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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 8:25 am 
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Hi all,
Been reading the posts on here and thought I would post my experience with jumping off subs, so far. By the time I stopped using pills I was doing ~300mg of oxy's each day, was a lot for me. I decided to go the suboxone route to give me time to get away from that lifestyle for a while without having to go through the bad WD's.

So, I was on a max of 20mg of suboxone (sublingual films) and have tapered down to 1mg/day over about a five month period. Total time on suboxone form quitting pills - 1 year.

I'm currently on day 6 of no subs, the withdrawal has been different than it was from the pills. For me, the sweats and goosebumps almost don't exist but I have been sneezing like crazy, not a big deal. BUT, the real issue for me.........I haven't slept more than 30 minutes at a time for almost 6 days now. Total sleep each night ranges between 0 and 1 hour and when I do sleep it isn't exactly quality sleep time.

Anyone have any ideas on ways to help sleep better? I'm not really interested in sleeping pills (Ambien, etc.) since I don't want to become dependent on those. But, the more days I stay awake the more i think about them. I'm dying for a decent nights sleep! I've tried Melatonin tablets but they didn't help.

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 9:09 am 
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Hello almostfree and welcome. Have you asked your doctor for some Clonidine? It's a BP med, but quite often is used to treat opiate withdrawals. It won't erase your symptoms completely or put you to sleep, but it will make you feel better.

How do you feel about trying OTC sleep aids? Why not start with something like that? It's a small step before jumping straight into prescription meds. Plus if you do have to resort to rx meds, you don't have to go directly to something so strong as Ambien (which is a type of benzo, I believe).

Another thing that really helps w/d and will help you sleep is, believe it or not, exercise. Not only does it release your natural endorphins, which is exactly what you need, but a good workout (if you can do it), can really tire you out to help you sleep.

I do know (even though I'm still on sub), that insomnia is a pretty normal w/d symptom for sub w/d. It seems to be a common thing for most people here going through sub w/d.

Hot baths also do wonders for you and help you to relax.

I know this doesn't sound like much, but every little bit helps. Try not to sit around waiting to feel better. The more active and busy you are the better. Distract yourself at every chance you get!

You're doing great so far...keep up the good work and again, welcome to the forum.

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 9:24 am 
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Thanks hatmaker,
I have tried OTC (Tylenol PM), 2 tablets, and I just sat there, awake,in a deeper haze than I was in before!!! It was maddening so I decided I wouldn't try that again for a while. I have been doing the hot bath and light exercise and that is helping a bit. I didn't try the clonidine thing since I heard there were some side effects from that, like extreme lethargy (which sounds good right about now!)

Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it. I think for now I may try to wait this thing out for while and see what happens. I'm so looking forward to being completely clean after 10 years of using that I hate to take another potentially habit forming drug to help me out. I figure my body is going to figure this out on its own and I will start sleeping, a little bit at first, and then more towards the 10-12 day mark.

Thanks again,


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 9:29 am 
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Clonidine isn't habit forming at all and it will certainly take the edge off. I'm sure others who have used it (for months) through their w/d period will come along and share their experience.

Also, there are other sleep meds that don't cause dependence. I take one called Trazodone. It's an older, atypical antidepressant, but is hardly ever used for that these days. It's most often used for sleep currently. It works really well for me. So if you get REALLY desperate and decide to ask your doctor for something that's not habit forming, you could speak to her/him and ask about that or other similar such options.

Lack of sleep the way you describe can really mess with a person's mind - in a big way. If it gets bad, you might have to ask for something.

I wish you continued good luck. I'm sure others will come by and reply soon.

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 11:20 am 
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I had the same sleep issues you had. I finally got some Clonidine and I went from an hour or so of sleep per night right up to almost 4 hours, then to 5 hours. I took Clonidine for months and months and months and I stopped taking it without any issues. I think I cut back my dose for a week, then stopped altogether.

Clonidine, like Hat said, is a BP medicine. Clonidine calms the sympathetic nervous system and has a sedative effect. It is in no way addictive.

You could also try Promethazine. It's an antihistamine, but antihistamine's are pretty well known for their sedative effects too. Promethazine knocks a lot of people on their asses because it has such a strong sedative effect.

Good luck!

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 12:40 pm 
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I know you said you don't want to take pills, but if it gets bad, and you do decide to try some, here are some over the counter remedies that help me:

Benadryl - Helps me go to sleep, but I usually wake up after about 4 hours or so.

Unisom - Same as above.

Sleepy Time Herbal Tea - I've noticed that when I drink this before bed, that when I wake up in the middle of the night, I usually go back to sleep easier. At first I thought it might be a placebo effect, but I tried it for a while, and it seemed to help on more than just a couple occasions, so I think it really does help some.

Tension Tamer Herbal Tea - Same as above.

I still have sleeping problems even with all of these. I try to alternate them so I don't get dependent on any one of these. I also try to go a couple night per week without taking anything, but I am usually up most the night when I do that. I've been trying for many years, and I still haven't found a way to get a full nights rest more than one or two nights in a row without Rx meds.


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 Post subject: REPLY FROM SLIPPER
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 1:15 pm 
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I know there are many on the forum here that do not like this med., but I take serequel for sleep. It really does help me to go to sleep. I take 100mg. but the dose ranges from 25mg.-400mg. This drug is an anti hypnotic...and is non-addictive.
Just thought you might want to try it. You will need a script from your Dr.

thanks,
Slipper

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 2:43 pm 
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Slipper, you said seroquel was an anti-hypnotic.....does that mean someone on seroquel can't be hypnotized? If so, COOL!!! I hate it when people try to hypnotize me and try to get me to do stupid things, now all I gotta do is take some seroquel and I'll be hypnotize proof!!

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 2:55 pm 
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Actually, "Hypnotic (also called soporific) drugs are a class of psychoactives whose primary function is to induce sleep and to be used in the treatment of insomnia, and in surgical anesthesia." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnotic). Seroquel (Quetiapine) is listed on that page as a hypnotic.

If I'm reading correctly, and I do admit to skimming it, Seroquel isn't an ANTI-hypnotic, but a hypnotic.

I'd never heard of that class of drugs before, that's why I looked it up. It also includes lots of others including anti-psychotics (of which Seroquel is one) and benzos. Practically anything that makes one sleep!

They gave it to my husband once for sleep at the lowest dose and that poor man was knocked out for over 24 hours. Sheesh, never again!

Just wanted to clarify.

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 4:45 pm 
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I wanna be knocked out for 24 hours. I'm tired of staring at the ceiling all night and being up 20+ damn hours a day!!


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 4:54 pm 
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Clonodine is not physically addictive, but it does cause rebound tachycardia, especially with prolonged use. It's not really meant to be used for long periods of time for opiate detox. It can help if you're having panic attacks and extreme anxiety, but it won't take away symptoms like sneezing, akisthesia, stomach problems, etc.

I'd personally recommend hydroxyzine (brand name Atarax), a small dose of clonodine, and OTC Immodium. At doses above 20 mg, Atarax should knock you out for at least a few hours, stop sneezing, and help with RLS and anxiety.


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 2:53 am 
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Thanks for all the replies, I appreciate everyone sharing their experiences and comments. I'm entering day 7 of almost no sleep so my mind is warping in ways that I don't really want anymore. The weirdest part of all is how functional I am during the day, I went to work today and did pretty good apart from periods of extreme fatigue.

So, for tonight I'm trying Benadryl to see if it pushes me over the edge of sleep. If that doesn't work tonight I'm going to go get Clonidine tomorrow and try a small dose of that.

Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 6:19 am 
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Opioid withdrawal was the only thing that seroquel couldn't touch I found. Only high doses of seroquel managed to help me sleep while in withdrawal and even then it wasn't for very long. But the good thing about seroquel was it gave some appetite back, so I wouldn't lose too much weight from the detox.

The only real effective medication for sleeping in withdrawal I've found are benzos, probably because they relieve the other side-effects that contribute to the insomnia ie aches and anxiety. Though benzos have their own issues of course.

If you do have seroquel, or any other sedating anti-psychotic (they're neurotoxic by the way) I'd recommend taking it in a really warm bath so you're comfortable and a bit relaxed, then the moment you feel it kicking in get to bed, because if you don't fall asleep when they start to work and the wave passes you by there'll be no hope.


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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 1:23 am 
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Im sorry you cant sleep, it was the worst part of sub wd for me too. I tried everything, except gor ambien, and nothing really worked too well for me. Im at about day 40 off subs and I think it just takes time. Anihistamines give me a numb tingling feeling in my arms and legs in high doses. Seroquel made me gain too muvh weight but did help a little to sleep. Just give it time and it will slowly get better. Make yourself workout till you cant workout anymore and it will help speed up the process.


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 Post subject: Getting better
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 9:03 pm 
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Thanks for the replies, things are getting better for me. Two nights ago I got three hours straight sleep and last night was 5 straight hours, I can live with that. Took some Benadryl and that seemed to help just enough to get me over the edge.

Good luck all.....


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