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 Post subject: Senior Citizen Newbie
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:59 pm 
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I've been reading the various posts for several weeks now and conclude for sure that at the ripe old age of 73, I'm probably the only Geezer among the membership.
My story is similar to many others who started prescription drugs for relief of pain caused by accidents, surgery,etc. For me, I started as a result of a back operation that didn't go as planned and for peripheral neuropathy resulting from work with chemicals in the restoration of antiques.
Mine followed the familiar pattern of low doses of vicodin which evolved within several years to high levels of oxycontin. For a long time, I had practically no pain and thought I could go on like this forever. As you all know, the tolerance thing took over -------I couldn't bring myself to ask my Neurologist to keep increasing the dose. I would like to be able to say that at this point he advised me about the Suboxone program but neither he or my family DO had ever heard of the program. I found out about it listening to a local radio program.
My Sub Doc put me on 16mg for the first week. I was having a lot of pain and he switched me to Subutex for the next 2 weeks saying Subutex provided more pain relief than Suboxone. At the end of the 2 weeks I had another meeting with him and advised him I had found a paper on the net that concluded Naloxone was an aid for pain relief. So, he switched me back to Suboxone.
Sorry for that confusing paragraph but it has to do with one of my questions: Do either of these drugs have a positive effect on pain relief? The pain at this point is pretty intense and naturally I'm hoping that at some point my system will adjust to the Suboxone with the result of less pain.
If the Suboxone does help with the pain I probably would want to stay on it forever,but, if it does not help,why would't I want to get off of it as soon as possible?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:21 pm 
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Hey Old Geezer! :D Welcome to the forum, we're glad you're here.

As to your question - Buprenorphine, the active ingredient in Suboxone and Subutex is an analgesic medication so it does provide some pain relief and has been used for that purpose for many years in Europe.

That said, on the Suboxone manufacturers website it says that Suboxone is not indicated for the management of chronic pain. Some people are able to get pain relief from Suboxone, some find that it isn't enough. The bad thing about that is that when you're on Suboxone (especially at higher doses) the Sub blocks any other opiate pain meds from being able to work. So you can't take something for breakthrough pain when you're on Suboxone.

If your pain is not managed by Suboxone, there really isn't any reason to take it. It's really meant to supress cravings in opiate addicts as well as to prevent relapse by blocking the effect of other opiates. It's painkilling effects are about equal to 30 or 40 mgs of morphine - so if you were taking more than the equivalent of that, then that's probably why it's not helping your pain so much.

I really hope you find some relief from your pain. I understand why you don't want to keep asking your doctor to prescribe more medication - but from what you wrote it doesn't sound like you were abusing your medication at all. Maybe a pain management doctor can help you find other ways to treat your pain. I know there are some medications for neruopathy - those are the same meds they prescribe for fibromyalgia pain - Lyrica and Neruontin. Maybe those could help?

Let us know how things work out. And happy 4th!

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You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:03 pm 
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Suboxone is known to provide the best pain relief when it is taken in small doses every four hours or so.(2mg every four hours) It does not work for everyone in the same fashion. Some people have to take anti inflammatory drugs also. It is a long shot, but have you tried Gabapentin or Neurontin?

You say that if it does not help the pain, why would you not want off it ASAP? Try to think of how much oxycodone you were taking before this. We become so out of control with trying to not feel pain that we lose control over the rest of our lives, that is why most people stay on Suboxone.

I have learned that pain is something that will always exist and the idea is to manage it as well as possible.Feeling pain makes us human, and even though it is difficult at times, if we did not feel pain, how would our bodies function properly?

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"It is never too late to be what you might have been!" - George Eliot


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:59 pm 
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Welcome Old Geezer. If we are lucky, we will all get there some day. I am 61 and retired, not so far behind. Jean


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

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
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