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 Post subject: Surgery and Suboxone
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 2:46 am 
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So I've been on Suboxone for a few months now and have only had surgery once in my life (before abusing opiates & taking Suboxone), and I'm in my early 20's so when I started treatment in February I never anticipated having to stop Suboxone for surgery.

WRONG!!! A few weeks ago I cracked a tooth below the gumline and was facing oral surgery to have it fixed. At first I panicked. I was in awful pain and on top of it was afraid of the problems with making the change or if I even wanted to stop the Suboxone at all.

First and most important- GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR SUBOXONE DOC ASAP and tell them what's going on. Your only other option is talking with a dentisit who may or may not know about treating patients who are on Suboxone. Initially, in my situation my doc and I decided to continue the Suboxone and just take a stronger sleeping med in the short term.

I was still pretty nervous on the day of the surgery, but it went very well. I was not completely "put out" I was just given a nerve block and N20 ("laughing gas). Even after both wore off The pain was moderate but bearable. For those of us who are used to taking huge amounts of opiates you would be amazed how effective a couple of Tylenol are!

A few days later I ran into trouble: I developed a nasty infection and "dry socket" and can't describle how bad the pain was. My first mistake was not to call my Sub doc right away. Instead I called my dentist who flat out said to "deal with it" because they don't prescribe ANY controlled substances to Suboxone patients.

I met with my Suboxone doc and he switched me to a full agonist for a week to deal with the pain. The transition was so simple. I had already stopped the Suboxone 2 days ago because I couldn't put anything in my mouth after the surgery so I simply took my substitute for 7 days and my pain was relieved. I waited about 24 hours after my last dose and restarted my regular dose of Suboxone. It was that easy.

Anytime you are facing surgery or any situation that could affect your ability to take Suboxone, TALK TO YOUR SUBOXONE DOC!!! They are the ones who know how to help, not the dentists and er docs you might encounter.

If you have any questions feel free to shoot me a message! (Or talk to your doc!!!)


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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 9:55 am 
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I recently had to go the ER for an abcess in my mouth and an infection that I gotten as a result. The ER doc asked if I was taking anything. I told him just Suboxone. He gave me a dirty look and treated me like dirt and told me to get the hell out of his ER! I had even called my Suboxone Dr. and since I live far away from any dentist and don't have transpertation he told me to just go up to the ER and have the ER doc call him. The ER doc refused flat out! All i needed was an antibiotic for christ sake! Made me feel terrible. Just brought this up because this could happen to you.


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 Post subject: re:
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 12:52 pm 
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I'm sorry to hear that happened to you. It is amazing how many doc's are misinformed about treating anyone who is taking Suboxone. My only suggestion in that type of situation is if you were treated that way in the ER is to call your Suboxone doc again and tell them what happened. They should be able to call in a prescription for you to help in the short term. There are limits to what prescriptions a doc can call in over the phone (e.g. no C-2's) but at least they should be able to help you in some way...


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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 1:15 pm 
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Every time I hear a story like that it makes me glad that I didn't mention my Suboxone use to the ER doc who treated my kidney stone.

How can such educated people be so ignorant?

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 Post subject: re:
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 1:21 am 
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I know the feeling... I hate the idea of lying to an ER doc especially since lying to docs is one of the things many of us did when we were addicts. But, when you are in this type of situation your options are few and far between. Still, I personally would try to work with my Suboxone doc directly first as I have an awesome doc who responds to my concerns, but everyone's situation is different. Do what you need to do but first and foremost be safe!


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 1:36 am 
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Yeah, I don't like lying to doctors either but at that point I would have sold my own mother down the river for some pain relief. Kidney stones hurt.

I'm just so glad that the drugs they gave me worked. I've heard from other people on Sub that had kidney stones that they got morphine and it did nothing. I got dilaudid and it did the trick. It wore off pretty fast though.

It would just be nice to know that you could tell a doctor - especially in an emergency type situation - that you're on Sub without fear of then being refused the treatment that you need. That's so scary.

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 Post subject: re:
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 2:19 am 
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I agree if only more docs would take the time to become educated on Suboxone and that patients who are taking it are not "junkies looking for a fix" we are people in recovery and working very hard to overcome our past addictions. To label us all as drug seeking junkies is simply unprofessional and uncalled for. I wish that all docs had to go through some continuing education to learn about this drug and how to properly treat patients who truly need compassionate and correct treatment.

-jp04


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:39 am 
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Last year, while on 12 mg suboxone, I had a medical emergency on a Tuesday morning . I was barely able to speak due to shortness of breath The nurses estimated my pain to be a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. My pain was actually moderate about a 4 and I felt okay after a few minutes on oxygen. The doctor examined me and said. "I DON'T want to get you addicted to pain medication again" so gave me Motrin which was very effective and admitted me to the hospital. The doctor on call ordered a cocktail of non narcotic meds and ordered a CAT scan. They offered to continue me on suboxone but I declined, because i suspected that I needed surgery and didn't want the suboxone to block pain medication I would need post op. . I was diagnosed with empyema a rare but very serious complication of pneumonia . Wednesday evening I was transferred to a much bigger hospital capable of treating my condition . The cardio thoracic surgeon visited me Friday and and scheduled surgery for the following Monday. Three and a half hour surgery and needed 2 units of packed cells. Woke up in the ICU with tubes every where. Had a patient controlled pump for my pain medication. The next day I was transferred to a regular room where I "lived" for the next week. I was immediately weaned off the PCA pump onto oral narcotic pain medication. Due to my increased tolerance, the next four days were horrible and I did not care if I lived or died. Got meds every four hours but they only took the edge off my pain and wore off in three hours. The doctor ordered a prn of dilaudid for breakthrough pain which I only received twice because the nurses did not want to administer it to me when I complained of pain. After I was released from the hospital I took vicodin for a few days and then resumed taking suboxone . I felt much better.
Thanks for letting me vent and hopefully someday recovering addicts can be treated with more respect and given adequate pain control.


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