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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:53 pm 
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Location: Victoria, B.C. , Canada
Hi, I'm a new guy here, can't believe the eerie similarities between myself and Subox Doc. Also in the medical field, but an R.N., not a Doc. Also think I'm a lot older, but wow!, growing up, personal stuff; so similar it's like reading about myself; thus my reason for being here: side effects of Suboxone. Being older, 59, the side effects are debilitating, and I can't get my doc to start weaning me off Sub yet. As exercise is my salvation in beating this disease, the Sub. interferes horribly with my ability to exercise, therefore defeats my attempts at getting better and getting off of Suboxone. Wondering how others deal with side effects, and also, since I realize now from reading posts, that i have been put on way too high a dose , so wonder how quickly i can decrease the dose and get myself off of it? I believe that i can do better off of it than on now, and just had to have a diagnostic procedure cancelled that I seriously need to have done, as the doc wouldn't provide an anaesthetist as per my request, since I knew he wouldn't be able to sedate me properly as on a previous procedure, and now having read Subox. Doc's own advice on receiving anaesthesia, realize that I was right in requesting not only an anaesthetist, but one who is familiar with Suboxone. My GP is furious at me for having the procedure cancelled, and the specialist basically considered me to be a BAD, Bad Drug Addict, so refused to even consider dealing with my special needs re: anaesthesia. I even worked along side the guy for years. Anyway, I can't seem to find a taper schedule, realize it's an individual thing, but thought a general idea might give me some ammo for when i see my own Subox. Doc.??


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:52 pm 
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Older, but not a LOT older!! :lol: :lol:

Bedtime for this old man-- I'll try to check in tomorrow!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:40 am 
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Welcome L!!

Thanks for the info. are you on tabs or films? This makes a difference especially once you get lower. there are ways to taper off on both but film is easier and more accurate.

what is your current dose?

It is said here that getting to 8 mg is the first step as that is mostly psychological. Then drop over time to 4mg and after that a long slow taper to avoid wds. There are taper methods throughout the stopping sub section. Read read read. no one set taper plan for all bc everyone is different w different responses - do what works for you.

You mention you are on a high dose and side effects are debilitating. Often w bup, less is more. You may find that you feel much better on say 8 mg or 4 mg as a maintenance dose. We have a mod here on 3mg I think. I think its likely you'll feel better once you drop your dose.

Also, any changing your life type work while on bup? Recovery work? Be sure you are ready bc once off bup, its shocking how quickly the old ways return and folks go back out.

More will hopefully come along! Wishing you my best, P

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Stopping went well -- its the staying stopped -- where the real work begins.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:30 pm 
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I'm also a monty python fan...

What side effects are you having? Most people do well on the medication, with constipation and sweating as the biggest issues. Are you sure that the things you are experiencing are from buprenorphine?

Your doc SHOULD have some sort of plan in mind. Have you discussed that plan? Does he/she generally support the idea of tapering down at some point? My general approach is to tell patients that they should stay on it for at least a good solid year, with no rush after that. Some people may want to stay on it much longer, or even for life, if they've had repeated relapses and don't want to risk another one.

As for procedures, remember that only the opioid part of conscious sedation is blocked by buprenorphine. The 'no remembering' part is not from opioids, but rather from benzos or propofol. So you might be OK with a procedure. You may have pain, but if you don't remember it, does it matter? Or as HRC would say, 'what difference does it make?!'


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 2:17 pm 
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Location: Victoria, B.C. , Canada
Thanks so much for the info Pelican and
Suboxdoc!! I am experiencing severe muscle cramps, and really really severe constipation , among other issues like rhinitis, migraines, and lethargy, accompanied by shortness of breath when exercising. I am swimming regularly, cycling, hiking, and walking. I get so short of breath with the lethargy, which impedes my ability to really get into long swims and steep hikes, bike climbs etc. I do have anaemia, likely from my poor diet while deep in addiction, but I also have positive occult blood in stool, thus the need for another colonoscopy. I am on 12 mg Sub sublingual tabs. In Canada here, Victoria, BC, we don't have the strips as far as I know. I'm tapering off of benzodiazepines also, Clonazepam, thus my concerns re: sedation. They use Fentanyl and Midazolam here, and the last scope I was wide awake, screaming, no increase in the meds would help, and he won't bring in an anaesthetist, so no Propofol. The anaemia likely contributes to my shortness of breath and lethargy somewhat , but I could do the climbs and swims on opiates IV, so I'm thinking the Sub has to be playing a role. I've been on Sub since April, go to Rcovery Addiction Support group daily, and am trying to re-connect with my family , two college-aged boys, one an Olympic swimmer. My need to re-connect and become a contributing family member is paramount , as my addiction took me away from them emotionally for years. My son found me OD'd twice, the last one was my bottom, into hospital and detox and onto Sub. As I said I am an avid swimmer and cyclist, so exercise is my salvation. I can't believe how similar my personality is to Suboxdoc. Growing up stuff is exactly like mine, so eerie, but explains a lot to me I think. I also lost my job, well on disability, and almost lost my family, on eggshells fight now. Recovery is absolutely essential! I'm wondering how to taper once down to less than 2 mg, since I only see 2 mg tabs here so far? Anyway, thanks again, it was a revelation finding your site, and I'll be busy reading posts voraciously!!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:07 pm 
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Hey Lifo,

Yes, read voraciously here, it'll be well worth it!

I hope you'll read and learn that staying on bup at least a year, preferably longer is where your best chance is of staying clean. You have a strong history of active addiction and alot riding on your staying clean.

Imo tapering off when you just started bup in April is a very risky idea. Maybe try to deal w side effects. Lots of posts on constipation. Also, maybe spit out your saliva. Here is one of Dr' J's posts on the effects of norbuprenorphine. subutex-constipation-help-t12651.html For more of same, at the top of the home page you'll see 2 search fields. enter keyword norbuprenorhpine and suboxdoc as author. And/or go to the Talkzone link top of home page. Once in that site, at page top, click suboxsearch and enter constipation or any subject and tons of helpful links come up!

I'm no expert but cannot find a source mentioning that bup causes anemia or shortness of breath.

Any chance that you can find another GI? It seems like occult bleeding could cause anemia which in turn can cause shortness of breath and weakness. Hate to have you stop bup when its likely something else going on. P

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Did well on Suboxone. Stopped May 2011.
Stopping went well -- its the staying stopped -- where the real work begins.
Coming here 'keeps recovery green'.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:03 pm 
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Thanks again J. My anaemia is not from Suboxone I'm quite sure. Diet and/or something going on in bowels. I do have low T as well,which is likely contributing to my lethargy, but am on replacement therapy, which has it back to normal. I'm told this is from narcotic use as well? I have been appealing to my GP to get me to another GI, but referrals take so long here, it's quite an endeavour; good old universal health care!

I did look into your suggested post on constipation; great advice, I will give it a try.

I'm wondering why spitting out saliva might help?

Our College of Physicians and Surgeons just recently announced that they are now allowing GP's to prescribe Suboxone and Methadone, hopefully allowing many more addicts access to treatment. They are to take an online course to give them license to prescribe.

Just as an aside, when I exercise I do feel great, kind of a runner's high sort of thing. Do we produce natural endorphins while on Bup?? My GP used to tell me that I don't produce my own endorphins because of my heavy narcotic use, so I'm wondering if Bup blocks the production as well? If not then I must be experiencing just elevated mood, serotonin or dopamine increase?

I've asked a lot of questions so far, and I realize that there is a lot of info I can access just by reading, so off I go. Thanks again J. and Pelican, and thanks for creating a very much needed site. My two minute appointment with my own Subox Doc just doesn't provide answers to all the questions that I have. Greatly appreciated!!!!!!!!!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:32 pm 
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L,
Meant to make it clearer that the spitting out saliva helps gets rid of swallowed norbuprenorphine which causes constipation...and Dr J describes this in the link. Also is in other posts of his too if you search for it. I think spitting is maybe more for when other constipation relief doesn't work.

Glad you are searching and reading - its an incredible site Dr J created. He and others provide critically needed info run by great mods. :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:51 am 
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Pelican wrote:
I'm no expert but cannot find a source mentioning that bup causes anemia or shortness of breath.


I also have anemia, which is a result of low testosterone caused by my Opioid use prior to starting on bupe. The latest finding from Walter Reed in combat disabled vets treated with Opiates/Opioids is that they kill your testosterone. I was told about this by a doctor, who just left there after 10 years. She told me to get checked and sure enough my testosterone was low and I have anemia (not a specific type, just not enough blood in my body), and my endocrinologist said it is caused by the low test.

Low testosterone and anemia both cause fatigue, so this may relate to your feeling of lethargy. Maybe you just didn't feel the effects while taking your DOC and now your feeling fatigued from the anemia with the full agonists gone. I would suggest getting your testosterone levels tested. I'm on replacement therapy and after just over 2 weeks, my energy levels are getting better and body aches are starting to lessen.

I also have low vitamin D. I'm definitely not a doctor, but all of these issues can cause body aches based my "expert" google research, and I also had bad aches. I actually feel significantly better and more awake after taking my daily sub dose (not sure if it's real or just psychological).


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:01 pm 
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Thanks again Pelican and SuboxDoc . Great info, great site. I've told my pharmacist about it, so he'll be looking it up. Guess I've got to get used to staying on Sub for awhile, the info on anaemia and
Low T and constipation is really helpful, so that'll make it much easier to deal with side effects.
Thanks again all, enjoy sober life again !!


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