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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:43 pm 
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Hey You Guys and Girls,

I have been following this forum for about 6 months now, and I owe this forum and it's users a great deal of gratitude. I am nearing the end of my taper and wanted to share a little of my story. I don't plan on going too in depth with my past usage, but I was hooked on OC for 3 years, during my senior year of college, and for the two years following. I decided to get on Suboxone in October of 2009, so I am closing in on 1 year on Sub maintenance (at the end of October).

My doctor started me out on 8 mgs, which seems pretty low compared to what i've read of other peoples experiences. After the first month, I would never reach 8 mgs a day.. I found myself nodding off and extremely tired and unmotivated (i fell asleep at the wheel a couple times...Scary stuff!). The most I have taken per day, minus the first month, is 4-5 mgs. For the last 6 months I have been right at 2 mgs or less.

Now for my taper...I have always felt like I wanted off of Suboxone, even from the very start. I never quite felt right while taking it for some reason. I would get headaches and sweat profusely at very unfortunate times. lol. It really killed my motivation and left me in a daze. I did have good days on it I suppose, but for the most part I think Buprenorphine, is just too strong for me. See my habit wasn't all that heavy when I was in active addiction...most of the time I would average anywhere from 10 mgs of Oxycodone a day, all the way up to 80 mg a day (which was extremely rare, and only happened a few times a month). I would average 20-30 mgs a day. But i was certainly addicted and couldn't stop my usage on my own, even though I wasn't taking "all that much"... But it was enough to cause problems and I decided I needed to seek help. In retrospect I should have been able to taper down from 20-30 mgs a day, but I just couldn't do it! I was tired of the roller coaster of trying to find pills, and getting sick... So I got on Bupe and started NA and seeing a counselor regularly.

I am using a method where I crush my 2mg pills down, break them up into 4 equal piles, and then put them under my tongue. This has been working well and I have been at .5 mgs a day for about 3 weeks now...

Today I have cut down my dosage to .4 mgs! So today is my first drop (that i'm making public that is!). I take my dose once a day, in the morning. The mornings are the HARDEST time for me. As soon as I wake up in the morning, my heart rate is accelerated and I start to get anxiety about the upcoming day. Usually I just need to get up and get moving, then it starts to improve. Then I will take my dose for the day...

I plan on staying at .4 for another 2 weeks and make sure I am stable at this dose. Then I will drop to .3, .2, .1, .05, etc... I I have tried to quit Sub once in the past year and I jumped at 4 mgs a day...Which succcked, and now that I have read and educated myself more, I understand why that didn't work out too well.

My doctor isn't present during this time, which I am a pretty upset about. I would like to do all of this with his guidance, but I feel that I am adequately prepared this time. I have Clonodine .1 mg tablets (60 of them) and Xanax 1 mg (30 of them) for when the time comes. These were prescribed to me by my primary care physician, who has been really understanding this whole time! My insurance has recently changed and it no longer covers Suboxone, so that is another reason why I am tapering..It is soo expensive as probably most of you have experienced.

I will update as I go a long with how I am doing. I have to say I haven't had much problems dropping dosages this entire time, except for when I got to 1 mg. Just some minor hot flashes and aches, and a little cloudy head.. But I am taking it as slow as possible and hoping for the results I want! I am an extreme pussy when it comes to withdraws and I just know that if I am going to be truly successful in coming off Sub. I need to take it as slow as possible..

Take Care all your bupers and non bupers. I wish you nothing but success.. I'm on here every day, so i'll update as I come across anything! Thanks for reading guys! Please give me any advice you may have.


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 Post subject: One more med...
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:06 pm 
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I also have Amitriptyline HCL 10 mg tabs (60). When i tried to quit before I had a really hard to time "staying" asleep.. I know insomnia comes with opiate withdrawal.. and really i think it's the worst symptom for me.

These will also help with depression as well? Its an atypical anitdepressant, which i'm not sure what that exactly means..

thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:11 pm 
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Hello Homestretch,

I have no experiance with tapering, but wanted to wish you the best of luck! It sounds like you are doing things right, and I think you will do great! Good luck and keep us posted!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:51 pm 
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hi homestretch -

Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant - one of the older ones that was used before Prozac. It works on seretonin and norepinephrine. It's also used off-label for a bunch of other stuff, including sleep disturbance or insomnia. The 10mg pills you have are probably good for insomnia or for regulating sleep cycles, but that is a much smaller dose than what is typically used for treating depression. So I don't know if it will help with your depression or not. I've taken it for both depression and for insomnia and in my experience it was a way better sleep aid than it was an antidepressant.

Your taper plan sounds pretty solid. I tapered off Sub in a similar way, very slowly with small decreases. What worked for me was staying flexible in my schedule - if I didn't feel stable enough to drop my dose again, I waited. Two weeks was usually long enough unless something else was going on in my life or I was sick or something. The other things that I think contributed to my success were just practicing good life habits & taking good care of myself. It may seem simple or obvious, but things like getting enough rest, eating well, working out, meditating, spending time with friends, and cultivating a postivie attitude really made my withdrawal process a LOT easier. I too am admittedly a pussy when it comes to withdrawals, I stopped at .2mgs and it really wasn't that bad.

I wish you the best of luck with your taper. It requires patience and can be a little tedious at times, but ultimately I think it's a good way to go.

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

-Jack Kornfield


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 Post subject: Day #2 at .4 mg
PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:57 am 
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hey thanks for responding you two! And thanks, you're right about the type of anti depressant. Maybe it has a placebo effect on me, but sometimes I feel like i'm on an anti depressant the next day after taking 10 mgs... But yea, that's a really low dose. Whatever works I guess! It's incredible how mind games come in to play during withdrawals/tapering. My mind is my biggest obstacle, but i think i've trained it and learned to recognize when it's trying to steer my in the wrong direction. I've bought one of Dr. J's audio on quitting sub, and he has some good advice on there about how we should view opiates..

DOAQ I definitely know who you are.. you're taper thread has been like a bible too me this past few months of preparation and tapering. You have a lot of insight and knowledge that's helped me a lot.. so thank you.

Day #2 @ .4 mg: Damn Damn Damn why did I drink coffee this morning. I definitely should not have, especially on day #2 of reduction. I'm feeling a little of the withdrawals this morning, but nothing I can't handle. I know it's the caffeine and hopefully it will pass once the caffeine makes its way out of my system.

Other than that, I feel pretty good today. I took a 10 mg Amitriptyline last night because I didn't think I could fall asleep. After I took that, I slept through the night. Awesome! Do you think there's any danger in taking these every once in a while while still on .4 of Sub??? Should I wait and only use them once I have jumped?

I know Benzos are completely out, but what about the Anti Depressant sleep aid? And colonidine? Maybe on days 3 and 4 after a reduction because of the half life? I have plenty of them, but maybe I should save them away for the jump.

This slow and gradual taper is definitely the way to go for me... I used to equate it to Chines Water Torture..But i definitely think it's the way too go. I have tried Cold Turkey and will never go through that hell again! But everyone is different.

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Day #2 at .4 mg
PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:02 pm 
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hey thanks for responding you two! And thanks, you're right about the type of anti depressant. Maybe it has a placebo effect on me, but sometimes I feel like i'm on an anti depressant the next day after taking 10 mgs... But yea, that's a really low dose. Whatever works I guess! It's incredible how mind games come in to play during withdrawals/tapering. My mind is my biggest obstacle, but i think i've trained it and learned to recognize when it's trying to steer my in the wrong direction. I've bought one of Dr. J's audio on quitting sub, and he has some good advice on there about how we should view opiates..

DOAQ I definitely know who you are.. you're taper thread has been like a bible too me this past few months of preparation and tapering. You have a lot of insight and knowledge that's helped me a lot.. so thank you.

Day #2 @ .4 mg: Damn Damn Damn why did I drink coffee this morning. I definitely should not have, especially on day #2 of reduction. I'm feeling a little of the withdrawals this morning, but nothing I can't handle. I know it's the caffeine and hopefully it will pass once the caffeine makes its way out of my system.

Other than that, I feel pretty good today. I took a 10 mg Amitriptyline last night because I didn't think I could fall asleep. After I took that, I slept through the night. Awesome! Do you think there's any danger in taking these every once in a while while still on .4 of Sub??? Should I wait and only use them once I have jumped?

I know Benzos are completely out, but what about the Anti Depressant sleep aid? And colonidine? Maybe on days 3 and 4 after a reduction because of the half life? I have plenty of them, but maybe I should save them away for the jump.

This slow and gradual taper is definitely the way to go for me... I used to equate it to Chines Water Torture..But i definitely think it's the way too go. I have tried Cold Turkey and will never go through that hell again! But everyone is different.

Thanks.


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 Post subject: oops
PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:12 pm 
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Sorry, i don't know why that posted twice...

I'm starting to feel normal again. Although, i'm starting to get some surges of energy in my arms and legs. RLS/RAS is kicking in a little. But i've been lounging around since it's my day off... i need to get out and keep moving.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:13 am 
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Hey there,

Sounds like you're doing great. Good plan crushing up the pills into piles...so damn tough to know how much you're taking once you're under .5 mgs or so. I'd say the only thing I'd suggest is working in some days off here and there. There's probably some competing opinions on whether there is a point to that or not but for me personally it helped to see that after I wake up, get moving, I can break the chain of taking sub every day without much to worry about. Then when I got down to .1 mg a day or so my jump was ridiculously easy. I'm 2+ months off now and feel pretty awesome. I have the MILDEST paws here and there but i almost embrace it like an old friend becaues it's so manageable and mild it's not even funny. So, you will do great, you're almost off, you have done the heavy lifting in my opinion.

As Diary said don't worry about needing a little more here and there...just take the least amount possible while staying as comfortable as possible and you'll do great.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:27 pm 
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I don't have much to add, just wanted to congratulate you, homestretch, on your thus far successful taper and from where I sit it looks like you've got a pretty solid taper plan there, so good luck and keep us posted!


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 Post subject: Thanks,
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:16 pm 
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Hey, thanks for the support. I don't have another reduction for another week and half, so I probably won't post anything unless anything changes.

Last nights sleep was pretty restless, I woke up at 3:00 Am wide awake, so I flopped around for about a half hour, then fell back asleep. I'm starting to notice some light RLS.. Last night was kinda rough, but oh well. I'm feeling great today, despite a few hot flashes and hot feeling on the skin. Otherwise not too shabby.

Thanks again. This might be a pretty boring threat, but it just helps me to type things out. Plus it makes feel accountable to something else...weird but yea.

Day 3 @ .4...overall, minus some tossing and turning last night, I feel fine. I haven't been tested in any social situations yet. I am going to hang out with some friends later tonight. This is a good test for me, because I havent been around too many people the last 3 days...Hopefully anxiety won't show his ugly face. Take care everyone.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:33 pm 
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Just hang in there, dude. You'll be OK, and as long as you don't rush things it should go fairly easily for you.


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