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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:18 am 
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So a little background here: I've gone from 32mg to 0.6mg (using 2mg strips in 1/3s). I'm now starting the move to 0.5mg with the hope of tapering myself down to 0.125mg once a day by the end of the year. I've always dosed once - in the early morning about an hour after waking up. Due to work constraints I've held at the 0.6mg for a bit longer than other doses but am starting 0.6mg/0.5mg alternating doses this week.

From my early teens through my mid-20s I suffered from pretty intense migraines. Light sensitivity, lack of motor control, uncontrollable puking, etc. happened about 3x a week, minimum, and always started early afternoon lasting for about 5-6 hours. In my late 20s, those headaches started to taper and I could control them to a few a month. As a side note, many on this site reference the addict's tendency for constant self assessment (do I need a pill? do i need a boost? do I feel ok right now? Am I w/d'ing?). These headaches are what started that behavior for me - do I need a Coke? am I short on sleep? If I do this will it lead to a headache? I had so many rituals for headache avoidance - more than I can count - as a college student.

I was able to maintain the the few headaches a month pattern until I found opiates. Once I started taking my Roxies my headaches disappeared. I haven't dealt with them in years. My entire time on opiates I never once had an afternoon headache that I can remember. I did occasionally get something I can only describe as a hangover-type headache (i.e. in a different part of my head than migraines, but still sucky) in the morning every once in a blue moon when I had done a ton of Roxies the day before, but other than that I was in the clear. When I started subs this continued; all the way from 32mgs down to my current 0.6mgs.

Now, all of the sudden, it is like someone has slowly flipped a switch. My headaches came back once a week, then twice, then three times, then 6 days a week. Here is the really weird thing - I'm now getting morning headaches. The pain wakes me up hours before I need to get up and I'm toast for the entire day. Even when I shake the pain I get a cloudy feeling like I've been out partying. I've tried all my old tricks - sugar, caffeine, food, sleep monitoring, facial muscle relaxing, "cocktails" of OTC analgesics and nothing works. I've read on here than many have headaches when going on subs, but I went 1.5yrs at a very high dose, gradually tapered down, with zero issues.

Has anyone else had issues when they get to lower doses? I don't want to go back up in dose but this is really impacting my usefulness as a human. My job requires constant travel and sometimes weeks without a day off. Since this started I've even been twice detained by airport LEOs on the request of the TSA because they thought I was intoxicated. Those that have migraine issues should fully understand the "glassy eyed/vacant stare" phenomenon. Add that to the pasty weird skin that happens during a severe bout and I really don't blame them for thinking I'd escaped from a mental institution.

One piece of good news - for those on high doses right now worried about tapering - I had zero, ZERO, issues tapering to where I am now. Other than a couple times when I just happened to be sick or have an upset stomach and couldn't hold my dose in my mouth long enough, I've had virtually no discomfort or even mild w/d during my taper so far. I think I've had two nights of insomnia and honestly I sleep better now on the whole than I did before I started opiates. I just made a schedule, cut up my pills (later films) and stuck to it. I never had cravings, I never had temptation to increase my dose (except for my rocky start getting on the 32mgs to start with), I never deviated from my plan, and I was never consumed with the type of mind controlling desire I had on roxies. The first couple months sucked but everything since getting over that hump has been awesome. I even found myself rationalizing pushing my appointment out because I didn't want to leave work to fly home. I did this so many times that my doctor started charging me for phantom visits so he could get his due from my "slot" in his office. I can tell you - when I was on roxies I wouldn't have delayed a doctor's visit by 30 minutes. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:52 pm 
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Hey deemanchu -

Sorry you're suffering so much with migraines, that sucks. I have had chronic migraines forever and finally had to go to a neurologist that specialized in headaches to get it under control.

When I was on Suboxone my migraines basically went away, I was down to 1 a month (from several a week). When I went off Suboxone my migraines came back and I had to go back on migraine meds for a while.

If you have chronic migraines (more than a few per month) you should probably see a doctor about some kind of preventative migraine medication. Topamax is one that I took for a while but what really helped me was Tizanidine, which is a muscle relaxant but is also an experimental prophylactic treatment for migraine. And then the doctor will probably also give you some kind of triptan based medication like Imitrex for when a headache does occur.

Once I got my headaches under control again I weaned off the daily meds and now I'm back to just having 1 or 2 per month at most so hopefully the rebound effect you're getting from weaning off Sub will also pass for you. But please see a doctor if you can, that's just no way to have to live. Feel better!

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:32 am 
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Thanks for the reply. Did you start Migraine treatment whilst still on Subs? I'd be a bit nervous about asking a doctor for migraine treatment and admit to taking subs for fear they'd label me a pill seeker due to misunderstanding subs.

I did finally find some relief on my own but I won't be able to do this forever. I've always dosed in the morning and after keeping a list of my headache times and daily activities (something I haven't done in years), I discovered that my headaches were clustering morning or night based on how early/late I took my morning dose, so I started splitting my 0.5mg in to halves and taking it in the morning and night. So far, so good (knock wood) but my problem is I'm ready for another jump and I know I'll also be able to split doses for so long. Soon, they will be too small to split in to two.

I guess this is kind of a "first world problem" for addicts. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:02 pm 
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Diary of a Quitter wrote:
Hey deemanchu -

Sorry you're suffering so much with migraines, that sucks. I have had chronic migraines forever and finally had to go to a neurologist that specialized in headaches to get it under control.

When I was on Suboxone my migraines basically went away, I was down to 1 a month (from several a week). When I went off Suboxone my migraines came back and I had to go back on migraine meds for a while.

If you have chronic migraines (more than a few per month) you should probably see a doctor about some kind of preventative migraine medication. Topamax is one that I took for a while but what really helped me was Tizanidine, which is a muscle relaxant but is also an experimental prophylactic treatment for migraine. And then the doctor will probably also give you some kind of triptan based medication like Imitrex for when a headache does occur.

Once I got my headaches under control again I weaned off the daily meds and now I'm back to just having 1 or 2 per month at most so hopefully the rebound effect you're getting from weaning off Sub will also pass for you. But please see a doctor if you can, that's just no way to have to live. Feel better!



Hello There! I quoted Diary's post because the exact same two medications work great for migraines for me. For the same reasons. This way you dont have to suffer througt the same post twice! LOL!

Migraines are the worst thing in the world to suffer from. I suffered for 2 years and 2 years only. Thank GOD!!! They were without a doubt, the hardest two years to get anything done. I couldn't move without puking, crying, and feeling like my head was literally in a vice grip. They started when I was pregnant with my daughter, and disappeared when I was done nursing her. I have no clue why they stopped, and I am not complaining. Good luck to you, and I hope that you are able to find something that helps. Oh, and I wouldn't worry too much about sounding like you are pill seeking. They typically don't give pain killers for migraines because they end up causing rebound headaches. At least that is what I was told.

One more med that worked for me was Maxalt. It dissolves on your tongue pretty quickly, so the relief came quickly as well.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:11 pm 
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I never told any of my other doctors that I was on Suboxone, so it wasn't an issue. And like Goingstrong said, migraine meds are usually non-narcotic, so it's not a big deal anyway. But if splitting your dose has helped, then that's great. When you get down to a lower dose maybe it still won't be an issue even if you can't split your dose.

Good luck!

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