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 Post subject: Lilly's New Taper Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:43 pm 
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I decided to start a new taper thread really just to keep a record, which I did not do last time. Any comments or input are welcome.

As most of you know I'm stopping because the side effects for me are negatively affecting my quality of life. In a nutshell, I feel stoned, foggy, I crave sweets and have gained weight, I have very little affect or motivation, and my ability to experience sexual pleasure is diminished. All of these side effects disappeared almost immediately the last time I went off Sub.

Of course, the craving for opiates returned with a vengeance last time, but this time I am ready for it. I will be continuing my weekly Suboxne group + weekly urines and I have an excellent doctor. I am currently increasing my AD dosage. Also, I have several NA connections and plan to start working the steps more actively as I taper.

My strategy is to lower my tolerance by skipping days.
My start dose was 12-16mg/day
First 48 hours = 0 Sub
At the 48 hour mark took 4mg
Plan to stay at 4 mg for a couple of days then skip 2 more days.

I find that by skipping days my tolerance plummets, but I don't feel WD unless I go 3+ days without dosing.

Wish me luck as I'm really hoping to take control of my life again. I feel like the past 3 years have been in limbo. It was probably a necessary limbo, but now I'm ready to become more active, healthy and to begin pursuing goals again.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:35 am 
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Good Luck Lilly!!!!!!

I like the idea of tapering by skipping days. I've often wondered if the skipping days routine would be a better way to taper, maybe you'll be able to answer this for us.

Have you given any thought to short term Naltrexone use. Maybe take it just long enough to help you deal with the worst of the cravings?

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 Post subject: New Taper
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:06 pm 
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That is so awesome Lilly and I support you 100%. The way you explained how you feel day to day is just the same as me. My problem has been lack of motivation and of course the deep fear of not having anything to make me feel good.

I'll be watching your taper progress and taking notes on how you do. Your drops do seem quite large but if you are confident it will work then more power to you. The only time I tried skipping a day was when I was down to 1 mg. I surely felt the w/d's coming on the next day so I ended up dosing and forgetting that method. Then I got sick and etc, etc...

It does sound like you have all your recovery tools in order for success. I wish you the best.

Tom

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:31 pm 
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I'm with you Lilly! I'm down to 3 mg myself, but I'm on the steady and extremely slow approach. I'll be seeing how things go for you on this thread because I will take any wisdom and encouragement I can get!

Amy

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:13 am 
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We're all here for you, Lilly 8) 8) 8)

Good for you,,,, you've got GUTS......


I really wish you the VERY BEST
and I hope your side effects diminish AS you taper down, as well
they sure don't sound like ANY FUN

and THANKS for doing the thread/journal,,,,,,, you absolutely know how
priceless a good taper thread/journal is around here......... :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:11 am 
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Hi LillyVal,

My doctor also told me to increase my zoloft from 25mg up to 100mg yesterday. Sounds good to me

Is that a short sub taper from SAO (short acting opioid) you are doing, or is that from a consistent dose of 12mg to 0 over a few weeks.

I apologise, missing the back story,

matty


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:06 am 
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Thanks for your support guys.
Hopespring - to answer your question, I have been back on Sub for 6 mos. after a relapse. I am tapering from a daily dose of 12mg

Update:
I've had a head cold for a few days, which I really didn't take into account because it was mild. But yesterday I felt really crummy with a low grade fever, and as you can guess it felt like WD (the chills) so I took a 2nd dose of Sub later in the day. If it really had been WD that would have made me feel better, but it didn't - it was just like what had been discussed in Romeo's thread - how addicts react to being sick.

Anyway, I feel like I'm already f'ing up, but I have to stay on track. It's like when you're on a diet and you eat a piece of cake, you can't just throw in the towel. So here it is:

Day 1: 0mg
Day 2: 0mg
Day 3: 4mg
Day 4: 8 mg
Day 5: 4mg (today)

I'm thinking of slowing things down a bit and staying at a given dose for about 9 days before dropping again (the time it takes for a single dose to leave the body). Also, I didn't get to see my doc this week (group only) and I know she won't agree with this. She is the type to suggest going down 1mg a week or less. But to me the subjective difference between 12mg and 4mg is nothing. Tapering for me really doesn't start until 2mg.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:31 pm 
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I think you're smart to wait a little longer between drops. You have done this before and you know what to expect, so do it your way. But I do think that waiting a bit longer between drops is good.

I know what you mean about one piece of cake kind of spoiling the diet scenario. I do the "all or nothing" thing too. But I'm glad you're still going to move forward.

Amy

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:08 pm 
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I really dread posting this, but here it is. I met with my doc today and she was totally against me tapering. Now, I'm not in the habit of taking a doctors advice, but I really respect this doctor, and she brought up some good points. The main one was that I was struggling right before Christmas and I just had my dose increased. My feeling is that it was the holidays that were the stressor and that's over now. But she feels that I should have a stable period of not having any drug cravings before I go off. She said that most of her patients are at 16mg/day and don't report cravings. (my previous doctor pushed me to be on 16mg/day too). The thing is I feel like my cravings are purely psychological and don't have a physical component as long as I'm above the ceiling.

I'm really, really torn because part of me wants to get off Sub in a big way. But another voice tells me that I have NEVER followed the doctors advice since I've been on Sub. I've always taken as much as I thought I needed when I needed it. I know Dr. J would just cringe if he read this because he always says its about being able to follow directions and take exactly what is prescribed AS it is prescribed - and not be our own doctor. I also know that an objective person reading all of this would probably agree that it's not time. Some days I really hate that I've gotten myself into this mess. :evil:


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:21 pm 
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lilly,

I kinda agree with your doctor on this one. I'm not sure that you need 16 mg a day though.

I think that you should give yourself some stability before you taper.

I wish you could feel better on sub and accept that being on it is maybe what you have to do right now. I have had a good seven months now of stability but am no where near ready to taper.

It does suck that we got ourselves into this mess. I believe thre is a way out thoigh. A slow and steady way out.

Yoi know i'm pulling for you!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:07 pm 
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I honestly do not understand the idea behind skipping days as "helping" in tapering? Isnt that like cold turkey every couple days? If I even miss or come close to my normal dose I take now, I start feeling horrible. Why not try the micro tapering method? Minimize the symptoms as much as possible. The trick to me is getting serious, staying directional and believing this is the right thing to do. I have not read one person negative who has applied mirco tapering (reducing very slowly after they get to 2mg) then following their own body from that point on. A good tip is not tapering beyond .05 (or atleast 5 to 10% each drop)?

I dropped to 2mg by following the reduce 25% every 4th day process (see drugs.com for Robert's taper) till I got to about 3mg. Then I held on and stayed at 3mg level for a few weeks till I felt more stable then dropped to 2mg. The lower the dose, the more you feel it so I allowed my drops to be lesser and my stabilizing to be longer under 3mg. At one time, I did go back up to as high as 4mg when I was going through a "funk" period telling myself it was "ok" and that I went too fast. About 3 months later, I realized how better off I was at the lower dose then got back down to 2mg fairly quickly once I made up my mind (the fact I had already made it to 2mg at one time, helped greatly). then dropped to 1mg shortly after and have been at 1mg for about 6months. I think when you stay at a certain level too long, your body tells you. Being a woman, it is much harder (I believe, anyway) due to hormones, periods, etc.

My side affects are what is bothering me most now too. I too crave sweets, my ankles mysteriously swell (never did that before). I totally agree with you on sub I am not myself and believe Sub is the foundation for my weird anxiety and mood swings. Just read some of my other posts...I am all over the place.

I recently moved to the films so I can better manage my dosing below 1mg to more exact measurements (tried the liquid but failed), and as soon as I moved to the films, I now have the flu. So I am still at 1mg (but did move over to the films from subutex pills) so using this time adjusting to a different type of drug. I am not used to suboxone (with the nalexone) and do feel that makes me some what sleepier than subutex but overall feel ok. I just am trying to get out of the body aches and sore throat from the flu before going further. I too have played it in my head..is this the sub or am I really sick. I have determined I am really sick as I have sore throat and also have the body aches that go away when I take advil. yesterday I was in a bad sweat but today I feel much better as if my fever has broke. I also feel that any leveling out I needed to do with moving to the film has taken a turn too. I think my body was adjusting to the difference in bio-availability of the film (not sure if less or more) but feel much better today and it is day 4 on the films.

My plan is to taper lower on the tiny 2mg Suboxone "films" , I just ordered a rotary cutter, seamstress cutting board (has measurements on it to cut straight), and some other nifty tools to help me measure more accurately the film as I attempt to cut that baby tinier. Right now, I can get it to my normal dosing of .5/.5 (am/pm) but it sticks to my fingers, gets caught in my nails and is tedious at even that dose. So doing some investigating with tiny cutting tools.

I will also pursue the hole punch method (thanks to Amber) if it gets to that. Not there yet since I am not that low of dose. But still not sure how to evenly cut the holes even with that method once I need to cut those holes (tried using a razor blade yesterday to test on the film and it was a mess). This is where my rotary cutter may work great. I am hoping I will not need to go to the hole punch with that tool as it should cut very tiny straight edges from the film itself (I am praying) and I am hoping using the cutting board and good ruler will be able to do so with limited touching the film.

To me, this is the way to go. Skipping days sounds drastic and barbaric to me (this is just my opinion for myself, not you of course). Whatever floats your boat. Some people like just facing it head on.

BTW, Lily, you had mentioned on another thread you had no problems cutting a 2mg film 8 times evenly? I replied and asked you how you did this but never saw an answer? Would be interested in how you did that. For now, I have folded the films twice but I feel this is not good as I dont feel I should be touching the films (rubbing the drug off) and I also feel it is still difficult even this way as the crease isnt perfect and my nails get in the way. the ruler slips, I need two hands to keep the film from moving..so would love to hear how you did it? Again, I am hoping my issues go away once I get my rotary cutter but if you have another way to do it, please elaborate.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:08 am 
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Hi lillyval,


Please don't be upset, and please don't take my advice, unless it suits you.

I can only tell you what I know from what I have done.

There is no reason, you need to be on such a high dose, IMHO. And then try go CT, as it would be soul destroying, as you are finding.

You just need to find your magic number, and what i mean by that is an amount of bupe that sustains you, completely.
Then you need to stay on that dose for as long as you need till the cravings are gone, and attempt otherwise will be futile.

You need to treat the addiction, and have a constant dose, for as long as it takes, to get rid of your cravings.
For me 5 years at 10mg did this. But this was obviously too long, as i just forgot about bupe, and lived my life, and the next thing you know, 5 years has passed.

Once you have lost all cravings, then you are ready, to think about tapering, as per your docs requests.
Tapering can be done, without any cravings, I promise you, Time, is the factor,. It is as simple as that.
There is no rush, for you to risk your wellness.

You sound alot like me, and I think, if you just slow things down, you will do this easily.
Who cares if you have to stay on 10mg for another year or so. just get rid of those cravings first.
Get on with your life, and when you are ready quit, why not do it with out any pain, just like me.

I feel bloody amazing, after 14 days off bupe, I feel better than when i was on bupe.
This is possible, just don;t create such a big hurdle for yourself.

If i am wrong, then consider at least tapering to 2mg, and stay there before jumping,.
I know what it feels like to jump, as the memory, is like 14 days old. .04 mg was as hard as I would like it,
Don;t you deserve to be happy too?. Get on a stable dose, take it the same time every day, and your cravings will go.

I promise you, time, is your real enemy here.

I swear to you, that if i can do it, you can too.
I am after 14 days off, dancing around, happy as larry, and in the best mood for a long time.
This can happen to you, if things get too hard for ya.

HS
I really hope I have not upset you, or said the wrong thing.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:21 pm 
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Just to quickly clear up some confusion- I was only talking about skipping days on high doses. At 12 mg/day I can easily go 2-3 days without dosing and not feel any WD because SO much builds up in your system at high doses. Skipping days allows some of that build up to metabolize. If I felt any discomfort at all from it, I wouldn't do it. For me, 12mg is subjectively exactly the same as 4mg (i.e. I don't feel any different). My original plan was to taper quickly to 2mg and then do a slower taper from 2 to about 0.25 or so. I was NOT planning on jumping off from a high dose. This is the method I used when I went off Sub previously, and it worked very well for me.

Karen - to answer your question, all I ever did was cut the films in half, and in half again with a small, sharp pair of sissors. I just barely pinched the corner to hold it, and I just eyed it. When I got to cutting the 0.5 piece in half, I put it on a regular kitchen cutting board and cut it in half with a razor blade. I never went below 0.25. For me 0.25 felt like nothing so I just stopped there.

In Re: stopping at 0.25mg: I can't say I had any significan physical WD symptoms, other than feeling freezing cold. I did have a few sleepless nights, but was sleeping 6 hours by week 2. The worst of the WD for me was depression, ZERO energy, and feeling like I had lead weights strapped to my ankles. All this lasted a TOTAL of about 3 weeks, and then I wasn't 100% but I was at the point where I was feeling better most every day.

CURRENT TAPER: as of right this moment I am not actively tapering. I agreed, at my doctors request, to stay at 8mg for a couple of weeks. I really respect her, and for once in my life I am going to try to take some direction. When I went off Sub a year ago I had NO intention of ever going back on. I don't think anyone does. But yet, here I am. I want to do it right this time. I am going to stay with my doc and stay in my group AFTER I am off.

(For those who were here last time I went off, you know that I did it so fast because my Dr. lost his DEA #. I saw him exactly once after I went off to see if he could help me with the WD, and he suggested I go BACK ON SUB for the WD.). I also went to NA and got a sponsor, which helped more than I can tell you.

Before landing with this doc I went to a couple of Sub docs that we're real ASSHOLES. It scares the crap out of me that unsuspecting addicts that know nothing about Sub are going to rely on these people **shudder**
So I am taking my doctors advice, slowing things down, and looking at long term recovery, not just "getting off" which I am anxious to do. She is going to taper me off slowly, so I am looking at possibly early summer for a jump off, which is great as far as getting out in the sun, exercise and the like.
Thank you all for your support and suggestions,
Lilly


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:59 pm 
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Hi Lilly, I totally respect your decision and thank you for explaining the cutting. I was thinking of your situation after I posted and realized that at higher doses it the experience of tapering (and skipping) would be completely different. Kind of why I sailed from 8mg to 3mg fairly fast. Had some resistance between 3-2mg. What is interesting for me is I seemed to feel it alot from 3mg to 2mg, so I stayed at 2mg for along time. Then when I finally got sick of myself, made a decision to just go to 1mg (I just wanted to be at 1mg) - for me, it wasnt necessary to taper as I was on 2mg so long for some reason I just was ready. Believe it or not, my going to 1mg was actually pleasant. I had like one night of sweaty feel (that's it). The next day I felt like normal.

I was told that because I seemed to have alot of resistance at 2mg and stayed there so long I went through most of the withdrawal I would have had dropping sooner to 1mg (if that makes any sense). All I know it is one of the many mysteries of Sub.

I appreciate Lilly you are in NA. I am in AA (will have 5years in August). I have never been to NA but having a sponsor, and being dedicated as you are you are in the RIGHT PLACE. God bless on the rest of your journey.

Thanks again for writing back.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:36 am 
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That's true ... For some people, taking 12mg every 3 days has the same effect as taking 4mg every day. I think it largely depends on your metabolism how much you can get away with skipping days before feeling withdrawal effects.

Lilly, it's good to hear you're not giving up on the sub-free dream. Many people from this forum have gotten there, so it can't be such a stupid idea. Also, this time you know what's in store... you know there'll be cravings, and things will be hard, and you know how much vigilance you need in the post-Sub world.

These days I'm inclined to think that getting off Sub is an individual process. Some people find high-jumping is the only way, others do the slow and low thing.

The skipping days idea is interesting. I think that while you might not feel much withdrawal over those 3 days, to get by your body might be using some of its Sub "reserves" - all the stuff that's stacked away in your lipids and tissue. So it's possible you may find yourself more sensitive to reductions down the track because you won't have as much Sub in the backup-tank ... if that makes sense? But that's just me theorizing.

I wish you all the best!

tj


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