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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 4:31 pm 
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I'm brand spanking new to this forum and I LOVE all the support everyone gives/receives here - what a blessing!

I'm hoping to get everyone's thoughts on long-term side effects and just general thoughts/comments on my situation which I will be very brief in describing!

My Background:
Unlike most opioid addicts, I got addicted to them "intentionally" believe it or not, as a method of coping with a hard breakup with a girlfriend. I had never taken opiates before in my life but a couple days after my breakup I went into my parents medicine cabinet for Tylenol and saw a bottle that said "Hydrocodone (Generic For Vicodin)". I had heard of Vicodin but didn't know exactly what it did so I immediately went to the computer to research it and read that it made people "happy" so I wasted no time in taking one 5MG pill. About an hour later I noticed my sorrow was removed and I ended up buying a bunch of it online and believe it or not I was very disciplined(at first) with only taking one in the morning and one in the evening and that got me through 3 months of the breakup. Unfortunately, as predicted it wasn't so easy to just voluntarily take away my daily "happiness" and I ended up at a max daily dosage of 40-50MG after 2 years. Long story short, I ended up on suboxone which helped with withdrawals but unfortunately made me very moody and depressed so after a couple months I was switched to SUBUTEX which literally stopped the moodiness and depression that suboxone caused. I'm only making a point of this because I knew something was different with me on suboxone and after researching more I realized that a very small percentage of subuxone users had bad effects because of the naloxone which led me to search out Subutex after reading about users who experienced the same issues. To my suprise, I was told by many doctors that subutex and suboxone are essentially the same thing(minus naloxone) and that subutex had the same side-effects as suboxone. I was lucky enough to find one doctor who would switch me to subutex and it was literally NIGHT AND DAY. I'm not kidding when I say the day I switched to subutex I started noticing relief from moodiness/depression and once suboxone was out of my system and using subutex I was a different person and everyone noticed as well.... Needless to say, I have been on it way too long...

While I was only on vicodin for 2 years, I have been on subutex for 5 years which leads me to some questions:

1. The longer I am on subutex, the more I realize that my MEMORY is completely shot. I can't remember things that happened yesterday and it is now known with family/friends that I have such a bad memory that they need to remind me of things much more often..... I had perfect memory before all of this... Does anyone have the same issue?
2. My sexual interest had gone way down and I'm wondering if this is normal? And does anyone know if I will gain it back once I quite subutex?
3. Only today on this forum did I read about CLONIDINE for withdrawal symptoms - Does it work as well as people say it does? I am still on 8MG a day after 5 years and struggle just to get to half that....
4. Since buprenorphine is a fairly new drug, is it known what long-term side effects could be?
5. The reason I can't quit Subutex is because I cant control taking only lower amounts and I've tried to have my wife do it but I just end up being awful to her once I decide I need more. Does anyone know if there is some sort of pill "safe" that ONLY dispenses meds at a certain time and per day so I can load it up and throw away the key so I have no choice but to wait for each dispensing from the pill "safe"? I have considered just going to an outpatient facility for a week where they force me to quit. I know it can be over $20k for that but I have no problem with that if it works.


Any thoughts or suggestions are so appreciated!


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 8:39 pm 
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Hey Sami, glad you found us and welcome to the forum.
This is a great place to find the best information on everything about Buprenorphine. Aka, Suboxone and Subutex.
The Drs you talked with are correct, there ready isnt much difference between subutex and suboxone, the only active ingredient in both is Buprenorphine. The naloxone was put in to stop IV drug users from shooting it. Basically they are the same. I dont doubt you felt different on subutex, some do as ive read. I have taken both and they seemed to work as they were intended. But, hey everyone is different ..
Its good that you found suboxone sence you couldnt stop the painpill addiction .
As far as memory loss gos, yes it can be a side effect in people. It is listed on the side effects from rhe makes of the medicine. I have some loss myself. If you do stop taking bupe or taper down aways, your mind should right its self over time. OOther that have stopped treatment have stated this.

Your sex life can come back too. All opiates including Buprenorphine lower the testosterone levels in the body.
A dr could help with this side effect. There are many products on the market these days.

Clonidine is used off label for opiate wd. Ive never used it as of yet, but it can curb some of the Wd simptoms addicts have to go though. It is a blood pressure med. There are many people here on the forum who have used it with success.You will need to get this from a dr also.

Buprenorphine has been in use for decades in Europe and for addiction here in the States over ten years. Loug term effects seemly havnt been proven to be negative or loug lasting from what ive seen . I personally know people who have taken bupe in the 7 to 9 year period who say they are fine. This id my experience anyway.

So you are having trouble tapering? It can be a problem if you arent sure your ready to stop. You almost have to hate this stuff to stop taking it. You can see or read that in this very forum. I know of no other way to dispense meds other than though another person. Maybe somebody else in your life besides your wife could help you.
It takes a stroug will to not reach for more while tapering. You just have to make up your mind to do it, and do it
slowly.
Maybe a inpatient facility would be a place to start.
Sam, you just have to want to do this more than anything..

Keep reading on here, so much good info from others and also go over to the Talkzone where Dr junig writes his blog.
Great facts there too....


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:48 pm 
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Good comments from Razor. I'd add that buprenorphine has been around for over 30 years, if you count the days before use for opioid dependence. It has been used for pain since the early 1980's, and for addiction, in larger doses, since the 1990's in Europe, and since 2003 in the US. There are no known long-term side effects EXCEPT a lowering of testosterone in men, which occurs with ALL opioids. The effects of buprenorphine are less significant than the effects of opioid agonists.

Memory is so subjective... as I've written before, if you truly think you have a memory problem, see a neuropsychologist and measure the problem, if it truly exists. At least that way you can see if things change over time. People tend to feel less 'smart' when they are less intellectually-challenged. In other words, do the crossword puzzle each day!

Some people drive themselves crazy over stopping Suboxone... I recommend using it until the time comes when you can control what you take, and you don't need someone controlling your meds. That time WILL come-- but it may take a few more years. In the meantime, all evidence suggests you are safer on buprenorphine, than starting a will-power battle with opioid agonists.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:14 am 
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@razor,@admin1 - thank you for your comments very much. They are very helpful... The other problem with me quitting subutex is that since going on subutex my chronic depression has mostly GONE AWAY and I am terrified to be depressed like I have been at times in my life. Does subutex HELP with depression?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:57 am 
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Many patients taking buprenorphine, report that it helps with their depression. I believe that it helps with mine as well. There's actually a company studying and working on a formulation containing buprenorphine to treat depression, I think it's(the company), called Alkermes?


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