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 Post subject: Need help tapering...
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:52 pm 
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I'll try not to make this post too long. I've been on suboxone for 10 months now. I started on 16mg, and after about a month dropped to round 12mg. After about 3 more months down to 8-10mg. I've been on that dose until two weeks ago, when I dropped to 6mg (4mg in morning, 2mg at night). I know one dose would probably be better, but I can't make it 8 hours without starting to experience light withdrawal effects.

My question is, where do I go from here? I've attempted dropping down to 4mg a few times now, with no luck. Maybe I should try 5mg? Problem is, I don't know how to measure out 5mg. As it is now, I'm sure my daily dose fluctuates between 5-7mg.

I'm thinking about buying a scale and measuring the doses in weight, but I would need a very sensitive scale ($$$).

I want to try the liquid taper once I get to a really low dose, but now I'm starting to think that I should try it now, to better measure my intake. Any advice?

[and how does the liquid method work, as far as ingesting it? do you just put the liquid in your mouth and swish for 10 min?]

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:24 pm 
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Hello Bubblebobble,

I love your name and have to ask if it has anything to do with the nintendo game? It is my favorite game ever and with I still had a nintendo! Sorry!

Congratulations on your addiction remission, it sounds like your having a great deal of success!! As far as the tapering I am trying to taper down a little myself. I am on 8mgs and am trying to get down to 6mgs. I am doing 8mgs-8mgs-6mgs-6mgs-8mgs ect. For me it seems like by the 3rd day I begin having troubles. Your plan to do 5mgs before going down to 4mgs sounds good, I am thinking maybe I need to do 7mgs instead of 6mgs.

As far as doseing once a day I still haven't mastered that either. I too feel that 1/2 way through the day I begin to feel w/d's as well. It is probably all in my head and it is something I need to work on in the near future.

I am sure others will be along soon with more information, sorry I can't help much. I just really wanted to say welcome to this site. It has helped me so much and I am looking forward to hearing about how you make out!! GOOD LUCK!!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:14 pm 
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Thanks for your response hopefully someone will be able to comment on the liquid taper method or another option. This community doesn't seem as active as it once was. Do a lot people still frequent these forums often?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:55 am 
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I think the liquid taper method would work just fine for you. I know it seems that most use it once they get below 2mg but there is no reason it wouldn't work in the 5-7mg range that you are at. I am currently at 12mg and am getting ready to drop down. I have also considered using the liquid taper method even at my high of a dose just so I can take the exact same dose everyday. I haven't experimented with the liquid taper method yet but in your case if you mixed one 8mg pill in two ml of water you would take one and a half ml for your 6mg or one and three quarters ml for 7mg. I would think it would work out quite well. I'm sure someone with more experience will be along to let you know for sure. You could always message someone that you know has tried the liquid taper method and ask them. Just read the post about the liquid taper and you will find plenty of members who have tried it.
If you do try it, please let me know how it works for you and I will do the same.
Best of luck to you!


Hancal106...there is a cd for the computer that has every nintendo game ever made. You can also purchase the original controller that was converted to usb. Or, you can buy the conversion kit and replace the plug yourself. It only ends up saving you about $10 bucks per controller though. I believe you can just use a regular computer controller also. You let the computer know what button you want to use for what. Playing those games sure does bring back some memories! I'll have to get it out again. I haven't played it forever! Let me know if you want the cd.

Brian


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:50 pm 
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hancal106 wrote:
Hello Bubblebobble,

I love your name and have to ask if it has anything to do with the nintendo game? It is my favorite game ever and with I still had a nintendo! Sorry!


To answer this question, yes that's exactly what my name is from. I used to play that game night and day with my cousins when I was younger. I love that game. Remember getting the umbrella and dropping through multiple levels? It was the best. The music in that game was so awesome too. Love it.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:05 am 
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Update, not that I'm sure if anyone cares or not, it's pretty sad, this place doesn't seem *nearly* as active as it was a couple years back. Anyways, I decided to get a pill cutter, and use that to get the pills to a more precise 2mg measurement. I also got a weekly pill holder. It has 7 compartments, one for each day. I just filled each compartment with two 2mg pieces. This should help dissolve the urge to take more suboxone when I'm stressing, in W/D, craving, sad, tired, sick, etc...

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:11 am 
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Hi bubblebobble -

I think the pill cutter is a good idea. I used a razor to cut my pills and that worked well for me. How are you doing on 4mgs a day?

Something to keep in mind is that the lower you get in your taper, the more you will feel reductions in your dose. So while dropping from 8mgs to 6mgs might not be very difficult, dropping from 6mgs to 4mgs could cause more uncomfortable symptoms. Some people find that alternating days between the dose you're on and the one you want to drop down to for a week or so before making the drop can be helpful.

What really helped me when I got down to around 6mgs a day was getting my doctor to prescribe 2mg pills. It is much easier to cut a 2mg pill in half to get a 1mg dose than it is to accurately cut an 8mg pill into eighths to get a 1mg dose. If you find that the drop to 4mgs is too hard, maybe getting some 2mg pills would make it easer to for you to create a 5mg dose. If you can't get the 2mg pills, just cut the pills as accurately as you can and remember that a slight variation in your dose shouldn't matter too much as it will equal out over the course of a few days.

I know that it can be frightening and uncomfortable to start to experience withdrawal symptoms a few days after you decrease your dose. I'm sure that all of us have horrible memories of withdrawal and those symptoms are really triggering. For this reason I found that it was really important for me to have my recovery in a very solid place before I started seriously tapering. I was on a fairly low maintenance dose of 4-6mgs for a long time and still the first time I got serious about tapering lower than that I just wasn't ready and it didn't work. I gave myself a few more months of just working on the issues that spurred my addiction (pain, depression) and then I felt ready and when I tried again I had a much better experience.

What got me through my taper was knowing what to expect (ie, I knew I would start to feel a little crummy about three days after I dropped my dose) and trying to prepare for it as best as I could. Also, knowing that my body would adjust to the lower dose in a few days and that I would level off and feel better again really helped calm the fear of going into full-blown withdrawals. It is a lot easier to face feeling crappy for a few days than it is to face feeling crappy for some undetermined amount of time.

It is a process of trial and error, but if you try I'm confident that you will find some self-care techniques that will help you get through those few difficult days after a dose reduction. Taking good care of yourself is really important of course, but there are other things you can do as well. I tried to time my dose reductions so that the worst day (usually the third or fourth for me) would fall on a day that I didn't have too many obligations that would stress me out. Getting some exercise was extremely helpful, as well as spending time outside or doing other activities that I enjoyed. If you have a supportive person in your life, use them! Having someone who knows how you're feeling and why can be a big relief when you're doing your taper.

Some other things that I used to get me through (and I used these at different times and in different combinations): meditation (guided - you can find some good ones online, or just breathing meditations), reading inspiring books, yoga, funny movies, doing something nice for another person, hot baths/hot tub, dancing, writing my blog or posting here, positive self-talk, therapy, reading the SMART recovery website, ibuprofin, green tea, kombucha tea, vitamin D supplements, drawing or finding other ways to express myself, sometimes just bitching and letting it all out, and reminding myself that the feelings I was experiencing were a result of my brain adjusting itself and that I was giving it an opportunity to learn to produce more endorphins - which would ultimately make my withdrawal and my life after Suboxone much easier. Also, toward the end of my taper and when I stopped completely I used clonidine and ambien a few times and they were very helpful.

I also found that being flexible with my taper schedule was really beneficial. There were quite a few times that I got down to a lower dose, say 3mgs, and then my life got more stressful orI was in more pain and I wasn't coping well even with all of my coping tools, and I allowed myself to increase my dose again until I felt stable and ready to try for the lower dose. There's nothing wrong with that, and eventually I was able to navigate the changes I was going through and learn the difference between a passing bad mood, a bad day, or a serious setback that required me to adjust my dose.

As to the forum not being very busy, I remember that it was slow like this around this time last year as well, and then things really picked up again in the fall. I think maybe people are busy trying to enjoy the last bit of summer and/or getting ready for fall and back-to-school or other things. I'm sorry that I didn't see your post and reply to it sooner and that you were left feeling that no one cared. I can assure you that's not the case though - I definitely care (as evidenced by this book I just wrote :D )

If you have questions about the liquid taper method or need advice about how to mix up a solution for your current dose, please feel free to PM me. One idea is that you could take your 4mg dose in pill form and then mix up a solution for a 1mg dose (this example would apply if you wanted to go to 5mgs, or you could take a 2mg dose in pill form plus a 1mg dose in liquid form if you want to drop to 3mgs). It really is pretty simple to do and I'd be happy to walk you through the process if that would help you. When you use the liquid solution, you just hold the liquid under your tongue for 10-15 minutes just like you would hold the pill there. I didn't usually swish it around because that created too much saliva.

I hope some of this is helpful information for you and I wish you the best with your continued efforts to taper your dose. I hope you'll check back in here and let us know how you are doing.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:13 pm 
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DOAQ, thank you so much for your reply. It really means a lot. I realize I came off rude in my last post, after re-reading it. I was definitely in a tough spot. I was feeling the effects of dropping my dose, and feeling very alone in this whole situation. It helps so much just to talk to people who have been there, or are there.

I've decided that dropping from 6 to 4 is causing me too much anxiety and stress. So, the past two days I've been taking 5mg. I'm going to continue to take 5mg, for one week, and then drop down to 4mg and see how that goes.

Unfortunately I don't have an excessive amount of time to do this taper. At most I have 3-9 months. This being not only because of my life and where it is headed, but also because of my doctor and his insistence to taper me off. Which, is actually okay with me, as I do want to taper off now. With that said, I know if for some reason I wanted to prolong my taper, my doctor wouldn't allow it. He isn't the best doctor. He is more of a business man. Which seems to be the case too many times concerning suboxone doctors.

Thanks again DOAQ, your advice is heeded greatly. I actually just got back from the doctor today, so the 2mg pills can't happen until next time, if he allows it. I think that would be a really good idea once I was down to >4mg.

I also think I would like to give the liquid taper a try. I think I could be much more precise in my taper, and maybe be able to drop smaller doses more quickly, then to drop larger doses over a longer period of time (in which case I would be feeling the effects more).

Anyways, again, thank you so much. I will definitely be around, I've lurked here for so long.. and all the stories and experiences and trials have really helped me a lot. It really is a invaluable archive of information here. Thanks to everyone who shares their experiences here.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:43 pm 
Hi Bubble! I wanted to offer my support for you and your taper as well. You've already heard from DOQ, who is kind of my 'idol' when it comes to tapering and advice and otherwise here on the forum. So I won't go into a whole lot. Really I just wanted you to know that I've been through the same stuff you're going through and still am. I have my own taper thread going which I will try to update soon. Suffice it to say that I have had to do like DOQ said, and work and then rework my 'plan' when it comes to tapering. I've had to stop decreasing several times, even have had to go back up a few times. But as time as gone on, I have managed to get down to consistently under 2mg/day. I've been on Suboxone for 14 months and I hope to be off in the next 3-6 months. My doctor has actually already released me, so I have a limited supply of meds to work with at this point. So I will either have to finish the taper and 'jump' or I'll have to go back to the doctor and get back into the program, which I am willing to do if need be.
Anyhow, it seems timing has an awful lot to do with it for me. I swear, I'll be in a good place and feel very confident about dropping my dose and then no sooner do I drop, does something come along and has me doubting my ability to taper successfully. Most of my issues, unlike it sounds like for you, are not physical w/d stuff. It's more mood issues and cravings/obsessive thoughts of wanting to use opiates that kicks my butt!
We'll get through it. I'm sorry you've got kind of a crappy doctor. That doesn't help much either! We definitely do care about you here though. Sometimes it does get real slow on the forum and often times posts somehow get missed. Sorry about that. Hope you'll continue to update on you're doing.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:00 pm 
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Thanks so much for the the post and encouragement SMF. Once I am able to get my dose fairly low (>=2mg) I plan on starting a thread where I can constantly update my progress, and keep a "online journal" of sorts. It helps a lot to write about what I'm feeling, I find it extremely therapeutic. I will have to locate your taper thread so I can follow along.

I want you ask you guys what you think about this. I've had an idea that I've wanted to try for quite some time but never really put it to the test. I haven't been able to locate a personal account of anyone trying this, but I think it might help speed along my taper. Has anyone tried, or know/heard of anyone who has done the following:
In order to speed along the taper, on one of my three day weekends I want to stop taking my dose, completely. And stay off of suboxone for as long as I can stand it. Lets say anywhere from 24-48 hours. At which point I would take 1/2--2/3 of my normal daily dose (throughout the day). I'm thinking that my body would gain a much greater effect from a lower dose if I denied it any suboxone for an extended period. I know it would be uncomfortable, but I feel like it could help get me down to the dose I want to be at.

At the moment I'm taking 5mg. If I don't take any suboxone for 48, and go through the tough WD; then I think a 2mg dose would be able to hold me for most of the day, at which point I could take a 1mg dose. Essentially dropping my dose from 5mg to 3mg.

Right now I'm taking 2mg in the morning, 1mg in the afternoon, and 2mg at night.

Thanks for any insight or advice on this guys.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:19 pm 
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I think it could work.

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