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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:17 pm 
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Hello,

I'm new here. I hope this is the correct place to ask this question.

I wanted to start using Suboxone today, but my question is that I've been taking approximately 1mg of xanax for the past several weeks as well as my vicodin addiction. I want to know if it's safe to start taking suboxone today, even though I used xanax yesterday and for several weeks prior. I understand that I shouldn't mix the two and that's bad, so I wouldn't take xanax while I'm on suboxone. I'm concerned that the xanax is still in my system, or if it's safe to take suboxone.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:01 pm 
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sorry if this is a stupid question I just want to make sure I'm safe


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:01 pm 
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This question should only be answered by your physician.Honestly, I wish I could offer an answer, but it is not something I am comfortable with. You are right in noting there is a red flag in taking the two drugs together- but for your question, best to ask your physician.Sorry I could not be more help, I am only looking out for you.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:27 pm 
Manny P, Welcome to the forum. This is a great place to get lots of information and support. It certainly is not a substitute for your doctor's advice by any means, but you will find answers to many questions here.
I am not a doctor and not an expert by any means and Shelwoy is correct, questions such as yours are best answered by your prescribing physician. He/she certainly needs to know about any other medications you are taking in conjunction with your Suboxone. To my understanding, the biggest concern with benzodiazapines such as Xanax, with Suboxone or with many other types of medications which are sedating (opiates for example) is the risk of respiratory depression (slowing or cessation of breathing.) The danger in using benzos with buprenorphine (found in Suboxone/Subutex) mainly comes to those who are abusing the medications by taking them via the IV route. That would be extremely dangerous.
There are people who do require benzos occasionally who are on Suboxone and some doctors allow it. However, many other doctors will not want their Suboxone patients on benzos at all, citing the potential risks involved. It just depends on the doctor and it depends on why the patient is taking benzos in the first place. There is a pretty big danger as well in stopping benzos abruptly after having been on them routinely for some time - a person can have seizures from doing this. My opinion (for what it's worth) is that if you're abusing benzos or any other substance, for that matter, it needs to be addressed along with addressing your opiate addiction.
Most importantly, you really do need to go over everything with your doctor and let him/her decide what will be best and safest for you. It's just imperative to establish on honest, open relationship with your physician so you'll receive the best care possible
Congratulations for seeking help with your addiction. It isn't easy, but many of us are in this with you! Please come back and share more with us. Hope that helps some.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:19 am 
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I have been prescribed Klonipin 1mg twice a day for 2 1/2 years. My sub doc told me that benzos and subs do not mix well. The benzos showed up in my drug test and at first my doc gave me grief and then I reminded him that I have not lied to him and told him I take Klonipin. He of course agreed and told me it dose not mix well...and I have really lowered my dose some days only taking one or skipping a day. Since I have been on subs I have never abused Klonipin. My concern now is that I havean appt with him this week and he drug test me everytime..will he be mad at me if bezos come up on this test..its wierd some drug test did not show the klonipin.......I have read that if I totally stop it can be real bad and my doc told me last time not to quit but to cut down...which I have...My concern is that he seems to have short term memory problems and I dont want some grief this week if I test positive for benzos.......any suggestions?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:12 pm 
Hey ReRaise - how about taking your Rx bottle of Klonopin with you to your appointment with you Sub doc? That way you would have evidence of the legitimate prescription and you could show him when it was last filled and how many pills are still in the bottle showing him how often you have taken it and that you're not abusing it. I think that would be your best defense on this. Good idea?
Regarding benzos, for everyone. Look on Dr Junig's blog and read his take on benzos. I've never used them much. My drug of choice to mix with my opiates in the past was carisprodol (Soma), a muscle relaxer that really added a kick to hydro or oxycodone. I know a lot of people abuse benzos with their opiate of choice, but benzos never did much for me other than make me sleepy. In any case, I feel like benzos can be really dangerous in general and based on what I've read, Dr. Junig doesn't like benzos much even for their legit. use for anxiety. He talks about their effect on memory and feels like they're just not the best choice for anxiety issues. I'm not trying to speak for him. Please read up on what he says about that family of drugs. It really educated me about benzos and how they work and that they ideally should only be used in short-term situations, and made me realize that while they may have their place in certain situations, they're not a good drug to mess around with. Neither is the Soma I used to take. I had no idea when it was first prescribed for me that the break down product of it was an old tranqulizer/sedative type medication (can't think of the name right now) that is addictive and very sedating. Of course, my Suboxone doctor told me I had to let that drug go along with my opiates.
I think it's important to stop using any and all mind or mood altering substances when we get into recovery. It should be a lifestyle change that rids us of all of that stuff. It's a bummer because we still get muscle aches, headaches, stress and anxiety, maybe more so when we're in recovery (ha ha!) and it would be nice to 'medicate' for all that stuff. But if it involves getting us into substances we've abused or misused in the past, I think we should steer clear whenever possible.

Just my thoughts guys. There is no substitute for your own doctor's instructions or advice, so please anyone who is on benzos or anything else, discuss it with your doctor. Part of us getting better and progressing in recovery is honesty with our healthcare providers and willingness to stop medicating ourselves and follow the directions with our meds.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:33 pm 
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That is a good idea and I will do that........I never used Soma befor but a friend did...they would joke and call them coma's..cuz that's what he was in when he would take them. From what I have read benzos can be real bad...I take for klonipin for serious anxiety and I hear of people abusing them but I never felt any kind of high are anything like what those that are addicted to xanax describe. Glad I don't......Thanks for the suggestions


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:09 am 
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Hey Manny. Isn't there a risk of withdrawals from Xanax that a doctor should be overseeing? Have you been taking 1mg everyday during that time period? I don't think the Suboxone will automatically handle benzodiazepine withdrawal if you are subject to that. You may need to taper under the direction of a doctor. I don't know too much about it, but I've read that benzodiazepine withdrawal can be deadly if not done correctly, unlike opium withdrawal, which just makes you wish you would die.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:22 am 
MannyP - Just to clarify - Suboxone does nothing to "handle" withdrawal from benzos. Suboxone is used to treat opiate addiction. I think it's been made clear that there is some risk involved with taking benzos whether you're on Suboxone or not. I also think it's been made clear that if you're addicted or abusing benzos, you need help with that.....detoxing cold-turkey off benzos is dangerous (I mentioned seizures in my previous post....well, that can lead to death, as Subjohn said.)
And again, as has been said already....you most definitely need to be under the close care of your doctor in regards to all of of this.
Please come back and let us know how you're doing!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:38 pm 
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thanks for the posts.

I thought the benzo risk is if you're taking approximately 4mg a day or more. I thought I read if you're taking under that it shouldn't be a problem to stop. However I should probably taper down, start taking 0.5mg a day then slowly end it before taking subs to be on the safe side.



Also, just for some history I saw a doctor two times and went over my history and he prescribed me suboxone. He told me it shouldn't be a problem to start, however I wanted to research it a bit more because the doc seemed to rush me a bit and I felt like I was just another patient and maybe it was all procedure to him.

Also, I don't know if I can afford to go back as I don't have insurance and the two visits are hundreds of dollars. So my plan was to start the suboxone, get me over the withdrawals and quit for good.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:11 pm 
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I took everyone's advice and I'm scheduled to see a different doctor on Wed. I'm going to talk to him about everything and do exactly what he says. Better be safe than sorry!



Meanwhile, I'm having terrible ringing in my ears. Not sure if anyone else has had this problem, but I've read online that vicodin and other pain meds can cause Tinnitus (ringing in ears) and even hearing loss. It's been constant for about a week now. Very concerning and very annoying!


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