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 Post subject: My New BFF Suboxone
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:36 pm 
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Hi folks.


If you've read my introduction and other posts, you will know that I am a prankster and although serious, I don't post seriously. Seriously.


In all seriousness, I broke up with my old BFF Roxi (short for Roxicet) last week and got a new BFF and her name is Suboxone(Suboxi for short). Now, this new clique I am in is like, the coolest clique ever. We are the "in" crowd and very popular. We wear the latest fashions, and everyone looks up to us and copies us. FOR REAL! Image


However, I kinda like being an individual and not hang with any particular clique. But, my friend (doctor) who assassinated Roxi, told me I had to hang out with Suboxi three times a day... (4 mgs each time).


Well, I'm doing EFF EYE EN EE FINE with hanging out with Suboxi like three times a day, but in smaller doses. Like 2 mgs at a time.


I have a little RLS and I'm quite bored. Roxi kept me bouncing around and cleaning house and shit and with Suboxi, well, all she wants to do is sit around and do nothing. Also, the bitch WILL NOT let me sleep. I took THREE Xanax bars last night and STILL woke up every two hours.Image It's been this way since I started hanging with Suboxi. I'll be all Image and then two hours later, Suboxi wants to get up and Image or Image


OMG! I am ready to Image her!


So, I reckon my questions are...... Is it okay that I'm taking less than the good doc prescribed? I mean, I don't think it can hurt, right? Or is it the cause of me not being able to sleep or is it causing the sheer boredom and lack of energy I have?


Also, what can I do to SLEEP! I now work TWO jobs and I NEED to sleep. I'm going bat shit crazy over here. I'm ready to have my husband whack me up the side of the head with an iron skillet just to knock my ass out for more than two hours.


I Image....... SLEEP drugs other than Xanax. Image


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:52 pm 
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First of all, is your xanax prescribed be your sub doctor? Please tell me he knows about it. The two can be very dangerous as they both depress the respiratory system. The only problems regarding safety of sub has been when combined with benzos. Please keep that in mind.

Okay, with regard to your energy level...You're "clean" now (I hate that word). You've got emotions you've been numbing for a long time coming up now. I've never suffered from the lack of motivation you're describing. I have to believe it's from being new to addiction remission. As for sleep, well, I had sleep problems long before I went on sub. I take Trazodone - it's a prescription. It's possible when you stabilize that you won't need a sleep med, but you might want to ask your doctor about something.

Taking less than the doc has prescribed may or may not be a good idea. I don't remember the amounts of drugs you were taking before starting sub (your addiction history), but 6 mg (2 mg 3 times per day, right?) is a bit on the low side for someone who was just induced. Some may argue with me on this, but that's what I believe. Did he prescribe you 8 mg? Suboxone has a very long half life - average 37 hours. Why not take 4 mg twice a day? That way you're still taking the prescribed dose, just not so often. That's what I'd do if it were me.

Good luck and I hope this helps.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:29 pm 
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Hey Libra,

As I have mentioned before I have very similar issues. The lack of super woman energy being one of the hardest yet :cry:

In reading your post I think your on 12mgs not 6mgs as Hatmaker stated? What times are you dosing at? I found in the begining I had trouble sleeping as well. I stopped dosing after 5pm and now I sleep like a baby most of the time. Suboxone makes some people sleepy and others wide awake. Just a suggestion :lol:

I agree with Hatmaker as far as the xanex it's very dangerous exspeicaly in large doses!!! I would make sure your Dr. is aware of mixing the two!!

Keep up the good work and I hope you get a good night sleep :)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:13 am 
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Hi Libra!

Welcome to the forum. I see you like smilies. I like smilies, too. :) See? But I'm technologically retarded, so I can't post all the cool smilies that you do, so I'll have to settle for my sub- par smilies that are pre provided for me...

Anyway, I am glad to hear that you are on Suboxone and off Roxi's. That's awesome. It was a really hard thing for me to do to stop taking my drug of choice, and I was pretty pissed off about it, but everything turned out fine for me.

I agree with the other two posters (somewhat) about the Xanax. It could be contributing to you falling asleep at unwarranted times...although I also feel pretty tired on Suboxone alone (though sometimes I WISH I had a Xanax, or four), so I think that this is a fairly common side effect, and I am only on 1.5-2mg a day (usually 2mg these days).

I combat that by drinking gallons of coffee, but that's not the healthiest option...

As for you having trouble falling asleep at night, some people report that. For some people, Suboxone provides a bit of a 'boost' akin to a stimulant (but obviously nothing nearly as strong) and keeps them up if they take it too close to their bedtime. So maybe, if you tried to take your last dose a little bit earlier, you may have less problems. Just a suggestion.

Also, I think that it's just fine that you decided that you were better off on a lower dose. Most of us adjusted our doses within the first few weeks of treatment. That first week, most addicts feel as if they need more Suboxone, and some time around the second week they realize that they feel better on a lower dose. I did that. I took probably around 12mg the first 2 days, then dropped off to 8 for a few days, and then taped down to four within two weeks. I felt less tired every time I lowered my dose, and less of the other side effects that I was experiencing.

Have you just begun treatment? Because if this is your first week, then trust me, most of those side effects are going to go away. I know that I had that OBNOXIOUS RLS for around five days before I got any reprieve. I hated it. I never really got RLS too badly when I withdrew from my DOC, but for some reason, when I started Suboxone, I got it big time. And I wasn't even in withdrawal! Anyway, for me, the RLS got better every day until I realized that it had gone away entirely. I am confident that yours will as well.

Anyway, welcome again, and I am happy to have another self-proclaimed smart ass here. We can all benefit from more humor!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:28 pm 
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Okay, to answer everyone's questions, I was taking a BOAT LOAD of 30 mgs Roxicets a day. I got them from a legitimate doctor at a legitimate pain clinic. That's what did me in... I thought it was fine. However, after closer inspection and reading/watching the news, South Florida is the pain management/Roxicet capital of the world. There are no less than 600 down here with the bulk of them being in my area, Fort Lauderdale. These doctors think nothing of writing out a script for 300-400 Roxi's to patients every 28 days. People came from as far away as Michigan to get them. Anyway, even with my script, I would eat them like crazy (I chewed them up and let them dissolve in my mouth and then RIGHT ON THE HOUR, every single hour, I would swallow it) So, I couldn't even make my supply last and would end up at another doctor for Percs or on the street paying $12 a piece for them. So, to answer that question with a small novella, I was taking anywhere from 240 to 450 mgs of oxycodone per day, depending on what I could get my hands on.



Fucked up nice, didn't I?


As for the Xanax, I'll make it short and sweet (Like me... lol! J/K) the doc who prescribes me the Subs also prescribes me the Xanax. I told her (I did a ton of research on Suboxone before choosing to go that route) my concerns because along with the Roxi's, I take about 3-4 bars a day. One day I took 12 bars just trying to get some friggin' sleep! I have a seriously HIGH tolerance for medications. And I'm only 5' tall and 105 pounds soaking wet. The doctor said taking the Subs with the Xanax rule is about the same as taking the Roxi's with Xanax rule. If your body is accustomed to it, then it won't hurt you. She had no problem at all prescribing me both. If, however, I didn't take Xanax on a regular basis, I doubt the doctor would have ever given it to me because THAT is when it becomes dangerous. Now, every doctor is different, so people may have heard other things, and I'm not one to say "My doc said so, so it's the ONLY truth!" or "I read it on the internet! It's SET IN STONE!" Anyway, I'm just telling y'all what she said. I like her.. She's Chinese like my husband.



Okay... That was no shorter than the first novel.... Image



So anyway - I called the good doctor who told me that if I didn't feel the need to take so much, don't take it! She gives me 12 mgs a day to take. She does want me to take three times a day. I told her about my sleep issues and that I took over 5 bars (I didn't tell her I took 12.... I think she would have called a suicide hotline). Y'all are right... it's a side effect of the Suboxone. I gotta take my first dose first thing in the morning, my second dose at noon and my last dose no later than 5. If this doesn't work, I'm going to get Somas. Those things are the only things that can put me out in 20 minutes and keep me out for more than four hours.



But as far as the Sub intake, now, it seems I'm even needing it LESS! I took about 9 mgs yesterday with my last dose being around 4:30. Well, I was up at 6:00 this morning (which is just fucking ridiculous for a Saturday) and went about my morning, completely forgetting to take my morning dose. I just NOW took it. I went 20 hours without taking a Sub and had no withdrawals or cravings or anything.


I'm thinking I may try a rapid taper on my own and see how it goes. If it doesn't go well, then I'll have the extra pills and can start over doing it the doctor's way. After 10 days (Yay! I'm in the double digits!) the only symptoms I seem to be having whether I take the Subs or not is RLS and insomnia. I've always had insomnia issues, anyway. I need a friggin' elephant tranquilizer to put me out. Image




Of course, once I'm off the Subs, I have to address my Xanax addiction and insomnia issues. But one step at a time.... If someone were to take away my Roxi's AND my Xanax, I'd surely become homicidal.



Now if I could just get some ENERGY! Image



And to get free smileys, go to www.getsmile.com and download their free program. They have TONS. Plus, you can add your own by simply dragging them from my posts and dropping them into your Get Smile Program!Image


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:24 pm 
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I understand addiction to xanax - I truly do, because I was you. I was prescribed 6 mg a day and was taking way more than that. When I stopped the opiates I also stopped the xanax. Not a choice, mind you (if you read my story you'll understand why I say that) and I was terrified. I was on pheobarb for a while because of the xanax w/d, but my greatest fear was how to deal with the anxiety. Turns out I never had much anxiety to begin with. Dr. J wrote a blog post about anxiety and benzos. I would highly recommend you find it and read it. He spoke about how many addicts don't take benzos to "feel normal" like it should be, but take it "to relax" and what the difference is.

You said you took a lot of pills...but how long were you taking them (sorry if I missed that)? I ask because now you say you want to do a quick taper with suboxone? What exactly has changed that will prevent you from relapsing now, after stopping sub so quickly? Short term treatment almost always results in relapse. That's reflected in recent studies. Go to the Links section and I know I personally posted one such study and Dr. J has discussed others.

Taking suboxone as you have will not cure your addiction. You will always be an opiate addict. Many people believe that suboxone is only one of many tools to a healthy recovery, while others like Dr. J believe suboxone alone (as long as we stay on it) is sufficient to prevent relapse. I think it really depends on why a person used to begin with. Either way, again I ask, what's to prevent you from relapsing?

I'm not trying to sound harsh, just trying to help you see some realities. One of which is if you do a "quick taper" as you suggested, you won't have good odds. Some people who go farther and work a program and still go off sub quickly also have poor odds. Short term treatment is simply not recommended. I'm not wishing you to fail, honestly I'm not. I truly hope you succeed. But please think about what I've said.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 5:32 pm 
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Just a guess, but I would think the same med to help detox off methadone would help w/these symptoms. For years I've been on 6mg's of Xanax/day. As my methadone dose got lower, I had to have a couple pills and a glass of water before I even got out of bed every morning, or I wound have a panic attack. After doing as much "research" as possible, I found out that Klonopin and Clonidine are miracle workers for these problems while detoxing. No other bz or blood-pressure med will work as well together. Xanax just leaves the body too fast. If you're lucky to get any sleep, it's out of your system by the time you wake up. Klonopin lasts in the system SO much longer, and you don't feel that "hit" you get w/Xanax, you're just calm. No, it's not as "fun" as Xanax, but I don't think that's something to be seeking right now. And the Clonidine helps with the desire to climb the walls at night, and both help w/sleep. My psych switched me over to the same dose of K-pin, and it made a massive difference the first day. Same w/the Clonidine. IMO, those would be the safest meds to take. Only thing I do is get my BP checked a few times a week, cause that Clonidine works almost a well as the benzo's by lowering BP. Hope this helps some.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:06 pm 
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Hatmaker has provided some good information and advice for you. I know that you are new to all of this, as well as new to the board here and I have not 100% followed your story, but from what I have read and can tell, you have not yet even stabilized on Suboxone and you are looking to taper off of it? I mean think about that yourself for a minute. Does that make much if any sense to you? The statistics are extremely clear about this; those who are on this medication for less than a year stand a very large chance of relapse. Does your doctor know that you want to taper? If she does, and if she is fine with that, there is yet another red flag.

What is your long-range or long-term plan? Do you have one? Sorry if I am being blut and if what I'm about to say you may not like to hear, but honestly I say it only because I want you to succeed here. From everything you describe, you are still in active addiction at this point. You are abusing benzos, you are taking Suboxone more often than best practices recommend, and you have not yet even stabilized on this medication. All of this takes time. You did not become an addict overnight and you won't get "fixed" overnight either.

What quad had to say about Xanax was very true as well. It is piss poor as a sleep medication - as you have been finding out. On top of it, Xanax is not very often prescribed for sleep. That's what Ambien and other meds are for. Now, crossing over onto yet another, longer acting benzo like klonipin also is fraught with downsides. Taking 12 Xanax "bars" is how people overdose. Yes, you have some level of tolerance to Xanax - I get that. However, that does not mean that at some point you will still overdose on it. You may be lucky that 12 didn't overdose you already. Perhaps 14 will. People with tollerance to opiates and benzos die all the time from overdose.

You have so much going on here that I really think that the best thing you can do is, in addition to your physician, find an addiction councilor that can help you sort through all of this. It is going to be a very long journey. I hate to have to say that, but there are hundreds of others that have been through this board who can vouch for it. It is life-long. Getting into solid treatment and solid remission often takes many, many months if not years. Tapering at this point is very likely the worst thing that you can do. Honestly, you are nowhere near ready to try to go it alone without Suboxone.

I'll just stop there. If nothing else, please take all of our comments and put them together in order to gain some additional perspective. Get yourself stable on Suboxone, get off of the Xanax, and get into solid treatment, before even considering tapering. I hope my comments are taken as intended. I don't think you are grasping how dangerous all of this is for you. I honestly do wish you the best.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:17 pm 
I'm just wondering why so many doctors have told people on this board to take a medication that has a 36 hour half life 4 times a day. It states right in the prescribing information:

—DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION—–––——-–—-———–—
Administer SUBOXONE sublingually as a single daily dose


(I cut and pasted this from the Reckitt Benckiser website. I thought doctors had to go through a special training course to be able to prescribe Sub. You would think they would know this)

I'm wondering if this is contributing to Libra (and others') sleep issues. Try just taking your dose first thing in the morning and see if it helps. Don't give up on the Sub yet. I feel that it took me at least a month to fully adjust to it.
Good luck,
Lilly


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:26 pm 
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It may have a 36 hour half life in blocking any opiates, but it DOES NOT have a 36 hour half life in keeping the cravings at bay. At least in my own, personal experience.

Also, I've found that the Subs give me energy about a half hour to an hour after I take them, then I quickly crash and get sleepy. I've been taking one (out of my three per day dosages) at bedtime. I'm FINALLY able to get some sleep! Image


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:37 pm 
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The average 37 hour half life means your opiate receptors are saturated. And when taking them every day there is a stacking effect on top of the long half life. So cravings should be addressed for more than just a few hours, but in fact for a least a day. I'm not saying you're not having cravings, but they are probably not physiological cravings, but more along the lines of psychological cravings (for lack of a better term).

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:22 pm 
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Psychological or not, I still get them. I think everyone's chemical makeup is different and reacts differently to different things. I'm not arguing the half-life of Suboxone, I've read that many times. I honestly don't know why if the half life is so long, that I have never heard of a doctor prescribe the Subs PRN every 36 hours.

That being said, sometimes I feel like I could go 36 hours, cravings or not, because I simply cannot STAND the way Suboxone makes me feel. I HATE it. But, I will do anything to get off the Roxi's and seeing as how it has worked thus far in keeping me off of them and the success rate of the program I am is pretty high, I am going to follow my doctor's orders.... which change weekly, btw. I get assessed by her and a counselor and they base my next weeks dosages on how I did the week prior.

Who knows? Maybe she'll have me take the damn things once every 36 hours! LOL! Fine with me! As long as it's at bedtime, I don't care. As a matter of fact, that would be ideal.

Again, I just cannot wait until the end of the year when I am off of the Subs (and the Roxi's) completely. I know I'll be going to NA meetings prolly the rest of my life and be in counseling a while, but I am just so sick and tired of taking pills I can't stand it.

As soon as I'm off the Subs and clean from all the pills, I'm going back to being the happy, productive, weekend pothead I was ten years ago. Hee!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:34 pm 
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Just FYI - suboxone actually is sometimes prescribed every other day.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:40 pm 
Actually, there have been studies where patients dosed with their Sub once every other day and did well (I think it's on Dr. J's website if you want to look it up.) The thing is, for the first week you want to dose the same every day to get your blood level to a steady state. Once you reach this steady blood level, you will not even feel the difference when you dose. Like Hat said, just try it for a week. Once you reach that level you won't hate Sub anymore because you won't feel any different after your dose, I promise!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:58 pm 
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Dear Libra,

I have to agree with what Donh and Hat had to say on this one. I had to go to the urban dictionary to find out what a "bar" is. It said that is a 2 mg Xanax. Is that true?

Years ago when my husband and I were first married, we took in his teenage niece, as both her parents kicked her out and she was going to a foster home. We were young and had few parenting skills, and she lived with us for a year and was a challenge. During this time, my husband developed a panic-anxiety condition, and went for mental health assistance. He was rx'd and taking Xanax 0.5 mg 4 X daily. I saw my young, healthy, vibrant, articulate, active, 240-lb. husband turn into a zombie who sat around the house with a stupid, blank look on his face. When he weaned himself off a few months later, my husband returned. As I was always quite interested in experimenting, I remember I tried his Xanax a few times and was disappointed to feel nothing. But in seeing what 2 mg/day did to him, I know it is a very potent drug.

In my opinion, taking 12 bars (which would be 24 mg?) is flirting with disaster. You might have been fine with 24 mg, but maybe 24.5 mg would be the threshold which would shut down your respiratory system and kill you. You just have no way of knowing.

I am going to respectfully say that it sounds like you are experimenting with your meds quite a lot and are nowhere near stable at this point. You are a quick-minded, smart, spunky, spirited little woman, but I do think you should just try to put on the brakes and just give things a few days to settle down before tinkering around too much. I know that I always think that I know better, but today, now that I have a good doctor whom I trust, I try to do the best I can to follow my doctor and if I am dissatisfied with my meds for any reason I discuss it with him and come up with a plan. I take Ambien for sleep as needed and it works great. I am scared for you that you are going to OD on Xanax.

Sincerely,
Rossma


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:32 pm 
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The "half-life" term gets thrown around a lot but I'm not sure if everyone understands it or not. It certainly is not all that complicated but still may not be fully understood by everyone. I think most people understand that "half-life" is the amount of time that it takes for the medication to be down to half of its initial strength. It is not the amount of time that it will live or last totally in the body. In other words if a medication has a four hour half-life, that does not mean that in eight hours it will be totally "dead" or gone from the body. In eight hours it will be at 25% of the strength that it initially started out at. Perhaps "half-strength" might be a better term. So, if Suboxone's half-life is 37 hours, that means that at the 37-hour point, the drug will have half of the strength of when it was taken. At 18.5 hours it will be around 75% of the original strength. It does not remain at 100% strength for 36.9 hours and then abruptly drop to 50% at the 37-hour mark. It is a slow decay. Even so, a 12mg dose will be down to around 6mg at the 37-hour mark. Both are likely above the ceiling level. However, what if you take only 4 mg, which is thought to be at the ceiling level. That would mean that at the 37-hour mark you would have only about 2mg, which is clearly below the ceiling level. Perhaps you can see by this why some folks recommend dosing twice a day when at low levels.

I don't know if I was able to simplify that or not. My point is, the reason we don't dose every 48 hours, is because of how low the level of Suboxone would be in our system by that time. Again, if taking a large dose - say 16 mg or for certain, 24 mg, you likely could get away with dosing every two days. However, at 4 mg, it is much less likely to work for you. Also, keep in mind that at the 1.5 day mark, your dose has been cut in half. If you need a 12mg dose, then 6mg is not likely to be enough for you.

Enough about the half-life topic. Unfortunately there are two threads running here - one being titled "Dust" and the other is this one. I already made a lengthy post on the "Dust" thread and won't re-write everything that I did there. However, my point on that threat was, it seems increasingly clear that Libra is using Suboxone as a short-term detox agent. She appears to be following what the professionals treating her are instructing her to do. She is not on Suboxone as a long-term treatment, like many of us here are. They are using Suboxone to get her off of all opiates, at which time she will no longer take it. Some addiction places use Suboxone for a week or two. Others for about a month and still others for a couple of months. Their goal is to get the patient off of any and all opiates and then treat them without any maintenance. Many of us here are on Suboxone as the treatment. We are on it long term. The "rules" or protocols for long-term Suboxone use and detox use can be vastly different. I suspect that is the case here. While we are told to dose once at day, at the same time, at the same dose, and never take extra, she is being told something different. Again, the reason she is on Suboxone (short-term, detox) and the reason many of us are on Suboxone (long-term, maintenance) are different. For more details on this, see the "Dust" threat.

And that's all from me for now.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:04 pm 
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rossma wrote:
Dear Libra,


I am going to respectfully say that it sounds like you are experimenting with your meds quite a lot and are nowhere near stable at this point. You are a quick-minded, smart, spunky, spirited little woman, but I do think you should just try to put on the brakes and just give things a few days to settle down before tinkering around too much. I know that I always think that I know better, but today, now that I have a good doctor whom I trust, I try to do the best I can to follow my doctor and if I am dissatisfied with my meds for any reason I discuss it with him and come up with a plan. I take Ambien for sleep as needed and it works great. I am scared for you that you are going to OD on Xanax.

Sincerely,
Rossma


LOL! I promise you, I am not going to OD on Xanax. I do NOT take that many Xanax every day! And that is the first time that I have EVER taken that much in my life and it was out of sheer desperation to SLEEP! I'm prescribed 4 mgs a day. 2 mgs to take PRN for anxiety and 2 mgs PRN at night for sleeping. I'm on my second week of Subs and taking one of my dosages at bedtime, and that helps me sleep. I don't need near as much Xanax to sleep at night... Maybe half a bar (1 mg). If after half a bar I still can't sleep, THEN I'll take the other half. Sleep/insomnia isn't really an issue for me anymore. I have found I do not need the usual 2-3 bars for sleeping. Also, and this is odd, I used to take Xanax throughout the day for anxiety and lately (the last week or so) I have not needed any Xanax at all through the day. I don't know if it's the Subs or what, but I'm simply not as anxious as I once was.

As far as the Subs go, I'm following the dosing instructions of my doctor. I am taking it twice to three times daily, pushing it off as far as I can (taking it only when I feel like I really cannot go anymore without it) and taking as little of it as possible. My doctor did not give me any specific times to take it and treats each of her patients individually, with their own individualized plan. What works great for one person may not work so great for another. I like her approach and don't feel like I'm being treated as an assembly line patient who is fed the same amount at the same time every single day. Meeting with her once a week is key because she does listen to my issues, concerns and problems and changes MY plan to better fit MY needs. My first week she had me taking 8 mgs of Suboxone first thing the morning and then 4 mgs in the afternoon... But, pushing it off (not taking it) until I felt I really needed it. This week is different. I told her I felt like after 6 hours or so I needed another dose so she told me to take it three times a day, but try to keep it at two, but again, pushing it off until I absolutely felt like I HAD to take it. She also told me that if I felt like I did not need the full dose, then cut it in half... Or quarters... So "tinkering" as you call it, is kinda part of my rehabilitation.

The goal is to get me off the Roxi's with little to no side-effects or withdrawals as quickly as possible and then taper off of the Subs as quickly as possible so that I do not become dependent on them.

I'm not trying to undermine anyone's suggestions on here. I welcome everyone's opinion. However, I will follow my doctor's advice before anyone else. I will bring up things said on here, and I will admit that taking that many Xanax was not the smartest thing in the world, even for a "quick-minded, smart, spunky, spirited little woman" (I had to LOL at this.... I'm a middle-aged woman and I felt as if you were describing a semi-intelligent 19 year old....LMFAO!) but in my defense, it was taken over the course of 18 hours and my elderly mother (who lives with my husband and I) was here with me and knew what I was doing in my desperation to get some sleep, so she was keeping a sharp eye on me.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:37 pm 
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donh wrote:
The "half-life" term gets thrown around a lot but I'm not sure if everyone understands it or not. It certainly is not all that complicated but still may not be fully understood by everyone. I think most people understand that "half-life" is the amount of time that it takes for the medication to be down to half of its initial strength. It is not the amount of time that it will live or last totally in the body. In other words if a medication has a four hour half-life, that does not mean that in eight hours it will be totally "dead" or gone from the body. In eight hours it will be at 25% of the strength that it initially started out at. Perhaps "half-strength" might be a better term. So, if Suboxone's half-life is 37 hours, that means that at the 37-hour point, the drug will have half of the strength of when it was taken. At 18.5 hours it will be around 75% of the original strength. It does not remain at 100% strength for 36.9 hours and then abruptly drop to 50% at the 37-hour mark. It is a slow decay. Even so, a 12mg dose will be down to around 6mg at the 37-hour mark. Both are likely above the ceiling level. However, what if you take only 4 mg, which is thought to be at the ceiling level. That would mean that at the 37-hour mark you would have only about 2mg, which is clearly below the ceiling level. Perhaps you can see by this why some folks recommend dosing twice a day when at low levels.

I don't know if I was able to simplify that or not. My point is, the reason we don't dose every 48 hours, is because of how low the level of Suboxone would be in our system by that time. Again, if taking a large dose - say 16 mg or for certain, 24 mg, you likely could get away with dosing every two days. However, at 4 mg, it is much less likely to work for you. Also, keep in mind that at the 1.5 day mark, your dose has been cut in half. If you need a 12mg dose, then 6mg is not likely to be enough for you.

Enough about the half-life topic. Unfortunately there are two threads running here - one being titled "Dust" and the other is this one. I already made a lengthy post on the "Dust" thread and won't re-write everything that I did there. However, my point on that threat was, it seems increasingly clear that Libra is using Suboxone as a short-term detox agent. She appears to be following what the professionals treating her are instructing her to do. She is not on Suboxone as a long-term treatment, like many of us here are. They are using Suboxone to get her off of all opiates, at which time she will no longer take it. Some addiction places use Suboxone for a week or two. Others for about a month and still others for a couple of months. Their goal is to get the patient off of any and all opiates and then treat them without any maintenance. Many of us here are on Suboxone as the treatment. We are on it long term. The "rules" or protocols for long-term Suboxone use and detox use can be vastly different. I suspect that is the case here. While we are told to dose once at day, at the same time, at the same dose, and never take extra, she is being told something different. Again, the reason she is on Suboxone (short-term, detox) and the reason many of us are on Suboxone (long-term, maintenance) are different. For more details on this, see the "Dust" threat.

And that's all from me for now.


Your description of "half-life" totally makes sense... I'm going to read the other thread where I'm assuming you went into more detail about it.

Also, you are indeed correct. I am on Suboxone for the short-term to get me off all opiates. My goal, set by myself, my doctor, and my counselor, is to do this in six to eight weeks. I'm hoping to be completely FREE by the first of December. Getting off Roxi's was my birthday gift to myself. Getting off opiates for good is my Christmas present to myself.

I apologize for being all over the place on the forum. I tend to "hijack" threads to the point they morph into something completely different than their original intention. mea culpa. I should also apologize for double posting, but I missed this post the first time around.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:51 pm 
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After going back to the Dust posts, now I understand. The last time I read there it was actually about dust and since I gave up on that about 25 years ago, I didn't go back!

My concern was regarding the Alprazolam. You said, "that is the first time that I have EVER taken that much in my life and it was out of sheer desperation to SLEEP!". I think you were lucky that you did not go to sleep...permanently. All it takes is one time. Look at Michael Jackson. Once the respiratory center becomes so depressed that it stops telling you to breathe, then only artificial respiration will get air into you. I don't care who is watching you carefully! My problem is that I'm a nurse and have seen the consequences of so many OD's when working in the ER and ICU. Many of the ones that I witnessed did not have good outcomes. Please...just be careful?!

I meant all of those adjectives in only the kindest and positive way. I wish someone would say those things about ME! Ha - ha!

~Rossma


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:12 pm 
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rossma wrote:
After going back to the Dust posts, now I understand. The last time I read there it was actually about dust and since I gave up on that about 25 years ago, I didn't go back!

My concern was regarding the Alprazolam. You said, "that is the first time that I have EVER taken that much in my life and it was out of sheer desperation to SLEEP!". I think you were lucky that you did not go to sleep...permanently. All it takes is one time. Look at Michael Jackson. Once the respiratory center becomes so depressed that it stops telling you to breathe, then only artificial respiration will get air into you. I don't care who is watching you carefully! My problem is that I'm a nurse and have seen the consequences of so many OD's when working in the ER and ICU. Many of the ones that I witnessed did not have good outcomes. Please...just be careful?!

I meant all of those adjectives in only the kindest and positive way. I wish someone would say those things about ME! Ha - ha!

~Rossma



Rossma, you sound like a spunky, spirited, smart witted little woman! Hee! There! Feel better? Image

I know you were being kind, but I still had to laugh! If you knew me, you'd probably say, "Gawd.. .what a BITCH!" LOL! Image

And you're right about the Xanax. It was dumb. I promise you, it won't happen again. It just was NOT meant for me to sleep that day... Or the week prior to that day. I'm glad that whole insomnia thing is over with because I was getting homicidal and apparently, suicidal.


Also... So everyone knows... I'm taking suboxone to get me off of Roxicets and I intend to taper off of Suboxone within the next 4 to 6 weeks. I've been on them for two weeks (and OFF Roxicets for TWO WEEKS! Image ) I'm using Suboxone to help me detox off the Roxicets. I know I'll have some withdrawals with the Suboxone, but I've heard they are minimal compared to going off Roxicets cold turkey, even after a long taper. I tried that route two years ago and it was the most miserable time in my life. I couldn't do it. I went right back on them the moment my husband wasn't looking. Some of the people I've talked to in my program at the rehab center said they had no withdrawals. Others reported having mild withdrawals that lasted about a week. Only a couple of people said that they went through severe withdrawals, so I'm hopeful my withdrawals are on the easy side. This is why I am tapering and taking as little as I can manage so that as my quit date approaches, I hope to only be taking a speck of a 2 mg pill a day or something. I didn't realize this forum was for people on long term maintenance.

I hope everyone will let me stick around, anyway. At least while I'm still on the Suboxone. Image


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