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 Post subject: update - I'm distraught
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:44 am 
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My son has been experiencing crippling migraines almost everyday from 5am until 2pm since 2 weeks into his sub treatment. Neither the doc that prescribes sub or a neurologist he saw thinks it has to do with sub. We disagree. He never had headaches before sub. We have been giving 600mg advil gel caps and another dose 3 hours later. It doesn't help. He took a migraine med, it made him sleep but didn't do anything for the migraine. We can't go on like this, he cannot go to school.

He is fed up and last night quit his sub cold turkey from 16mg/day. He figures w/drawl can't be any worse than the headaches. He refuses to see anymore doctors. He hasn't taken sub in 36 hours. He awoke with a migraine. Any idea how long he must be off sub for the migraines to stop? I want him to go to a hospital for med detox and he will not go.

This is hell.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:26 pm 
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At 16mg and 36 hours his withdrawal hasn't even started. I would STRONGLY suggest he take 4 mg and start tapering off from there. He will definitely suffer unnecessarily going CT from 16 mg. Pain doses of buprenorphine are on the order of 60 MICROgrams which equals 0.6 mg. 16 mg is a huge dose. If you can't stand watching him suffer through the migraines you are not going to want to watch him go through withdrawal. I'm sorry to be so blunt. I had hoped that the doc would have tapered him down to the lowest possible dose by now for his small habit. But going CT from 16 mg is not the answer.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:35 pm 
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ayladare wrote:
My son has been experiencing crippling migraines almost everyday from 5am until 2pm since 2 weeks into his sub treatment. Neither the doc that prescribes sub or a neurologist he saw thinks it has to do with sub. We disagree. He never had headaches before sub. We have been giving 600mg advil gel caps and another dose 3 hours later. It doesn't help. He took a migraine med, it made him sleep but didn't do anything for the migraine. We can't go on like this, he cannot go to school.

He is fed up and last night quit his sub cold turkey from 16mg/day. He figures w/drawl can't be any worse than the headaches. He refuses to see anymore doctors. He hasn't taken sub in 36 hours. He awoke with a migraine. Any idea how long he must be off sub for the migraines to stop? I want him to go to a hospital for med detox and he will not go.

This is hell.


I'm not a doc, but here's what I think from what my own experiences were. A migraine is a specific kind of headache and responds to migraine medications, although it may take a few to find the right one. You can have a very, very, very bad headache, as painful as a migraine, but it's not an actual migraine and won't respond to migraine meds. I only say this because a lot of people call excruciating headaches 'migraines', which is inaccurate. Does his have visual disturbances? Does he have any other symptoms, like his arm going numb, slurred speech? If not, it may not really be a migraine, just a terrible headache.

I started Sub for headaches, but then Sub actually gave me headaches that went on and on and on and on. Maddening!!! It also made me very sick to my stomach at first, and the only reason I could keep it 'down' was because it was sublingual. I really wanted to give up on Sub, but my doctor back then said it was normal in the beginning and to hang in there. Lo and behold, once I'd adjusted to Sub, the headaches went away. :D

I know your son wants to jump at 16 mg, but that is such a crazy high dose. The withdrawal probably hasn't even hit him yet. The Sub stacks in your system, so he has a lot built up. In my opinion, he is probably on too high a dose and a significant dose reduction may solve all this and save him from some nasty withdrawal.

laddertipper

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 Post subject: Stopping Not the Answer
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:42 pm 
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Like everyone else here, I strongly advise him NOT to stop taking his Sub. A physician needs to address his migraine headaches and determine if that is really what they are.

This last week I had a headache come on like no other. Never in my life have I felt pain of that level. It was a chronic sinus infection that needed antibiotics and steroids to stop the pain. I couldn't think or do most anything until the pain subsided a little.

Not saying he has that problem but only a doctor can try to figure it out. Please encourage him to take some Sub and see another doctor to address his headaches or he will be so miserable going through withdrawals on top of the migraine.

I hope you are able to find some answers.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:46 pm 
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I agree with Lilly, 1st he is still on way too high a dose for his habit and I think reducing it down to say 4 mg would have helped his headaches. with the amount of Sub in his body he may not even begin withdrawl until 4-6 days from his last dose. I too apologize for being so blunt but want you to understand what is going to happen to him. The withdrawls from the dose he is at will make a migraine half the day look like a piece of cake, He is most likely going to still suffer headaches thru out the withdrawl period and so many more horrible symptoms. There are no words to describe the process to someone unless they have experienced it for themselves. Another thing that Sub withdrawl is notorious for is the length the withdrawls will last. We have a member here who stopped cold turkey from I believe 8mg and he went thru hell for about a year. Hopefully Romeo will way in on this. I am so sorry your son is in this position but like Lilly I feel the best chance he has at feeling better is to dramatically cut his dose to about 4mg and start a proper taper from there. He may even feel better on that dose because he has been on way too much for way too long but it will take a while because he has so much sub in his system. Again I hate to be blunt but the Dr. who is tresting your son is the cause of his problems, he should never have been put on such a high dose and if I were you I would be finding a new Dr. asap! It is not my intention to scare you but I feel you and your son have suffered long enough and deserve to have someone tell you the truth so if for no other reason you at least know what is coming. I will be praying for your son.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:52 pm 
Sorry for what you're going through. I just wanted to echo what the others have said.....They've given you some things to think about and consider and I believe they're all spot on with their advise.
I think other causes of these headaches need to be investigated (as in Rule's case....something curable and unrelated to Sub turned out to be the answer.)
As Laddertipper said.....there is a difference between true migraine versus just a really bad headache and the treatment must be approached accordingly.
I also agree that it very well may have something to do with the Suboxone...some of us (myself included) had some pretty monster headaches the first little while on Suboxone. What helped me was to take the advice of someone else here who suggested that I spit out the saliva that was left over after my Suboxone tablet was dissolved and that did help. If your son is on the strips, that may not apply. The other thing that's entirely possible is that his Sub dose just doesn't need to be as high as it is. Personally, I have found that nearly every side effect that I experienced while on Sub has all but disappeared with a lowering of dose.
Please encourage him from all of us to not cold turkey off 16mg of Sub.....I'm afraid if he continues with that plan, he'll find the bad headaches to be nominal compared to the withdrawal that's about to hit.
I'll send a prayer up for him and for you. Hang in there.


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 Post subject: Headaches
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:26 pm 
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I had headaches and my doctor switched me to sebutex. Ask his doctor about this. I will be praying for him.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:35 pm 
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If I remember correctly, your son has only been on Suboxone for a short time?? He can cold turkey it off of Suboxone without going through hell if he's only been on it a couple of weeks, but he is more than likely to experience at least some wd and it may be bad.....it's really very hard to say.

He's at the point where he's convinced it's the Suboxone that's causing the headaches and the only way he's gonna prove to himself whether it is or not is to quit the Suboxone, I understand that.

I'm gonna guess that after 3 days or so, most of the Suboxone will have worked its way out of his system. If his headaches haven't improved by day 3 or 4, it probably wasn't the Suboxone causing his headaches.

He's in a real tough spot and I feel for him. I hope you come back and update us on what's happening with him.

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 Post subject: thanks again
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:21 pm 
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You guys have been spot on all along. You are now and forever my go to source for sub information.

I called the manufacturer of suboxone today and spoke to a nurse. She was far more candid then I expected. I explained my son's dosage and headache history. She did not hide her shock. I said we had an appt with a neurologist for his headaches. She said that he didn't need a neurologist: the headaches were due to gross over medication with sub. She did think cold turkey would be a big problem.

She said proper dosing is to start at 4mg. If withdrawal symptoms do not go away, use 8 mg the next day then go up 2mg per day until the maintenance dose is found. My son was given 8mg every 1/2 hour until symptoms went away. She said it takes more than 1/2 hour for sub to work, so by the time the first 8mg was kicking in we had him at 28mg. She said it is never appropriate for any patient to take more than 24 mg in a day due to the ceiling. I am telling you what you all know, aren't I?

My boy has not had sub since Sunday evening. I'm thinking of giving him a sub holiday until tomorrow to get his blood levels down and then trying to get him to take 4mg/day to stave off w/drawal and to give sub treatment a reasonable try.

I called a few docs to find a new one. Most will not deal with an adolescent. I am still pursuing this, but in the meantime, I'm following my intuition and your advice.

K


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:10 pm 
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It really surprises me that you are having a hard time finding a Dr. who will treat an adolescent. I had no idea it mattered if you were over 18. I don't understand why they would turn away someone for being too young, they are still an addict in desperate need of help, I sometimes think more than adults. There is such a huge pain pill epidemic in highschool's and even juniorhighs. I have been told by a couple highschool students that it is easier to get hydro and oxy than pot! I really hope the medical community wakes up because the young people out there need help too!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:38 am 
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Hi ayladare. You've gotten some great responses here. I'm also happy to know that you got good info from that nurse (that's not always the case).

There are a few doctor locators online, one being at the top left of each page of this forum. There are others at: NAABT.org, samhsa.gov, and suboxone.com.

Also, Dr. Junig recommends long term suboxone treatment for younger people. Those who are only on suboxone short term, according to studies he has mentioned to us, have an almost 100% risk of relapse. So I hope you can find a lower, more suitable dose for him.

And most definitely try spitting out the saliva after the tablet or strip has dissolved, like setmefree suggested. That helps many people who suffer headaches (possibly) from the naloxone in the suboxone (which is why subutex helps).

Let us know how he's doing.

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 Post subject: this is awful
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:40 pm 
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I just found a new doctor....finally. She is going to switch him to a reasonable dose of Subutex. She said she has had a lot of people who could not take suboxone, but never one that couldn't tolorate either. I hope that is true. From this forum I have learned that many also have trouble with subutex.

Please pray that this works for us. I cannot work or even have a conversation without hysterically crying. I am afraid my baby is dying.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:48 pm 
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Honest to God he's not gonna die. I'm a mother, too, and I feel for you with all my heart. You found a new doc, she's going to get him on a lower dose and eliminate the naloxone. I believe things are really looking up. Hopefully he'll feel better in about 3 days or so. I'm willing to bet the headaches will go away and he'll get back to school. And he won't be able to take painkillers because the Sub will block them. There's a lot of hope here, and you said he is a very bright boy. I will continue to pray for you both.
Lilly


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:13 pm 
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Yes, I agree with Lilly. I am a mother also and can only imagine how horrible it has been to watch your son suffer, and how scared you must be. You did it, you didn't give up and you found a Dr. who will help him. I am sure there are some people who do not so well on Subutex but I promise it is very very rare. Most people that have problems (especially headaches) do much much better on Subutex. With the switch and lower dose there is no doubt in mind your son will improve drastically. Hold on just a few more days and he will get back to his old self. I am not a fan of suing but I have to wonder if the amount of sub the previous Dr. prescribed him could be criminal. I do not know if you wish to just let it go and start over (which is probably what I would do) but at the very least a call to the medical board may be in order to save someone else's child from enduring what your son did. I am so happy for you both because I know that very soon you will see the light at the end of the tunnel. Please keep us posted.


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 Post subject: Name brand Subutex
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:55 pm 
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I was switched to subutex because of heaches. However, my first script was for generic.
They gave me the Roxanne brand generic and my headaches were worse! I now take the name brand. Just wanted to give you a heads up just in case.


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 Post subject: THANK YOU
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:03 pm 
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My son went to school on Friday and has clearly been better all weekend. I am looking forward to him going to school tomorrow and attending rehab. Thanks for all your good advice. If you have any remedies for just being a 16 yr old boy, please pass those along.


Best to you all,

ayladare


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:35 pm 
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I am so happy for you and your son! It is great that he is feeling better. I am so sorry your son had to endure that misery but it sounds like he can put it behind him and work on his recovery. He sounds like a smart, sweet kid and with a mom like you I am sure he will be ok. You keep thanking us and I appreciate that but your son is better because of you. You knew this wasn't right and sought the information and knowledge you needed to fix it. You did an amazing job!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:17 pm 
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I think Breezy_Ann summed it up very nicely for you ayladare and I happen to completely agree with Breezy.

Ummm, as far as remedies for a 16 year old boy.......pray he turns 25 quick!! I remember when I was 16, I was a handful for my parents too!!!

Really though, my best advice is to keep loving him, but don't enable him.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:50 am 
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I'm so, so glad he is better! Please update us when you can as to what his dosage is, what brand of Subutex he is taking and how he is feeling on it. I'm sure your story will help others.
As far as being 16; it sounds like he must be a really good kid to have stayed the course and stuck out his treatment despite all the suffering, and didn't just say "screw you" and go out to get drugs like a lot of kids would have done in that situation. I feel there's a lot of hope and a lot to look forward to, and I pray that things will continue to get better.


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