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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 3:27 pm 
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I've just started on Suboxone for depression, and it seems/seems to be helping. Today is Wed, and I started on 1mg a day as of last Friday, so a total of six days. Just wondering how long most folks (who aren't already in w/ds from opiates, etc.) can take this before withdrawals become a serious issue (as opposed to just a hassle you get over in a couple days)? I'm willing to keep giving this stuff a try for depression, all other meds having failed, but I've been an alcoholic (sober from that since 2009, no cravings) and was recently prescribed opiates for a shoulder rupture and surgery (just quit that stuff a few weeks ago). So, Im all too aware of the dangers of addiction. I want to treat my depression, and Im willing to stay on any drug that works, but I'm trying to sort out where the fork in the road comes in - where you just say, thanks but no thanks, and quit, or you stay on it for awhile, and then have to deal with that whole other issue of getting off yet another drug (provided the depression isn't improved long term)... Every body is different, I know, but curious if there is a general consensus among those who have use Subox as to when it's still relatively easy to get off the train, and when w/ds are a major problem (titration or cold turkey), etc...


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:36 pm 
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Hi there, so speaking from my own experience (and only my own), I was on 8mg/day for about 60 days and jumped cold turkey with no withdrawals (at least that I remember or experienced as WDs at the time). I was then on 16/day for two years before dropping to 8 then jumping. WDs sucked this time (I'm 20-some days in). Now mind you I was an IV heroin user for two years before subs and even then I was able to induct on subs and cheat WDs (the first time...) so if you're mostly "opiate-naive" (ie, you don't have much if any baseline tolerance from prior use) you might luck out the first time you go off. The fact that you're prescribed 1mg --- which is very low --- makes me think you aren't opiate dependent and that should help. Also, frankly, being a recovering alcoholic as opposed to opiate user will make dealing with any WDs easier ---- the "cure" for them isn't your drug of choice and your drug of choice would in fact make them much much worse.

Also, that's surprising your doc is prescribing subs for depression without your having an underlying opiate addiction. My doc kept me on subs for depression long after I'd cleaned up off the dope and at the time it did seem to help me. Some people might give you shit or tell you not to take the subs because they're worse than depression. My guess is that people saying that have never been clinically depressed. So if you find that 1mg/day helps with depression and other meds don't, I would say do it, don't stress the WDs (which would be mild if anything, I'm guessing) and focus on feeling better. I'm happy to be off subs but I'm even happier to have been on them; I'd be dead from an OD or suicide without them.

Anyway, sorry for the rambling answer. I'm not a doctor, YMMV, caveat lector, etc., but it's important to keep things in perspective. Hang in there and let us know how you're doing.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:43 am 
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Withdrawal is the flip side of 'tolerance'-- the process that causes you to get less and less of an effect from opioids over time. Most people will develop tolerance by a couple weeks, at least to some extent. If you are taking a mg of bupenorphine each day, and NOT getting a strong opioid effect each time you take it, than I would expect you to have some amount of withdrawal.

Note-- the main reason I haven't used buprenorphine for depression alone is because one of the worst aspects of withdrawal is DEPRESSION. So if I ever did use it for depression alone, I would tell the patient that their best option is to stay on the drug for life-- since there is a strong chance of re-activating the depression if buprenorphine is stopped. Buprenorphine is very useful for depression, though, in people who also struggle with opioid dependence!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 3:53 pm 
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I'd really like to stay on 1mg - if anything, and if it's even possible after all the short term use of Subox, and I shoud note I usually get up around 3am and take my dose (I work from 0500-1:00pm) then don't go to sleep until about 8-9pm, that I seem to feel w/ds around noon (now) - almost similar to opiate w/ds. I do see this is almost impossible in reality, in that the half life of Subox is days, not hours (like Norco). I get some increased anxiety, slight memory issues, and slight confusion. Of course, when opiate w/ds were serious and at their worse for a few days, things were not as pleasant as those minor issues.

It does make me wonder, and perhaps someone knows... if you're taking 1mg of Subox, and the effect is similar to that of a short acting opiate, does it follow that one could experience Subox w/ds in that short a time? It would seem the answer is a clear cut "no" and that I must have some other anxiety or GAD issue going on, but I honestly don't know enough about Subox to know the answer. I know that when I've divided my doses, it seems to work better. I'd love to try .5 in the am and .5 in the early afternoon. Frankly, with my opiate tolerance, I'd wonder if going up - and not down - is the answer. OR, if having been an opiate addict, if the "I think I need to go up in dose" thought process is somehow drug-seeking behaviorm if only internally for now?

And to your point, yes, I do need to shelve my Subox withdrawal concerns when it comes to deciding on long term treatment from a depression angle. I don't know, but I'd guess my low dose and short treatment period wouldn't be too brutal as far as getting off it if it doesn't work.

Sorry, rambling a bit, not feeling too hot.


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