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 Post subject: Suboxone and memory loss
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:35 pm 
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Hello all, new member here.

I've been taking Suboxone for 21 months. At age 47, I'm doing considerably well considering the hell I've been through. Multiple spine surgeries and a left shoulder that needs replacing put me into a pit of pain that I thought I could not escape. I felt the drug addiction coming in 2001 after my first surgery and got off the oxy's in 02. Eventually, I went back. BZut that was then, and this is now. Almost.

My memory was a sharp as a tack. I remembered dates, times and anniversaries that were not MINE!!. Now I am lucky to remember what I did yesterday. Without keeping a written journal, I would not remember the past without serious prodding. This has many family and friends alarmed. Although this has happened during my treatment with Suboxone, I am not in any way blaming the drug. Without Suboxone, the pain is sharp. It just takes the edge off, which is all I can ask. I've discussed this with my Dr. He does not feel this is attributed to Suboxone, but I cant seem to find an answer that I can digest. My hope is that this is a side effect, and not the early onset of Alzhiemers. THAT is a tough pill to swallow. (pardon the pun) Has anyone experienced a decrease or alteration of memory?

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Dave


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:10 am 
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I'm sorry... What did you ask again?? :)

Actually memory loss is a known side-effect of long-term opiate use, as buprenorphine is an opiate, it stand to reason that it could be a contributing factor.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:43 pm 
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I think it would stand to reason that if as you suggest the pain meds you were taking before Sub did not effect your memory it seems unlikely a more mild opiate such as Sub/bupe would. In my own personal experience opiates have always seemed to have a reverse effect on me, they seem to speed me up physically and mentally and I actually have some very strong memories from my using days. I haven't heard of anyone else on Sub complaining of memory loss either but it doesn't mean it could never happen. I hope you figure out what's causing it though has to be annoying :(

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:15 am 
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Philly Dave wrote:
I've discussed this with my Dr. He does not feel this is attributed to Suboxone, but I cant seem to find an answer that I can digest. My hope is that this is a side effect, and not the early onset of Alzhiemers. THAT is a tough pill to swallow. (pardon the pun) Has anyone experienced a decrease or alteration of memory?


Dave - I am glad that you posted this. I thought that I was insane when I first started taking suboxone. I actually found that it was my short-term memory that was effected, not long-term. It was crazy because I would sometimes forget what I did just a few hours before. I do have good news though, it gets better :)
I've been on Suboxone for 20 months. I am now taking 2mg/day. Since I have tapered down this low, I very rarely experience the short-term memory loss.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:38 am 
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Hi All:

I have been on Suboxone for 4 1/2 years now and definitely have short term memory loss issues because of it. I would love to get off of this stuff but have never been successful. I do notice that when I take less than my normal dose, after a couple of days my clarity and memory seem to get better, then of course withdraw sets in.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:16 pm 
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My doctor and I call that the suboxone fog. I've been on for over six years, currently at 3mg and probably forever. My memory is much better now than early on when I was at higher doses. I started at 24 and it almost had a methadone effect on me, sort of out of it and very forgetful. I used to say it was like all the side effects of heroin but not the high. It got so much better when I started to lower my dose. Maybe that's something to discuss with your doc. It's hard to compare the memory loss with suboxone and using to get high. Suboxone is a very consistent, daily amount of the same drug. When I was abusing opiates it was so inconsistent. One day I'd go through a gram or so of H, the next be without and sick, and most days taking pills to hold me over. There are years that I can't remember a thing and some of that time is very vivid. It's not the same comparison IMO. When we add up all the time using and taking suboxone, as great as suboxone is, it's got to mess up our minds some how. Definately talk to your doc and your family doctor, if anything to put your mind at ease. Best of luck. Keep us posted.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:44 am 
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Since this topic has been resurrected I thought I'd go ahead and throw in my experience, too. As many of you know I'm on a high dose of sub as I take it for pain - between 16-24 mg per day. Reading this thread is the first I've heard of a suboxone fog. My memory and mind are clear as can be - more so than ever. That's one of the things I'm thrilled to have gotten back since my active addiction. Now that this topic is active again, I'd really like to hear from others on this subject, because I'm so surprised to read about it.

Anyone else?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:48 pm 
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I've met plenty of people that have had my experience and many who have not. IMO just an individual thing. I've met some who love methadone, they say thier mind is clear as ever and that stuff had me in a nod almost all day. Like I said before at higher doses it made me a little foggy. I personally think I started to high, my abusing was not at it's peek with I started. The last years of using I was maybe going through 10-12 percs a day. Not down playing that but there were years where my heroin use was very heavy. My doc at the time new I was heading back down that road and I think it was standard to start at 24 at the time. So I think I was put on a high dose going off my past heroin use, if all that makes sense? BTW Hatmaker how effective do you think the sub is for pain management compared to the normal treatments. I've never been a pain suferer but used to get cluster headaches and noticed them slowly come back as I lower. Nothing apap or advil can't handle but it was nice for a few years not to have any. Years ago I would hear rumors about suboxone being used more and more for pain management but it never seems to happen. What a great alternative for chronic pain suferers. I new a guy with late stage lung cancer, he passed away November, he literally had a ping pong table filled with prescriptions. Kadian, Hydromorphone, oxy, you name it. I used to feel so bad that his last months he was a total junkie. He never even took a drug till he was diagnosed at 49 and two years later that is what he was. I always thi k of him when I hear pain management and suboxone in the same sentence.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:03 pm 
I'll share my experience with Suboxone and memory since the subject has come up.
I do believe that Suboxone affected my memory.....not to a very large extent, but definitely to some degree. Having said that.....so did full-agonists. Not in the beginning, but towards the end of my active addiction, when the quantities of opiates I was using was at its highest. Honestly, before that, I had an extremely good memory. My profession required using a lot of information often and I had it 'stored' to memory as if it were literally locked in my brain. Not only medical information, but multiple phone numbers, names, things like that were no problem for me to remember. Long-term memory and short-term memory...both excellent. What I tended to lose was short-term memory.....silly things like forgetting who I had told what, things like that. Again, that was while on full-agonists. Then with the Suboxone, I continued to have some trouble with it. Now that I am down to very low doses, I seem to have recovered my memory. I'd say once I got down to under about 4mg/day, I noticed an improvement.
Of course all this is pretty subjective. And any memory impairments I had with the Suboxone were not bothersome enough to truly interfere with my life, nor were they worrisome enough for me to discuss here or with my doctor. I just know that there were several instances in which I would be talking with someone and they would 'remind' me that I had already told them that.....and I really didn't remember! And that has not happened in several months now.
That's my experience with it for what it's worth. I would only imagine that if a person had some memory issues with full agonist opiates, it might stand to reason that they might also experience it with buprenorphine. But that's just a guess.
It seems we all have varying responses to the medication on one level or another. And again, I'll gladly take feeling a little silly for forgetting something, especially if wasn't terribly important to begin with, over the Hell of active addiction, withdrawal or PAWS any day of the week!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:15 pm 
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I have to clarify something, any problems I've had with suboxone are very small in comparison to using. When talking to my doctor, people at meetings, or here on these forums any side effects are put under a microscope. Just seems talking about problems or side effects is more common than talking about the plus sides to suboxone. I read some of my posts and think "dam am I negative". I probably have 99 good things to say about sub to every 1 bad. Just thought I'd throw that out there.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:39 pm 
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Smoothy - You asked how suboxone does at managing pain. I have two chronic pain conditions and in addition to the suboxone I take a muscle relaxer, but that's it. I actually feel the sub helps me more than the muscle relaxer does. It doesn't stop my pain, but it does manage it. If I'm having a flare-up, sub can reduce my pain level up to 1.5 points (on a scale of 1-10). It may not sound like much, but it certainly takes the edge off. Considering what happens when I'm on full agonists and that I can no longer take them again for the chronic pain, I'm pleased with how it works. In April I had surgery and tapered my normally high dose down and found out how bad my pain really is. And last wee I tried to cut my dose from 8 mg (2 to 3 x/day) down to 4, and again, the pain returned. So at least now I know I'm on the right dosage.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:16 am 
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Hi everyone. This is my 1st post and also a newby.
I have been taking Suboxone for about 4 years for opiate dependence. I have had relatively mild to no side effects except for one very big effect. MEMORY LOSS.
My short term memory is terrible and has gradually increased to not remembering what i did the day prior to not remembering names or commitments. My memory is so bad that my wife has just kinda taken the role of knowing I will forget, so just doing things for me, finishing my sentence when i pause to think of words i have used my whole life. It is terrible.
Just prior to me Sub treatment i was in college and getting great grades. I was sharp, witty, and social. I am none of those now.

I am taking 24 mg a day and beginning to taper. I need my brain back. Very concerned about the taper though.

My doc wants me to taper 24- 16-12-8-4-0 in 3 months. I am worried this is too quick. the 4 mg to 0 specially.

Would love some input. I know i have mentioned a couple topics.
Thanks


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:18 am 
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We need to get your post moved by the moderators because I am afraid no one will see you here. If it isn't moved by tomorrow I will send one of them a note.

Welcome to the forum! I think the taper plan is too fast. That is my opinion. I think at the lower levels you will really struggle and I don't think it needs to be that way. It may very well be that a decreased dose eliminates your side effects. You could be down to 8mg per day in a very short time frame. Many people with side effects tend to lose them between 4mg and 8mg. The dose makes a big difference. You could probably drop to 8mg tomorrow and not really experience any withdrawal at all. You might feel a little empty or strange but you should not get withdrawal. Good luck! Hopefully you will keep posting through this and let us know how things are going.

Cherie

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:33 pm 
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I'm glad I did a search and found this subject tackled. It's obviously a rare thing it appears for most people, but it's comforting having read others experience the same thing (the short term memory loss basically).

I've been on Sub for officially 5 years now, started at 24-32 mg's the first few months and took 16 mg's for about 4 years, and during that time my memory was awful (I am currently still only 25, so it's scaring me though). I started using during my Junior year of HS, but had graduated HS by the end of my junior year (I was smart when I was a child thankfully, hah), anyway I currently am working a new job and trying to get a lot of reading done (on Auto and Home) Insurance to go take the test and get licensed.... problem is my damn brain feels so fogged up... and there are so many loopholes and special policies when it comes to a simple Auto Policy.... I am having to re-read, take notes, etc, and yet I feel like I forget everything I read oh so carefully the day before.

I am currently on 2mg of suboxone, I was tapering down more but have some back problems (had an awful car accident at 21), might have to be on this for good at low doses.

I DO ALSO TAKE 10 MG OF VALIUM AT NIGHT TO SLEEP AND I DO TAKE 1 MG OF KLONOPIN FOR MAJOR ANXIETY (Recently stopped taking Lexapro and had some rebound anxiety thus am taking these benzo's now, been on them for about 3-4 months and no Lexapro).

I know the combination of opiates and benzo's is strong and potentiate each other, etc, and am wondering if anyone else has experienced this on suboxone? Or could it be the Valium+Klonopin (even at lowish doses) that can cause memory loss or learning impairment? I'm just so used to being a quick learner, always have been in my past.

Any replies would be helpful... I'm starting to wonder if my "free-basing OXY and H" off of that crap TIN FOIL for 4 years will be something I will always regret, as it's known to contribute to Alzheimer's. I'm not freaking out about that or anything, I'm 25 and likely the benzo's added with the sub are causing this short-term memory impairment and related stuff.

Anyone feel the same?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:58 pm 
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Glad this topic came up, as I am new to forum and have this problem too. I have fibromyalgia and it is also known to causse "fibro fog" or memory issues. It does seem a little worse now that I'm on subs. But that may be that I am not high so now I realize my memory loss. It is very frustraiting. I am a fairly intelligent person ( although I cannot spell to save myt live so please forgive me) and I have trouble coming up with words sometimes. For example, I was looking for the book Polar Express the other day and could not remember the title so I ask the B&N saleslady for the book that is about Christmas and the train, with the bell...she never looked at me and said over there and pointed. Talk about feeling stupid. I also have trouble remembering appointments. I play it off like oh, I'm so busy with kids, etc. that I just forget, but I really think it is signifigant stm loss. I need the subs for pain, so I'm not sure if tapering will ever be an option.
Earlier the question was asked if it works for pain and I would say yes and no. The suboxone works on the pain kind of like hat said. it will take the edge off, but recently I have also had a ruptured disk in back and have had to add tramodol. ( I know this is not reccomended for people with addiction or on sub) but I have never abused it, even before when I was using oxy, I never abused it. Don't know why you would, all it does to me is cut the back pain in half. I wish I wouldn't have abused my pain meds, cuz now I face a future of how to treat pain as an opiate addict. My sub dr. said he has sev. patients that are "just fine on subs for pain, no pain at all" k I don't believe that. I know I still have some pain, but the subs do take it down a few notches. On a good day, I can do a lot, on a bad day, I'm in a recliner or flat on my back.. but at least now I have more good than bad days. Also, I take my films in halfs, so I take them 4 times a day. I am on 16. Dr. said the Pain relieving properties wear off in about 6 hours, so that is how he advised taking them and I do agree on that. man,sorry this is such a long post..


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:32 pm 
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Mrssky.
I totally agree with you on the memory and the pain. I can kick my self in the ass for getting addicted to pain pills. At first subs helped my pain well then the winter hit and I'm suffering alot.
My memory used to be sharp I could remember everything. If I read it or if you told me my brain was a sponge I remebered. Now it sucks but I noticed loseing mine after all the pills
Mel

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:28 pm 
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I can't remember if I posted here in the past, but I can definitely testify that SUBOXONE DOES CAUSES SHORT TERM MEMORY LOSS. I was prescribed Percocets for pain from elective surgery. I was on Percs for about 2 years and came to realize I couldn't stop taking them. So I found out about Suboxone and started taking 16mg/day. I've been on Suboxone for 4 years and I started noticing the memory loss in about the 3rd year of being on them and it is gradually getting worse. I've been forgetting names, places and things I've done yesterday. It really does scare me that this is happening and like some of you, the first thought that came to mind was "Alzheimer's". I think it is time for me to taper down........ for the 3rd time, but it is the hardest thing I ever had to do. I wish I never got elective surgery.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:35 am 
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I am experiencing VERY clouded judgement.

I am also so out of sync with time. I swear it goes by so fast and its just weird.

I'm so nostalgic when it comes to the last 8 years of my life :(

Things don't seem real to me anymore. My cousin and grandma just passed away and I seem to not be able to process it with a proper mind. I feel like my emotions, or lack thereof, are clouded.


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