do this as it's still very early days, give yourself time to get used to it.
Hope things improve, feel free to talk more about what your experiencing


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 Post subject: Re: how did you cope ?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:38 am 
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Tecumseh,

Two things: First, what is you dose? Some doctors, such as mine, start patients out at an unnecessarily high dose. Many people respond well to an initial dose of 4-8mg, or even less. Of course, this is something you would need to discuss with your doctor. The other thing, I had bad headaches when I first started Suboxone, which responded to ibuprofen and acetaminophen. This gradually went away as my body adjusted.

Keep us posted,
Morphing


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 Post subject: Re: how did you cope ?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:55 am 
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Most of the people I've treated over the years described few if any side effects. Suboxone and other buprenorphine drugs works specifically at mu opioid receptors, and most people starting buprenorphine drugs have been on mu-receptor drugs for years. The side effects, then, are similar to the effects they received from opioids: constipation mainly.

If you were on methadone or fentanyl you couldl have symptoms caused by the transition from those meds to buprenorphine. It takes a week or two for your system to clear methadone or fentanyl, so the symptoms will last about that long.

If you had a very high tolerance, you will have mild withdrawal symptoms for a week or so. If you were taking opioid agonists right up to the time you induced, you may have precipitated withdrawal... but that condition never lasts all that long.

Give us some greater details----


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 Post subject: Re: how did you cope ?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:29 pm 
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Thanks for the reply guys.

Like I mentioned, this is just my second week of being on suboxone. I've been using and abusing vicodin for over a decade. Just vicodin, no oxy,fentanyl,methadone or H. I tried oxy but it just made me sick. Vicodin was my drug. But, I decided that it's time to QUIT!!!!
I looked for a clinic here in San Francisco and came across BAART (Bay Area Addiction & Research Treatment)
My first initial dose was 8 mg. I took it in front of the dr. After letting the tablet dissolve under my tongue. During the time, I didn't know to spit out the excess saliva in my mouth. As a result, I ended up being very nauseous and threw up about 4 times on the way back home. And then the side effects kicked in:

This were the initial side effects:
1. Dilated pupils.
2. Numb tongue, mouth and jaw.
3. Loss of taste. Can't even last water.
4. Loss of voice.
5. Blurred. double vision.
6. Feeling warm & cold at the same time.
7. Nausea. Wanting to throw up.
8. Can't smell. It's like my nose is clogged, but they're fine.

After my initial dose, I momentarily stopped taking the suboxone. After about 2 days, I got cravings for vicodin. And tried the suboxone again. But this time, I only took 2 mg. And after I put the tablet under my tongue, I keep spitting out my saliva. This helps with wanting to throw up. But I am still experiencing the nasty side effects. But it definitely helped with the vicodin craving. After 3 days of dosing with 2mg, I had a follow up appointment with the doctor. He then told me to up my dose to 4 mg. So, that's what I've been taking for at least a week now.
Like I mentioned, it definitely helps with getting rid of my craving for vicodin. BUT the side effects are killing me.

Secondary side effects:
1. Constipation. I'm taking Miralax, it helps.
2. Excessive night sweats. I have had to change clothes 2-3 times a night. Also have to change the bed sheets because they get soaked with sweat.
3. Loss of taste. Still can't taste water or coffee.
4. Muscle cramps. Leg cramps.
5, Migraine headaches.
6. Nausea.
7. Dry, very red eyes.
8. Dry mouth. Gnashing teeth. Sore lower jaw.
9. Numbness on patches of skin.
10. Itchy scalp.
11. Pimples.
12. Goose bumps.
13. Heart pain or heart burn.
14. Feeling extremely warm.
15. Feeling shell shocked. Like I'm wearing a helmet.
16. Tinnitus.
17. Frequent urination. Even at night, I have to get up a couple of times to pee.
18. Dark colored urine.

I think I covered most of the side effects that I'm experiencing. Now, I don't know if this is normal. But, I never experienced any of this while taking vicodin.


Last edited by Tecumseh on Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: how did you cope ?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:09 pm 
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That sounds really nasty man. And slightly unusual as well.

At first I thought you might be experiencing some precipitated withdrawal reaction, but if you haven't taken vicodin for weeks and are still experiencing this, all I can assume is it's some kind of allergic reaction.

The side-effects I experience are nowhere near the magnitude of what you're going through, but the way I minimise my side-effects is to take the lowest dose possible that managed my cravings.


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 Post subject: Re: how did you cope ?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:31 pm 
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I too initially had some of these on bup. Extreme waves of piloerection (goosebumps), soaked pjs and bedding (I changed to dry pjs but changing the bed woke me up too much so instead I slept on the dry side of the bed), bad headaches, taste issues... My doc and I sort of decided that my sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous systems had an overreaction to the change from full to partial agonist, but we really did not know. If I remember, its the sympathetic that does the sweating and migraines and the para that does the dry eyes/dry mouth, taste and digestion issues. It really did get better and w/in 2 wks most were no longer present.

I'm sorry this is your experience and you are having a hard time. I hope your exposure to these symptoms is short and that soon you will be feeling so much better! You are engaging in important efforts by starting and choosing bup.

We had a young guy on here recently w hx of polydrug use w H, now 2 years off bup, who had knee pains, sweats, felt crumby and was sure it was bc of bup. Turns out he had TB. So I reread your history and see you have no injection history suggesting the sweats might be that. My 2 cents is if these symptoms continue, to consider a medical review. Not sure if this applies; some men have low-T issues w long term opiate use.

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Did well on Suboxone. Stopped May 2011.
Stopping went well -- its the staying stopped -- where the real work begins.
Coming here 'keeps recovery green'.


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 Post subject: Re: how did you cope ?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:00 pm 
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Hey there Pelican. Thanks for your reply. That is very encouraging. Means I'm not the only person whose experiencing these nasty side effects. Hopefully, my symptoms start diminishing. I find it really weird that it's affecting me this badly.
Also, I agree with you on taking the smallest dose possible. That is why I started out taking only 2 mg of Suboxone. But the doctor told me to up my dose to 4 mg. This was after I told him about all of the side effects I was experiencing. My next appt. is this Friday.


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 Post subject: Re: how did you cope ?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 2:21 am 
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So today, I told the doctor about the side effects. I told him about the severe night sweats. He said that I'm still experiencing withdrawal symptoms. He asked me how much suboxone I'm taking, I told him I'm taking 4mg. He told me to take at least 8mg. So now, I would be taking 4mg in the AM and another 4mg at night.
He also mentioned that he normally puts patient between 8mg - 16mg. Seems kinda high to me.


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 Post subject: Re: how did you cope ?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:08 am 
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Update!

Going into my 4th week. Currently taking 8 mg. I take 4 mg. in the morning and 4 mg. in the evening. My thoughts so far........................................................................
It alleviates my craving for Vicodin but not entirely. It definitely helped with the RLS that I get every time I don't take Vicodin. Thankfully, some of the side effects have disappeared.
But I'm still dealing with:
1. Still can't taste water. Can't really taste much of anything. Excessive saliva, I have constantly spit it out.
2. Dilated pupils.
3. Night sweats. Still have to change clothes 2-3 times a night.
4. Trouble sleeping. Waking up every 1-2 hours.
5. Frequent urination. Dark colored urine.
6. Stomach cramps.
7. Leg cramps.
8. Loss of smell.
9. Migraine, diminished frequency.
10. Very red eyes.
11. Itchy scalp. But no dandruff. Just constantly itching.
12. Pimples/boils.
13. Blushing.


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 Post subject: Re: how did you cope ?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:50 am 
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I'm no doctor but the dark coloured urine doesn't sound good at all. Isn't that a symptom of liver distress? It might be worth getting your bloods done just in case?


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 Post subject: Re: how did you cope ?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:23 pm 
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Hello, I just wonder if you could still be experiencing withdrawl symptoms? You said you got some relief when you went from 4 to 8mgs. Maybe talk with your doctor again and see what he says. I hope that you get some relief soon!


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 Post subject: Re: how did you cope ?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:22 am 
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Thanks for the reply you guys.

I should've been more specific. When I say dark urine, what I really meant to say was "darker than normal." But not really dark, dark urine. More like Mello Yello or a light colored beer. I do know that one of the signs of a failing liver is dark colored urine. So, I think I will need to have the doc give me a blood test.

And yes, the Suboxone definitely helps take away my craving for Vicodin. But sometimes, when I'm really experiencing a stressful situation. I do feel the craving for Vicodin gets stronger.

As far as my doctor. He's gone for a couple of weeks. My last appointment was Mar. 4. My next appointment with him is Mar. 25. I will definitely ask him about withdrawal and if I'm still going through it. And also about these symptoms.

I was going through the previous posts and looking thru them. Seems the side effects are really far-ranging. Suboxone affects people in all sorts of ways.


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 Post subject: Re: how did you cope ?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:47 am 
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Hi! I hope your feeling better. My biggest issue with sub is it seems to really dry me out, some of those symptons sound like dehydration to me, gatorade and water with a real lemon, yes squeeze the whole lemon in, did wonders for me

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 Post subject: Re: how did you cope ?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:41 am 
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Hey Tec,
Hope your feeling some relief. I agree with pugmommy that it could be dehydration. If you find adequate hydration is not the culprit and your concerned, get your LFT's done.
I have liver cirrhosis and currently have no symptoms. It just means I have significant scarring on my liver, but thankfully It is not presenting any functional issues. I did however have signs before I got rid of hep c. Thankfully, eliminating the cause means I will not likely progress to liver failure, provided my lifestyle is on the healthy side. The liver is an amazing organ! You would never know I have cirrhosis. I was diagnosed at age 40 almost 2 yrs ago.
One side you mentioned struck me a little. I had ridiculous excess saliva when WD from Methadone. Like someone mentioned, typically with opioids we experience dryness.
I'm guessing some of this is the transition from your DOC to bupe. It sounds like you have been in wd and your dose was possibly too low. Now you have some time on your side, fingers crossed things level out soon! Take care and stay in touch!


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