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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:55 pm 
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Hi Everyone,

I've been tapering and am now at 1.5mg. I'm wondering if anyone has experience in tapering using below 10% drops. As in, dropping each dose by about 5-7% each drop.

I've searched the forum and couldn't find more info on this, hence my new post. This might be a stupid question, but all I've read about regarding taper schedules always involve 10% reductions or higher.

I'm just wondering if anyone has tried smaller reductions for each dose reduction and if so, how it worked for them. I've noticed that, if I reduce by about 6-7% each time, I hardly notice any withdrawal symptoms (of course I had an issue with unpredictable WDs, but I don't think it was related to smaller reductions).

Of course, reducing by smaller amounts will prolong my taper. I'm fine with that if it means I can taper with less suffering. I'm just wondering if anyone else has experience with this and whether it produced a gentler taper, or whether it didn't matter and/or withdrawals caught up with them anyway, even while attempting smaller reductions staying 5-7 days at each dose.

I know I will have to experience withdrawals at one point or another during my taper (and I've already had plenty of them), I'm just curious if anyone else has experience with smaller reductions since I can't seem to find much info on it. I know I'll have to suffer, as that's part of the process, so it's not like I think I'll avoid withdrawal symptoms altogether, but my curiosity of this subject prompted me to post this question.

If this is a stupid question, I won't blame you all for ignoring this post and I apologize upfront if it's redundant. My curiosity got the better of me, so I couldn't help but ask for others' experiences with this topic, if they exist.

As always, thanks to the doctors, everyone who runs this forum and to the members. This forum has been a lifesaver for me!

Thank you,

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:26 pm 
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BK,

The only issue I foresee is the ability to accurately measure doses that small, especially if the bupe wont fully dissolve and be suspended evenly in the solution. Other than that, it seems like a good approach in theory. If you come up with a solution be sure to document it here, please.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:01 am 
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Thank you Morphing. So far, I've been able to measure drops in small 6-7% increments, first using a scale and now using the liquid method.

But I see what you mean; it's difficult to measure drops of this minutia, hence the reason for reducing by more easily measured doses. I'm all about trying to measure correct daily dose, so I can see why many people reduce by 10% or higher due to the accuracy.

So, maybe you've just answered my question: maybe it's too difficult to measure smaller dose decreases. I guess I just thought it wouldn't hurt to ask, but it totally makes sense if people aren't able to accurately measure smaller amounts.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:14 am 
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Bad kitty,
I personally was taking bigger drops but as you know I was in an unnecessary hurry. :) plus I think trying to keep track of and measure out doses was just a huge pain in the ass for me anyway, and I started getting obsessed with my taper. Of course you are a different person so that probably won't be the case for you!

Keep us posted on what you end up doing!! Excited about your progress and supportive of whatever path you choose!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:30 pm 
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Posing this to share some hope,

I was on sub for about 6 years and spent at least the last 2.5 years or more of it slowly tapering from my original 8mg dose. Was very easy to quickly get to about 1.5 or 1mg but after that I would say that I did less than 10% dose decreases. I used the suboxone strips, a grid cutting board from art supply store, magnifying glasses, a razor blade and patience. In fact I had only 8mg strips for the most part and 1 single 2mg strip for the end which made it much easier. There are 1,000 micrograms in 1mg - I tapered to about 7 micrograms. I would cut a square in half into smaller rectangles and squares repeatedly, last cut being a triangle and used a calculator to figure out what dosage it roughly was. I didn't focus too much on 100% exact dosing, but very close.

If I cut a piece unevenly I would make sure to take the smaller piece in the morning and larger piece at night so it would equal to the same daily dose. Dosing 2x per day (or 3x if needed) is much better at lower doses (around 1mg I started this) which are under the ceiling level because the sub will wear off more quickly than a maintenance dose. I got this tip here from Dr. Junig.

Anyway, I can assure you that I felt no uncomfortable withdrawal effects during the taper and if I started to I would just not decrease and try again in a week or 2. Obviously the trade off was that it took a long time. It's about 4.5 months now since I finally stopped. I felt a TINY bit of feeling too happy and all of a sudden a little too down for a week or two 7-8 weeks after I jumped but seriously that just might be life. For the past 2 months I would say I haven't felt it at all though.

I really think, and Dr. Junig made a post recently that says something about how you really need to be ready to jump off sub after a good amount of time (and stability) and it will be do-able. There were times in my first 3 years on sub that I felt in a hurry or pressured to "be off of everything" but when I even tried to go from 8mg to 6mg (which is nothing really) I would struggle. Another thing I got from my own Dr. that helped me was not to have a set date or beat yourself up if it gets too hard and you need to slow down. There were times I would decrease my doses only once or twice a week before committing to the lower dose.

The day I finally jumped from my final tiny dose was actually not planned at all. I couldn't find the container with my tiny cut up pieces in and didn't have time to cut more pieces before leaving the house and said to myself "I can get through today without my dose". But then I just kept saying that every day and it really was nothing. I eventually found it had fallen and rolled under my hamper.

Good luck with your taper, just take your time and live your life- you'll be done before you know it!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:52 pm 
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Hi Fishy and Glen B,

Thanks so much for your replies/feedback.

Fishy, I know what you mean about feeling obsessed with your taper. I've been feeling that way too, which is why I may just take it slower. Every time I go through withdrawals, I obsess about it even more. Sounds as though you and I are alike in that regard!

Glen, wow, your story is amazing and encouraging. Sounds like, because you took it slow, you felt pretty decent throughout the process and your jump was more of an accidental little hop. This is so great to hear! The more positive stories like yours and Fishy's, the better off we all are!

Thanks to both of you for sharing your stories and experiences. I can't say it enough; your positive experiences really encourage those of us who are tapering or who may want to taper someday. It sure gives me hope and contributes to a positive outlook! Thanks a zillion times over!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:40 pm 
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Hey there.. I am just wondering if you are doing anything else to assist your taper?

For me working (running every morning 2-3 miles) as been a god send.. It has made the drops totally uneventful.. I have dropped down to .3 and not felt it.. however I am back up to .9-ish (I never really went above 1mg cause this stuff scares the crap out of me) but hey.. I have only been on a few months but am hoping to get off soon... I just wanted to let you know it helps more than anything and I have gotten of this stuff 4 times..

You are at a dose too where it would really be beneficial.. if you aren't start with something manageable and go from there.. you'd be amazed!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:40 pm 
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Hi nor cal! Great to see you back on, I've been wondering how you are doing!!

Great job on the running every morning. Exercise does make a huge difference in how a person feels and is able to take on life, tapering or not.

However, i am curious as to why you went up so much on your dose? When I was at a really low dose like that I went back up too. I can't remember why I did, I think the lack of every was too much to handle at the time and it was more important to me at that time to keep exercising and having the activity in my life than it was to continue the taper.

Also, maybe I am misunderstanding... But your dose has never been above 1mg? Are you prescribed suboxone for chronic pain or for opiate addiction? Also why have you stopped and started suboxone four times as opposed to adjusting to a dose that would be above the ceiling and staying there? From what I have learned about the medication from this forum and extensive research on the subject, dosing that low on a regular basis basically creates an opiate reward/response system in the brain rather than creating the ceiling required to effectively treat opiate addiction. I have heard it suggested before that a person dosing below the ceiling level and not tapering in a continuously downward fashion might benefit more from slowly raising the dose to reach the ceiling and stabilize there, or go ahead and continue the taper? Meaning, it kind of goes against the mechanism of the medication for treatment of opiate addiction when dosed below the ceiling (and then jumping around with doses).

Maybe someone else can chime in here and correct me if I'm not understanding correctly? I do not really understand the way buprenorphine products are prescribed for treating of chronic pain however, and maybe that is your case so I apologize if I am way off and would be interested to know more about it.

Im not asking to be argumentative or disagreeable... Just curious. It seems as though that is a huge rollercoaster of ups and downs that I personally would not choose to go through but I always am interested in how suboxone treatment/tapering differs in different people. Then again, stopping suboxone ONCE was enough to make me realize the power of the medication. Let alone four times... No thank you in my case! ;)

Thanks for sharing and answering in advance... Hope you are well!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:31 pm 
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I totally understand your confusion.. trust me! Totally happy to share! Let me answer some of your questions.. :D

However, I am curious as to why you went up so much on your dose? - I think just stress at work, things got crazy and Its a mechanism for me to deal.. I know it is not proper probably but I would rather that than use.. ?? I need to break that habit (If you read my thread I am really stuck between a rock and a hard place and have other issues lingering with custody, etc.. and BF that hates sub and I am not sure what he would do if he found out I was on it.. kick me out probably) I can get down to .2-.3 and it does not effect my energy this time.. it did in the past but I primed myself by running and working out like crazy for month before.. so when I did drop I didn't feel it. Like you said though I think exercise is more important than a drop in a taper if that is the toss up.. I think its better to stay at a level until stable and continue working out then drop.. but that's just been my exp.

Also, maybe I am misunderstanding... But your dose has never been above 1mg? - Maybe I've hit 1.5 for a few days here or there.. but yes

Are you prescribed suboxone for chronic pain or for opiate addiction? Both - I am an addict and it is a pain management treatment I can use and not abuse (Bupe is used now in a patch called Butrans for chronic pain, fyi) I am prescribed 2mg but am terrified of the medication so am in a constant battle with myself over getting off, staying on, how much to take..

Also why have you stopped and started suboxone four times as opposed to adjusting to a dose that would be above the ceiling and staying there? - First time was on it for 6 months was done being on it got off and relapsed like a year later. Second time was for an injury I sustained falling off a 3 story roof - Broke my foot in half (why I take it now) and the 3rd time I was pregnant.. so just 3 times

From what I have learned about the medication from this forum and extensive research on the subject, dosing that low on a regular basis basically creates an opiate reward/response system in the brain rather than creating the ceiling required to effectively treat opiate addiction. I have heard it suggested before that a person dosing below the ceiling level and not tapering in a continuously downward fashion might benefit more from slowly raising the dose to reach the ceiling and stabilize there, or go ahead and continue the taper? Meaning, it kind of goes against the mechanism of the medication for treatment of opiate addiction when dosed below the ceiling (and then jumping around with doses). - This is probably all true.. I am trying to stick with the downward taper..

So again I would like to stabilize at a dose (I am so very sensitive to it though 4mg would make me puke so I don't think I could ever be on that high a dose again) but I think I am safer getting off now before it becomes years down the road and it has effected my time with son, etc. It also makes me really foggy and my memory is horrible on it.. that's just for me personally. I also don't want it to effect custody as mentioned..

Sorry to hijack this thread!!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:51 pm 
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Nor cal...
Totally get it now, thanks for sharing your story and answering!

I can't imagine going through the decision to taper and stop with so much else going on in life :( I think it totally sucks that your significant other can't get on board with something that saves your life!! Especially dealing with a chronic pain issue, jeez I can't even imagine.

I'm glad that you are doing what you feel is best for you though and not tapering or stopping just because of an outsider opinion. Only you know what to do. And I totally understand about choosing the exercise over the taper, and using it as a coping mechanism for stress too. It's not a perfect world so there are no perfect ways to deal, we all just do the best we can at the time.

And everyone's metabolism and body are different and react differently to meds. It's probably a good thing if/when you decide to finish the taper and jump that you haven't had high amounts of buprenorphine in your system. I feel like I felt the same from 16mg as from 4mg and didn't notice any change in symptoms (except feeling better!) until dropping below 4mg. I'm not sure but the addict in me kept thinking I needed more and more for about the first 6mo after induction!

Hope you are having a good day today, and keep up the awesome job with exercising, exercise is amazing ;)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:16 pm 
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Hi fishy and NorCal,

I totally know what you mean about exercising. It really does help. But damn if I can make myself do it when feeling withdrawals about 2-3 days after each drop. However, I suppose exercising on the days after I've adjusted still helps. I wish I could make myself go for a run when I'm feeling crappy! Props to you for doing it everyday.

I'm now at 1.3mg. I wish I could make the taper go faster, but alas, patience is key, right? I so admire people who can make big drops, over 20% and such.

Thanks for the tip and information! I hope you are both well. NorCal, sounds like you'll be able to taper off quickly without too much pain. Yay! Fishy, sounds like you are feeling good; I'm so happy for you! Props to both of you for being strong, amazing women. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:36 pm 
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Bad kitty meow! 1.3 is awesome!! That's a hard number to get to, that was a tough part of the taper, under 2mg. Keep taking it slow, there's no hurry. But I have a feeling that you metabolize the buprenorphine real fast due to the fact you get crappy feeling for the next couple days. Just think, each time your body/mind feels like shit is just proving that you're doing meaningful work with each drop during your taper! You might've even told me that when I was hurting;) someone told me that, I can't take credit for that one!

I also think that will mean you won't have horrible symptoms for very many days that have been hiding out and surprise you when you're ready to jump. I really really believe that.

You are doing so awesome, just keep doing like you are and it will be over before you know it. You're a tough one! Anyone who has experienced WD and is willing to put in the time and work to taper off, knowing that you are willingly going to put yourself through some symptoms is one tough person. Because as any opiate addict knows, that's one of the worst feelings ever is WD. But it doesn't last forever and I think once we get to a point that we understand that we grow a lot as humans.

Keep on keepin on and keep us posted too:)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 6:07 pm 
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NorCal and BadKitty, you are doing the best you can with your individual situations, so I hope you are both proud of your progress!

NorCal, I hate that you feel held hostage to tapering off because of your boyfriend and the pending custody issues. And you have chronic pain on top of it all? That sucks and I really feel for you! Why does life always have to be so complicated? Well, we are here for you. All I can say is Don't Give Up!!

BadKitty, I know it's really hard to be patient, but I think you are doing a wonderful job. I know you envy those who can drop their dose faster than you, but don't forget that not everyone has the patience you've been displaying with your slow taper! That is admirable too!

You should know that I read every single post you guys make. I may not respond all the time, but I'm always in your corner. :)

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2015 2:39 pm 
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Hi everyone...

How are you doing B.K.? How is your taper going? I know it is soooooo hard but on the days when you feel yucky, if you just go for a walk you will feel so much better. Also I agree if you keep taking it slow and exercise often (even just the great slow taper you are doing) when you do jump it will be pretty uneventful.. I tapered off a benzo last year down to 0.125 and when I jumped off it was not that bad at all.. and kicking a benzo some say is worse than opiates.. its can be challenging but so beneficial in the end! Just keep the faith that it wont be that bad..

Keep it up!! You are doing fantastic!


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 11:16 am 
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Bad kitty meow!!!
How is everything going? Just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you and hoping your taper is going well. Any more WD symptoms since you switched to liquid method dosing? What dose are you at currently, and are you feeling your drop at this low dose?

Just wanted to check in on you!! Lots of love!!


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