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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:31 am 
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Hello, I just joined this forum because I cannot seem to find any scientific journals or other information to address my questions/concerns.

My husband took suboxone for 2.5+ years (summer 2007-winter 2010). I do not know the dose he started at, but I know he tapered off and then stopped all together.

We started dating in 2008 and got married in 2009.

There are 3 (that I know of/can think of) things that are happening to him post/during-suboxone that were not happening to him before. My husband sometimes blames me, but mostly blames somebody else - "I don't know why I'm getting put in time-out." "I don't know why somebody's testing me." I have talked to his parents about this (they lost their other child to an overdose and are very receptive) and his mom thinks that he is not mentally ill, but possibly having long-term effects from suboxone. What do you think?

Here are the three things -
in 2010 he started sneezing, he claims he had not sneezed in years, these are crazy big sneezes that happen in a series, he has referred to me as a witch before insinuating that I am causing his sneezes! I point out that he cooks with black pepper and eats more hot sauce than anybody I've ever met, I think opiates and suboxone maybe kept him from sneezing for years and now that he's not taking them - he sneezes

second - he started hearing voices in 2009 or 2010, nice voices like mine whispering "I love you," or my dad reading him a book on how to be a good husband, sometimes he would hear other things like high pitched ringing, and clicking sounds from my private parts or from other women sitting near him; when I try to be scientific and say these are just chemical signals in your brain causing you to think you hear something, he says that they are man-made like by a machine and one day he is going to get to the bottom of it; At 40+ he seems to me to be old to be diagnosed as a schizophrenic

third - intense gut pain started in 2010 (I think), I try to get him to see a specialist, but he won't, he once showed me how it feels - like two hands just squeezing your gut, i think he has this almost every day, when I talk to him about getting help to find a solution or if he can figure out how the days he doesn't feel it are different he gets despondent about the idea of having this pain for the rest of his life

In conclusion, have you had intense sneezing episodes or auditory hallucinations or intense abdominal pain while on or since going off of suboxone? (The only meds my husband is on - wellbutrin for 13 years and high blood pressure medication for 2) Thanks for your help / insight!

Can there be a new category of Long Term Side Effects if there is a distinction between current suboxone use and post suboxone side effects?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:34 pm 
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First, let me say that I'm so sorry for your husbands troubles! And I'm sorry that you're in a position to try to figure this out without professional help! That must be daunting.

You haven't found any scientific articles about hallucinations and gut pain being related to previous suboxone use because there aren't any. In fact, in my time on this forum I can't remember anyone else ever bringing it up before.

Sneezing can be a result of withdrawal symptoms from any opiate. I can't imagine that any current sneezing is still related to withdrawal symptoms, however.

From what you're describing, I think that your husband needs to see a psychiatrist. The sooner the better! He is showing signs of delusional behavior. That has nothing to do with suboxone.

The doctor who runs this forum is a psychiatrist who prescribes suboxone. One of the things he's said repeatedly about suboxone is that it is one of the safer medications around. I hope he sees this thread and will give you some more advice.

I hope your husband gets the help that he needs.

Amy

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:46 am 
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Thanks, Amy.

I was hoping that the timing of everything going on with my husband was causative in relation to suboxone and not just a coincidence.

I started reading - I'm not Sick! I Don't Need Help! - and find it has valuable information and tools.

As it stands now, he will never see a psychologist or psychiatrist. He has had positive counseling experiences in the past which have allowed him to be one of the most communicative and in-touch with his feelings men I have ever met, he has also had some negative experiences.

We will muddle through and try our best.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:58 pm 
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I agree with Amy-- and I hope you find some answers. Realize that the psychiatric issues the affect people have to start at some point; things like anxiety disorders, psychotic symptoms, depressoin, trichotillomania (hair pulling), etc usually don't have any known cause, other than being primary psychiatric disorders. There sometimes are associations with certain medications; I recently saw a person who became very suicidal after starting Bactrim, a drug that is associated with psych symptoms. But opioids, at this point anyway, are not known to be associated with the conditions you describe--- and given the amount that pain pills are used, I think we would no if opioids were linked to such problems.

One thing, though, that is possibly related-- all opioids suppress coughing and sneezing. During withdrawal from opioids, people often go through a phase of extra sneezing... and it might be that your husband's sneezing was blocked by opioids (buprenorphine and whatever he took before buprenorphine) and now he is sneezing more 'normally' in response to certain things.

I would be surprised for such a thing to develop late though-- i.e. years after stoppping.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:56 am 
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My fiance weened off suboxone a few months ago. He used it for 3 years. A month or two after he was completely off the subs he began to show signs of schitzophrenia as well. He became extremely paranoid, has created an entire conspiracy theory he now lives in. He cannot work, interact with people or our children and rarely leaves the house. I was boggled by these symptoms as well being he never had any of these behaviors and at 34 it didnt seem to make sense that it was onset of schitzophrenia!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:20 am 
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I'm sorry for your fiance's trouble as well! I'm sure it's devastating when your partner suddenly becomes mentally ill!

Some people on suboxone say that they don't feel as emotional as usual when in suboxone treatment. The only thing I can think of is that perhaps his symptoms were somewhat masked when he was on sub. Then, when all the sub was out of his system, the disease was easier to detect.

Dr. Junig, who created this forum and replied above is a psychiatrist who prescribes suboxone to addicts in his practice. I think he would be among the first to know if there was a link between schizophrenia and suboxone. This is what he said:

"But opioids, at this point anyway, are not known to be associated with the conditions you describe--- and given the amount that pain pills are used, I think we would know if opioids were linked to such problems."

I think that when a loved one has an illness we always look for answers. We want to be able to pinpoint a cause maybe because it gives us more of a feeling of control? And maybe if we know the cause of the illness, we can connect the cause to a treatment. Unfortunately, I don't think this is a case of cause and effect.

I hope that you can find effective treatment for your fiance and that he improves enough to get back to his usual work and activities.

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:45 am 
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I appreciate the response but I have to disagree with some of your comments. Im not really the type of person that needs someone/something to blame. I tend to rely on logic and rationality without letting emotions cloud my thinking. Actually your response reminds me of many debates I have encountered on autism and shots( my stepson is autistic) well respected doctors fight on both sides of whether or not shots causes autism. My point with this is the truth is no one really knows! Suboxone/opioids causes changes in your brain function and interferes with the natural production of dopamine. Psychosis may also be provoked by irregular dopamine levels usually along severe anxiety and sleep disturbances, common symptoms of opioid withdrawl. Psychosis is a symptom with signs of dilusion, hallucinations, confusion, paranoia etc. Just because these symptoms occur doesnt automatically mean schizophrenia. There is such a thing as opioid withdrawl psychosis. I did my research on suboxone and I realize it is a partial opioid agonist and withdrawl symptoms should be much less severe then the original drug; however, every person has different symptoms and reactions. I am not solely blaming soboxone, but im not ruling it out as a factor. I personally signed up for this forum to compare other peoples experiences and thoughts on long term use not to be disregarded as desperately dillusional for an answer. There are multiple cases of these symptoms out there, speaking with the hospital staff I took him to, I was told they had seen several similar onsets associated with suboxone. Again im not putting the medicine down by any means, I believe it has wonderful success when used correctly. My fiance was given this med and required to come to a 12 step program weekly. After reading articles on here I realize he was a dollar sign not a patient, there was never any therapy or encouragment to ween off. He chose to do this because of the constant numb feeling he developed. We are still going through treatment and it is still unsure if this was an onset of a mental disorder or was caused by multiple factors that could have been prevented. My hopes are someone else in his situation reads this and questions their program and progress if their doc isnt following the requirements set in place to make this medication successful


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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
  • Asst Clinical Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

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