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 Post subject: Methadone to Suboxone?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 1:54 pm 
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I am on 80mg daily dose of methadone and have been for almost 2 months. I am thinking of switching to suboxone as I cannot stand the stringent rules the clinic places upon patients.

The doc that will be doing the suboxone for me told me to go 72 hours with no methadone then come in for induction and I will be dosed, etc.... Anyways a little back history

I was on methadone back in 1999-2002 I then became somewhat computer savvy and found out about suboxone so in 2002 I made the switch. At the time there where very few docs in my area who where prescribing it. Long story short I was on suboxone for 1 year. I tapered myself down to less than 1 mg and stopped went through the withdrawals and was fine for months, then I relapsed. I am sure many of you know how this story goes so here I am ready to get a hold of this addiction again. I should have known better and went straight away for the Subox. Doc. but I didn't have the funds at the time. They want $200 for induction then the cost of the meds. $6.75 per pill and then 60 a month there after for office visits not including medicine. The methadone clinic is 78.00 a week. I was abusing Norco/lorcet taking upwards of 15-30 pills a day depending upon my money situation daily.

Anyways I have always thought that 30mg methadone or less was the target dose before switching to Suboxone? The doc I talked with said he has successfully switched patients at doses 120mg+ just stop taking it for 72+hours and I will bee ok. Thoughts please. Thank you


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 4:16 pm 
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If this doctor makes the claim that he has done this switch successfully, only you can decide. I was also under the impression that one would need to get to as small a dose of methadone as possible before switching to Suboxone. The thing that stands out for me is that Methadone has an average half life of 24 hours, but upon long term use, it can last upwards of 45-50 hours in the system. So with all that in mind- ask questions, you never know what might happen until it happens to you!

Please let us know how it goes, your story helps others!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 2:09 pm 
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I don't know....this seems risky TO ME. I mean, I know he's the doctor, but you gotta go with your gut on this one. USUALLY they like you to be down around 30mg of methadone before you make the leap to Suboxone.

The good news is that the switch to Suboxone may be hard, but if you have too hard of a time you can jump right back on to methadone without any complicated formulas or even withdrawal period.....then you can start a fastish taper down to a more comfortable jump level like 30 or 40mg. The bad news is the precip withdrawal is a very real possibility in this case. You will, without a DOUBT, still have methadone in your system at 72hours. Methadone has an average half life of 24hours---so at 24 it will be like 40mg, 48 will be like 20mg and so on and so on. This isn't really accurate, but you get the general idea. Methadone is still ACTIVE in your system long after the effects have warn off and withdrawal from methadone usually doesn't really even start until day three or four.

I had a friend who was really pissed off at her clinic because SHE tested positive for illicit benzo use and they took her takehomes--I mean, how horrible of them, right? :wink: Anyway...she decided to just jump OFF at 200mgs.:shock: She slept for three days and woke up thinking that it would be a good time to switch to subs. She went inpatient and they tried to induct her and she went on the hell ride of her life. All because she refused to ACCEPT THE REALITY of her situation and just do what she needed to do to get well without all the drama!

Needless to say she went into precipitated withdrawal. They gave her anxiety meds and toradol shots and got her through it, but she had to spend the next ten days pretty sick, getting methadone serum levels and just waiting for the levels to be low enough for her to be inducted on to subs.....and on the 10th day they were finally low enough for the switch to subs. She loves the freedom of being on suboxone (no clinic stringent rules and invasive control over her life) and for the most part she's doing pretty well....about the same as she was doing on methadone, without the hassel of the clinic.

What I am getting at is that she went through a total of 13days in withdrawal (one of those in intense precipitated withdrawal)....ran up an enormously huge rehab and detox bill and had to be in a locked ward away from any family or support...all because she refused to DEAL with her situation and instead raged against it in a vain attempt to show "them" (I guess them would be the clinic>?) that she could do whatever she wanted.

Now your no way near 200mg and you would not need 10days....but what I am saying is that it may be safer just to slow down because, as I know you know, we can't always have what we want, the minute we want it. Sometimes we have to sit back and wait. If I were you I would at the very least, consider doing a two week deal where you drop 5mg a day on your dose until your down to 30mg or even 20mg---hold there for a few days and then wait at least 48hours to make the jump.

I AM NOT A DOCTOR--but the idea of precipitated withdrawal while on methadone is so scary to me that I would not be willing to take the risk, especially when there is a better way, it will just take a little longer. :?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:21 pm 
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I am a 58 year old woman and I came off after nothing for 2 days but I was still up to 70mgs. of methadone, Have your Dr. give you something to help you sleep the first week and all will be fine. Good Luck ! Saboxone has been a blessing, there is no getting high but it gives you back your sanity!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:57 pm 
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Thank you all for the replies, each one has been very helpful.

Now some good news. I called around and found my old doctor who had me on Suboxone the first time years ago. She told me to come in and pay 125 dollars for first visit not including the blood work, which if I remember rightt was 30 dollars years ago, and she will wean me down from the methadone to 30 mg or lower then make the switch. I am so glad I called her. She is a very compassionate doc. After the initial $125 it is only $30 a month for visits. Now I always thought it was illegal or against some rules for a doctor to prescribe methadone to treat addiction. Maybe there is a loophole allowing her to take over and wean me down. Either way I called around to some pharmacies and found out that 120 10mg Methadone pills are a whopping....$28 dollars on the high end and get this, $19 dollars on the low end. Now me being on 80mg I would need double that so 240+ pills but you get the point. I am not sure how she will plan on weaning me down I am just so gratefull to know there are compassionate Docs. out there that are not in it for the money so to speak like some I have seen charging upwards of $500 for the first visit then $150 or more per month after not including meds.

So my appointment is in 2 weeks, wish me luck and I will keep up and let you guys know how it goes, etc.....


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