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 Post subject: Really Sleepy
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:59 am 
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I've been on sub for about 2 months now and I tell you it has been a blessing. When I first started I was getting extremely sleepy about an hour after dosing and I thought it may go away with a little time but it is still the same. When I'm active I seem to be ok but as soon as I sit still I can't seem to keep my eyes open. It also affects me while driving and I have given up the wheel to avoid an accident. Does this happen to anyone else? If there is another post pertaining to this I haven't come across it yet.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:46 pm 
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I totally had this same problem. I was nodding out at traffic lights, and whenever I sat down I'd doze off. But when I was up doing stuff I felt fine. It was very strange and made driving scary.

I had to lower my dose. I think I was on 14 or 16mgs and went down to 8mgs. I still couldn't take the whole 8 in the morning though. I'd take 4 and then the other 4 around 5pm. I would still be a little sleepy-feeling if I took my dose and then sat around, but at least I wasn't dropping off to sleep in traffic. And as long as I went about doing stuff, I was fine.

Talk to your doctor before changing your dose. Good luck.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:49 pm 
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Yeah, I am hip to this too.Sometimes I have to fight really hard to not fall asleep at school.I have burned little holes in my bed sheets from dropping cigarettes, and I get really embarrassed by it.I have also spilled drinks on myself because I will be nodding off and experience a muscle jerk,lol. I actually wanted to film it happening but never had the chance.Ah memories.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:15 pm 
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shelwoy wrote:
I have also spilled drinks on myself because I will be nodding off and experience a muscle jerk,lol


Lol! Wait! You are the ONLY person I have found claiming both sleepiness, AND muscle jerks. The random spasms that I experience are insane! They can be anywhere from mild to my whole body and limbs flailing. The latter are particularly frightening. It has made me feel like I am no longer in control of my body!

As for getting sleepy, I suffer as well, if I am sitting, and not engaged in conversation I can feel my body relaxing (though I try to fight it) and then come the spasms and the drooping eyes, that I usually give into for a minute or two, and the brief moments that I am out, I hear and experience voices or visions, that seem almost supernatural. It has been frightening me. My dose started at 8mg daily (though I took 4mg daily) then after I had an inconvenient relapse, I at the suggestion of my therapist at my outpatient I moved to 16mg daily. I admit that I *THINK* that I experienced the tiredness and spasms at 4mg as well, but I can't remember since my memory went from photographic (it really was my best asset) to non-existant.

The combination of sleepyness and spasms has given my tons of thought that I should get off subs (been on 7 months) but I really like how stable I am (other than those) and I cant say that I would be if I wasn't otherwise on it. I was clean from opiates completely, for 42 days before i relapsed and started sub for the first time.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:25 pm 
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I have maybe 10% of the 100 patients I see who say they feel sedated. The thing is, I have the complaint of sleepiness from a number of my non-Suboxone patients as well-- it is a relatively common complaint that people have. In at least some of the Suboxone patients I don't think the sedation is related to Suboxone-- the daytime sleepiness thing is simply a matter of getting older. They didn't notice during their using days because, well, how could they? During using times we are up and down and all over the place. But now they are 'normal', and their normal includes feeling daytime sedation.

I am almost 50 (ouch)-- about 7 years ago as a psych resident I had so much trouble staying awake during patient sessions in the afternoon. I was NOT on Suboxone, nor anything else-- I had been clean a few years, and generally felt great... but when sitting still for an hour in the afternoon I could barely keep my eyes open, despite getting plenty of sleep.

I won't get into all the sleep cycle stuff but there are 4 stages, and then REM sleep when we dream. The deepest stage, stage 4, is required to feel 'rested'; some people don't get to stage 4 for various reasons; aches and pains that lighten their sleep, alcohol intake, caffeine too late in the day, sleep apnea, etc.

Same for the muscle jerks-- that is much less common, but it happens in people off Suboxone also. My point is that the buprenorphine is pretty selective in the actions it has, and those actions are subject to tolerance. I do think that lowering the dose helps some people with sedation, but it is always hard to tell if it was lowering the dose, or just the fact that they were on it longer, and so their tolerance was still adjusting as we fiddled with the dose. People on a medication that they don't want to be on tend to blame every new symptom on the med-- I see it all the time with antidepressants. If a person doesn't want to take prozac, every symptom that comes up will be blamed on the prozac. Beyond that, doctors tend to blame symptoms on a drug they don't know about. I've had that happen often-- I even had a guy go to the ER with a high fever and chest pain and the doc told him 'it is the Suboxone'-- He called me and I told him to go back, and I called the ER and bitched at them; they did a chest xray and he had a pneumonia and pleural effusion! (not related, by the way, to being on Suboxone).

The muscle jerks are from the same process as 'restless legs'-- a problem that isn't all that uncommon. It is a total pain-- very uncomfortable. Requip works, but I don't like messing with the dopamine system too much, which is what requip does.

Just some food for thought.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:14 am 
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I have said in another post that I feel the sleepiness may have to do with too high a dose.For me personally, my sleepiness is most likely from not being able to sleep well at night.I have always been a light sleeper but for the past couple years I have to wear earplugs to bed to block out all noise or I will be up all night.My problems did in fact exist pre suboxone, so I just wanted to clarify that.As far as the muscle jerks, I am pretty sure they started after I got clean from my drug of choice which was cocaine/crack.I would have to believe that the cocaine had something to do with that, but who knows.
Just don't stop your treatment without being 100% sure you can blame Sub for your symptoms.I would hate to see anybody screw themselves over a side effect that can be dealt with.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:50 pm 
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Very interesting, I can see why everyone is so quick to blame every last little thing on suboxone. People love to hate it, and quickly forget the good it is doing (side effects or not) in the world. I has improved my life beyond recognition.

Dr. Junig, as far as the sleepiness NOT being from suboxone, I will say that I drink extreme amounts of Mountain Dew (Caffeine) practically all day, as well as late into the evening. It has been an addiction that there is not a suboxone for. I also believe I have sleep apnea (runs in the family) and I began snoring in the last few years of my use, and wake up gasping for air quite often. I am only 29, and hate to blame it on old age, but I know something isn't right.

I talk wellbutrin 150mg 2 x daily, and I thought that may have something to do with the sweating, sleepiness, and jerking. I stopped taking it on my own for 1.5 months (perhaps not the best idea, but I was fine) as I wanted to wait long enough to see if that helped any of it... it didn't. All the same symptoms remained. I am not necessarily blaming suboxone, but if these things ARE side effects, ILL TAKE IT! Better than the life I had before by a long shot!

Thanks for hosting a forum where we can talk about drugs in an objective way (everywhere else says, SUBOXONE IS BAD! and why did you even quit oxy if you want to still use drugs). Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Side Effects
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:25 pm 
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I hope I didn't give anybody the idea I was looking to place undue blame or something on a medication that I truly believe saved my life. That is not my intention at all. I am still inclined to believe that the sleepiness is due to the suboxone. I discussed it with my Doc and he says it seems to be a pretty common occurrence with the patients he treats. I don't think that it's going to impact the usefulness of this medication one bit by acknowledging that it has a minor side effect or two.Believe me, I am not complaining. He is a very big advocate of this treatment and with the results it has had on my life, I am too.

I think it's great we have a place to come and discuss this medication without a lot of ridicule from people who, I believe, has no idea of the positive impact this treatment has had on a society of people that has not had a lot of desirable options up to the inception of this treatment. I have been in, and around, recovery for quite awhile and I have to admit I was a little skeptical myself when I first heard about this drug. I remember on several occasions reading or hearing about a "magic pill" for alcoholism and kind of just chuckling and thinking, man, what are they gonna come up with next. I know suboxone is not a "magic pill" but it sure stands alone in a world where there has been little progress since methadone.

I hope to be with you guys for a long time, I love this SUBOXONE TALK ZONE. It's really cool.


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 Post subject: Sleepyness
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:44 am 
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I am 30 years old and I take 2 8mgs of Suboxone a day. When I take it first thing in the morning, I pass out on the sofa. I can't stay awake for anything. I will wake up around 9am and sleep till 12- 1 pm!!! It's crazy!! But it gets stranger. When I wake, not groggy at all, I do housecleaning, run errands, etc, I'm full of energy. When I take my second dose at 8 pm, I am even more awake! It's 3:38am right now, and I am not in the least bit tired! Why is that? Same dose, just when I take it in the morning I can't stay awake. Yet it keeps me up all night. And it's not because I go to bed so late that I am tired in the morning, this all started happening with my first dose of sub. My day was always 9a to 10p. I guess I will start to take my second dose much earlier now to see what happens, I only started with this schedule because it's what my doc suggested and he said the sub would help me sleep at night. Well it hasn't! Anyone else have this problem?


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 Post subject: Sleepyness
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:45 am 
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I am 30 years old and I take 2 8mgs of Suboxone a day. When I take it first thing in the morning, I pass out on the sofa. I can't stay awake for anything. I will wake up around 9am and sleep till 12- 1 pm!!! It's crazy!! But it gets stranger. When I wake, not groggy at all, I do housecleaning, run errands, etc, I'm full of energy. When I take my second dose at 8 pm, I am even more awake! It's 3:38am right now, and I am not in the least bit tired! Why is that? Same dose, just when I take it in the morning I can't stay awake. Yet it keeps me up all night. And it's not because I go to bed so late that I am tired in the morning, this all started happening with my first dose of sub. My day was always 9a to 10p. I guess I will start to take my second dose much earlier now to see what happens, I only started with this schedule because it's what my doc suggested and he said the sub would help me sleep at night. Well it hasn't! Anyone else have this problem?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:45 pm 
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your dose may be to high. talk to your doc


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 Post subject: saaaame problem
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:02 pm 
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I'm 27 years of age and was initially prescribed 8mgs a day over a year ago, though now I've successfully tapered down to 6 mgs a day. I've even tapered to 4 mgs in the past... and, regardless of dose, I have chronic fatigue. My job requires me to sit most of the day, which I'm sure doesn't help, but it's gotten me into some pretty serious trouble recently and I've grown a bit concerned as a result. The occassional caffeine pill seems to help, but is there anything else I can do to combat this side effect?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:07 am 
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I am beyond certain of Sub's sedating effect upon me.
It is directly related to the times of day I dose, and if I am moving around or not.
I had to stop taking it before work as it made me nod off at my computer constantly, I was threatened with termination due to it.


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

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