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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:10 pm 
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I started taking subs two days ago, today is day 3. I woke up with a headache yesterday morning, and last night, I couldn't sleep. I have a headache, legs are aching, and I feel like if I'm taking 16mg-2 8mg a day, that I shouldn't be experiencing what I can only pinpoint as opiate withdrawals. I stopped the hydros(Vicodin) the night before I started my Subs. The first two days I was breaking them in half so I would have four doses to take a day. I thought a whole 8mg might be too much starting out and since I sit at a desk all day, I didn't wanna get too drowsy. I didn't knopw how they were gonna affect me. And yes, they make me drowsy, after an hour I take them.
When I took 1/2 of 1 this morning, an hour later I still had a pounding headache. So I took the other half. No relief. 5 hours later I called my doctor and she said I shouldn't be breaking them in half, to take the enitre 8mg at once. So I took another sub, 8mg, along with some Ibuprofen, and headache was gone in ten minutes.

My question is this: now it's six hours later and I feel the headache slowly creeping back up on me. Am I taking too much? Or not enough? I was taking anywhere from 8-9 7.5/500 Hydrocodone, and sometimes, Percocet, or 10/500 Hydros. In a nutshell, I would take any opiate after my script of 7.5/500 ran out which usually lasted a week or less b/c I didn't wanna get sick and I'm an addict. Someone, please tell me when and if these headaches ever stop and if my dosage sounds correct. I know most of us aren't doctors, but this forum has been more informative about Suboxone than my doctor!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:39 pm 
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Hi jin,

Welcome to the forum! I hope you find this forum to be as helpful and supportive as I have.

I just wanted to let you know that when I first started Suboxone I also had huge headaches and that was very strange because I very rarely ever get headaches. When I asked about it on the forum, I was told that it was the nalexone (sorry may have got that wrong, but the other ingredient in Sub) was probably causing it and that after you melt the Sub, to spit out what is left and that way you get rid of the nalexone and also the headache. So, I tried that after a week of horrible headaches and actually did not think that was going to work, and to my surprise it did work. Some people are sensitive to this nalexone and it can cause side effects, the main one being headaches, so try this and see if it works.

Also, for me, taking more Sub than I needed also made me feel worse, so try taking 4mg of Sub and spit out the leftovers or saliva and see how you feel. You may find that now that your receptors are flooded with Sub that you don't need as much Sub. There are some people that are so sensitive to this that they have to get switched to Subutex which does not have this extra ingredient but not all doctors will prescribe it.

I am thinking that that you got relief from your headache from the Ibuprophen and when that wore off you got your headache back. Of course you should talk to your doctor about all dosing and side effects, but like you stated, sometimes you get better information here with people that are used to taking Sub.

Anyway, I hope you get rid of the headaches, I can remember how debilitating they can be.

Take care, and again welcome to the forum!

Ginger


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:55 am 
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Hi jin and welcome,

Ginger may be right in that the naloxone could be causing your headaches. Try spitting out the leftover saliva/juices to see if your headaches subside. How are you doing otherwise? If you're only on day 3, you are likely still stabilizing, so give it a little more time. I don't think any of us can tell you definitively what dose you should be on. You said you took your last pain med the night before you started the sub - how many hours was that? What were your withdrawals like? Check out the size of your pupils just to ensure you're not having withdrawals. (With withdrawals, the pupils are usually large/dilated.)
I wish I could give you a better answer. Again, welcome... take care and please let us know how you're doing.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:57 pm 
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If you spit out the leftovers isnt that spitting out the suboxone as well? I'm confused....I suspect this stupid naloxone is giving me headaches too. And I don't even need this! I would NEVER IV use!! But like they will trust out word, eh? Is the naloxone what tastes so bitter too? I almost get sick its so nasty.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:34 pm 
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Hopeful,

After the suboxone has dissolved, keep it and your saliva in your mouth for as long as you can. For me that's never more than 10 minutes, but for some it's up to 45. It's after you've held it in your mouth for a while that you spit out what's left.
With any luck, that will stop your headaches. Let us know if you have other questions.

I hope this helps.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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 Post subject: opiate headaches
PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:34 pm 
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Hi, Sorry to hear about your headaches. Regarding the nalaxone--I'm sure someone else will describe it better to you, but the buprenrphine is absorbed through the mucous membranes in your mouth--you should hold the dissolved pill/saliva in your mouth for a while before spitting it out. Supposedly the naloxone does NOT get absorbed through the mouth, but some people still find that they have eliminated headaches by not swallowing at the end of dosing.

But...I am not a doctor or in the health professions, and actually, I"m the last person that would advise anyone on their dose since I have my own difficulties with my sub dose, but, it does sound to me like maybe your dose could be too high, especially based on what you described of your vicodin addiction. Now, for me, too large a dose of an opiate can cause a horrible headache. I know I'm not the only person to experience this...Sometimes when I did do much heroin, especially if I was doing heroin for the first time in a while, I would end up with the worst headache. I've also ended up with terrible headaches from methadone, at times when I took methadone at a time when I had no tolerance to opiates. Also--opiates tend to keep me awake--sometimes nodding, but awake, not sleeping, or hardly sleeping, night after night. When I first started on sub, I was just skirting around on the edge of addiction to heroin--I didnt' have a high tolerance at all, was only doing small amounts of heroin and not every day, though pretty much every or almost every week. Anyway, my doctor told me to take 1/2 of an 8/2 mg tab of sub a day, that is, 4 mgs bupe, right? I found that it made me feel quite high and dizzy and cognitively impaired. When I told my doctor how it made me feel, I was told to try taking just a quarter of a tab (i.e., 2 mgs) a day. I tried that and didn't notice any difference from 4 mgs a day. In addition to feeling high I also couldn't sleep and also got some of those bad headaches that I associate with doing too much opiate. So..I don't know what to tell you about your dose, I know sometimes Dr. J. has explained to certain people that they need to take a high enough dose to avoid feeling high....you need to be above the "ceiling effect." IN any case, it's my impression that sub is really strong....in my case, I think I could have taken less tahn even 2 mgs to just avoid any WD. and it helped with the cravings too, really well at first, since I felt high from the sub. So...I'm sorry if I"m just confusing you here, but I really am just trying to say that I wonder if your headaches are from the sub dose, and NOT from the nalaxone. For me, I eventually adjusted to sub so I don't get high from it, and I don't get headaches anymore, though I think it still can give me some problems with insomnia, especially if I dose at night. So...it could be the naloxone giving you headaches,--I think it's worth trying the dosing method where you don't swallow and see if that eliminates the headaches, but i wonder if maybe it's just too high a dose of sub. Even if it is though, I think you'll adjust soon and stop feeling any effect of a high from the sub too...Though, it can take time, I really think it took more than a month before the sub stopped making me feel high. but then, maybe I wasn't on the right dose.

In any case, I hope you start feeling better soon, i.e., get better sleep and stop getting headaches. I hope your doctor is experienced and can help you find the best possible sub dose for you soon.

I'm also interested to know, doesn't anyone else have the experience I'm talking about, of getting headaches from taking too much of any opiate, especially if you don't have any tolerance? Or, getting headaches from sub at first, or from taking too high a dose of sub?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:02 pm 
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Hi jin1997,
welcome to the forum.

I don't have much to add to what the other posters have mentioned about headaches. Usually, if you are sure that the symptom is caused by your Sub and nothing else, it can be for one of the two reasons :
1. Your body does not rid itself of Neloxone efficiently, a tiny amount might find itself into your blood. It happens if you suffered (or have suffered before) from some sort of liver disease or have a stomach condition. yousee enzymes in liver are supposed to destroy the naloxone, and if they don't do a good job, the substance ends up in your blood causing significant discomfort. Have you noticed when headaches start and when they subside? If they are caused by the Naloxone, you will have a strong oneset of headaches 20-40 minutes after you dose, and then in about an hour-hour and a half you would feel better. Naloxone has a really short half-life, like 90 minutes or so.

2. You wrote that your DOC was Vicodin - obviously your tolerance is not really high. which means you can actually be experiencing symptoms of opiate overdose during the forst week on Suboxone. luckily, the ceiling effect helps your tolerance adjust really quickly, and you get used to it pretty soon. However, your dose might still be too high, besides, if you don't have chronic pain, most doctors advice to dose once a day then every six hours. As with every long-acting or extended release medication, stabilizing on it is very important. However I'm not a doc and don't know anything about your health or conditions, so it's important you talk to someone who has all your info (you might want to transfer your records from your family physician to your Sub doc) so you can decide on the best regimen for you that would be the most beneficial.

Or maybe its neither? How's your blood pressure and hydration? Not drinking enough water in hot weather is the number one offender when it comes to severe headaches. But that can be easily resolved with proper hydration and some NSAIDs like excedrin or ibuprophen (once again, be really careful with those, they are not harmless, especially if you have clotting problems or GI conditions like acid reflux or stomach ulcers).

Anyway, depending of the nature of your headaches, try 1) spitting out whatever is dissloved in your saliva (Buprenorphine is supposed to be fat-soluble, although some of it can still end up in your mouth - but you'll lose it either way, cause whatever is swallowed will be lost anyway due to Bupe's very poor bioavailability in GI tract), or 2) if spitting doesn't help, try to reduce your one-time dose or take in larger intervals, like twice a day instead of 3-4 times.

And don't worry, the general discomfort goes away after the first 4-6 days. you might still experience occasional symptoms (most of them psychosomatic, like hot flashes/chills that your brain sends you as a reminder "to get well" :) The sooner you're stable, the faster they'll go away. You've been through the worst of it, it will only get better, (or, in the worst case scenario, stay the same - but then you should talk to your doctor about it, it is not really normal to be achy on Sub after a week if your body is functioning like it's supposed to).

Hope you feel better soon, and

Best of luck to all.

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"If I knew it was harmless, I would have killed it myself." (c)


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