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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:35 am 
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I have been on suboxone since early may. I started out at 4mg and increased to 6mg after the first two weeks. I have been on suboxone 3 times previously and each time I feel I experience two main side effects, loss of ability to experience pleasure and an increase in what could possibly be an underlying anger problems.

The loss of ability to experience pleasure, or rather "lessening of", I feel very acutely in my everyday life. I don't seem to enjoy music as much or the same kind of music, I don't appreciate nature as fully as I usually do (I even appreciate it more when I'm in withdrawal than on sub.), and I don't feel like I can connect with people as fully as I used to be able to (lack of empathy). I feel disconnected (not in a euphoric way like other opiates) from my reality sometimes.

Which brings me to the second side effect, an increase in anger (feelings of aggression). Normally (with all opiates out of my head for at least 6 months including sub) I am a very very relaxed chill person who doesn't take anything personal. On suboxone (every time four times total) I feel agitated often (certain times of the day more than others corresponding to when my blood levels of bupe would be the lowest) and I often have aggressive outbursts towards annoying people who I would normally have a ton of tolerance for. This aggression has become a problem, my family has noticed it and so have two of my coworkers.

Normally I hate to attribute any side effects to a medication, I think it's a cop out 75% of the time. But in this case there is to much evidence: four different times, the same side effects, different dosages and manufactures, all side effects disappeared once usual consumption of "normal" opiate analgesics was resumed.

I have a few more side effects I'm still trying to work out if they are related to medication or not; tooth sensitivity, sensitivity to touch (certain textures), and rapid weight loss (lost 30lbs in one month, month #3 of being on sub), but I don't want to start attributing every shitty thing that happens to me on a medication that has helped me so much!

Sorry for the long post. Let me know what you guys think, open to any ideas/suggestions!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:05 am 
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The side effects ur describing like the ability to not experience pleasure, can't connect with ppl and feeling disconnected, an increase in anger..... these things seem like a bit of depression/anxiety or something. Is it possible u had these symptoms during active addiction and it's just coming to light now?

I also think it's very important to get counseling and meetings because a lot of us feel an enormous amount of guilt when we stop our doc. Some of ur issues could have to do with old feelings u need to work through like guilt, shame and everything else. We put ourselves through some bad stuff out there and those memories don't just go away, we got to find a way to work through them. We were used to one thing consuming our mind and not much room for anything else.

I feel major feelings on buprenorphine. I love nature more so now than I ever have in my adult life. I cry when I'm sad or upset and I laugh a lot. We are all different and medications can effect everyone different. I'm sure buprenorphine doesn't effect everyone the same as far as side effects go. Since being out of active addiction and being too consumed with my next fix to even call and check on my kids, I'll take whatever side effects come my way. That's how I've always looked at it.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:17 am 
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I agree with the irritability thing. I have noticed it at different stages of my treatment, usually when I"m on higher doses. When I was in a relationship with a partner who was also on Suboxone, we found ourselves fighting more than usual. In the end we both attributed it to being "bupe cranky".

However I do feel this is something that can be attributed to opioids in general. There have been times on heroin where I've become quite intolerant and irritable.

I also agree about the music thing. This is particularly noticeable when you get off Suboxone, how much music resonates with your emotions to the point a song can bring on both joy and tears. This isn't just Suboxone. It's opioids in general.

However I've come to learn to live with these things, to the point where I barely notice them anymore. Obviously it's a small price to pay for stability in life.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:15 am 
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Thanks for the replies. I have been swamped at work I just got a change to log in.

So I already know that I have underlying depression issues, I have been through many programs and treatment centers over the years, I've gotten very good at identifying when I'm in a depressive mood or I'm not. I think part of the problem is I'm comparing every day sub life to the nearly heartbreaking joy I experience when I'm off opiates for a couple days and can re-experience life almost for the first time. I'll here a song I've hear a hundred times and in wd it will make me cry happy tears.

Unfortunately I just pay a dr. and he writes a script. No counsoling/therapy. I've been on a waiting list for 6 months in my area just to see a Private Pay Therapist!

Anger/irritability not so much, but TeeJay I think you're right about that all opiates do cause irritability issues to some extent, I just don't remember much of the outbursts because I would use every time I got angry and nod off. Bupe cranky, I like it.

All in all the benefits outweigh the negative. I've been struggling to get off opiates for 10 years now, all cold turk/rehab attempts failed, methadone sucked majorly (cant poop for weeks after my bi-weekly dose increase fun!!), so I'm happy with my bupe for now. Currently at 6mg - 8mg on a rough day.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:46 pm 
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Yeah, I also had an extreme lack of emotions when I was on subs. Sometimes I felt like I could see a person get run over by a bus in front of me and feel nothing at all. It was much less pronounced when I cut down my dose. Being on subs is obviously not like being off all medication, but it was better for me than life on opiates and the moments you spoke of where you quit and feel better, just to go back on them a few months after getting clean. There are definitely some trade offs but I'd talk with your doctor to try and minimize the effects. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:02 pm 
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I tend to think that like any side effect, the one that people describe about emotional numbness varies by individual.

It is two weeks to the first anniversary of my best friend's death. I feel the raw pain of that every day. This morning I woke up crying because I was dreaming that he was at a gathering and that I was happy to see him. Later at the party I couldn't find him and I realized during the dream that he wasn't there because he died, but I kept searching for him anyway and calling his name. His death continues to be a raw wound that doesn't heal and I find myself constantly crying for him.

I'm sorry that you're experiencing some side effects. Ironic that we often enjoy that side effect of our drug of choice. That numbness from the difficulties in our lives is one of the reasons that we get hooked on opioids in the first place. As a partial opioid agonist, it's no surprise that some people on buprenorphine feel a degree of that lessening of emotional response.

I think it's smart in your situation of a 10 year cycle of using, rehab, relapse to give suboxone a chance despite a few side effects.

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:33 pm 
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You said that so well Amy. Being in Las Vegas during this tragedy, it took everything I had inside not to explode into sobbing tears. So many others could not do that and also some neighbors of mine didn't feel the empathy of what had just happened, and they aren't on opiates of any kind. Some people are just not affected the same way.

If you have lessening of emotions then please explore getting off the medication when the time is right. Emphasis on the time being right. It's better to have a dampening of emotion instead of going back onto opiates again.

My apologies to those who do experience these side effects. It really isn't fair that most of us don't and you do. Every drug affects people differently. Most can be predicted but there will always be an exception to the rule. Too bad you are the exception. Good luck getting and staying off all mind altering drugs. We support you all.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:45 pm 
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When I first began Suboxone, I experienced the same. I found no joy or motivation in life anymore and was often irritated at the smallest things. I have had depression and anxiety issues my entire life and was also taking Lexapro at the time. I knew something just wasn’t right. I didn’t want to blame the Suboxone, but I seemed to be the only variable that was seeming to make things worse.

I then decided maybe I needed to switch things up a bit. I had been on Lexapro for quite a while, and if you have ever taken antidepressants for a long amount of time, many people find they kind of stop working (Lexapro didn’t seem to work for me in the first place, so there is that)...I was also on an awfully high dosage of Suboxone (24 mg!) and so many people were telling me if I went lower I would feel so much better.

It took a while, but I drastically decreased my sub dosage down to 2 mg (!)-with next to no discomfort at all, and switched my antidepressant to Effexor. I was amazed at the difference.

I know everyone is different and what worked for me might not work for you, but I would definitely bring up your concerns with your doctor if you can. Tweaking my dosage and switching meds made all the difference for me. Good luck and let me/us know how it goes!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:35 pm 
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Thank You PH for posting your experience. It verifies that drugs affect us all differently. And that's great you were able to figure it out yourself and find a solution. A great many of us were put on large doses in the beginning and then we tapered down to a manageable level like you did.

Anti-depressants are in a completely different box than other drugs. Some time's it takes months or years to find the right one to work for you. We have heard the success rate of Effexor before. I was on it for a little while and it was a long process to taper off but I did it. Glad it is working for you.

Welcome to the forum BTW!

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